Akron, Ohio         Date of Visit  05/31/14 

We had a fairly good experience at the Bacchas Lounge some time ago and had a chance to try the connected restaurant up front for dinner. A couple of our dining companions (the New Orleans natives) had tried some of the signature Cajun/Creole dishes and reported they had been too spicy to eat. The menu now says if the dishes on that part of the menu are too spicy for you…too bad, pay and go home. We didn’t try those. The place itself is small, very small and very loud. The kitchen is located in the middle of the dining room and I could barely hear the pans and plates banging ten feet away from me over the cacophony of the diners.



The House Breads Were VERY Nice

Our server Jennifer was really great. Friendly, helpful, efficient and she had the magical ability to be heard without bending down and screaming in our ears. Still not sure how she did that.

We avoided the LA menu almost completely (I like spicy things but warned twice, I went another way) but started with a New Orleans appetizer and finished with Italian and traditional Southern. A basket of bread arrived, baked in house, baguette and focaccia, and served with a plate of peppered olive oil. I was surprised to find butter in the basket, usually places serving oil require you to ask or refuse to give you the option. The breads were really nice, I haven’t had a lot of bread as of late but I don’t think it was just me. The crust on the simple French loaf was serious and protected a soft and yeasty interior studded with holes of varying sizes evidencing long proofing and explaining the deep flavor. The focaccia also had a nice crust and a lovely herbaceous and garlicky punch.


According to the menu, the appetizer, Shrimp Uggie, was created by a famous New Orleans Restaurant, Uglesich’s. Spicy Gulf Shrimp, with red skin potatoes, and parsley are all sautéed together in olive oil and served with crispy bread. It was fine, the shrimp were overdone, it certainly wasn’t too spicy but the over all flavor was pleasing.

The entrees come with salads, which were delicious. A mix of greens were simply tossed in house made dressings and set on the plate. I had the bleu cheese. The dressing had nuanced flavors and the fresh crumbles over the top really brought the stinky cheese flavor to the front. Simple but right.  Steph had White French and it was the only salad I think I’ve seen her take to the bare plate.

The Shrimp Uggie Was Fine

The Simple Salad Was Wonderful

Steph ordered the Fresh Cavatelli Pomodoro with 2 homemade meatballs (+ an extra)  I hate to say it but the cavatelli might be the best made and cooked I can remember, ever. The noodle itself had a perfect texture and flavor. The  sauce was a little better than functional, roundly herby tomatosity and a nice bit of bite. The meatballs were very coarsely ground and had a very nice three meat flavor, with one problem. I still don’t know what causes this, I remember a few months ago there was the story about all of the ingredients in Taco Bell’s ground meat…one being sand. I don’t taste sand in their tacos but there is something much like that texture in these meatballs. You seriously feel your teeth are going to be shorter and more blunt after each bite. They taste good, I don’t like them...I don't eat sandpaper.

Oh So Right & Wrong At The Same Time

Our Table Wasn't Far From The Kitchen...Great Picture, Guh

I ordered the Chicken Fried Steak. Jennifer said “You’re going to be happy.” The menu says they are for Gene Chicoine. Dunno who that is. He ain’t getting any. First off the steak is tough and chewy. Game show buzzer. The breading also had little interest in the steak, kinda like someone who goes to a party with you only to see if they could meet someone else. Forget the steak. I did, because it is served with magnificent. The literal, tangible form of magnificent. The breading slid into the huge spread of mashed potatoes, which were left chunky to ensure you know they are made here…from actual potatoes. Steak…ehhh, breading…tasty, taters…good. Then there is the slick of beige pan gravy. How should I describe the gravy? Hmmm. If I were given the option to slip into a bath of this pan gravy I would luxuriate there til the end of time. Don’t wanna know what’s in it, I can imagine what it takes to make something taste this fantastic. Stupid rich, reminded me of cheese sauce repeatedly, made everything taste like magnificent, gravy from on high.


The Steak Was Substandard

But The Gravy Is GLORIOUS

We skipped dessert, we had a bag of chocolate from Grabham’s waiting anyways. Russo’s had some excellent components and some that just didn’t get there. Loudly energetic with great service. I may have to try something from the other part of the menu to see just how hot it really is. I’ll be sure to get a bowl of gravy on the side, it’ll fix anything.




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