Monday, June 27, 2011

The Rose Bowl Flea Market

Rose Bowl Flea Market
Entrance - Antiques are to the left!
You might remember, if you're an attentive and diligent reader of this blog, that I mentioned a few weeks ago that I went to the Rose Bowl Flea Market. I'd been wanting to go to this flea market for YEARS - quite literally.  Like 10 of them. It's held the second Sunday of each month at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, so it does require a bit of thinking to plan a trip around it, and for one reason or another, I just couldn't get around to it until April.  I'd heard a lot of mixed things about it - it's overpriced, Long Beach is better now, it's too crowded, all the good stuff is gone after 9 AM, etc.  -  but for someone like me, just looking for some entertainment and a few cool things, the Rose Bowl was more than adequate.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
In doing my usual over-zealous research, I might have actually screwed up a bit. I had heard that the best bargains were to be found in the farthest parts of the market - across the bridge, so to speak.  Yes, there was plenty of cheap stuff over there - but there was also a reason why it was cheap.  It was - for the most part - junk.  (Except for the vintage clothing, more on that later.)  Meanwhile, people were flooding into the grounds and heading straight for the good stuff - acres and acres of antiques located just to the left of the entrance.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
Assorted and sundry... junk. 
By the time we made it back there, we really only had the time and stamina to circle the perimeter.  As such, we missed aisles and aisles of vendors, selling furniture, artwork, all KINDS of stuff - in the middle.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
That's not to say we didn't find plenty of good stuff.  We were both on a bit of a budget, and neither of us were in the market for furniture, so we didn't feel like we missed out on much there.  Most of the furniture vendors with nice stuff also seemed to have cards out for their online or brick and mortar shops - and their prices were not much if any less than ordinary retail.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
I had my eye out for interesting artwork or paintings and a vintage leather bag, and found both.  The dark brown vintage 70's bag was a serious bargain at $35, this poster from a 1956 Louvre exhibit was $100. but I kind of love it, it's nicely framed, and it was half the amount the seller originally quoted me.  That's the thing about bargaining.   When you offer and they accept, it's pretty much yours.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
I actually found the bargaining a little annoying.  It's obvious that they jack the prices up - then they stand around and say "we can do better than that."   What that really means is you have no idea what something is going to cost you until you've agreed to buy it.  I think the only thing I bought without bargaining was the bag - they said $35 and I said "Sold!"  I also bought a vintage Tyrolean men's jacket - wool, really cute.  They asked for $50, I offered $40.  Sold!  Earrings, they asked for $30, I offered $20... Long story short - it's a good idea to make sure you actually want something before you start haggling.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
In the "back lot" section of the market they do have some good deals on vintage clothing and textiles - and lots of smaller household stuff.  Some of it was overpriced - but it varied quite a bit from booth to booth.  If you're in the market for trendy wool blankets, Mexican embroidered dresses, Hawaiian shirts, vintage concert tees and denim, etc. it's definitely worth strolling back there.  No matter where you are, you're a lot more likely to get a good deal from someone with a bunch of random assorted stuff than a vendor who is specializing in a particular category.  The blankets and leather bags in the specialized booths in the front section of the market were waaaay more expensive than random ones.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
The best part, is that you just never know what you're going to find, and chances are if you don't buy it, you'll never see it again.   For example, you won't find this poster at Z Gallerie -  though I guess whether or not you think that's a good thing depends on how you feel about clowns...
Rose Bowl Flea Market
Nor will you find this inflatable Peter Max pillow - which sold while I was mulling it's $45. price tag (firm.)   It's probably just as well.   I really don't know where I would have put it.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
A few tips and things I learned:

1)  Take a large bag or a cart - We took big tote bags from our Lucky Shops adventure the day before. People were also hauling those market carts around all over the place. You can rent one there for $15.
2)  Wear sunscreen, a hat and comfy shoes, and bring water - You will be walking around for at LEAST three hours - we were there until 1.
3)  Eat before you go and be prepared to hold it  -  There were very few bathrooms and one or two hot dog vendors in the section where we were.   Even trash cans were few and far between.
4)  Don't worry about getting there for the early admission - Just get there close to 9 and you'll be fine.  Most of the vendors were just finishing setting up at 9 and there is so much territory to cover, it can't possibly all be gone before you get there. I also can't help but think the vendors' willingness to negotiate increases as the day wears on.
5)  If you really want something, buy it - You'll probably never see it again.
6)  Don't expect miracles -  You're better off at garage sales if you're looking for steals - though I hear the chances of furniture bargains increase at the end of the day, since you'll be helping them out by hauling it away.
7)  Keep the five year rule in mind -  Anything you can't imagine keeping for at least 5 years, walk on by.  Makes those wobbly decisions much easier!

Rose Bowl Flea Market 
1001 Rose Bowl Dr
Pasadena, CA 91103
Held the second Sunday of every month. Next on July 10!

Friday, June 24, 2011

10 Places I'd Like to Go More Often and 10 I Want to Try

jaynes ii
As much as we love to support the local dining scene, James and I don't get out nearly as often as we'd like.  As a follow up to my list of top 10 places in San Diego I posted a couple of weeks ago, here are some of the places we'll go if - no when - we get ourselves in gear in the near future!

Places to go more often:
  1. Jayne's - lovely Gastropub in the Normal Heights/North Park area with a lovely back garden.  
  2. Okan -Japanese Izakaya in Kearny Mesa. 
  3. Alchemy - neighborhood restaurant in South Park - good cocktails, interesting menu.
  4. Blanca  - used to love it, haven't been since the chef change.  
  5. Linkery and El Take it Easy - I've had a few mixed experiences at both, but when they're good they're great, and I love the principles behind them. 
  6. Sea Rocket Bistro -  haven't been back since just after opening.  We had a couple of mixed experiences, but people seem to like it pretty well now, and I'm such a seafood lover.
  7. Market - love Carl Schroder's food and James Foran's desserts, but just don't make it up to Del Mar often enough. 
  8. The Smoking Goat - cute little bistro in North Park - only been once, before they had their liquor license, and I keep hearing good things.
  9. Wine Sellar Brasserie - I have always thought the food was great, but the atmosphere and dining room are a bit lacking.  Is it still as good as it used to be?
  10. Costa Brava - I always forget about this place.  Good tapas, decent Sangria and a good place to spend time with friends and forget just for a little while that you're in San Diego.  Love the patatas bravas!
Places to try:
  1. Pomegranate - Russian Georgian Restaurant in Normal Heights.
  2. Kaito - supposedly the best sushi in San Diego - in Encinitas.
  3. Tao - New incarnation of Dao Son in Normal Heights.
  4. Anthology - Supper Club with music - need to find a show and go!
  5. Searsucker - Brian Malarkey's place in the Gaslamp.  Still haven't been, but lunch is calling my name...
  6. Dolce Pane e Vino - everything cooked in a wood burning oven?  Yes, please! 
  7. Addison - The finest fine dining in San Diego, and we haven't tried it yet. 
  8. Dim Sum at Jasmine, Pearl or Emerald - still haven't had dim sum in San Diego.  Travesty!
  9. Q'ero - Peruvian food in N. County.  Keep hearing great things.  
  10. Izakaya Masa - a Japanese Izakaya in a tucked away location in Mission Hills.  (If Andrew & Heidi like it, it must be good!)


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lemon Cream Pie {A Recipe}

Lemon Cream Pie
You may have noticed, there hasn't been a whole lotta baking going on over here at Casa Q. Foodie lately. We've been watching our girlish figures and trying to eat more healthfully overall - so at the very least, whenever I do get the itch, I make sure I have a plan for the results that doesn't involve us eating the whole thing ourselves.

One such opportunity presented itself a few weeks ago when our good friend Tommy was visiting from San Francisco with his lovely girlfriend Liz. We threw them a little dinner party with some other mutual friends. The menu included Aperol cocktails, honey and thyme glazed ribs, a fava bean, cucumber and herb salad, and for dessert, this lemon cream tart - which was so thick and so deep, I'm just going to call it a pie.

For the crust, I used some butter cookie dough I had made a few weeks ago and blind baked it in a fluted quiche pan because I wanted it to be deep enough to accommodate whole strawberries standing on end. The filling was Tartine's recipe for "lemon cream" - which they put in small tart shells at the bakery. It's creamy, rich and slightly tart -  unless you're the one who makes it you'd never guess how much butter is in it. And cream. Especially once you whip a whole pint and pile it on top...

Just try not to think about it. Or do.  Whatever you think is best. :)
Lemon Cream Pie
Lemon Cream Pie with Strawberries
adapted from the Tartine Cookbook

For the crust:
(You will only need about a third of the recipe, but the rest freezes well.)
4 sticks (1 pound) fresh, best quality unsalted butter, softened. (I like Plugra and Straus.)
1 1/3 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract - or vanilla paste, if you like flecks.
4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Beat butter, sugar and salt together in a standing mixture with the paddle attachment. Blend in the egg yolks, one at a time, and then the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour gradually, mixing just until combined. Divide dough into thirds. If you want to bake right away, just press and flatten chunks of the soft dough into a 9 inch quiche pan or regular pie pan until the bottom and sides are evenly covered. Pat cookie dough to be used later into a 1.5 inch thick round and refrigerate. (To bake, roll out or slice and bake at 375 for 5-10 mins depending on size. Also makes great thumbprint cookies.)

Chill the shell thoroughly before baking - you can even pop it in the freezer if you're in a hurry. You want it nice and cold when it goes into the oven. When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375, and line the shell with parchment and pie weights or beans. Blind bake the shell at 375 for about 15 minutes with the weights in. Take them out, and bake about 5 minutes more, until it's nice and golden brown. If you're using a fluted shell, when you take the weights out - use the round handle of a wooden spoon or a pen to press the dough against the sides of the pan all the way around. Allow to cool completely before filling.

For the filling:
1/2 cup plus 2 T. lemon juice
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cool, cut into tablespoon sized slices or cubes

1 pound of medium to large sized strawberries

Heat about 1.5 inches of water to a simmer in a double boiler, or a saucepan that is the right size for a non-reactive metal bowl to fit into so that the bowl doesn't touch the water but sits just above it. In the bowl, combine the lemon juice, whole eggs, egg yolk, sugar and salt. (Add the egg yolks last and whisk immediately - if you let the egg yolks and sugar sit, they will become grainy.) Rest the bowl on the pan and whisk until the mixture becomes thick and registers 180 degrees on a thermometer, this will take about 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the water and let the mixture cool to about 140, stirring occasionally.

When the mixture has cooled to 140, strain it with a fine mesh sieve, and use a hand blender in a high sided bowl or bar blender to blend in the butter one chunk at a time, blending continuously, and allowing each chunk to become incorporated before adding the next. It will be pale yellow and very thick. At this point you can add a little lemon zest or up to a tablespoon or so of lemon juice if needed to brighten the flavor. (I did, but I used Meyer lemons, which are a little more mild than Eureka.) Chill the cream until your tart shell is cool, or if it is, go ahead and fill it.

To assemble the tart (which you should do no more than a few hours before you plan to serve it) cut the tops off of the strawberries and dot the tart shell with them flat side down, points up, about a quarter inch apart. Pour the lemon cream over the top and chill for at least an hour.

To unmold the chilled tart from it's pan, turn a stove burner on, and quickly but carefully turn it over the flame to warm the outside of the tart pan all the way around, using a dish towel to protect your hands. Place your hand on the bottom and gently pry the ring down off the tart. Use a long thin knife to slide the tart off of the bottom of the pan and onto a platter or plate.

For the topping:
2 cups of cream
2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar

Beat cream in a standing mixer with the whisk attachment on high until soft peaks start to form. Add powdered sugar and continue to beat until stiff.

Dollop the top of the tart with the whipped cream, spreading to the edges with an offset spatula, and dot the top with smaller whole strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Day at the Fair

Michael Jackson's Swing Ride.
On Saturday, Jora and I took her three kids and my two nieces to the San Diego County Fair (aka the Del Mar Fair to us locals.)   I hadn't been to the fair in a couple of years - and I hadn't ever been with kids.  It was a whole different experience.  Exhibits?  Pshaw... the kids wanted to go on the rides.
The Del Mar Fair.
So Jora and I started out by buying one of these $50. sheets of ride tickets - 72 tickets - EACH.
Ride tickets.
Guess what?  When there are four kids riding - and each ride takes 3-6 tickets, those suckers go fast.  So fast, I had to buy ANOTHER sheet in the afternoon.  So fast, I still didn't go on but one ride all day - and only then because the younger one wasn't tall enough to go without an adult.  I wanted the girls to wring every precious bit of joy they could from those things. Still, I guess I have to admit seeing expressions like this on their faces made it all worthwhile...
Caelan & Emma having a blast - Instagram II

I had fun photographing the rides and scenery while the girls were whirling around.  I almost want to go back again just to "photo safari."  And maybe go on a ride or two myself.
Fun House.
Happily, even though it was the first Saturday the fair was open, the lines weren't long at all.  The only crowds we encountered were around the food booths along the midway.  We had the obligatory funnel cake - which was worth every calorie, especially when shared with two voracious children.  For lunch, we had the barbecued chicken from the bbq stand, and Greek salad and gyros from the Greek stand.  It was all relatively healthy, and really very good.
Funnel Cakes are a must.
Though it was tough herding four kids around the fair (plus a baby in a stroller), we did have Caelan and Emma, who are now 11 and 8 respectively, to help. I asked Caelan to chaperone C-man and Emma to look out for Juju, and they took their jobs very seriously.
The kids - Instagram
After we accomplished our primary mission at the Fair, which was to see our friend Heidi perform with her Zumba team, we took the kids over to the Farrell's for an ice cream cone, and sat down for a break to eat it - because it turns out that with small kids, eating and walking at the same time just doesn't work very well.
ice cream break.
Jora and her clan called it a day shortly after that, but the girls and I still had a couple of hours to kill because we were going to the concert that night - Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae.  (See above regarding second sheet of ride tickets!)  They went on some more rides, had some cotton candy, and before we knew it - it was time to get in line.
Yum... Cotton Candy...
Until a week or so ago, I think I might have been the only person alive who didn't know who Bruno Mars was, but I was told the girls were crazy about him so I looked into it.    I checked one day and couldn't get anything, but checked again the next day and was able to get unreserved Terrace seating.
Tour Poster - Instagram.
The Terrace is a great place to sit because it's the table seating.  Unreserved means first come first served though, so you have to get there early and wait in line.  We got in line at 4:45 for the 7 PM show, but it paid off - we got great seats.
At the Bruno Mars concert at the Fair.
They have table service and you can bring in whatever you like from the fair to eat. It was the girls' "first concert" -  they thought it was a little loud, and they were getting tired by the end after a long day of fun at the fair - but I do think they liked it.  If nothing else, hopefully, they will at least remember it!

If you're going to the fair and you are interested in the rides, consider the "ride wristband" deal available certain dates - it's gotta be the way to go, even if the lines are longer.  Also, kids under twelve get in free any day if they fill out a form indicating they've read 10 books, and have it signed by a teacher or librarian!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dinner at Andrew and Heidi's

Dinner at Andrew and Heidi's
A couple of weeks ago, we were the lucky dinner guests of our friends, Andrew Spurgin, formerly Executive Chef at Waters Catering and now a partner in the new catering company Campine, and his wife Heidi - a graphic designer and all-around super cool chick. I tend to think Heidi is responsible for the super chic decor of their vintage jewel-box home on a Mission Hills canyon, but Andrew clearly has his creative side as well. The food he turned out for us was artful and delicious in equal measure. The meal was influenced by their recent trip to Japan, and our first course was this beautiful and delicious plate of sashimi - sliced raw Mano de Leon scallops, uni and beautiful garnishes of crunchy seaweed, a Japanese spice blend, a salted cherry blossom, vanilla salt, and fruit...
Dinner with Andrew and Heidi
The Uni was melt in your mouth delicious, and the mano de leon scallop was utterly perfect. All of the seafood came from Catalina Offshore Products. This is Andrew's rendering of the dish - I wanted to frame it. (See what I mean about that artistic side??)
Andrew draws all of his dishes.
The next course - also depicted above - was a four part dish of clams in a bacon "dashi" - with an uni pudding, sticky rice, butter poached spot prawn, deep fried prawn head and roe. The spot prawns also came from Catalina Offshore Products.
Dinner with Andrew and Heidi
With the meal we enjoyed this very lovely cold sake....
Dinner with Andrew and Heidi
Between the courses, Andrew retired to the kitchen to do his work, while we drank more sake.
Andrew plating the third course.
This course was a rich braised pork belly with udon noodles - and yes - indeed that is a cricket on the plate. A green curry cricket, to be exact. I couldn't detect much green curry flavor - but it was certainly crunchy.
Dinner with Andrew and Heidi
For dessert, Andrew plated up some mochi with strawberries as a refreshing little palate cleanser. We also had some crunchy crabs - and I have to admit, around that time my memory gets a little fuzzy.... lots of sake you see...
Dinner with Andrew and Heidi
It's true that Andrew and Heidi could have served us rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and we still would have had a blast spending the evening with them - but this kind of skill (and their great stylish space) deserves to be shared. So please to enjoy... but don't bother asking me for Andrew's phone number. If you want to eat this food yourself, you'll have to call Campine!

Monday, June 06, 2011

My Top Ten in San Diego

Cafe Chloe
I just updated my "Favorite Places to Eat" post from 2009.  It was a little bit overdue, so I was glad to see that it hasn't changed all that much.  I only had to delete one restaurant that closed, and I belatedly added a couple of "new" places, like Bankers Hill and Cucina Urbana.

As I looked at the list, I also realized that though I stand by everything on it, I generally find myself going back to the same very few places over and over again, just by habit or because they appeal to me personally.  This is completely subjective, and I don't know that I'd even say these places are necessarily the 10 best on the list, they are simply the ones I return to most often!
  1. Farm House Cafe - The best bang for your buck in town.  Love the seafood dishes, chicken liver mousse and burger. Nice wine selection too.  We always sit at the bar.
  2. Blue Ribbon Pizzeria -  Love their pizzas with ricotta, and the salads and apps are fantastic.  Try the BLT salad, the burrata or the albacore with avocado.  The butterscotch pudding is to die for too.
  3. Cafe Chloe - Three words, long, leisurely lunch.  (aka LLL)  Settle in for multiple small courses and throw back a glass of wine or two.  Don't forget to bring lots of quarters for the parking meters!  They also do a really nice afternoon tea.
  4. A.R. Valentien - Their deck is another great place for a LLL, and you can order their awesome Drugstore Burger at lunchtime.  They do a really nice three course lunch for around $25. (910 in La Jolla does this too.)
  5. Blind Lady Ale House - Love the chorizo pizza, mussels and beer.
  6. Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant - Haven't been in a few months, but we're going next Saturday.  Good cocktails and Rachel Going makes fantastic desserts! 
  7. Starlite - Great cocktails and an interesting, affordable menu.  It changes constantly and they always have something good for non-meat eaters. 
  8. Cucina Urbana - I like it best for lunch, but dinner is good too.  The menu is a little odd, but I always seem to find something good.  Joe Manganelli knows what he's doing. 
  9. George's in La Jolla - California Modern & Ocean Terrace - CA Modern is the best blend of atmosphere and food in town for fine dining.  The Ocean Terrace has the best view in town, bar none, and is a fantastic place to entertain out of towners. 
  10. K Sandwiches - Where i go for my iced milk coffee and banh mi fix.  Extra pickle, easy mayo. :)
Other contenders:  Piatti at La Jolla Shores (our go-to with the 'rents), Market in Del Mar,  Bread & Cie (I go, but I'm not always happy about it), Okan in Kearny Mesa - love, but don't get over there as often as I'd like. Tender Greens and Con Pane at Liberty Station are also in the lunch rotation.  I also went to the MIHO Gastrotruck a lot when they were coming to Little Italy on Wednesdays. 

How about you?  Do you have a short list of places you like to go in San Diego or your own hometown? 

Photo:  Cafe Chloe

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Cochon and Cochon Butcher Shop - New Orleans

Cochon Restaurant
What?  It's June??  You have to be kidding me.  I keep having this problem - a function of  being crazy busy and spending lots of  my online time elsewhere I'm afraid.  Facebook and Pinterest are giving me a serious case of ADD when it comes to sitting in front of the computer lately.  We've also had several rounds of houseguests, which is awesome, especially with the new guest room - but it's kind of difficult to sit down and write blogs posts when there are guests to be entertained.   And chocolate croissants to be eaten...
Cochon  - New Orleans
ANYhoo - back to New Orleans - and Cochon.  There were so many choices and so little time, but for various reasons, Cochon wound up being our big dinner out experience of the trip.  We were on a bit of a budget so we stuck with mostly casual noshes the rest of the time - though we would have gone to Galatoires if the maitre'd had not taken exception to the flip flops worn by the gentlemen of our group (with collared shirts, which they specified on their website - sadly, there was no mention of a shoe requirement. *sniff*.) My first quibble with Cochon is that it could have been anywhere.  With it's blonde wood and brick interior, it looked like something you could find in San Diego, San Francisco, DC, or Chicago.  That's not true of most places in NOLA.   We settled in with a couple of delicious cocktails.  My favorite was the "Sacalait Punch" (pictured) Pierre Ferand Ambre Cognac, N.O. Dark Rum, Mathilde Peche Liqueur and lemon juice.  I also liked the "Orange Whiskey" cocktail, with  Buffalo Trace bourbon, Peychaud Bitters and fresh orange juice. 
Cochon  - New Orleans
The menu offers a nice mix of familiar and sophisticated dishes with a little New Orleans flair.  We ordered several starters to share - the "boucherie plate"  - or charcuterie platter, crawfish pie, pork cheeks with spoonbread, favas and fresh herbs, and a salad that wasn't terribly memorable.  The boucherie was terrific, not surprisingly - since they cure all their own meats, which they sell next door.  The crawfish pie was also delicious - a rich, spicy crawfish filling enveloped in a crisp, flaky crust - served with a spicy housemade chutney. 
Cochon  - New Orleans
The pork cheeks with favas and spoonbread were my favorite dish of the entire trip.  The  cheeks were braised and served over a rich, creamy spoonbread (somewhere between a corn pudding a corn bread) and served with a rich jus reduction. 
Pork cheeks with spoonbread and favas.  Swoon.
My main course was the fried oyster and bacon sandwich.  It was good, but I don't know that I'd order it again - you can get an excellent oyster po-boy at any number of places in NOLA and they have some other interesting things on their menu.   It was also hard to eat on two pieces of thin toasted white bread.
Oyster and Bacon Sandwich - I only made it thru half, but it was mahvelous.
James tried the signature dish, the Cochon - shredded pork mixed together with some seasonings and fried in a patty.  This wasn't as good as I thought it should be - the seasoning was a bit too strong for my taste - heavy on the juniper and bay - and it was a bit dry. The cabbage and turnips didn't do much to cut the richness, either.  Those are pork cracklins on the top.   The rest of our party tucked into the Rabbit and Dumplings - which I am told were very good. 
Le Cochon
We tried two of the desserts - the Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie and the Butterscotch pudding...
Chocolate Banana Cream Pie
The pie was by far the better of the two. I guess I'm pretty spoiled by the excellent butterscotch pudding at Pizzeria Mozza and Blue Ribbon Pizzeria - but this paled by comparison, literally. The texture was loose and soft, and the flavor just not intense enough.
Butterscotch Pudding
We returned to Cochon on our last day in town to pick up sandwiches for the plane ride home at Cochon Butcher - just around the corner on the right side of the building.  (They are open on Sundays, though the restaurant is not.)
Picking up sandwiches at Cochon Butcher for the plane ride home.
I get the feeling this is where the locals go - they serve lunch and bar food at a few tables in the center of the room, and do a bang up takeout business with their cured meats and products - as well as of course, sandwiches.
Cochon Butcher Shop Bar Food Menu
Cochon Butcher Shop - NOLA
Cochon Butcher Shop - NOLA
The attractively packaged cured meats were tempting.
Charcuterie at Cochon Butcher Shop - NOLA
And the sandwich menu was too.  I really wanted to try the pork belly with mint, cucumber and chili lime aioli, but we were constrained by lack of refrigeration, so we went with a Gambino and a Cold Roast Beef.  They really hit the spot a couple of hours later, with the little housemade pickles they included. 
Sandwich menu at Cochon Butcher
I will definitely refer back to this menu for some inspiration the next time I get the idea a hankering to pull out the panini press!

The next NOLA trip is already on deck, for Mardi Gras.  *Gulp*   I can't wait.  :)

Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas Street
New Orleans, LA 70130-3820
(504) 588-2123
Closed Sundays.