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4 Stars for Nine Roses; General Approval for Fat Hen

As recently as one month ago, radio host and writer Tom Fitzmorris' reviews inCityBusiness were publicly accessible. Not any more, it appears. Tommy Boy's prose and opinions are now hidden behind a paywall like the rest of CB, which is just kind of sad. The people need their Fitzmorris! (Or, you know, not. And even if they do, they can always just go to his website or listen to his radio show.)

At any rate, behind the paywall in this week's CB, Mr Fitzmorris gives 4 stars to Nine Roses, a West Bank stalwart since it opened in 1990. He says it's his favorite Vietnamese restaurant in town, even considering all of the other options that have opened in recent years. The menu is huge:

The most ambitious Vietnamese restaurant in the area, Hoa Hong 9 — it means Nine Roses — not only cooks every Vietnamese dish you ever heard of, but also a full Chinese menu. That adds up to almost 300 dishes, including many found in no other local restaurants.
If that sounds intimidating, don't worry: The Fitz writes that the only place where it could improve is by adding a "chef's specialties" section to help navigate the offerings. This, of course, comes right after he says that "somehow everything tastes like a specialty." So that'd be a pretty hefty section, no?

Meanwhile, in the Gambit, Ian McNulty generally approves of Fat Hen Grocery. (Does he ever disapprove of anything?) Uptown's Fat Hen is the latest incarnation of a series of restaurants of the same name, the previous several of which were in Jefferson Parish. Now chef and owner Shane Pritchett is bringing his family restaurant stylings to New Orleans proper.

McNulty notes that Fat Hen is maybe a little expensive given the comfort-food feel, but the quality of the ingredients explains that a bit. And service "tends to lag" during the busy brunch shifts, but even still, "Pritchett is onto something good."

· All Weeks in Reviews on Eater NOLA [-ENOLA-]

[Photo: City of Gretna]

Nine Roses

1100 Stevens St., Gretna, LA