So the best way to find a good restaurant is to overhear others raving about another place while at a restaurant you love. I first suspected this three years ago and confirmed it to be tried and true, last night. In hind sight it stands to reason that if people are eating good food and can’t help themselves but to talk about other food, those places should be more than worth checking out.
Three years ago I was eating at my little PoBoys Plus on Plank just inside Baton Rouge right before Baker. I overheard two older men talking about the amazing fresh pita bread at Roman’s. I almost couldn’t image these blue-collar men describing their appreciation and longing for an eatery like they were. I caught they were disappointed their gem was off down Old Hammond Hwy. As we’d just moved here, the road didn’t mean much to me, but I knew it must be a ways away and made a note not to forget it.
My wife and I seemed to stop a number of times last year, but always on Sundays, always when they were closed. Yesterday, however, we found ourselves in the area and grabbed the chance.
Walking in, the air was warm. Warm like family. Like herbs. Like coming home after too long gone. Like being with friends around a stone pizza oven. Romantic. Like a night in the Greek Isles. The ambiance was tantalizing. The chicken and lamb gyro spits roasting in sight and my love excited for what awaited.
The tables were nice, with clean white butcher paper laid out in a thin stack on each table. A glass jar of herbs and an simple olive oil cruet finished the table off, slightly elegant and warm. Personally, I much prefer white butcher paper to cover a fancy table to cloth or glass any day. I feel bad dirtying the cloth and the glass leaves my forearms cold and my dining experience unpleasant.
The food was good. I found the hummus distinct. A little earthy which I took to mean simple and healthily prepared. We went through three servings of pitas. At first I was surprised we had a small wait for them each time but realized to my delightful surprise they were cooking for us fresh each time. Such a dining experience again helped me slow down and appreciate my relationship to my food. Food is an amazing blessing and takes time. I was able to appreciate the process and enjoy the anticipation of the coming bread.
Our waitress was attentive and her personality, attractive. She recommended a few dishes at my request and reassured me of my selection. For many of the dishes, an array of fresh vegetables are free to substitute instead of rice or fries. The grilled tomatoes and sautéed vegetables proved a wonderful side, a side beaconing us to get back to growing our own garden this summer. My wife got the combo chicken and gyro and shawarma plate also delicious.
Definitely find yourselves out to Old Hammond Highway. A romantic jewel far above and beyond any such others in the greater BR area.