We had a whole list of possibilities lined up for today's post - Halloween, football, a few funny sayings - but a string of coincidences led to joyous news for us today.
In May, we were devastated when our favorite restaurant, Louisiana Express, closed. I'd been going since I moved here in 1993, and had introduced Rich to the delights of this semi-dive hole in the wall place. I used to live pretty close, and there was a period of time when we went almost weekly - the first and only place we've ever been regulars. It might have helped we always got the same thing - me, crawfish etouffee and a Crimson Voodoo and Rich, blackened london broil and Blackened Voodoo. And no green onions sprinkled on for garnish. The brunches were awesome (me - poached eggs Sardou, Rich, Po'Mans breakfast), and our annual Mardi Gras party was not finished until the big gathering the next morning rehashing all the gory details from the party. We knew the place was in trouble last winter when they lost their liquor license, but we, and they, held on until May.
We'd heard on various blogs that our favorite waiter Carlos and the chef were trying to re-open and were scouting locations, but hadn't heard anything in months, and I was constantly moaning about missing the place. We've tried to curtail dining out recently and yet Louisiana Express's reasonable prices would have still fit in our budget - not weekly, but still regularly.
So, the coincidences:
- Last week we got an e-mail from Hard Times with a deal this week on 4.99 chili. Awesome, we thought, we'll get takeout chili on Friday.
- Called Friday, special was just on eat in. So we decided ok, we'll go out Sunday night.
- Hard Times has a variety of locations, and it's a toss up if we go to Arlington or Bethesda. We decided Bethesda.
- We can never remember the right street in Bethesda, so we turned down one street, nope, not right, turned the corner on another, hmm, not right either.
- On my side, I notice a sign - grand opening, Louisiana Kitchen. Hmmm. There is something familiar about the font......
- I crane my head and body all the way around (not an easy feat at 37 weeks) and Rich drives past - Hey, I think that's Carlos in the window!
- Rich lets me out to investigate. I look at the menu posted outside. OMG, it's identical to Louisiana Express's. I rush in. There behind the bar - Carlos! Who greets me like an old friend, asks about Elizabeth, notices the pregnancy, we chat about them opening. I say, you have no idea how excited I am! Couple at the bar laughs and says them too. Carlos gives me a takeout menu, and I say we'll be back!
- I walk out arms raised in victory. Climb in car, and Rich says, we don't have to go to Hard Times, you know.
- D'oh. We don't. We HAVE to go to Louisiana Kitchen.
Yes. We had our usuals. Sadly there's no more Blackened Voodoo to be had (ever since Katrina - though Crimson has been hard to find for a long time). But Rich had an Abita TurboDog, so he was happy.
Louisiana Kitchen. Yum.
We'll be back.
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