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When I created my 20 for 2020 list back in December of 2019, I had no idea that a world-wide pandemic was looming large on the horizon. One of my items on this year’s list was to try 20 new restaurants (#11). I do not eat out often, so I figured when given the opportunity to dine out, try somewhere new. I have already shared on my blog three restaurants that I have tried so far: Pho NOLA, Oceana, and Cena. Let me catch you up to speed on a few others I have also tried up to this point.

There are two restaurants that I tried this year that were take-out only. Back in July, I was scrapbooking with Shelly at her house. We convinced her hubby to pick up lunch for us from The Real Deal: An American Kitchen located in Hammond. This restaurant is run by an award winning BBQ pitmaster and specializes in BBQ brisket, pork, burgers, chicken, and ribs. I ordered red beans and rice with smoked sausage instead of BBQ. I was starving by the time our food arrived, so I failed to take a picture. I did enjoy their red beans and rice; however, when I order from this restaurant again, I will select a BBQ item. Back in September, my Daddy came over to help my hubby install crown moulding in our foyer area. We ordered lunch from Twisted Tomato Pizzeria in Hammond. I ordered a yummy BLT pizza. Everyone was pleased with the selections they had chosen. Since then, we have ordered again from this restaurant.

In October, my high school friend Helen came to visit from Colorado and stayed with Shelly and her family. Since it had been many years since her last visit to the area, she had a few restaurant requests. Luckily, I had not eaten at two of the restaurants on her list. Our first stop was Blue Tomato on Jefferson Hwy. in Jefferson Parish. It is an eclectic restaurant that features Mexican, Italian, and American cuisine. Helen, Shelly, my hubby and I met Helen’s sister Valenna and her husband Leroy at the restaurant. Helen recommended the Bacon Cheeseburger, so that is what I ordered along with a side of French fries. The burger was huge and scrumptious! Blue Tomato is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area, dear reader.

The second restaurant that my hubby and I tried during Helen’s visit was Café Maspero in New Orleans. Helen’s main reason for wanting to eat at Café Maspero was the muffaletta. For my dear readers not from New Orleans, a muffaletta is a sandwich with ham and salami piled high on a seeded bun topped with swiss cheese and olive salad. There are variations of seeded bread, meats (pastrami, mortadella), and cheeses (provolone) used to make this sandwich, depending on which restaurant you order your muffaletta. The sandwich can be served cold or toasted. Personally, I am not a fan of the muffaletta, so the hubster and I split a golden fried seafood platter that consisted of fish, Gulf shrimp, calamari, jalapeno hush puppies, and steak fries. Barry and I decided to split the seafood platter because we were having beignets from Café Du Monde later in the day. We thoroughly enjoyed both the seafood platter and the beignets.  

The last new restaurant that Barry, Sr. and I tried was Margaritas in Hammond on 24 October. After seeing The Nightmare Before Christmas at the movie theatre, we decided to grab something to eat nearby. The first thing to catch my eye when walking into the restaurant was its colorful décor. We sat in a booth where the back of each seat had a pretty, vibrant panel. Barry had a radiant yellow sun behind him, and I had a hummingbird with brightly colored flowers behind me. I ordered a small Mango Margarita and items off of the à la carte section of the menu which consisted of a hard beef taco, a beef enchilada, and a tamale. Barry ordered a combo plate and a beer. We were both pleased with our dinner choices.  

Well, dear reader, I have only tried eight new restaurants this year. In a normal year, I could have easily met my goal. Unfortunately, that will not be the case this year. I have decided that I will add the remaining 12 new restaurants on my 21 for 2021 list. Hopefully, I can try one new restaurant each month in 2021. What new restaurants have you tried this year, and would you recommend them? Happiness!

“The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art, one of the joys of civilized living.” ~ Dione Lucas 

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