If all goes according to plan, Zeeland Street Market will have expanded hours, serving dinner and alcohol by the fall, according to owner Stephanie Phares. The Garden District restaurant (2031 Perkins Road) known for its breakfast service and soul food plate lunches is now in the midst of being rezoned to serve liquor. Phares says she will go before the zoning commission next Monday, then the city council in August. Phares says she will be able to focus on starting a dinner service in the fall once the restaurant is rezoned. "We're hoping to go to more continuous hours," she says. "We've been open now from 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. with our to-go suppers. That ended up doing pretty well. But in the fall, we'll be working on an evening menu, focusing on what I call 'Afro-fusion' cuisine, and have extended hours probably to 9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m."Phares says she's also thinking of rebranding the restaurant as Zeeland Street Day-Night. Day service will feature breakfast and lunch, and night will have "more adult dinner foods," she says. "We've found that the average Baton Rougean wants to have a beer or drink with their dinner," she says. "I'm also getting more people that want to dine-in rather than order to-go. [If we can get the proper permits], the restaurant is going to be so much better." The restaurant's current hours are Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m., and Saturday 7 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information on Zeeland Street Market, call 387-4546 or click here. —Matthew Sigur
In less time than they imagined, the Cooley family's Jeaux's Boys' Cajun Tailgate BBQ Sauce is becoming the talk of the town in Baton Rouge and beyond. The sauce is now in more than 30 Louisiana stores and just got into the Mississippi market. Last month, the four brothers—Dallas, Dakota, Skye and Denver Cooley—estimated they bottled 900 jars of the versatile, vinegar-based, gluten-free sauce. It's an impressive mark for the self-described "sauce-slingers," who started work on the business just a year and a half ago, and they already have their eyes on the future.Skye, the youngest of the four brothers, says the team is hard at work on new products, including a hot sauce, and eyeing other markets. Read the full story on Jeaux's Boys.
Locals Christopher Peneguy and Stevie Guillory have been home-roasting coffee beans for a few years now. After surprising themselves with the results, they started eyeing the Baton Rouge market. "You couldn't buy what we were making," Peneguy says. "It made sense to try to launch our company and see what happens." Earlier this month, Peneguy and Guillory's Cafeciteaux line of coffee beans landed in Calandro's and Alexander's Highland Market. At the latter site, they will be hosting a tasting Saturday at 9:30 a.m. The beans are 100% Arabica and currently come in two flavors—a mellow and sweet Guatemalan flavor and a bold, chocolaty Ethiopian flavor. Rather than just introduce Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans to their product, they'd also like to "educate the consumer on what quality coffee should taste like," Peneguy says, and "trying to change the mold and perception of who should enjoy quality coffee." Peneguy and Guillory are starting small. In the coming months, Peneguy says, Cafeciteaux will eye cafés along the Interstate 10 corridor to carry their beans. The biggest challenge now is just finding time for their new enterprise. "We both work full-time," Peneguy says. "I'm a CPA, and [Guillory] is a physician's assistant. It's been pretty smooth so far with word-of-mouth response here and there. Right now, we're looking to see if people here are looking for the same quality coffee that we enjoy." —Matthew Sigur
Although many Baton Rouge restaurants and bars use social media to market their menus and specials, Bottoms Up—a new smartphone application preparing to launch in Baton Rouge in the coming months—hopes to connect patrons and establishments more efficiently by providing a platform exclusive to them. "This is a service that's built specifically for bars and restaurants to promote their specials and deals," Bottoms Up CEO Keith Martiny says, "whereas Facebook and Twitter are central networks that were amended to accommodate bars and restaurants." While a Facebook user might be settling in for a movie and not interested in grabbing drinks that night, Bottoms Up users are specifically looking for a bar, Martiny says. The app is free for users, who sign up to find out about special events like trivia night and redeem deals. Participating establishments—any establishment that has a liquor license and does promotional events—pay a $50 monthly or $500 annual fee following a 90-day free trial. Read the full story.
Sweet and juicy watermelon is the perfect raw material for a poolside drink, a kid-friendly sorbet or a slice-and-eat snack. But it's also terrific sprinkled with salt. Fresh melon and salt are nothing new, but the combo remains in style for the same reason we love kettle corn and salted caramel—because sweet tastes better when it's got a salty partner. In preparation for this Saturday's Melon Mania at the Red Stick Farmers Market downtown, I reached out to Anne Milneck, chef-owner of Red Stick Spice Co., for advice on exactly what salt works best for elevating watermelon. Read the full story here.
In an effort to harvest plump figs ripening on her tree, Maggie Heyn Richardson has been braving mosquitoes and rainy afternoon weather. But with a good recipe and bounty, it's worth all the trouble. In Richardson's latest blog post, she shares her neighbor's famed fig cake recipe, which is "super moist with a light, but sturdy texture and pleasant, subtle fig flavor," she writes. "Tone down the sugar, and it makes a super breakfast cake." Read the full story and get all the details on the recipe.
225's newest contributor, Rivers Hughey, kicks off her new blog, "That's the Spirit," this week. In it, Hughey will discuss her favorite Capital City cocktails as well as where she's finding the most unique and delicious drinks in town. For her first post, she'll discuss Olive or Twist's alcohol-infused snoballs. To get an extended preview of what Hughey's blog is all about, check out a teaser video below.
Heskeith Flavien, sous chef for Tallulah inside the Renaissance Hotel, moved from a small village in Saint Lucia in the Caribbean to Gonzales when he was 18. Almost as soon as he landed, Flavien adapted to Louisiana's atmosphere and flavors. He went to the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute, which shut down after Hurricane Katrina hit, then took a job as a busboy at Mike Anderson's. For more than a decade, he hopped around from job to job in the popular Baton Rouge seafood restaurant, working as kitchen manager for his last three years there. In 2013, he joined Tallulah as sous chef and started crafting a menu that highlighted Southern flavors and his farm-to-table background. "I've always been interested in food," he says. "I grew up in a small village and was raised in the kitchen. Everything we ate was farm-to-table. Our chores and stuff like that revolved around food. We were raised around a lot of one-pot dishes, similar to gumbos and jambalayas." Read more about Flavien and Tallulah's new dishes in the full story.
Downtown Baton Rouge shows off its artsy side this weekend as the 11th annual Art Melt kicks off with a ticketed preview party Friday night and the main event Saturday night at the Capitol Park Museum. If you plan to take a look at the art and also want a bite to eat, 225 Dine has you covered. At Friday's event, Ruffino's Catering at De La Ronde Hall will be providing hors d'oeuvres as well as a roast beef and shrimp and grits station. Saturday's event will feature food trucks as well as local restaurants setting up tents on the museum grounds. The participating food trucks include Pullin Pork, Taco de Paco, POPculture popsicles, Fleur de Licious and Cupcake Allie. City Pork, Ruffino's, Street Breads, Schlittz and Giggles and Mestizo will also be on hand, giving residents and visitors a taste of the Capital City. If you're looking for more a sit-down atmosphere after browsing the art, downtown is bustling with up-and-coming spots as well as old favorites that would more than do the trick. Read the full story.
In less than two weeks, a new seafood king will be crowned as 19 chefs from across the nation head to New Orleans for the 11th annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off Aug. 2. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (900 Convention Center Blvd., New Orleans, LA, 70130). Tickets are $5 in advance and available at Whole Foods locations in New Orleans at Broad Street and Arabella Station, in Metairie at Veterans Memorial Boulevard and in Baton Rouge at Towne Center, or $10 at the door. Participants in this year's event will represent 19 states, with Chef Aaron Burgau of Patois Restaurant in New Orleans representing Louisiana. "I look forward to competing against a group of America's most talented chefs," Burgau says. "In Louisiana, we know and love seafood; so, I feel confident that I'll give them a run for their money." This year's judges include Ben Pollinger, executive chef of Oceana in New York; Kris Moon of the James Beard Foundation; Barbara Mathias, co-publisher and vice president of Food Arts magazine; Brian West, chef-instructor at the Culinary Institute of America-San Antonio; and Susie Selby from Selby Winery. For more information on the cook-off, click here. —Matthew Sigur
Galatoire's Bistro kicks off its seasonal dinner series next Wednesday, July 23, with a Local Breweries Beer Dinner pairing dishes with beers from Parish Brewing Co., Bayou Teche Biere, NOLA Brewing and Tin Roof Beer. The dinner kicks off at 7 p.m. and tickets are $60 per guest. To make reservations and get more information, call 753-4864. Following next week's beer dinner, the restaurant at 3535 Perkins Road will host wine dinners featuring Markham Vineyards Wednesday, Aug. 20, and Duckhorn Vineyards Tuesday, Sept. 9. Tickets to the wine dinners are $100 per guest. For more information on Galatoire's Bistro, visit galatoiresbistro.com. —Matthew Sigur
In July, the entire nation is screaming for ice cream. This month is National Ice Cream Month, and Blue Bell has released a new flavor called Magic Cookie Bar to celebrate the occasion. Inspired by the popular dessert of the same name, the flavor is loaded with graham cracker crust pieces, chunks of dark chocolate, roasted pecan pieces and toasted coconut, all surrounded by a caramel sauce swirl. Magic Cookie Bar is in stores now. On Aug. 1, Blue Bell will reintroduce its "Crankin' Back the Flavor" contest. The contest allows Blue Bell customers and members of the free online Blue Bell Country Club to vote on which favorite past flavor should reemerge in 2015. The winning flavor will be announced in September. For more information, visit bluebell.com.
"After months of battling quality control problems that have affected the taste and shelf life of Kleinpeter Farms Dairy milk, CEO Jeff Kleinpeter says the company has been working very hard to restore the quality of its products and is inviting customers back to ‘try the taste you have grown to love,’" writes Stephanie Riegel of Business Report. In a follow-up to her recent story on Kleinpeter’s problems, Riegel says the company posted a message to its Facebook page detailing numerous measures the family-owned dairy has taken to try to address problems that first started appearing last fall. Read the full story.
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