Jul 31, 201410:27 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

In Which Your Intrepid Reporter Moves and Eats at Mint

Eating at a place I’ve been meaning to visit for quite a while.

My wife and I have finally outgrown the apartment we’ve been renting in Mid-City for the last three years. We’re going to miss Mid-City and our neighbors, but we’re pretty happy about the house we’ve purchased in Broadmoor. It’s bigger, it’s got a second bathroom, and the backyard is big enough for a pretty substantial garden. 
 
Shortly after we closed on the house, I picked up some pizza from Ancora, which is one of my favorite restaurants in town, and as I was sitting at the bar sipping a negroni and waiting on our food it occurred to me that our new house puts us in close proximity to the Freret Street restaurant nexus between Napoleon and Jefferson streets. 
 
In addition to Ancora (which, seriously, I love so much) that block is also home to High Hat Cafe, Sarita’s Grill and the Wayfare, which is right up there on my list of top places to get a sandwich in New Orleans. Then there’s Cure, of course, a fairly new joint serving traditionally-made bagels called Humble Bagel, and the Company Burger. A little farther down the block are Dat Dog, Liberty Cheesesteak, Origami Sushi and a place I’ve been meaning to visit for quite a while, Mint
 
I made it to Mint for a quick lunch recently, and while one meal isn’t really enough to fairly judge the place, I was pleased with what I had. I think I decided to start with the bacon and crab Rangoon because of the bacon, and because the atmosphere at Mint suggests they might just be doing something interesting with “classic” dishes even where “classic” means “sort of trashy stuff created in the 50s to sell vaguely Asian food to Americans by adding cream cheese.” The crab Rangoon at Mint is not genre-defining, and there wasn’t a hell of a lot of bacon or crab on evidence, but it was pretty good regardless. When I dipped the fried wontons into the sweet-spicy-tart dipping sauce, I was okay with the relative blandness of the cream-cheese filling. I guess another way to put it is that if you like crab Rangoon, or even if you don’t, this place does some pretty damn good crab Rangoon. 
 
The beef sate vermicelli bowl was better. The dish is simple: thin cuts of chile-marinated beef served over thin rice noodles with cucumber, lettuce, cilantro, chopped peanuts and a shredded carrot pickle that normally is an afterthought, but which in this case I swear had floral notes and was delicious. I missed the beans sprouts that would also normally come with this dish, but apart from that I was very happy with it. 
 
There’s a full bar at Mint, and of course they do craft cocktails because this is New Orleans and it’s 2014. There’s a pretty good selection of beer on tap and in bottles and the wine list is better than you’d expect at a place where the entrée I just mentioned cost all of $8. 
 
Mint is not going to make me forget 9 Roses, Tan Dinh or MoPho anytime soon, but that’s not really a fair measure as those are among the best joints for Vietnamese food in town. I’m happy Mint is in my new neighborhood, though, and I expect to check out the rest of the menu over the next few months. 
 
Incidentally, in the event you, my loyal and generous readers, are interested in sending me a house-warming present, you may make checks payable to Haute Plates Light Industries and Heavy Metal Rock and Roll Company, LLC, we accept dollars, yen, euros and bitcoin. To be clear, Haute Plates Manufacturing and Llama Farming Cooperative will accept slightly bruised peaches, expired Schwegmann’s coupons, careless whispers and very bruised peaches, if you know what I’m saying. (If you know what I’m saying, please email me, because I don’t).
 
On that note…  
 

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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

about

Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived here his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.

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