This Week's Edition / April 17, 2014

First Bite

Sugarbelle on Perkins Road to host May grand opening

Sugarbelle, a bakery that originated on Plank Road, has opened its second location at 10889 Perkins Rd. in the space of the former Sweet Wishes. A grand opening event is scheduled for Saturday, May 17. The bakery's Baton Rouge Community College booth in the campus' dining hall is also now open.

Kasie Coleman started Sugarbelle on Plank about a year ago and has wanted to open in South Baton Rouge since then. She told 225 Dine in February that she didn't think the expansion would happen so quickly.

At the Perkins Road location, customers can expect her popular cupcakes, whoopie pies and PraLena brownies, which feature the bakery's homemade brownies topped with Coleman's own pralines. Coleman says the new store will also serve donuts as well as stuffed breads that will feature meat lovers and grilled chicken, spinach and feta cheese options. For more information, call 349-8368. —Matthew Sigur

Catering Cajun helping in disaster relief

Wayne Stabiler is perhaps most known in Baton Rouge for his string of restaurants, which include two locations of the Italian restaurant The Little Village, Le Creolé and Stab's Steak & Seafood in Central. However, Stabiler has been making a name for himself across the country with Catering Cajun.

Though his catering company started as just a food vendor in 1992, Catering Cajun began to help with a bigger range of disaster relief and recovery efforts around eight years ago.

"We were doing a lot of catering during tornadoes, ice storms and hurricanes," Stabiler says. "At the time Hurricane Katrina hit, a lot of our customers started pushing for us to do more than catering."

Stabiler then turned his food business into a full-on disaster recovery service, providing housing, a place to shower and do laundry and other equipment for those working at areas in need. His biggest clients are utility companies everywhere from New York to Texas. He's not just bringing a couple 18 wheelers of food, he says, Stabiler is in charge of the logistics of more than 80 trailers driving across the country to these locations.

"It's an undertaking," he says. "You lean on a lot of people. Trust is the key." Read the full story.


'225': A look at Bacchus Bistro & Bar

Bacchus Bistro & Bar sits on 18291 Highland Rd., nestled in the far corner of a strip mall that houses a clothing store, a sushi restaurant and an insurance agency. Inside is a markedly calm, intimate space that will "restore your faith in Baton Rouge's restaurant scene," according to 225's resident food critic.

The new restaurant earns high praise in the new issue, especially for its attention to detail. Among the dishes our reviewers tried is the Shrimp Perry, served with a reasonably sized portion of angel hair pasta with sautéed shrimp, red and yellow bell peppers, olive oil and tomato. Read the full story.

Mr. Ronnie's Famous Hot Donuts to open in late May

Baton Rouge will get a new donut shop before summer. Rocky McMillan, director of franchise development with Mr. Ronnie's Famous Hot Donuts, says the Houma-based 24/7-donut stop will make its Baton Rouge debut at 216 Lee Drive in late May.

Ronnie Picou started his business in 1994 with two slogans: "Give people what they want" and "We do donuts." McMillan says he met Picou three years ago to talk about franchising, and when an agreement was met, a Baton Rouge location was a "no-brainer."

Like its Houma predecessor, Mr. Ronnie's Capitol City location will be open 24 hours a day and serve fresh donuts that have no preservatives or additives. The business does classics like hot glazed, chocolate and sprinkle-covered donuts as well as twists, filled donuts, cake donuts, puffed pastries, éclairs, donut holes and kolaches, which will be served daily 5 a.m.-11 a.m. From 11 a.m.-4 a.m., Mr. Ronnie's will also serve his signature mini burgers, which come in orders or three, six or 12.

A grand opening event for the Lee Drive location is planned for fall 2014. —Matthew Sigur

Du Jour

Jay's on Sherwood celebrates 60th anniversary

In April 1954, then-convenience store manager Jay Prothro decided to open a simple barbecue stand on Government Street. Selling hamburgers and smoked pork, chicken and beef with a distinct savory sauce, Prothro quickly built a loyal following, and later expanded the stand to a full-fledged restaurant a block away. Sixty years later, Jay's Barbecue still inspires plenty of fans, some of whom started as toddlers eating “sauce bread” (sandwich bread slathered in Jay's barbecue sauce), says Connie Newton, Prothro's daughter.

Prothro sold the Government Street operation in 1983 to longtime employee Floyd LeBlanc. The Mid City spot is now run by LeBlanc's son, Milton. Newton and her husband Rick opened Jay's on Sherwood Forest Boulevard in 1978, where Prothro himself is still known to make regular appearances on Saturday mornings. Next week, the eatery at 5734 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd. will feature a different 60th anniversary special each day, as well as daily complimentary cake and ice cream and 60-cent drinks. For more information on Jay's Barbecue, call 293-1232.

Note: Jay's on Sherwood will be closed on April 18-19 in observance of Easter.—Maggie Heyn Richardson

From Spatula Diaries: Strawberry season inspires sweet simplicity

The beauty of a ripe strawberry is that it requires so little intervention to make it special. With south Louisiana’s strawberry harvest now fully underway, it’s time to grab a flat and enjoy the bounty. In Maggie Heyn Richardson's latest blog, she writes about a few ways to make quick, simple and delicious dishes, including strawberry shortcake with teacakes and fresh whipped cream. Read the full story.


Radio Bar releases spring cocktail menu

Spring is in the air…well, sort of. Though the weather may be hit or miss, The Radio Bar (3079 Government St.) has released its spring cocktail menu. The new menu includes seasonal drinks priced from $8-$12.

Among the cocktails is the bourbon and ginger liqueur-infused Morse Cocktail. The bar is also serving up its take on the Hibiscus Fizz, which is made with Fruitlab hibiscus liqueur, spiced lavender bitters and sparkling wine. The hibiscus liqueur also makes an appearance in the Bandita Rojo, which also has gin, Lillet Blanc, lemon and agave.

Also on the menu is the Jardin District, made with Hendrick's Gin, St. Germaine, lemon and Crème de Violette. The bar is also spotlighting the Bangkok Blonde with Zu Bison Grass Vodka, ginger liqueur and lemon.

The Radio Bar is open seven days a week, 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Visit the bar's Facebook page for more information. —Matthew Sigur


Fast Break: Johnny's Pizza

Though still relatively new on the pizza scene in Baton Rouge, Johnny's Pizza is a staple in north Louisiana, known for its rectangular-shaped slices that are almost all toppings and leaving barely any room for doughy crust.

As someone who was born in West Monroe (sorry), I was always curious if the Capital City location at 8873 Highland Rd. got it right and tastes like home (outside of my mother's cooking, Johnny's was really all we had). Thankfully, for this northerner, it does.

Since I'm an experienced customer, I usually skip a lot of the specialty pies. They aren't bad, but a Johnny's fan knows that the Sweep the Kitchen is where it's at.

Piled with 11 toppings (no, seriously), the Sweep the Kitchen pizza slices fold under the weight of generous helpings of pepperoni, mushrooms, ham, black olives and more when you pick up a piece.

If all those toppings aren't your style, you can't miss with a 12" pepperoni and sausage. And if you're really homesick, Johnny's offers build-your-own Take & Bake pizzas.

Johnny's is open Sundays-Thursdays 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Fridays-Saturdays 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Call 763-9797 for more information. —Matthew Sigur

Heads up: Galatoire's Bistro hosts wine dinner next week

Baton Rouge native Tyler Kean returns to the Capitol City for a wine dinner next Wednesday at Galatoire's Bistro. Kean, the current executive chef and owner of The Fairhope Inn Restaurant in Fairhope, Ala., will partner with Galatoire's Bistro's executive chef Kelley McCann for a five-course menu.

The menu will include five canapés, paired with Galatoire's Brut Excellence, Cote-d'Or NV. The first course is seared bay scallops and herb gnocchi with spring vegetables, paired with Clos du Val Chardonnay, Carneros 2010. A chilled Covey Rise duck terrine paired with Domaine Ott "Les Domaniers," Côtes de Provence Rosé 2012 will be served for the second course. A third course of redfish brandade will be paired with Chorey-Lés-Beaune, Domaine Champy 2009. For the fourth course, a rosemary and black pepper crusted rack of lamb will be served with Châteauneuf-du-Pape "Vieilles Vignes," Domaine la Cabotte 2011. A chocolate pecan Panna cotta will be served with The Rare Wine Company Maderia's "New York Malmsey Special Reserve."

Admission for the wine dinner is $100 per guest and includes tax and gratuity. To make a reservation, call 753-4864. Seating is limited.


Cuban Liquor hosts Bayou Teche Brewing tasting

Baton Rouge gets a taste of Arnaudville tonight. Cuban Liquor (3911 Perkins Rd.) hosts Louis Michot of Bayou Teche Brewing, who will be sampling some of the brewery's finest starting at 6 p.m. Patrons can taste Bayou Teche's Saison D'Ecrevisses available only during crawfish season, the Belgian inspired Imperial Stout Loup Garou, the smoked wheat ale Boucanée and the traditional ale Acadie. Read more about Bayou Teche's eco-friendly brewery.

Uncle Earl's hosts charity event Friday

In March, Baton Rouge native Peyton Feigley was involved in a serious car accident while traveling in Mississippi. Feigley is still recovering from injuries suffered, and friends and family have joined together for a fundraising event for her at Uncle Earl's. The event kicks off Friday with a crawfish boil at 6 p.m. at the bar (3753 Perkins Rd.). Nashville musician David Borne will also perform. All proceeds from the cover charge will be donated to Feigley to cover medical expenses, travel expenses and help her on the road to recovery. From 6 p.m.-10 p.m., cover will be $20. After 10 p.m., cover will be $5. The event will also include a raffle. If you cannot attend, donations are being accepted here.


'Business Report': New barbecue food truck getting ready to roll

Millie's Bar-B-Q, a new food truck that will focus on the Mid City and downtown Baton Rouge areas, hopes to be rolling by June, says owner Claudia Gray. The food "truck" will be more like a trailer, Gray says, and will offer menu items like barbecue sandwiches, hamburgers and chicken six days a week. Read the full story.

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