7 Baton Rouge Cocktails Worth a Gander and a Gulp Wednesday, Feb 27 2013 

7 Baton Rouge Cocktails Worth a Gander and a Gulp
 
Sometimes Baton Rouge gets a bad rap when it comes to cocktail scene. After all New Orleans lies an hour away on I-10 and is the birthplace of iconic concoctions like the Hurricane, Ramos Gin Fizz, and Vieux Carre. The Crescent City even has an official cocktail—The Sazerac. While the Legislature has never voted to bestow Baton Rouge with an official libation, Red Stick has many delicious options that epitomize the drinking culture of South Louisiana.
 
Here are 7 standouts in the Baton Rouge bar scene:
 
1. Juban’s combines bourbon with raw honeycomb and allows it to marry for more than two weeks before patrons are allowed to order their traditional Honey Bourbon cocktail.
2.Don’s elevates the classic Old Fashioned by serving it in one of their signature tumblers and garnishing it with a rock candy stir stick. This is the way they have always done it and why it is just so right.  
3. The Old World Fashioned at Galatiore’s is new twist on an old classic that combines bourbon, merlot, Angostura and orange bitters to form a sultry spicy drink best enjoyed at the bar while rubbing knees with a secret paramour.
4. A classic Sazerac at Radio Bar sits in the middle of a menu filled with innovative twists on original cocktails. Dave Remmetter and Brian Baiamonte knew better than to mess with perfection.
5. The Purple Hat at Olive or Twist actually surpasses the Carousel Bar’s Eudora Welty inspired creation.  This graceful feminine vodka martini is far too sophisticated to be considered just another girlie drink.
6. The owner of the Patio will never give away his secret rich spicy Bloody Mary recipe; thank goodness they can be procured by the gallon. 
7. The bartenders at Acme combine hot sauce, horseradish, and vodka then crown it with a raw oyster. Open up; their Oyster Shooters smoothly go all the way down the hatch.
 
Bottoms up,
Dive Bar GirlImage

The Cove Hawaiian Grill Wednesday, Feb 20 2013 

The Cove Hawaiian Grill
9618 Jefferson Hwy Suite E
 
Dreaming of a tropical paradise during the cold winter months? Well, Red Stick now has it’s own little hale`aina (restaurant) hidden away in a lowly strip mall on the corner of Bluebonnet and Jefferson. The Cove Hawaiian Grill features a variety of island fare suitable for a quick lunch or take-out dinner. 
 
Their menu focuses around a variety of marinated proteins (beef, chicken, short ribs, and shrimp) that are char grilled and served with rice and steamed vegetables. Translation: This is not the Mad Men Style Hawaiian Chicken your mama served in a sauce of ketchup, canned pineapple, and teriyaki sauce.
 
Other offerings include an exotic island treasure known as Hawaiian sushi aka Spam musubi. A slab of grilled Spam is served on a block of rice and wrapped in dried seaweed. The Cove cooks their “Hawaiian Steak” to order, but this little treat is usually found wrapped in plastic on South Pacific convenience store counters.
 
But if you are tired of the same old burger and fries for lunch, the show-stopping dish at The Cove is their Bulgogi Burger with a side of house made Chip Fries. Thin slices of sirloin are marinated, charbroiled, and served in their juices with a tangy sauce that fuses to a sweet bun but eventually finds it’s way down to the chin. This lighter take on an American classic is the perfect lunch for patrons on the go who don’t want to be weighed down by a dense hamburger and greasy fries. 
 
A hui hou kakou (until we meet again)
Dive Bar Girl

Roberto’s River Road Thursday, Feb 14 2013 

A Love Affair with Shrimp Roberto
Roberto’s River Road
1985 Louisiana Hwy. 75
Sunshine, LA
http://www.robertosrestaurant.net/

An old general store that faces the levee in the bend in the Mississippi River seems like an unlikely candidate for inspired Louisiana cooking.  But if you are looking for elevated local fare, Roberto’s River Road Restaurant is worth the trip.

The drive down River Road is intriguing in its own right. A mountain of earth flanks one side of the car keeping a the big river at bay while pastures full of cows and horses sit off to the other side. The landscape is green even in the winter, but parts of the drive are so desolate you feel like the only person left in the world. The road itself also keeps the driver on their toes. It is constantly curving with the river. There is no shoulder and the occasional wayward cow also helps throw in a bit of excitement. DBG highly recommends taking the spin in a standard. Her 1972 Datsun 240z really suits such an occasion.
There is no pretension at Roberto’s, even though the food is worthy of snobbery. The parking lot is gravel. The interior walls are held together with repurposed wood. Old mirrors, fishnets, and Christmas lights serve as decorations. The lunch crowd is a mix of plant workers, locals, and city folk who made the drive.

For an appetizer try the shrimp and grits or the eggplant crab cakes. They don’t disappoint. For an entrée, the Shrimp Roberto is a must. Everyone has had stuffed shrimp before, but Roberto’s wraps theirs in bacon, deep fries it, and plates it on a white wine butter sauce. Every element of this dish is perfection, but that is what makes Roberto’s so special. If it isn’t perfect, it is not on the menu.