This Week's Edition / August 21, 2014

First Bite

Fete Rouge is here

The Capital City becomes the "culinary city" for two days, starting tonight.

Fête Rouge kicks off the festivities with a sold out Grace "Mama" Marino Lifetime Achievement Award dinner honoring Associated Grocers CEO Jay Campbell at L'Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge. A 6 p.m. gathering will be hosted tonight before the 7 p.m. dinner, which features seven courses. To check out the menu for tonight's dinner, click here.

Baton Rouge's premier wine and food festival continues Friday at 7 p.m. with the sold out Food & Wine Fête, which features wine tastings as well as local chefs preparing their best dishes in a competition. Check out a sneak peek of what chefs are preparing.

Tickets are still available for Friday night's VIP Fête du Vin. The 6 p.m.-8 p.m. event allows patrons to sample elite wines from across the globe. Tickets are $200. Proceeds from all events will go toward local childhood health and nutrition programs. Read the full story.


'225': Checking out B.R. staple Mike Anderson's

Though our resident restaurant critic visited the former location of Mike Anderson's (on Highland Road) on a regular basis as a child, recent visits have been few and far between. It's an embarrassing admission, the critic says, so she drove out to the Lee Drive restaurant "to build some new memories."

In the latest issue of 225, she tried a few of the Capital City restaurant's dishes, including The Howard, which features black drum with ample amounts of garlic and herbs. With a squeeze of lemon, the almost overwhelming taste of the fish was tamed, making the entrée an "immensely flaky and moist" delight. Read the full story.

Heads up: Magpie Cafe hosts Red Stick Food Swap

Celebrate homemade and handcrafted goods next week at Magpie Café (3205 Perkins Road). The local coffee shop and lunch spot will host the Red Stick Food Swap Tuesday 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. The event is free. However, space is limited and registration is required. At the event, participants can sign in, set up items and samples and fill out swap sheets from 6 p.m.-6:15 p.m. then browse offerings from 6:15 p.m.-6:45 p.m. while enjoying refreshments. Between 6:45 p.m.-7:30 p.m., swappers will write trade offers on others' sheets, review offers and find each other to swap items. Register and get more information. —Matthew Sigur

Du Jour

From Spatula Diaries: Cure 'breakfast boredom' with sausage cheese muffins

In Maggie Heyn Richardson's latest blog, the 225 contributor set out to find a decent recipe for a sausage and cheese morning snack that would provide more protein and oomph than the average breakfast. Her new blog has a recipe for sausage-cheese muffins, a combination that's hard to beat. "These unfussy ingredients were born to get together," she writes. Read the full story and get the recipe.


‘That’s the Spirit’ heads to Stroubes

When it comes to bars and nightclubs, downtown Baton Rouge has its fair share. In this week's upcoming edition of "That's the Spirit," 225 contributor Rivers Hughey visits the iconic restaurant and bar Stroubes. Though the Third Street spot is known for its high-end seafood and steak dishes, Hughey tried out the bar's strong cocktails, and one drink she'll feature is the only drink she's had that comes with a maximum limit. Check back Friday for the full story and read more of Hughey's posts.

Bayou Teche, NOLA Brewing featured on 'Brew Dogs'

Esquire Network premiered a Southern style episode of its beer-centric television show Brew Dogs last night. The episode featured Arnaudville's Bayou Teche Brewing and NOLA Brewing. Producers of the show reached out to the latter to brew a swamp water based beer, brewed on two airboats near the Crescent City. Hosts James Watt and Martin Dickie also headed to Arnaudville to create a beer using the "resurrection plant" Rose of Jericho and mayhaw fruit. After brewing, Bayou Teche's Karlos Knott asked the hosts to compete and see who could make the best craft beer pairings with local Cajun cuisine.

See a clip of the show. The episode will rerun Sunday at 6 p.m. For more information on Brew Dogs, click here. —Matthew Sigur


'Business Report': Restaurant IPO purchases downtown building

After a little over two years in business, Third Street's Restaurant IPO has acquired the downtown building from which it operates, according to a story from Business Report. The locally owned restaurant purchased the building at 421 Third St. for more than $2 million. Restaurant IPO co-owner Eric Macicek says there are no immediate plans to make any changes to the space. In September 2013, Restaurant IPO named Chef Scott Varnedoe as its executive chef. Read the full story.

Ruffino's hosts Lobster Festival special

As summer winds down, Ruffino's is rolling out a special three-course "Lobster Festival" menu. For $30, patrons can enjoy their choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert. The appetizer options include lobster bisque, lobster dumplings and a lobster spring roll. For the entrées, patrons can choose lobster pot pie, a pasta dish of lobster Fra Daiavolo or "Lobster Filet Mignon," which is served with a béarnaise and asparagus. The dessert options are Creole bread pudding or assorted housemade sorbets. The special lasts through August 31. For more information, click here or call 753-3458. —Matthew Sigur


Get all your tailgating needs at the River Center this weekend

The first game of the LSU football season is only a week away, and Tiger fans have been buzzing with excitement all offseason. While questions remain about how the team will fare this season, one thing remains: LSU fans know how to tailgate. If you need a few items or just want to get a preview of some of the hottest places in town, head to the River Center for the 13th annual A Taste of Tiger Tailgating event Saturday 5 p.m.-8 p.m. The event features around 90 booths spotlighting local restaurants and food as well as tailgating necessities. Among the vendors on hand are Willie's Chicken and Waffles, Alexander's Highland Market, Calandro's, The Pelican House, Tony's Seafood and many others. A Taste of Tiger Tailgating also features musical performances from Dylan Scott, Natalie Stovall & The Drive and Jamie Lynn Spears. Tickets are $25, and VIP tickets are available. For more information, click here. —Matthew Sigur

Heads up: Show off your style at next week's Hot Off the Press

Celebrate the release of the September issue of 225, our annual Fashion Issue, in true style next Wednesday at our latest Hot Off the Press party. Festivities kick off at 7 p.m. at Portico in Southdowns Village at 4205 Perkins Rd. The event will allow attendees to get the first look at the issue that includes some of the hottest trends and stylish people of Baton Rouge. This event will also allow patrons to try small dishes from the restaurant's menu, which now features a few vegetarian-friendly items and two takes on shrimp and grits. Come dressed in your best 1960s-themed attire and show off your "Mad Style." The party is free for ages 21 and up, but you must register to attend. Register and get more information.


Walk-On's makes new hires

A popular sports bar and restaurant chain has bolstered its corporate team. Walk-On's Enterprises has added three members as the company prepares to launch a franchising initiative.

The new additions to the staff are vice president of development Craig Schlick, vice president of culinary training Mike Turner and director of training Shauna Reader. Schlick previously worked with FSC Franchise Co. in Tampa, Florida, where he built and opened Beef 'O' Brady's and other restaurants across the country and in the Middle East. Turner has spent the last 18 years with the Cheesecake Factory, and Reader has served as director of training for Hooters of Louisiana since 2001.

"The next logical step in the evolution of Walk-On's is franchising, and we knew we had to bring in some outside talent to make sure we do it right," Walk-On's Enterprises co-founder Brandon Landry says in a press release. "I'm please to say we've added three blue-chip players to our roster, and they've each hit the ground running. It's an exciting time."

Walk-On's will officially announce its franchising strategy by the end of 2014. This summer, the company announced a scaled-down version, dubbed Walk-On's Halfcourt, for downtown Baton Rouge.

For more information on Walk-On's, click here. —Matthew Sigur

'Bloomberg View' tackles food stamps' '$80 billion mystery

According to new information, the U.S. government's supplemental nutrition assistance program, a.k.a. food stamp program, had total costs of almost $80 billion in 2013. Now, the government is considering revealing how much money individual retailers receive and just what that food stamp assistance money is used towards. In an article from Bloomberg View, writer/editor James Greiff says the revelation of information about could confirm that food stamps "make up a large part of the sales of some of the country's biggest retailers, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc" as well as "insight into where and how fraud occurs." Read the full story.

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