FRESH AND CASUAL
Boneheads serves up healthy combinations
Not many restaurant managers would walk customers through the kitchen for a tour, but Boneheads manager Mike Wood will do just that.
“What you see is what you get. We don’t hide anything in the back,” Wood said.
Behind the doors are no secrets. The food at Boneheads is fresh never frozen just as humble as the name of the restaurant.
The name came directly from a car accident. Two chefs, one from Atlanta and the other South Africa, crashed their cars into one another causing both to admit they were both “boneheads.” The two quickly found out they were chefs and decided to form what is now known as Boneheads.
The seasoning that can be found in each dish is called piri piri, which translates into “pepper, pepper.” Piri piri has different levels of flavor. Wood said the restaurant has six different kinds of piri piri: lemon pepper, mild or original, medium, hot, extra hot and barbecue.
Wood said to start, customers should try the original piri piri. “The pepper mainly comes from South Africa. It is hard to get,” Wood said. “We need about a 10-week lead on it.”
Though Boneheads is a chain, Wood said there are some items on the menu original to the Shreveport location. “We do our corn different. [Our] corn on the cob is boiled, chilled and seasoned with piri piri, put on the grill and charred,” Wood said.
The catfish is also special to the Louisiana location. Daily specials are also posted to offer a deal on off-the-menu items.
“[We have had] an excellent response from customers [in Shreveport],” he said. The Shreveport location had the most successful opening to date for the young chain, Wood said.
Aside from the food, the atmosphere might also have something to do with their success within the past two months of being open.
Walking into Boneheads the restaurant almost has a subtle nautical theme. Shiny steel tables and chairs make up the dinning area with soft ocean-like blue tones highlighting the menu.
Another thing that customers may not notice is that unlike other restaurants, it is a quiet place to have a conversation and enjoy lunch or dinner company.
“It’s a choice that we made. TVs are optional. We choose to do the Tinseltown movie times and headlines, which are not political – which are just top news items and weather,” Wood said.“We want to appeal to everyone and there is nothing like it around here.”
A good start to the meal is the fried calamari as an appetizer. It is crispy but not heavily battered.
“Our calamari is cut by hand,” Wood said. “We get it fresh from [Farmers Seafood] also. We lightly batter it in buttermilk and piri piri flour batter and that is fried to order.”
Wood has more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry and is somewhat of a mind-reader with his guess of customer’s orders. His suggestions are spot on. Boneheads shrimp, which is a personal favorite of Wood’s, is delectable and sweet. Though it is fried, one can still taste the shrimp and not a heavy batter.
Looking to healthy alternatives, the sweet potatoes sing on the grill, keeping their sweetness but still picking up a smoky flavor.
As the zucchini does the same with the grilled taste, customers won’t even miss a fried side item – though Boneheads does offer fries and sweet potato fries.
Cooked about every two hours, the rice holds its own stepping away from a common rice stigma as being a filler on the plate. Seasoned with peppers, the rice tastes fresh and has the perfect consistency.
“Everything is very popular,” Wood said. “All the grilled fish, mahi mahi is real big and shrimp skewers.”
If seeking shrimp – try the skewers. Two skewers cross the plate, each stick filled with about 10 shrimp. A creamy sauce is placed on the side for dipping along with a topping of choice.
If fish isn’t on the mind, go for the half of a chicken. With a barbecue sauce coated on top, it almost looks too content to dig into as it glistens in the light.
Each of the dishes have the piri piri flavor but customers can add extra or try the other flavors of the sauce on their own at the condiments bar.
Catering to everyone is a Boneheads specialty as they offer burgers for the meat-lovers and a hummus wrap for the vegetarians. The restaurant also has gluten-free items.
Boneheads also has plans for additional locations in Louisiana. Next up is a location in Bossier, followed by Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
“A customer made a good point the other day and said, ‘When you think of Louisiana seafood, you always think of getting it fried. Here you actually get a fresh product,’” Wood said.