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Magi Loupe

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Circuit Court New Orleans

Zea Rotisserie Grill
1655 Hickory Avenue
Harahan, LA 70123

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8/03

Out front.Hey there, people! Been a long time, I know. Contrary to the rumors I've been hearing, Magi Loupe is still "holdin' it down in 'da hood" and "ready to represent." I've also been eating "all up in this be-otch." Dig?

So recently I've been in a pretty good mood, what with the god-awful reviews of the movie "Gigli." Some of the nicer reviews called it "puke inducing" and "made me want to punch someone outside the theater" and that's just dandy to me. See, I'm not sure I want to live in a world that a no-talent Ben Affleck can take over. Every time I turn on the TV I see his smug face smirking back at me. Someone make it stop! Anyhoo, so yeah, I've been feeling pretty good. It sure isn't the weather that's making me feel all tingly, unless that tingle is the first symptom of heat stroke. It's freakin hot down here, people, and hundred-plus degree heat doesn't exactly make me want to stuff my face with the heavy/greasy. But I'm just not a salad type of guy. I need something to stick to my ribs.

HummusZea is a cool place to duck into when the heat and humidity have got you sweating like Saddam in the Rose Garden. The building is a converted Toddle House, which is to say that it's small, and the kitchen is where the short order cooks used to be. That's cool though, 'cause the chefs do their thing right in front of you. You can see the succulent meats spinning on rotisseries, juices dripping and skin crisping. MMMmmmm.

I always start with the hummus: a cool mound of ground chick peas and tahini drowned in a fragrant olive oil and topped with a roasted garlic toe and a ripe olive. Toasted pita triangles provide a crispy vehicle for shoveling it in -- and you will be shoveling it, trust me. I can't speak to the other appetizers as I have never ordered them. Hell, they may not even have any others. That'd be fine by me.

RibbageZea shifts from quasi-Mediterranean to straight-ahead American with relative ease. The hamburger is thick and juicy, with the unmistakable hint of smoky grill around the edges. Even the mundane grilled chicken sandwich is jazzed up with a slathering of interesting aioli. All that aside, my favorite thing on the menu is the Thai style ribs. Oh my! A whole or half rack of pork spareribs, glazed with a lip-smacking spicy-sweet sauce fragrant with cilantro and the rosy glow of red pepper. Ummm, boy. Sidling up to this delicacy is a bowl of grilled corn studded with caramelized onion and roasted new potatoes. Both are worthy accomplices to the ribs. The ribs come in two other variations: dry-rub and regular old BBQ sauced. If that's what you want, go right ahead but you might as well go to Corky's for that. Get the Thai ribs. Really.

The prices are ridiculously low for the mess of grub they dish out. If you don't order wine you're looking at 10 bucks a person, maybe 12. Not bad for a guy who's got to save up all his pennies for the noon matinee. I think you can guess what movie I'm not going to see.


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Contact Magistrate Loupe at magistrate@neworleans.com

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