As word got around last year that a new restaurant called Redemption would open at the Mid-City address that had for so long been Christian's, it naturally kindled expectations, and even specific food cravings. Christian's was one of the few major restaurants that didn't return after Hurricane Katrina, and its setting, inside a century-old church, gave it an ambiance like nowhere else in town.
You might expect meatloaf at a pub, and the way things are going with the gastropub trend these days you might even expect a few high-brow touches along with it.
Still, I wasn't initially expecting one made of heritage cattle from a family-run ranch in New Iberia, nor that it would be slathered with foie gras butter, balanced on fried walnut bread, and served at the Irish House bar by the same guy who just took the two minutes necessary to properly draw off my Guinness pint.
It's the dishes with a bit of a drawl that jump off the menu at High Hat Café — the Delta-style tamales napped neatly in their cornhusks, a pimento cheese plate, homey sides of beans and greens and the restaurant's centerpiece, fried catfish with hushpuppies, a dish that's practically the fish and chips of cotton country.