I was, for a time, as regular a customer of Boucherie as anyone. I think I ate there at least twice a month for a few years. I loved the place and I love the folks behind it. I have some regrets from those years, but dining at Boucherie? That was pure good fortune, kids.

I don’t get anywhere that frequently these days, but I still get over to Boucherie once or twice a year. The most recent visit was the first, I think, I’ve had since they moved back into their original space on Jeannette Street. That’s a space in which I’ve had a lot of great food – it was Ninja before they moved to Oak street, and Chef Ian Schnoebelen’s Iris before he and his partner Laurie Casebone moved to more illustrious digs in the French Quarter.

I remember visiting Boucherie within the first week it opened and then going back several times in the next 10 days with increasing numbers of friends on each occasion. It’s one of the places that I recommend to people visiting from out of town, not because it’s serves quintessentially local food, but because it’s a quintessentially local place.

It’d been six months or more since my last visit, so I didn’t stray far from the things I’d missed about the place. I had the grilled Caesar salad to start and the blackened shrimp and grits cake thereafter. My pal had the boudin balls and the pulled pork sandwich.

These are not particularly complicated dishes; the brunoise in the bacon vinaigrette requires some knife skills, and I will never say that well-smoked pork is a simple thing to pull off, but the essence of Boucherie is food that’s direct and delicious and only a bit “cheffy” (which I thought I might be making up but have just learned is a word according to several online dictionaries.)

By the good graces of friends and family I am eating well these days. I have another restaurant – this time one I haven’t patronized yet – on the schedule shortly, but that’s a story for another time.

Hope you’re eating as well as I am, kids…