Lava Cantina is a locally owned restaurant in Perkins Rowe. The eatery blends Mexican fare with rock and roll flare. With menus mounted on album covers, you can soak in the infectious atmosphere while they make fresh guacamole at your table. On my latest visit, I devoured two tacos and some house charro beans, all while trying to tear my eyes away from a classic, and warmly nostalgic, Steve Perry video. (How did the mullet ever gain popularity?) Anyway, back to those tacos:
The Kingphish Catfish Taco: Spicy, crispy catfish that was flaky and fresh, topped with tangy remoulade-style sauce, mixed greens and cilantro slaw.
Sharp Dressed Duck Taco: Smoked duck with a zing that is neatly balanced with cool goat cheese and a sweet, smokey peach pico, topped with a corn and tomato ragout.
All tacos come standard on a soft, white corn tortilla, but you can get yours on wheat or red corn tortillas, if you like.
Check out the menu and live music dates at LavaCantina.com.
Fresh Corn with Thyme Butter
This is another recipe from our Community Supported Agriculture share box from Luckett Farms. It’s super simple for those busy weeknights. Enjoy!
4 ears corn, husked
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Cut corn cobs in half. Place in a stock pot and cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and let cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter and chop fresh thyme. Whisk in the thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and garlic. Drain the corn from the water, then brush on the melted butter. Serve immediately or wrap in foil to keep warm. This works well with grilled or roasted corn as well.
Between our garden and our CSA shares, we had an abundance of tomatoes this year. After a whole lot of BLTs, we started making sauce. Here’s our super easy recipe:
Roasted Tomato Sauce
1/3 cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons*
6 to 8 large ripe tomatoes
1/3 cup garlic cloves
1/2 cup basil leaves, whole
2 tablespoons Tuscan Seasoning*
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat the bottom of a rimmed cookie sheet or baking pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Slice the tomatoes in half. Place each half, cut side down, in the pan. Sprinkle garlic cloves throughout. Drizzle with 1/3 cup olive oil. Season with Tuscan seasoning, sea salt and cracked black pepper. Place fresh basil leaves on top or season with dried basil leaves. Bake uncovered for 4 to 5 hours. Pulse tomatoes, garlic and basil in a food processor until it forms a coarse sauce. Pour into 1- or 2-cup sized freezer containers. Makes 6 to 8 cups of sauce. Take a container of sauce out and use it for pastas or pizzas any time you like!
*We used Red Stick Spice Company’s Garlic Olive Oil & Tuscan Seasoning
>> Serop’s Express
Wait, what? A drive through for Greek and Lebanese food? Oh yes indeed. You can quench that garlicky craving in a jiffy at Serop’s Express on Perkins near Bluebonnet. Click for other locations.
We tried the Lite Plate. We replaced the rice pilaf with hummus to avoid some carbs. The plate is set up to give you a larger portion of Greek salad and smaller sections of chicken and hummus. This gives you more of the lighter stuff. Well, know we can all go crazy with dressing and feta, but it’s a step in a lighter direction. At any rate, we got a lot of food for a pretty low price…and, the convenience of drive-through.
>> Sushi Masa
After studying the extensive list of specialty rolls and briefly considering the all-you-can-eat buffet, we decided on the Lava Roll.
Neatly tucked inside the Lava Roll are crunchy tempura shrimp and cool, crisp cucumber. On the top is sweet barbeque salmon and a rich cream sauce with tiny beads of masago. Masago is the roe from the smelt fish, or simply the Japanese word for orange fish eggs. (We suggest you don’t think about that for too long and just enjoy your lunch.) The deep flavors of the salmon and the crunch of the tempura shrimp complement each other well. The lightness of the cucumber helps to balance the indulgent sauce. You’ll note a slight heat in the cream sauce. The eel sauce drizzled on the plate almost always suits a slightly warm roll.
>>South of Philly
South of Philly promises sandwiches made with local ingredients on imported rolls from Philadelphia-based Amoroso’s.
Before you order, decide if you want your cheese steak with or without onions. Go for the grilled onions, they are naturally sweet and add a slight crunch. The traditional format of a Philly cheese steak includes Cheez Whiz (think nacho cheese). Because of the higher sodium content of the Whiz, obviously it will add a little salty flavor to your sandwich. If that’s your thing, feel free to pour it on. We went with provolone. South of Philly’s ribeye is well seasoned and moist.
>> Snoman Snoballs
Snowballs are a must before heading to the pool. The Tigers Blood snoball at Snoman Snoballs wins our flavor “most likely to pair with rum” award. It’s fruity, tropical vibe will transport you from a crowded neighborhood pool to a remote island, if only in your head.
You can grab a Tigers Blood or one of Snoman’s 75 more flavor combinations any afternoon, rain or shine. They’ll even stuff your snowball with soft serve ice cream, in case you’re at lawn mowing level of sweaty and need a double dose of cold. Snoman Snoballs shaves their super soft ice at two locations, Burbank Drive and on the corner of Perkins Road and Acadian Thruway.
>> The Salad Shop
The Salad Shop offers five signature salads to choose from or you can build your own with endless possibilities. I choose the signature Avocado BLT. Built on a foundation of fresh spinach, this salad comes with sweet grape tomatoes, tangy red onion, crispy bacon and crunchy croutons tossed together and finely chopped. The salad is served with a tender half an avocado placed on top. While you can choose from any dressing, the Shop Specialty is recommended for this one and they don’t steer you wrong.
>> Louie’s Cafe
For more than 70 years, Louie’s Café near the LSU campus has been a staple for students, faculty, and general citizens of Baton Rouge. Day or night, Louie’s has been there feeding late night hunger pangs and curing morning hangovers.
Louie’s signature menu item is the Veggie Omelet. The omelet is stuffed with ten different vegetables that are in season. On my recent visit, my Veggie came with green and red bell peppers, purple onion, zucchini, tomato, broccoli, sprouts, celery, carrots and red cabbage, sautéed until tender and slightly sweet, then wrapped in a smooth egg blanket. We recommend adding Colby cheese to complement the vegetables and add a bit of protein. Every omelet is served with toast, bagel, English muffin or biscuit (while they last).
Open 24 hours, Louie’s Café is one of the oldest and most authentic diners left in the city. With their diverse menu of traditional diner favorites and Louisiana soul food, there is something for everyone. From fresh fruit or yogurt to their famous hashbrowns hot off the flat iron, Louie’s could be your healthiest or the most indulgent meal of the day or night.
>> The Big Squeezy
Known for its fresh, cold pressed juices, The Big Squeezy also offers a few smoothies for a more substantial snack. Big Squeezy smoothies are full of super foods and made fresh to order using their cold press technique, which is intended to keep all the food’s natural enzymes in tact. We ordered the Awesomeness smoothie, which is a blend of banana, almond butter, cacao, maca, coconut sugar and almond milk.
The wholesome ingredients that go into all of The Big Squeezy’s juices and smoothies are fresh and, when possible, locally sourced. They also offer cleansing plans and a monthly juice club.