OUT AND ABOUT
Jack Danielís Grill
LíAuberge du Lac
777 Avenue LíAuberge
Evenings starting at 6PM $5 - $33
The interior I am sure is modeled on an aging facility for whiskey. Wide barn boards make up the walls with racks of whiskey barrels acting as divide walls. A tall ceiling framed by beams and roofing sheets of tin stands over all. It possesses a stage, a long winding bar with beer taps galore and a large bar area looking out over the beach area. Seating consists of tables of stained wood with steel framed vinyl seats in a cowhide print. Two booths are made to appear as if you are eating in the bed of a pickup truck. Flooring is a combo of wood, slate, and carpet. They keep the lights low and the dark wood gives it a rather dreary feel.
My companion and I shared some Barbecue Shrimp with Garlic Cheddar Biscuits. Six jumbo shrimp with the midsections peeled but heads intact were sauteed in a bbq-seasoned butter. It gave good flavor but our shrimp seemed a bit mushy and the biscuits no good at sopping up the excellent jus. My companion opted for the House Salad with spring greens, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, and shredded Pepper Jack cheese with a Balsamic dressing. It proved nice. I on the other hand went for Seafood Gumbo. I received a bowl of seafood broth (no roux in this concoction) loaded with shrimp, oysters and crabmeat with rice on the side. I could have lived with no roux but the broth contained a spice that I have an almost allergic reaction to. It causes me to sneeze and takes my breath away. Other people may enjoy this dish but I could not.
For entree my companion ordered the Blackened Catch which was Red Fish. It came out on a mountain of mashed potatoes and topped with a Shrimp Cream sauce. They pan seared it without burning the seasoning (good job). The flavor proved excellent and the interior succulent. A minor irritation was that the sauce had too much salt in it. I went with the 10 oz Flat Iron Steak. It arrived again on a mountain of mashed potatoes with tasteless steamed vegetables (no salt this time). The steak itself cooked to perfection but the seasoning added little or nothing to it. Up to this point the food had been good except for some minor flaws and my personal peccadilloes. Next came an out and out disaster, Bread Pudding with Rum sauce. Huge four-inch high wedges propped against each other in a lemony rum sauce, blueberries and chocolate drizzle appeared before us. Biting into it revealed a desert dry interior. My thought was that not enough custard had been used or not allowed to soak in.
Because of this poor showing some of which was my personal foibles, I decided to do a follow-up visit. I started off with Roasted Red Pepper Dip. This proved to be excellent. Red pepper in a cream cheese base with lots of cumin and a fantastic spicy punch served with blue corn tortilla chips. The spiciness did not mask the flavor but rather improved it. So much better than any spinach & artichoke dip. I am not a big steak person so I ordered what I originally planned to on my first visit. I got the Three-Meat Barbecue Platter. I received two links of Sausage, a great quantity of sliced Brisket and a half rack of Baby Back Ribs along with a smidgeon of Baked Beans, a cup of mayo based slaw, and a vast underpinning of French fries. I rarely care for mayo based slaw and that proved the case here. The beans tasted fantastic but not enough of them. I regarded the fries as cheap filler and ate little of them. The sausage had good flavor but fairly ordinary. However the brisket and ribs stood out. The brisket sliced thin had a nice smoke ring with flavor and tenderness. The pieces that lacked sauce I slathered with dip and did roll ups. Smoked though out and tender enough to come off the bone with out falling off, the ribs possessed a sweet-spicy baked on sauce that added just the right touch. There was little fat or gristle and I could have eaten a whole slab.
Service here was attentive along with plenty of eye candy for male customers. If you like a laid back bar atmosphere with large portions of decent food this is your place. I am well pass this phase of my life but with the wide selection of beers I may return for that and some bar food.
Arthur "The Bear" Hebert
Omnivorus and Loving It