Mad Girl Eats Cochon Butcher in NoLa

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930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA.

Leaving New Orleans, I decided to try Cochon Butcher before exiting the city. The butcher/sandwich shop/wine bar is the sister to the fancier, Cochon restaurant. They make their own meats, sausages, terrines…lush sandwich fixings. Their glass cases are filled with delectable pieces that scream to be tried. Ok, I give….one charcuterie plate please!

An offering from the sandwich menu is also a necessity. The pork belly with mint and cucumber sounded like the perfect mix for a hot day. Easy to eat, lets take them to go!

I could hardly stand to get to the car and start sampling. In car, roll down windows…I still have 15 minutes left on my meter anyway. First up, the sammie. Melty  rich and tender pork belly with mint and cucumber on a heavy-duty farm bread. First bite…first words…”Oh my God”. Nuff said. If a first bite gets me to moan out those words, it’s a winner. The flavors went together so well, I’m planning on using mint and cucumber in many things. I wanted to run back to the Butcher and order another, but I had a Charcuterie plate waiting. A cacophony of beautifully made meats were ready to meet their fate, my tummy.

The plate was very artistic, with sides of pickled okra, slaw, grainy hearty mustard, cracked flatbread, and a generous amount of slices of 6 different meats. Scrumptious!

The only thing I regret is waiting to go there last instead of when I first arrived in New Orleans. I definitely would have eaten there a few more times. Pork Belly sandwich, on my list of The Best in the United States. Boom!

As seen on the Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate and Meat and Potatoes and The Travel Channel’s The Layover, Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, and Food Paradise. I would say, all shows were correct in taking the time to visit this restaurant…and so should you. Run, don’t walk. Bourbon Street will wait.

Hours: Mon-Thurs 10am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-4pm.

Street metered parking. Gets busy, I was there at 9:55 am. No waiting 😉

http://cochonbutcher.com

5 out of 5 mouth-watering points for  tastebud perfection.

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Mad Girl Eats Paseo in Seattle

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Paseo, 4225 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA.

I heard about Paseo on the Travel Channel. It featured the Caribbean roast sandwich that had people waiting in long lines in hopes of devouring it before they ran out. The place was also located in the cool and funky Fremont neighborhood and was sans sign. Who didn’t put a sign out front of their restaurant?! Ok, I knew I was in for kooky and I was intrigued.

So, lunch started early, they open at 11:00am. I was too far away from home to be turned away and come back to Florida without having tried this roast pork masterpiece. There was a line, but nothing too big. I ordered and breathed a sigh of relief they had a little oink for me.

I took a seat in the extremely tiny dining area. Soon it was delivered and looked amazing. A big beautiful crusty baguette loaded with marinated roasted pork, carmelized onions, aioli, fresh cilantro, and pickled jalapeno. Dang! That was freakin’ incredible-edible. The marinated pork was the deee-lish and truly perfected by the addition of the ‘extras’ loaded on. Certainly moan-worthy.

As I sat and ate, the crowd really started to swell. Happy I made it in when I did! They have opened a second location, 6226 Seaview Ave NW, in the Ballard neighborhood, so your luck just doubled. If you’re ever in Key West, they opened a Paseo there as well. Doin’ the bonus boogie on that!

I would have loved to have another sammie to-go, but the line was long and I had my turn. I should have ordered two! Anthony Bourdain and his show, The Layover on The Travel Channel, were at the Ballard resto a few months ago. He knows his stuff. So do I.

Either way, get yourself there. You can thank me…. and Anthony, later. 😉 On my Top 10 Best Sandwiches in the U.S.

Both Seattle locations closed on Sunday and Mondays. Free street parking.

http://paseoseattle.com

5 out of 5 perfectly marinated Caribbean kisses. Muahz!

Mad Girl Eats Piroshky Piroshky in Seattle

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Piroshky Piroshky, 1908 Pike Place, Seattle, WA  98101.

Piroshky Piroshky is a sublime Russian bakery directly across the street from Seattle’s famous Public Market. Taken from the Russian word “Pir” meaning feast, this shop offers single serve rustic stuffed pies with amazing fillings.

Meant to be a ‘hand-held meal’, you can get versions of these pies with meat, vegetable, and sweet fills. I ordered the potato, onion and cheese pie. Ooh, so fantastic. Next time I think I’ll go local flavor and order the smoked salmon pate pie, and finish with a fresh rhubarb or cream cheese and berries…or both. The pastry itself is light, flaky, perfection. You can’t miss!

These are definitely a nice hand-held meal. Easy for eating and walking around one of the coolest cities, Seattle. Excellent.

As seen on Anthony Bourdain’s show, No Reservations, on the Travel Channel.

4.5 out of 5 high pies!

Mad Girl Eats Hot Dougs in Chicago

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Doug decided to close up shop. What a shame, this was my go-to spot every visit to Chicago. Doug and his Hots are terribly missed.

Chicago is one of the greatest Foodie Towns in the world. Lunch here can be simple or high end, both can be economical. I’m doing a mix of lunch sampler posts honoring a few of my fave Chicago lunch go-to spots. First up…

Hot Dougs, Sausage SuperStore and Encased Meat Emporium, 3324 North California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618. This small resto has jumbo flavor and creative concoctions. Hot dogs and sausages range from $2.00 upward and maybe over $9.00 depending on your choice of crazy bites. At times I try their Game of the Week.wpid-20120723_113331.jpg  Once a Rattlesnake sausage, this past summer Kangaroo sausage, both extreme goodness. Other outrageously delicious sausages and ‘dogs’ I’ve fallen in love with: Fois Gras and Sauturnes Duck sausage with truffle aioli, fois gras mousse and fleur de sel, a Boudin Blanc sausage masterpiece, and my all time pick for Best Chicago Hot Dog, “The Dog”…for 2 bucks and all the quality and flavor you could ask for in a Chicago-style hot dog.wpid-20120723_114239.jpg Listed on Anthony Bourdain’s, “Places to Eat Before You Die”. I concur. I love Hot Dougs!

Tips: Cash Only. Doug himself will take your order and money. Nice nice guy. Duck Fat Fries…2die4..only available Fri and Sat. Resto regular Hours are Mon-Sat 10:30am – 4:00pm. Long long lines do form, I get there at 10am.  Closed 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year. Updates on their website.

http://hotdougs.com

5 out of 5. Hands down happy tummy.

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