NOLA on the Square and Taste of Dahntahn

10 Nov

I tried out 2 new (to me) restaurants this week, which explains why I am FAILING MISERABLY at the “Largest Loser” contest at work (I have amended my goal from “lose weight” to “come out of these 12 weeks without gaining weight”…next week is the last weigh in, and I’m 1.4 lbs under my starting weight, so there is hope).

Sandy was aghast when I admitted I *still* haven’t eaten at NOLA on the Square, so we ventured there on Tuesday for lunch.  With the word “NOLA” in the name, I assumed it was going to be all booze, no food, but l found myself happily wrong.

NOLA is part of Market Square’s revitalization which is actually going much better than I expected.  When I heard the City planned to tear it up and try to give it a “piazza” feel, I thought it would be effort and money down the tubes…but it has actually turned out to be a lovely spot to dine and hang out.  The menu is obviously NOLA themed, with offerings like Fried Alligator, Gumbo Ya-Ya, and Grilled Catfish.  The special of the day was Catfish and Grits, and I had trouble ordering because there were SO many things I wanted to eat.

Tuesday was a day of bottomless hunger, so I appropriately ordered the Shrimp Po’ Boy with Voo Doo Fries.  It was huge. I was starving. It was perfect.  I hesitate to order sandwiches filled with breaded-and-fried-things, because it often turns out to be a bread sandwich.  This was not the case, the shrimp breading on the po’boy was not overwhelming, the slaw balanced it well, and the fries were flavorful.  If I were capable of thinking with my brain instead of my stomach, I would have taken a picture of my own plate…but like usual, I plowed through the whole meal and then thought “maybe I should take a picture.” So here you go with a picture I found on the internets.

Then, last night I was delighted that we had our book club meeting at Taste of Dahntahn.  I’ve been itching to try it, since I read PopCity’s article on it.  I, again, forgot to take pictures when I was there (also, I admittedly feel kind of weird taking pictures of places and food), and couldn’t find pictures online that do the interior justice.  It’s flashy retro-ish diner and Pittsburgh themed, and fantastic and THE MENUS LIGHT UP.

I had a delicious cocktail that involved cherry and champagne and I don’t know what else, but it was very, very good.  The menu can best be described as modern ‘burgher comfort food.  My friends each ordered the fried green tomatoes appetizer, and they seemed to be very happy with the dish.  I ordered the BBQ wings.  I expected them to be the typical fried wings drowned in BBQ sauce, but Taste of Dahntahn’s take on BBQ wings a little different.  The wings are breaded and fried more like fried chicken, drizzled with BBQ sauce, and served with more BBQ sauce and aioli for dipping. The result is delicious, and a lot more substantial.  Even though I ordered the half plate, I for once in my life could not finish the order.  Mmm they were tasty.

(Also, Allison Janney must be method acting for a waitress role in that movie filming in Pittsburgh right now, because I swear she was our server).

(And second Also, we had excellent service at both restaurants. Hooray!)


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