Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ms. B's: Upscale Cajun Food in Austin-Downscale Price

I gotta tell ya about Ms. B's!

Michelle and I went to lunch yesterday at Ms. B's.

Ms. B's has long been established in North Austin as a restraunt for cajun dining. I've never visited their North location, it is located at Steck and Mesa.

East 11th St is really shaping up to a nice part of town, a more upscale business neighboorhood, a more laid back alternative to the party driven 6th St area.

Within the last couple of years some very nice office space has been built in this 11 Street area, right across from the Texas Music Museum and that's where Ms. B's has her new downtowon location, just a few blocks East of I 35 at Waller St.

It's a very well thought out space, nice environment, serving lunch and dinner, in addition to a well-stocked bar.

Michelle, being 1/2 German and 1/2 Irish, is very space conscious, and for her to comment favorably on the colorful atmosphere is quite a compliment for this restaurant.

We were both dressed casually, but it came clear pretty quickly that it seemed as if we were underdressed.

I had the Jambalaya with Chicken, Sausage and Ham, while Michelle had the Blackened Chicken Breast with Fettuccini. These were ordered from the back of the menu, which listed these and many other lunch specials as being $9.95, with additional sides $3.00 apiece. We ordered dirty rice, and because we both try to avoid sugar and caffeine, we simply had water.

Before the food came there was served a roll and cornbread.

The roll was VERY GOOD. I don't think I've had a roll as good as this before in my life. They brought us two more rolls which weren't as white, and tasted a little bit different, but still very good.

Our ordered selections came very quickly which downtown workers such as myself appreciate.

I prefer food that is not overly spiced, and the Jambalaya was fine with me. Great big portions, too.

Michelle is big into sharing, she also liked the Jambalaya, but she stayed pretty busy with her blackened chicken. The noodles were just right, not runny, tasted cooked to order. The chicken was just right, blackened on the outside and correctly done on the inside, and not dry like white meat can be.

Both plates had a decorative sprinkles on them, beautiful presentation that you would expect to find in a more expensive restaurant.

There is defintely a difference between eating cajun food from the shack behind the street down the road and eating it here. Ms. B's is professionally prepared and is great-eating nice seems to be the point here.

Either way it doesn't take away from the Louisiana flavor that is the style here, understanding that there also some very nice restaurants in New Orleans that are way more expensive than this.

The evening dinners even feature a live pianist.

The price is more expensive than other eating options for lunch downtown. I'm unfairly comparing Stubb's lunch specials, Chipotle, Subway, The Brick Oven and the cafeteria where I eat in the office where I work-in this comparison you get what you pay for.

With the professional atmosphere, the professional staff and the great food, I didn't feel that I had paid too much at all. In fact, Ms. B. herself, introduced as Brenda visited our table as well as other guests tables.

This is a very nice restaurant and the surrounding neighborhood is developing into a very nice part of town. There is no reason why Ms. B's couldn't be appropriate for a formal date or other formal occasion.