Stalking the perfect bread pudding
In Hawaii, I’m always looking for the perfect Lava Slide. In New Orleans, the restaurants pride themselves on their bread pudding, preferably with bourbon sauce. I intend to try every bread pudding I can get my hands on to find the perfect one, then steal the recipe.
Last night Mike and I had dinner at the Bourbon House, a white tablecloth joint 3 blocks from the Marriott that seemed like it would be a great spot for my research.
We started with the crab and corn chowder, which was decent but not great. The crab here is “fishier” than the Dungeness we are accustomed to on the West Coast, the chowder was fairly thin and it was all around just acceptable.
Here in New Orleans restaurants tend to put a small loaf of bread in its wrapper on the table, which they think is French bread but they clearly haven’t been to France.
I had the “Fish on the Half-shell”, a house specialty. Of course I had to inquire about the name, and it turns out that they grill the red fish with the skin on, which dries up and shrinks into a shell-like shape. Add a ton of creole seasoning, and you have a pretty good dish.
The entrée wasn’t the point, though, so let’s get right to dessert.
Close, no cigar. The bourbon sauce was fantastic, the pudding was somewhat overcooked, dry and hard. Not hideous, but could have been much better–which is what I think about Bourbon House in general, except for the excellent service. The staff were on top of things, well trained, personable without being familiar, all-around first rate.
Bourbon House has all the makings of a great restaurant, but they have succumbed to touristy mediocrity. A good manager and executive could whip this place into shape pretty quickly, but they get so much business from the transient tourist population that they just aren’t challenged, which is a pity.