When I took over
the Orléans Star nearly three years ago one of missions
was to promote the growing list of excellent restaurants
in the area.
It wasn’t so
long ago that the only two decent restaurants in Orléans
were the Delicious Steakhouse and the Little Turkish Village.
And while both of those eateries are still alive and doing
well, nearly a dozen other restaurants have opened their
doors in the past three years making the need to go downtown
to enjoy a good meal obsolete.
One of the benefits
of owning your own newspaper is the ability to sample what
these new restaurants have to offer and write about it.
In doing so, I’ve built up a list of my very favourite menu
items from the various establishments.
So in no particular
order here they are... 1) The Lamb Burger – Little Turkish
Village. Maybe it’s the lamb burger itself or maybe it’s
the secret sauce on top, but if I was ever offered a last
meal it would be hard not to order one of these.
2) The Lamb Chops
– Persis Grill. Eating the lamb chops at Persis Grill is
like eating little lollipops of lamb dipped in mint sauce.
Mmmm. Mmmm good.
3) Flambé Escargot
– Da Nonna Maria Bistro Italiano. Yes, Chef Luigi makes
a wicked Involtino, but I could eat the Flambé Escargot
in the Sambuca cream sauce for breakfast, lunch and dinner
and never get tired of them.
4) Gobi Garlic
– Mumbai Marsala Grill. I have yet to eat anything at the
Mumbai Marsala Grill that I didn’t like, but the Gobi Garlic
is to die for. The deep-fried cauliflower florets in garlic
sauce are the East Indian equivalent of popcorn shrimp.
In fact, I have yet to make it home with an order. The closest
I got was Place d’Orléans, which is a little over halfway.
5) The Veal Marsala
– Cucina De Vito. While everything on the menu at Cucina
is scrumpdillyicious, my go to dish is the Veal Marsala.
Delicious. Divine. And Delightful.
6) The Po’Boy
Shrimp Sandwich – Orléans Brewing Co. This is the newest
item on my list and for good reason. It is eight inches
of deliciousness stuffed to the gills with baby shrimp and
fresh kernels of corn, tossed in an amazing creole sauce
and wrapped in crisp green leaf lettuce. Best served with
a pint of Hellz Ya IPA.
7) The BBQ Ribs
– Meatings Restaur-ant. Finger licking awesome. The Pulled
Pork Sandwich is a close second. Both should be enjoyed
with a side of cornbread and BBQed baked beans.
Benedict – St. Martha’s Brasserie d’Orléans. A lot of restaurants
in Orléans serve a great breakfast, but only St. Martha’s
serves up one of the best Eggs Benedict I’ve ever had.
9) Beer Braised
Beef – Taproom 260. Slow-cooked in Innis & Gunn oak-aged
beer and served with sweet potato mash and seasonal veggies.
It’s so tender you can eat it with a spoon.
10) Jarret d’Agneau
– St. Martha’s Brasserie d’Orléans. This is one of the more
pricey items on the list, but it’s worth every penny. Lamb
shank braised in a warm Moroccan style sauce with tomatoes,
olives, currants and almonds.
11) Grilled Octopus
– Restaurante Caravela. I know what you are thinking, but
if you have never tried octopus before you have to try the
grilled octopus at Caravela. Personally prepared by owner
Fernando Diniz, it is one of the top three things I would
order on my death bed. It has the consistency of butter
with a light grilled flavour. If you’re still not sure about
it, it also comes as an appetizer.
12) Fish Tacos
– OCCO Kitchen. Yes OCCO makes great burgers (see below)
and, yes, the Hot Smoked Atlantic Salmon is pretty darn
good, but the Fish Tacos with Mango Cilantro Slaw and Caperberry
Mayo are sublime.
13) Mole Enchiladas
– Taqueria La Bonita. Yes, I know La Bonita isn’t located
in Orléans. It’s located at the corner of Ogilvie and Cadboro
Road, but the drive is more than worth it for the Mole Enchiladas.
When you first take a bite, you are immediately transported
to Mexico, the taste is that authentic.
off the Sushi Menu at Soul Stone Sushi Grill & Bar. Hands
down the best sushi in town and the Crispy Beef in spicy
ginger sauce isn’t bad either.
15) Any of the
wood-fired pizzas at St. Martha’s Brasserie Orléans. My
personal favourite is the Porc fumé de Lavergne.
16) I’ve left
the burgers for last on purpose. I know everyone has their
favour-ite burger joint, but for my top three in no particular
order are the Beau’s Burger at St. Martha’s, any of the
burgers at OCCO Kitchen and the Big Blue Burger at Bite
Burger in the Fallingbrook Shopping Plaza.
So there you
have it – 16 of the best things to eat in Orléans. Bon appetit!
(If you wish
to comment on this or any other View Point column please
write to Fred Sherwin at firstname.lastname@example.org)