Corned Beef And Oysters

Written by Mary Ann Fitzmorris March 22, 2023 00:02 in Dining Diary

Stan Meadows is a dear friend of The Food Show (airs 2-4 pm weekdays on WGSO 990AM,) and he is also a contributor. He started with a Wednesday call-in when the show moved to WGSO in 2020. I asked him to report from the road since he took off (during  COVID) to see the fruited plain in his luxury motor home, purchased for the trip. He’s not on the road so much anymore, but he is always doing something fun, and worthy of airtime. He is also a part owner of the great CBD restaurant Trenasse.

Tom has always called Trenasse “The oyster hub of New Orleans” because they carefully source their oysters and have an oyster menu all its own. In addition to terrific raw oysters freshly shucked, there are six different chargrilled versions: Champagne butter and Romano cheese, Pancetta and smoked Gruyere cheese, Rockefeller with crisp bacon and mushrooms (that are better than any Oysters Rockefeller anywhere,) garlic butter and parsley, and garlic butter and Panko breadcrumbs, as well as Bienville with shrimp and crabmeat. These can be ordered in the usual way as a dozen or half dozen, but at Trenasse there is an assortment version that comes in two sizes. We got the smaller one which was 21 oysters on a slab of reclaimed cypress for $42. That’s $2 apiece! Three of each of the six kinds of chargrilled and 3 fried on top. Tom is fanatical about oysters, and he is in heaven here.

We went to Trenasse on Sunday for what Stan proudly boasts is “the booziest brunch in New Orleans” - (one of their many awards.) But we didn’t go for any booze. Last Friday was St. Patrick’s Day and they had a corned beef poorboy with jalapeno mayo and a corned beef Benedict with jalapeno Hollandaise.

After we quickly dispensed with all those oysters and the garlic bread we ordered for dipping, I perused the menu and immediately lamented that corned beef, regardless of how good, was not the thing to get at Trenasse. This garlic bread was unique. Soft and warm with a nice garlic flavor, it came with red bean butter. The butter had a hint of sweetness. This was really very good, and different.

With limited stomach space, I wished I could have gotten the Grillades and Grits, or the housemade Boudin Hash, the Fowl Gumbo, the Blue Crab Bisque, Biscuits and Pepperjelly, the signature Crawfish Pie, and so on. This is a delicious restaurant. I will just have to return again and again to finish working through the menu.

But the corned beef was definitely worth this visit. I love corned beef whenever I see it but it wildly varies in goodness. This was tender and dark from searing on a griddle, with a deep corned beef flavor. It was excellent in both versions. 

I loved the poor boy. Stan is firmly committed to swimming against the tide in poor boy dressings, insisting that poor boys should be dressed with shredded cabbage instead of lettuce. He might have won me over with this poor boy. The cabbage was thinly sliced and had the slightest crunch to it. I liked it very much.

Across the table, Tom had poached eggs that were great to me because I think they were a tad overcooked. A generous portion of corned beef and fingerling potatoes were the basis for the eggs. The requisite Hollandaise finished it off. His contentment with his dish was equal to mine.

Tom was very enthusiastic about the easy-listening Jazz duo that sat by the oyster shucking station. It was the perfect accompaniment to a young and hip crowd like this. The food was so good I can’t wait to return. And who knows, maybe next time I will get boozy with this brunch bunch.