An effort within Mayor Kip Holden's Healthy BR initiative is gaining steam to address childhood obesity as more and more families dine out. The Eat Healthy BR program is seeking partnerships with city restaurants in an effort to bring healthier options to Baton Rouge residents who dine out with their children. So far, 13 restaurants—including MJ's Café, Nino's, The Little Village, Mestizo and many more—are working with Eat Healthy BR to provide milk and water as drink options and a fruit and vegetable side option for all kids' meals. Nutritionist and Baton Rouge Dietetic Association representative Melissa Martin (pictured here) says having access to fruits, vegetables and healthier options is key to a positive, city-wide change. "So many families don't cook at home anymore," she says. "By not having access to fruits or vegetables, that child may not get a balanced diet. We want to give children that opportunity and access to achieve that balanced diet when families dine out." Read the full story.
As local craft beers continue to explode in popularity, Bayou Teche Brewery has carved its own niche with a steady release of pale ales, seasonal and barrel-aged beers.The brewery is also turning heads thanks to its wetlands system, which uses the wastewater from the beer-making process in an effort to be more environmentally conscious.The brewery is located along the Bayou Teche in Arnaudville, which previously dealt with decades of pollution. About five years ago, passionate residents along the Teche pressured local government officials to clean up the waterways. Now, the bayou is an attraction that can be used for fishing, kayaking and swimming."[The bayou has] become a great asset for the community," Knott says. "When we were building the brewery, we definitely didn't want to do anything that would adversely affect that waterway." Read the full story.
Going meatless may be on your mind during the Lenten weeks, but that doesn't mean your dining options have to be tasteless or boring. In the latest issue of 225, Tracey Koch and Stephanie Riegel have created a hearty South American menu with meat-free dishes that friends and family will enjoy. The menu includes Black Bean and Veggie-stuffed Arepas, Jicama Slaw and Pico de Gallo with Avocado. Read the full article and check out all the recipes.
Felix Sherman Jr., Ambrosia Bakery's co-owner and director of marketing, had seen New Orleans’ take on the king cake burger trending on social media.The bakery is already known for its king cakes, and on the deli side, their burgers are a popular lunch item with locals. So Sherman and his staff went to work on their own version of a king cake burger. "The response was pretty good," Sherman says. "We've made a few and did them on Lundi Gras.” On Wednesday morning, some patrons were still asking for it. The menu item is similar to the deli's original take on the burger, except with a bun made from king cake dough and topped with icing and sugar in Mardi Gras colors. Customers can customize the toppings however they'd like. "It's been interesting to see how some people think it's gross, then they take a bite and realize it's pretty awesome," he says. "It's like you're eating lunch and dessert at the same time." The burger will be on sale for "as long as people want to buy it," Sherman says. It’s available for $6.95 with chips or a fruit cup. —Matthew Sigur
You need more than two hands to count the number of good local pizza places Baton Rouge has. But if one were to make a list, Oscar's Ice Cream and Pizza Joint (6521 Perkins Rd., Suite A) should be near the top. With a new, paired down menu that highlights its fresh ingredients like house-made sausages and meatballs as well as less traditional toppings, Oscar's popularity is growing. One unique offering is the fig and prosciutto pizza, made with fig puree serving as the sauce and topped with mozzarella, goat cheese and spinach chiffonade. What could be an extremely sweet dish instead has an impeccable balance of savory flavors. The salty prosciutto, goat cheese and spinach cut the sugary fig down a few notches, and the result is one addicting pizza. A seven-inch, personal-style pie is $9. Oscar's is open Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. —Matthew Sigur
Leroy's Kitchen (4001 Nicholson Dr., Suite D) will host Chef Troy Deano of 18 Steak for a Jameson pop-up dinner Monday at 7 p.m. Deano has prepared a menu that features dishes with local ingredients paired with cocktails using the Irish whiskey. The first course features Gulf oysters, followed by a fried kale salad with brown butter marmalade for the second course. A Whiskey Coddle, a dish with Chappapeela Farms' pork, Mama Shelton's gnocchi and City Pork Deli bacon, will be the third course with a Bloody Bull, a whiskey-infused take on the Bloody Mary. Shepherd's Pie made with lamb debris and Papa Tom's cheddar curd grits will be the fourth course. The final course features Louisiana strawberries, yogurt and backyard mint. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased by calling 615-8313.
Bacon Rouge will represent the city in the annual Hogs for the Cause cook-off in New Orleans later this month. For those who can't wait to see and taste what the team is planning, Bacon Rouge is inviting guests to Iverstine Family Farms (2973 Newman Rd. in Kentwood) for a cookout to benefit families with children suffering from pediatric brain cancer. The event, Sunday at 2 p.m., will feature test batches of the team's porky concoctions as well as a roasted whole hog, pork shoulders, red beans and rice and much more. Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.
Slow Food Baton Rouge will celebrate its fourth annual Dinner in the Field Sunday, April 6, at Afton Villa Gardens in St. Francisville. The event supports the organization's farm-to-school pilot program "Greauxing Healthy Baton Rouge," which emphasizes gardening, nutrition and healthy living in public schools around the Capital City. The annual showcase will feature local farms and foods selected and prepared by celebrity chefs. A social will kick off at 3 p.m., including drinks and appetizers as well as musical performances and art displays. The dinner begins at 5 p.m. Though menu details have not yet been announced, tickets are now on sale. Single tickets are $175. Table tickets seating eight are also available. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.
Mardi Gras has come and gone, and now that we're in Lent, Ruffino's will highlight different types of seafood each week. This week's focus is shrimp. Through March 11, patrons can enjoy several signature recipes from Chef Peter Sclafani's latest cookbook Seasons of Louisiana. Among the dishes that will be served are shrimp scampi, Pasta Pescatore and crab-crusted shrimp. The following weeks will highlight crawfish, oysters and crab respectively. The final week will incorporate a medley of seafood selections drawn from each of the previous weeks' specialties. The restaurant will also offer its own Seafood Festival each Friday with three entrees and a trio of appetizers.
Treat your eyes right this spring
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This South American menu doesn't skimp on hearty flavors.
A First Date Makeover