Thursday, November 5, 2009. Ice Cream Extravaganza. A Great Hamburger. The Marys were up at four in the morning and out the door a half-hour later, for a six a.m. flight. Mary Ann said that if she changed her mind, I'd see her back within forty-five minutes. I didn't.
I couldn't get back to sleep, and got to my desk about five-thirty. And we have an Eat Club event tonight. Fortunately, it's not one of our usual dinner extravaganzas. Mary Ann and David Bergeron, the owner of the Creole Creamery, hatched a unique idea for a breadcast. Bergeron wanted to spotlight the new Lakeview location of his ice cream parlor with a six-course, Eat Club-style ice cream "dinner." They'd serve scaled-down versions of some classics, as well as some real originals. The latter is easy for these guys: they make their own ice cream, and invent a lot of their own flavors.
A ball of raspberry sorbet in a glass of champagne started it off. Between that and the end, the partakers went through nectar sodas, milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches, and sundaes--nine different items, as it turned out. All this was dreamed up by the ice cream chef: Bryan Gilmore, who not only throws together familiar elements, but makes up all his own flavors. They were kept pretty busy serving the people who wanted to buy the $15 ice cream banquet. Few could finish it all, although they wanted to. That was a lot of ice cream. And very rich ice cream, at that.
Mary Ann was upset about having to miss this. She loved the idea--loves ice cream, too. And this is one of her clients. I was surprised that she didn't call to check with me about how it was going. I figured she must have been in Nancy Pelosi's face at the time.
I didn't have even a taste of the ice creams, which everybody was saying were fantastic. If there's one thing I've learned in thirty-five years of doing radio, it's that you can't talk non-stop for three hours while swallowing any of the following:
1. Cold things
2. Dairy products
3. Sweet things
Ice cream is all three, and really goobers up the vocal cords.
I was hungry at the end of the broadcast. And here was the perfect opportunity to re-sample a restaurant I've not tried since its return from the watery near-grave Katrina dug for it: Lakeview Harbor, a couple of blocks from the Creole Creamery. Although its menu is extensive with seafood and steaks and pizza and salads, this place started out as a hamburger specialist, and it still is. (The owner used to work at the Port of Call, or some story like that.) Like most great vendors of hamburgers, this place feels more like a bar than a restaurant. It's dark, a little "damp" (don't take that word literally, or ask me to explain what exactly I mean, because I can't), and televisions with active football games flash from all around.
This is not my kind of place, and I've put myself on a two-hamburger-a-month diet. But I had to get one. My job. It was everything a hamburger should be: thick, formed with a bit of looseness, crusty on the outside, juicy in the middle. Exactly right. I had a beer and a baked potato. The spud's insides were so soft that they almost seemed like mashed potatoes inside a potato skin.
I suppose I ought to come back and re-survery the fried seafood and stuff. But I will not be trying the Salisbury steak special on Thursday nights. I believe this may be the only restaurant in town serving that dish, one which should have become extinct long ago.
Instead of going back to the Creole Creamery for ice cream, I stayed at the Harbor and had their bread pudding. Good enough.
As I was waiting for the check, I thought about how often I ate meals like this in places like this while I was in college. And that it tastes the same now as it did then. But. . . so what? Nostalgia for my college years disappeared almost immediately after I graduated. I do not expect it to return.
Creole Creamery. Lakeview: 6260 Vicksburg 504-482-2924. Dessert.
Lakeview Harbor. Lakeview: 911 Harrison Ave 504-486-4887. Hamburgers. Sandwiches. Seafood.