Monday, August 17, 2009

Girls Gone Gourmet

Yep. I know exactly what you're thinking. How many times can this girl review a hamburger? First, let me just say that this past Friday's lunch wasn't "just burgers." Secondly, let's go back. I've got to give you the full scoop on Bonnie Bell's Bistro. I'm all about the details, folks.

Bonnie Bell's Bistro
740 Jefferson St.
Lafayette, LA 70501

Lyla's been on quite the roll when it comes to suggesting the next food adventure. Last week she picked Johnson's Boucaniere with the help of Urban Spoon. After browsing the Eat Lafayette website, she e-mailed me the menu for Bonnie Bell's Bistro. To be honest, since I pass by it when it's after hours, I always thought it was closed down. Not the case at all, my lovlies.

Since Bonnie Bell's is located downtown and we're a bit of a drive away with traffic, we decided to try our luck again with calling in our order ahead of time. I gave the restaurant a call around 11 am and spoke with Bonnie, who is presumably *the* Bonnie. There was a bit of a confusion about calling in a dine in order so I'm assuming its a request they don't handle too often, but Bonnie told me to call about 5 minutes before we got to the restaurant and she'd put our order in to the kitchen.

LyLa and I've discovered a new route from our office to downtown, and we were at the restaurant in less than 10 minutes. (Huzzah!) We arrived at Bonnie Bell's and let me just say... that place does a TON of business at lunch time. The place was packed. At the hostess station, we let the girl know that we'd gladly sit at the bar or get the food to go and we mentioned that we had called in our orders earlier. A flash of "ahhhhhh. you're the ones we're waiting for!" came across her face and she happily showed us to....

Yes. Our very own reserved table. At the hottest lunch spot downtown, Kora Bruce and LyLa were officially VIP's.

I've never been one to seek special treatment and normally I'm embarrassed by anything that puts me in the spotlight, but I'm telling you folks, I could get used of this sort of treatment.

We hadn't even requested reservations, yet they were kind enough to think ahead and hold one for us.

You're probably saying...big deal Kora. You got a table in a packed restaurant at high noon. Ohhh noooo mon frere. Within a minute (literally) of sitting down, our drink orders were taken and our orders were placed in front of us. Add to that, a cheery waitress who takes care of your every need and you've got two girls who feel like queens.

I won't lie. I enjoyed the bewildered/jealous looks from the neighboring tables as they wondered why they were actually waiting for their food.

So you're thinking..."The food, Kora, the FOOOOD. Tell us about the fooood!"

'Cause really what's great service without great food?

LyLa got the Carter's Crab Cake Sandwich which the menu describes as "Our popular crab cakes served on a fresh baked bun, with lettuce, tomato & garlic mayo"

Do I even need to comment on how delicious this looks?

I will say however that there was a review of the crab cakes on Urban Spoon that said there was barely any crab in the cakes - and we're here to say WRONG-O! There was lump crab meat all through out this thing!

I ordered the Mike Norris Burger. Admittedly, I ordered this just because of the name. LyLa and I happen to know someone named Mike Norris and we wondered if it was named after him.

My burger was "layered with pepper jack cheese, mango-jalapeno bacon, caramelized
red onions, roasted garlic mayo, baby greens, tomato & served on a fresh baked bun." But you know me - I scratched the onions, greens, & tomatoes.

Both burgers were served with sweet potato fries.

Now here's where I admit that Friday August 14, 2009 was the first time I have ever eaten sweet potato fries. Apparently, that's shocking news to some.

They were changing.

The money shot =)

This is Lyla's "I'm so shocked at how amazingly delicious and epic this Crab Burger is" face. Although I'm sure she phrases that differently. LyLa would never say epic. But I do. And the Crab Burger at Bonnie Bell's is EPIC.

I cringe when I hear burgers described as juicy and delicious. Cause well... they're supposed to be. That's not really big news is it? (Not saying I'm not guilty of calling them such) But let me describe this burger to you... I forgot I was eating a hamburger. The mango bacon was laced with sweetness and a tiny bit of tang. The cheese was gooey and melty and blended with the roasted garlic mayo to create an explosion of pure happiness. The bun was sweet, toasted, warm bliss. And the actual hamburger patty? Oh yeah - that was cooked to perfection.

Dainty little cups of ketchup dismiss the feeling of fast-food dining where you're squeezing 86 packets of ketchup on to your burger wrapper.

I was a mess after this burger... I was literally scraping up cheese bits and mayo with bits of hamburger bun - and then licking my fingers. Some VIP I am...

Absolute carnage.

I tore this burger apart. In less than 15 minutes... because once all was said and done, we were finished at 12:30.

How much you ask? Two gourmet burgers, two sweet potato fries, and two fries for less than $25

I'm not quite sure how we do this week after week. No not the eating part (I know how we do that) - the part where we consistently pick great restaurants out of the blue. All I can say is we live in Southern Louisiana - great food is inevitable.


Haley Williams said...

If i ever see you dip a sweet potato fry in ketchup again.... *shakes head*

hehe. I don't even eat meat that burger looks deliciously bad, in a good way.

I'm totally trying this place soon!

sa1tyeyes said...

that burger looks absolutely de-lish!

Louisiana Belle said...

Crab cake sandwiches are my absolute fave!

Mama Belle said...

Absolutely one of my favorite places to eat. Bonnie and I are buds.

The grilled shrimp sandwich is to die for. Love the sweet potato fries and the tri-color chips and salsa and the crab bisque (not sure if they have this anymore - served in a bread bowl). And the bread pudding ... divine.

I was just there Tuesday for lunch with friends and they all ordered the burger. Delicious!

Ali said...

Wow. That was like food porn, haha!

And sweet potato fries are my FAVORITE. I am so glad you finally saw the light!

Marguerite said...

Wow, Kora, I just gained 5 pounds looking at those great looking burgers. I love Bonnie Bell's, too. I'm with Mama Bell, my favorite is the grilled shrimp sandwich.

Caitlin said...

Next time you go, you must get the Bistro Poulet. I swear, that is the BEST chicken sandwich I have ever eaten.