One of the most exciting changes to the Metairie dining scene recently is the arrival of Desi Vega’s Steaks and Seafood. (Don’t bring up chicken, as we learned yesterday.) My companion inquired about chicken as a protein on a salad special and the response was that there was “no chicken in the house. Desi Vega’s Steaks and Seafood.” We found that odd, amusing, and obviously accurate.
I love this place, and that is no doubt an opinion widely held. By noon it was full. Robert Bruce of formerly everywhere is killing it at Desi Vega’s. His face is a fixture in the open kitchen, and his food is just terrific. There was a brisket salad special yesterday that stopped a conversation cold when it was delivered to an adjacent table. They made the right call. I didn’t.
That’s not to say we didn’t love what was in front of us. First, stand aside clever and delicious amuse bouches around town, Desi Vega’s mom’s meatball takes it. For me at least. One little meatball in a small pool of perfect red sauce generously sprinkled with parmesan cheese signals what is ahead.
And what is ahead is anything you want, guaranteed delish. We started with ceviche, which was declared great by one of us. I don’t eat ceviche. The chips served with it, pappadams, didn’t at all hold up to the meaty mouthful of fish. (Yes, you read that right.)
The service in this place is outstanding. Besides all the usual ways one can determine this, they indulge my maniacal iced tea obsession in a way few have. Not only does the tea glass never run out, but they appear to not even notice the absurdity of it. This takes doing, I will be the first to admit. My companion kept pace with me, and we kept them pretty busy with this nonsense.
I usually get the Louis XVI Salad here, which is just delicious, with its crabmeat on butter lettuce and a fine buttermilk dressing, flanked by tomatoes and cucumbers, hearts of palm and asparagus. But today I wanted more. It was really hard to stick with my usual when so many other choices called to me.
There’s a meatball po-boy filled with those divine meatballs, a steak sandwich, a fish sandwich, and the aforementioned burger, always the clear winner in such a contest. 10 oz of really flavorful meat on a brioche bun. Melted cheddar, tomatoes that are firm, red, and have at least some flavor, shredded iceberg. This was served with a pile of not-as-good-as-expected housemade chips, but kudos for the ambition. Midway through the ceviche we asked for potato chips, but they were also too thin for the job.
A discussion of pickles ensued, when the pickles that came with this delicious burger seemed housemade, instead of dill pickles right out of the jar that are so much better. Turns out these are out of the jar, Alabama’s own Wickles Pickles, but even a house brand dill pickle seems more appropriate for such a classic burger. Both of us at this table were passionate about our pickles.
The other entree was a salad of grilled shrimp with sliced boiled eggs, tomatoes, and the usual fine salad ingredients. An ordinary but pleasing salad with nicely grilled large shrimp.
This was a filling lunch, and no one got dessert. Don’t you just love it when you are in a place where all the food going by looks fabulous, and you want it, but then you want yours too?
Desi Vega’s Steaks And Seafood
111 Veternas Hwy Metairie
Tu-Th Lunch 11:30-2 Dinner 5:30-9
Friday Lunch 11:30-2 Dinner till 10