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Saturday, May 04, 2013

Upon entering Th Big Easy we went indoors as I prefer a/c but all they had was high tables which we don't like. (I would discover later that they had 2 rooms in the back that were set up but probably wasn't used for lunch.) They have tables, with umbrellas, on the sidewalk and then a more formal area between the sidewalk and in the inside room. We were the only customers as we usually go four lunch after the lunch crowd has gone back to work. We did have a $20 for $40 worth of food Groupon ticket which is what brought us here in the first place.
We were quickly greeted by the server who upon being asked said his name was Tony though the check had the name Marcos. As we were to find out when talking to Tony this was only his third day and that may have accounted for the name on the check. Though Tony made one mistake regarding the food he did give excellent service doing what professional servers do while many servers don't. He always checked back after serving an item, was ready with the coffee pot when asking if I wanted more and, subtly, suggested add-ons.
It was also good to see a working manager on the floor who took time to answer a question I had that Tony didn't seem to know, though he did guess even if wrong. As we were eating two more parties came in one being a single woman who served as good as any party would be and a trio who sat at one of the sidewalk covered tables. It was to be an afternoon when the skies opened up, the rain came down in record inches and the manager and Tony had to quickly move the trio into a 'safer' area, which was the area we were sitting far enough back to not have to worry about the rain.
Now about the food; we started off with a cup of Gumbo ($6.95) that was packed with rice plus plenty of shrimp, chicken and sausage. Unless people were having the bowl of gumbo ($12.95) as a main dish they would be in trouble having it as an appetizer. As it is the 'cup', served in a French onion soup bowl, was substantial enough for a lunch mean with bread. Oh yes, it tasted good.
Allen had a 12 ounce N.Y. Strip Steak ($18.95) served with mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables. (Nothing Big Easy New Orleans about that! LOL) He said the vegetables were cooked just right and the steak was good but the mashed potatoes seemed instant and the gravy out of a can.
By the way the bread they served was soft and good for dipping in any sauces and the gumbo!
I had the Shrimp Saganaki ($15.95)which is sauteed shrimp in lemon, garlic, butter, tomato and white wine served over white rice and a seared Manouri cheese round. I had no idea what this was except it had a slight taste of cheese. Tony guessed it was a pita--I know it wasn't that!--and that is when we found out he had been working there 3 days. He really was good at handling the problem and it wasn't until the manager passed by that we found out what it was. I love cheese but I don't think I would want that again.
Allen had iced tea ($2.45) and I had coffee ($1.75) with the check coming to $56.18 with tax. We would have had dessert but with it still raining, the care parked 2 blocks away and right next door the Chocalada Bakery and Cafe really what choice did we have. (See my review on the bakery.)
Our check came to $56.18 so minus the $20 and adding the tip our check was came to $230 each. They did have a separate lunch special menu that I didn't look at but I was very happy with what we had plus the service and the fact that the manager was visible added up to a 4 star experience. The loss of a fifth star has to do with no inside seating, though I am sure they would have accommodated us but then the high table would have been a problem plus the seared Manouri and the fact that my dish was served room temperature.
Just for your information--there is free parking along all of that section of Hollywood Boulevard and it seemed, at least at lunch time, it only took a few minutes to get an empty spot.

I certainly recommend The Big Easy!
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