Olive or Twist Friday, Dec 14 2012 

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Olive or Twist
7248 Perkins Road
http://www.oliveortwistbr.com

DBG knew she would like Olive or Twist the moment she walked in and saw a chocolate doberge cake sitting on the bar under a glass dome.

The proprietors, Joshua Duke and Scott Gremillion, have created a cozy yet upscale environment that is extremely conducive for sipping on a well-made cocktail while whispering about the week’s gossip.  The wooden bar looks like a library, with bartenders using a rolling ladder to fetch the bottles stacked up to the ceiling . And they need a lot of different liquors, because their drink menu is a mammoth beast that runs for dozens of pages. Everything is made from scratch and when possible fruit juices are squeezed to order.  These gentlemen are hardcore.  They even make their own limoncello.

Olive or Twist only uses top shelf liquor, but they have used some type of voodoo magic and managed to keep the prices incredibly reasonable.  DBG enjoyed a Purple Hat that surpassed the Carousel Bar’s creation. The Hubs had a well put together Sazerac. Small plates are also available.  The mini-muffalettas really hit the spot.

The bar is conveniently located near Essen Lane and is right next to Martin Wine Cellar. This is a bar for grown-ups, so no Jagermeister machine.  But there’s a very nice happy hour and rotating specialty drinks.  Check out their website for details.Image

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Grand Cinema Station Thursday, Dec 6 2012 

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Dive Bar Girl
Grand Cinema Station
10732 Florida Blvd

This is the informative review that might have La Cherrista in Charge asking for DBG’s head on a platter, but she is going to write it anyway.  She will use a moderate amount of discretion and try to tactfully tell the tale of Grand Cinema Station.

Grand Cinema Station is located behind an abandoned strip mall on Florida Blvd.  DBG decided a visit was in order after hearing their bizarre commercials on the radio.  As she rolled up with The Hubs in tow, a portly man carrying a large sword and a small, brown paper bag tottered out of the building.  He placed his sword on the passenger side of his handicapped accessible mini-van and drove away.  The Hubs began to lament the fact that he had allowed DBG to drive and was now subject to her every whim.

Did you know people still rent porn? They do, and there is a metric ton of it at Grand Cinema. Perhaps their customers haven’t discovered the interwebs. But this den of desire is so much more than an adult video store.  Of course, they have the usuals – toys, stripper clothes, blow up dolls that look like the President, and everything you need to make a cake for a bachelorette party – but they are also historians of the adult video.  They offer vintage VHS tapes for as little as $5.  There is also a huge selection of children’s videos.  Presumably, because the children need a digital babysitter while you are in the back room with your Obama doll.

They also sell all kinds of swords and knives. At first, DBG did not see any relation between swords and adult videos, but then she realized that swords are the ultimate phallic symbol.  In the market for a gladiator helmet?  Look no further.

But here’s where it gets weird.  They have a large selection of old vinyl records at really good prices.  Most of it is 1970s rock.  There is also a patriotic home décor section.  And if DBG had won Powerball, she would have purchased their Mrs. Pac Man tabletop arcade game.

So if you are struggling to find the perfect gift for the person who has it all, stumble into Grand Cinema Station.  Their helpful staff will guide you down a path of pleasure. They even sell firewood.

The Keeper of the Gorilla Tuesday, Dec 4 2012 

-1The nice folks at Country Roads let me write about my favorite yard art.

When most people think of yard art, they envision flamingos, plastic light-up Virgin Marys, and gnomes with pointy hats and mischievous grins. A five-foot tall, 2,300-pound cement gorilla dressed in a holiday costume is never the first thing on the list—unless you live in Plaquemine.

For over ten years, the Plaquemine Gorilla has dutifully guarded the Schwing family home on Highway 1. Gayle Schwing says her Fay Wray-esque love affair with the gentle giant began as a long running joke with her late husband, Edward. The couple owned a vacation home on Grand Isle. On the way there, they would pass D&D Ornamental Concrete in Napoleonville. Schwing says her husband would point to the statue and say, “I’m gonna get that gorilla.”

In September of 2002, the gorilla found his way to her front yard. At first, Schwing was unhappy and embarrassed with her husband for his large impulse purchase. But the gorilla eventually wormed his way into Schwing’s heart.

During a heavy storm that fall, the family decided the gorilla needed protection. Schwing’s daughter managed to squeeze him into a rain slicker. Later that year he donned a witch hat for Halloween. Schwing’s husband demanded more professional costumes for his unlikely muse. A seamstress was hired and the gorilla found himself decked out for Christmas in Santa Claus suit complete with a hat.

When Edward died in April 2003, Gayle took all of the flowers from his service and placed them around the gorilla. At that point, it was obvious the concrete giant had become a member of the family.

Schwing kept the new tradition of dressing the gorilla. It takes two people to help him into his custom-made couture. His collection has even grown to six signature looks. He dresses for Mardi Gras, Easter, Fourth of July, LSU football season, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The Santa Claus suit remains Schwing’s favorite. The gorilla even has a spotlight so he can be viewed from the road at night.

The town has embraced this loveable ape as their unofficial mascot. People have brought their children to have holiday portraits taken with him for years. Passing motorcycle clubs have been known to snap a picture or two.

Schwing believes that Edward bought the gorilla so she would always have something to remember him by. Even though it has never occurred to her to name her giant brute, she says, “It means so much to us as a family. No one else should ever have it. And I will never move it.”