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Señor T-Fitz' Mexi-Chain Fiesta, McNulty at Mariza

Tom Fitzmorris hits up "American-style" Mexi-chain restaurant La Carreta in Covington this week (not to be confused with the Mandeville location that was recently victim to a high schooler's fake-review gone viral), dishing out his usual THREE WHOLE STARS even though they ain't go no dang MOLE POBLANO WTF!? Poor T-Fitz has more trouble finding a mole than a half-blind dermatologist these days. Same with cabrito and menudo, which T-Fitz says are not on the menu at La Caretta, even though Saul Rubio, a native of Queretaro, Mexico, started the Hammond-based chain and there's still "obvious talent in the kitchen."

Though T-Fitzoolander describes the food as "good looking," he warns that "we must someday get over the idea that all Mexican food is a huge $10 platter of tortillas and meat flooded with a red sauce and covered with melted cheese," before selecting an entire bowl of melted cheese with chorizo, the "Choriqueso," as his favorite dish.

The service sounds rushed as readers are encouraged to "tell the server to hold back on your entree until you're finished with the first course." No hipness points were awarded this week, though ordering flan does make just about anyone sound like an ironic smartass. [CityBusiness, subscription required]

Ian McNulty finds excellent raw seafood, cured meats, and great hospitality at Bywater newbie Mariza this week. Opened by husband and wife/chef and maitre d' duo Ian Schnoebelen and Laurie Casebonne (of Iris fame), McNulty notes that Mariza, located in an open/industrial space in the Rice Mill Lofts, is "very far from Creole Italian or American Italian...more akin to Domenica locally" in the casual, regional Italian style popularized by superchef Mario Batali.

Though McNulty says the pizzas are perfectly fine for sharing (though not equal to Freret hotness Ancora), the highlights of Schnoebelen's menu include a "sashimi-like" crudo, well-prepared meats like quail "wrapped in pancetta and grilled," and of course specials, like a "cured lamb leg sliced like prosciutto and strewn over herbs and roasted beets." Beware parking in the lot belonging to neighboring NOCCA however, because you will get towed. [Gambit]

· La Caretta Show Deftness With Ameri-Mexican [CityBusiness]
· Review: Mariza [Gambit]
· All Week In Reviews [-ENOLA-]

[Photo: Josh Brasted]


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