DiningDiarySquare-150x150 Monday, January 8, 2018. The Best Red Beans Across The Lake. Mary Ann has a tire problem that she needed assitence with. But the shop where the two bad tires is across the street from Lola, a maker of excellent soups, salads, and (most interesting of all) highly creative sandwiches. We have been going there mostly for weekend dinners over the years since they opened. We only recently discovered how good those soups and salads can be.

Most of the specials here are actually sandwiches in disguise. A few months ago I went after their Monday rec beans to see what they have going on there. Not altogether surprising was a plate of beans almost perfectly in accordance with what I think of as the optimal beany characteristics. The beans are soft but just barely so, the beans being mostly separate from each other and the mashed-up sauce. I asked to have Creole hot sausage with the beans and was told that they didn’t have it as an option. That was accurate, but it hid the fact that the sausage scattered through the beans–and the five-inch link of it that came with the beans–was in fact a hot sausage. In fact, I think it may have been Vaucresson’s fantastic hot sausage in hiding. In other words, in the sausage department this was everything I wanted from a plate of red beans. Even the portion size contributed to the pleasure. Most restaurants serve way too big a plate of red beans, which creates the illusion of cheapness. Nothing cheap about the ingredients or cooking at Lola, so it wasn’t an overload.

Yep, what we have here was total satisfaction from this lifelong red-beans-loving palate.

Other than that, the day was less than charming, with enough rain overnight to fill the gutters outside. And for most of it to flow away by the end of the radio show. At that point I went to the NPAS rehearsal site, arriving about an hour early. I never quite know when I should show up. We got right to work on a repertoire of new songs, some of which I’d never heard and others at the peak of familiarity (Beatles and Elvis selections, to name two.) Some of the singers ran a test with their solos, but mine doesn’t get checked out by our director until next week. I wasn’t in good voice, anyway. Must be the insanely cold weather from last week, still lingering on.

Lola. Covington: 517 N New Hampshire. 985-892-4992.