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Monday, December 26, 2011

Yelp Extended Review: Heaven On Seven

We headed into Heaven On Seven completely excited over the prospect of their "all-you-can-eat" deal being available every day for lunch and dinner. We sat down at the table, ordered our drinks, and took a look at the menu. We found the AYCE section, but were a little dismayed that it only featured fried chicken, fried catfish, gumbo, jambalaya, and a bunch of sides. Yes, you could have as much as you want, but how much of those items would we want, after browsing the very exciting rest of the menu?

And that's when we saw it: "Jimmy, Feed Me!" - the chef's selection of Seven Heavenly Courses. It's basically paying $35 per person to tell the chef, "My meal is in your hands." For us, it was like being a celebrity judge on Iron Chef or any other Food Network judging show. We didn't know what we'd be getting, but we knew there would be seven rounds to see what our chef would be offering today.

Our server informed us it was pretty much "an appetizer round, then a soup round, then pretty much a bunch of smaller-portion entrees. He also made sure our table had no allergies. And while there are foods that we each dislike (I am not a fan of tomatoes; she dislikes sweet potatoes), we decided to throw caution to the wind. After all, if the CHEF thinks it's delicious, maybe our preconceptions could be wrong.

Round 1: Fried Green Tomato with a Warm Remoulade Sauce

Ah, right off the bat, I had to face down the dreaded Tomato. But the presentation was magnificent, and I took my first bite and thought, "Wow - this doesn't even taste like a tomato!" In fact, I likened it to a giant slice of fried zucchini, which meant I rather enjoyed the first course. We had a little bit of bread left in our basket to sop up the exquisite leftover sauce.

Round 2: A Soup Duo - Gumbo and Turtle Soup in little cups, with a JalapeƱo Cheddar Corn Muffin on the side (with honey butter)

So we admit to never having turtle soup before. And to make matters more intriguing, the server asks us, "Would you like some sherry on your turtle soup?"

We took that to mean, "This is how you eat turtle soup" - so we accepted. I found it to be very tasty (except for a hidden little bay leaf or something which was not Good Eats), and did not expect I would enjoy eating turtle. But I did. The only way I could have enjoyed it more would be if the server informed us that these particular turtles had just finished their pubescent martial arts training (and genetic reconfiguration) before being added to the soup.

That's a nerdy-as-hell TMNT joke, folks!

The gumbo was good, as far as gumbos go. The corn muffin was a-mah-zing, just a little bit of kick and a little sweetness from the honey butter to make it all perfect.

Round 3: Voodoo Enchilada (with chicken and andouille sausage, melted chihuahua cheese and voodoo sauce)

Our first entree, and technically something that's NOT ON THE MENU.

Buckle up, kiddies - you just entered the Chef's World, and there ain't no goddamned maps to get to this street in Flavortown!

The enchilada was absolutely fantastic - meats perfect inside; gooey cheese and voodoo sauce outside! And it wasn't a pithy portion, either! It was a full enchilada that stretched the entire diameter of a moderate-sized plate! And it was only the FIRST entree!

Round 4: Scallop with Braised Oxtail, served on garlic mashed potatoes

This was a dish that really made me feel like I was an Iron Chef judge. The scallop was HUGE, and - if I know my Food Network - needed to be the perfect doneness in order to be palatable. And let me tell you, it was scallop perfection. The braised oxtail elevated it even higher, flavor-wise - and the mashed potatoes had the perfect amount of garlic to not overpower, but still give it a real oomph and rise above reg'lar ol' mashed puh-taters. (Yet another stop off-menu, too!)

Round 5: Fried Tilapia on rice with a Louisiana Crab Cake

I didn't actually see tilapia anywhere on the menu, so we once again were completely at the chef's mercy for our third entree. The fish was very tasty, and I'm not a big fan of fish so that's a lofty compliment. I really enjoyed the crab cake, since it seemed to be almost 100% crab meat inside of that fried crispy shell. The only downside here was some rather bland rice and insufficient sauce on the plate to make it all worth eating.

Round 6: Grilled Andouille Sausage (with grilled onions) on Sweet Potato Polenta

This actually was on the menu, but as a Starter and not an entree. We figured that Round 6 would likely bringing on a little bit of heat (since this is a restaurant that features a plethora of hot sauce bottle), and I got enough of a kick from the spices in that sausage to qualify this as "the spiciest round". But the real star here was the sweet potato polenta. I want a BUCKET of that stuff. The only negative in my mind was the fact that the outside edge of the plate had something sour/acidic, like a vinegar-based glaze or sauce. It didn't mesh well with the sweet, sweet polenta - so I ate around it (or rather left it around what I was eating).

We finished that plate off, realizing we only had one course left - no doubt it would be a dessert round. So which of the classic desserts would we be served? Maybe some dessert that was off-menu? Wouldn't that be a treat!!

We kept staring at the dessert list up on the wall, wondering as the minutes ticked by what sweet plate would be arriving at our table... After about 5 minutes, our server said, "Oh, it looks like your last course is up! I'll be right back!"

Round 7: Beef Tip with Mashed Potatoes and an Onion Ring

What? You're giving us a 7-course meal and decided not to end with a dessert, but rather with a pretty-large-sized Beef Tip and pile of mashed potatoes? (The onion ring felt like an afterthought - it didn't jump out as anything original, but still was a dern good onion ring, as far as onion rings can go.) Well - if that's the way you're going to play this game, we'll take your Beef and we'll LIKE IT, see??

Actually, expecting a nice little dessert and then getting a hunk o' steer was kind of a mind-screw. I mean it was a perfectly-cooked and tender-as-hell cut of beef. The mashed potatoes didn't have that same pizzazz as the Scallop round somehow. Maybe the garlic got lost in the beefy juices, but they tasted a little bland/salty in the end. Or my tongue was so anticipatory of sweetness that everything else that round tasted salty by comparison. Who knows? (This dish was also non-menu, by the way.)

That was how the chef decided to do the last round, and we finished our fantastic meal and awaited the check so that we could waddle our bloated bodies back down that escalator and figure out how we'd be getting home.

Bonus Round (Dessert): I had Key Lime Ice Box Pie / she had Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Wait, that's not our check!?! Our server brought over a dessert menu and said, "It's not actually stated on the menu, but the Jimmy Feed Me comes with a dessert, so let me know which one you each want."

He stepped away and we looked at the dessert menu, flabbergasted. It's like if you made it to the $1,000,000 prize on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and then Regis Philbin says, "Of course, you can also now win TWO MILLION DOLLARS by answering ANOTHER question!!"

Damn you! We weren't prepared for a Bonus Round! But we went for it anyway - I chose the Key Lime Ice Box Pie, and she went with her favorite, the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie.

As it turns out, I unexpectedly made the wisest decision. The ice box pie, when it came out, was like eating the lightest pie ever. It was practically eating key lime foam, that's how light and airy this pie was. Her, on the other hand, was facing down a dense, thick, gooey slice o' pie - and it did her in. The white flag was raised - please get us a box!

With boxed pie in tow, we did get out check, and eventually did the Waddle Of Shame down State Street to get to our bus stop. It was an amazing meal, and it made us feel like stars. Like the chef wanted to specifically PLEASE US. We weren't choosing something and hoping the chef made it the way we like it - we were engaging the chef to "hit us with your best shot - SEVEN TIMES."

So please - if it's your first time at Heaven On Seven and you know you want SOMETHING cajun-flavored and don't know what on the menu you should go with, just leave it all up to the chef by saying those three magic words:


And, by Jimmy, you will be FED.

1 comment:

Cecil Feathington said...

This is a truly mediocre restaurant, with truly mediocre food. Is your review serious?