Every Wednesday on The Food Show we are visited by our friend Stan Meadows, who is a part owner of Trenasse, a delicious restaurant and one of our favorites, located in the CBD. Since COVID Stan has been a traveling man, taking off in his mobile home with his two dogs, and calling in to The Food Show to report on his adventures. We often talk about what is happening at Trenasse in these conversations, and I was excited to learn that Trenasse was doing a Cinco de Mayo menu.
Besides being the “oyster hub of New Orleans,” as Tom has nicknamed Trenasse, I think these guys are really creative, and find their special menus fun. Rather than do the same old thing for that day, we headed to Trenasse. For Mexican food? Yes, indeed.
In order to get Tom into town for lunch I had to promise him oysters. Trenasse has 6 different kinds of chargrilled oysters, for a ridiculous price of $14-$16 for a half dozen. Tom made quick work of the oysters. The signature Intercontinental features Champagne butter and grated Romano cheese.
The menu wasn’t too large, so it was easy to sample a few things. I tried the charred pineapple margarita and it had the delicious pineapple taste but I couldn’t discern any hint of smoke. We passed on the smashed guacamole because there were other things I wanted to try. The very mention of crawfish queso will get me every time. The crawfish queso at Trenasse was mildly disappointing. It had a great flavor and was full of chopped crawfish and bits of tomatoes, but it wasn’t thick enough. Still, I liked it enough to finish it completely. The chips were perfectly light but hard enough to support a heaping chipful of queso.
But I think the green pork chili was just so good I could have made a meal of it. It was replete with tender pork chunks and topped with crumbles of cotija cheese. A roll of buttered and toasted corn tortillas accompanied this delicious thick and spicy soup.
Tom followed his chargrilled oysters with oyster tacos. Stan is fully committed to the idea that dressings for poor boys and tacos should not be lettuce at all, but very thinly sliced cabbage. I thought the idea ridiculous at first but I am coming around to this notion. I liked the spicy condiment on the tortillas, and the oysters were as large, greaseless, and crispy as all fried oysters are here.
The star of these dishes was the other taco special on the menu. They were Beef Cheek Birria tacos. I really like the Birria preparation of meats. The meat is simmered in adobo for a long time, braising it to optimal tenderness. These beef cheeks were so flavorful the divine dipping sauce that came with it wasn’t really necessary, but was it good! Really dark and rich-looking, there was a very light sludge of fat. It was spicy and so rich it was even better than it looked. The tortillas for these were light and dusted with some spices. The requisite hip veggie, paper-thin radish slices garnished it. I could have eaten a dozen of these.
I was thinking about getting Tom the grilled mahi, but I’m not sure if he likes mahi. We had run out of time anyway. And we were already full.
These guys are so creative I love to try whatever they come up with to reinvent some holiday dish. We look forward to the next one. Fourth of July hot dogs, a la Trenasse, perhaps?