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Monday, May 12, 2014

NEW SOUTHERN CUISINE

Bistro to Go rounds out success with new menu at second Bossier mall location

bistro-to-go

Bistro to Go

Location: Pierre-Bossier Mall 

Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday 562-3722

J.B. Emery, owner of Bistro to Go, calls the food on the menu at his new Pierre- Bossier Mall location, “the eight super rock-star items.”

The rock stars include the Bistro Burger, turkey and swiss, chicken salad, strawberry and praline salad, red beans, chicken and sausage gumbo, meat pies and chicken skewers.

Bistro to Go was the winner of the Shreveport-Bossier City “Food Court Wars,” a show on the Food Network where two restaurateurs battle for a year rent free at a local food court in a mall.

With his new location, Emery offers a selection off the signature menu at his first location at 748 Lassus St. He said winning “Food Court Wars” has given him a different perception of his new customer base.

Emery said mall-goers are looking for easy selections to satisfy their hunger.

At the new location, Brandi Lewis is a part owner and general manager. Lewis also appeared on “Food Court Wars.”

In the food court at the mall, Emery has taken the portions and prices down offering what he calls a “smokin’ deal.”

Starting with the signature Bistro Burger, Emery crafted this off of the notion that he is “kind of a purest,” liking his burger set with a solid and delicious foundation.

His burger is made up of the most flavorful best meat seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and the newest edition – the best bun. The bun is what changed in the revamp of the signature item offering a precise execution.

Most of their menu items are homemade, however some of the bread is purchased from a bakery out of Houston, Emery said.

It’s the gumbo and red beans made from scratch that draws a lot of customers in. The red beans are seasoned with the right amount of spices, allowing the tender beans to almost melt in the mouth.

The majority of the menu items are recipes from Emery’s grandmother and others are some that he has picked up along the way.

Enter the bread pudding, which is offered at the first location on Lassus St.

“A friend of my mother’s got that recipe from her friend that has since past away and they made that for my rehearsal dinner, when I got married,” he said. “The beautiful thing about the bread pudding is that is the cheapest thing to make that you can find. It’s the cheapest white bread, no name margarine, no name evaporated milk, butter sugar.”

The taste anything but cheap. Its flavor is a light sweetness that is soft and satisfying.

Another menu item available at the food court is the strawberry salad. This refreshing, light salad is made with a tasty vinaigrette, strawberries, cheese and pralines on a bed of fresh greens. The palette dives right into the summer months with an almost addicting taste with the combination of the ingredients.

Aside from the “rockstars” at the mall, the pimento and gouda cheese sandwich is a lunchtime favorite. The Bistro offers it with a fried green tomato or, the way Emery likes it, with bacon.

“It’s like a BLT with pimento cheese. It’s really good,” he said.

The pimento and gouda cheese was fresh with a nice blend of flavor. Emery shared his secret of buttering the bread and searing it on both sides to get a nice crispy texture.

In all Emery calls his food “new southern cuisine.”

“We try to be like southern and comfort food and not so heavy. So we try to pick things that are fresh and light and new.”

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