Time for a road trip! Laurie and I decided to meet Dawn Marie down in New Orleans for some fun and food just before Christmas. It was our present to each other and a new experience for Laurie. She hadn’t been to New Orleans since she was conceived…if you get my meaning!
I’d visited New Orleans several times for fun back in the early to mid-70’s and had been back a couple of other times for business conferences. My last visit had been just 2 years before Hurricane Katrina and I was curious about the status of the city’s recovery…
We decided to drive to Laurel Mississippi on our 1st day. That would mean that we’d have a minimal drive into New Orleans on our 2nd day, giving us some time to visit the city’s new WWII Museum.
As usual, I spent some time researching the restaurants in each town or city on our itinerary. Laurel Mississippi offered 2 interesting dining choices but after we arrived in town I learned that one of our choices wasn’t open for dinner. Hence, this is The Loft on Central Avenue which is located in the old historic downtown section of Laurel.
The Loft on Central Avenue was a ‘happening place’ on this Thursday night! It’s a big restaurant so we didn’t have any trouble getting a table but the place was filled with Christmas office party groups…
I believe that this building was previously an old bank and the décor was definitely ‘loft-like’ with what might be faux plaster patches over the brick walls. If my research is correct, the Loft used to actually occupy the loft of this building…
This is our "appetizer!" Yikes! For some reason it’s called the Norwood Appetizer… It consists of Cajun Flavored BBQ Shrimp surrounded by toasted French bread for dipping in the sauce. This huge pile of shrimp floating in the sauce with all of the French bread cost only $12.00!
In this case, superlatives completely escape us! Laurie and both agreed that we would be willing to roll in this sauce… This was the best appetizer that we’ve had in many years! Terrific! Super! Spectacular! Amazing! Despite the fact that we had entrees coming, we demolished this platter of goodness… There wasn’t a drop of sauce, a smidgen of shrimp or a bite of bread left when we finished.
For her entrée, Laurie ordered the Creole Shrimp Pasta. ($17.00) It came with a modest but OK dinner salad and a roll…which was used to mop up some more of the appetizer's sauce. Laurie said that her entrée was very good…but it was tough following up on our appetizer. She couldn’t finish her pasta, so I helped her...It was excellent! The sauce and shrimp were full of delicious spicy Creole flavour!
For my dinner, I selected the Steak Alfredo. ($16.00) This consisted of strips of ribeye steak cooked medium rare on a bed of Penne (my choice) Pasta Alfredo. The steak was pretty good but I thought that the Alfredo sauce was perhaps a bit too thin and a little bland for my taste. But don’t get me wrong…I did enjoy my entrée.
This photo of our shared dessert is blurred…and in my opinion…deservedly so. Our waitress ‘got lost’ a lot after another customer confronted her on a problem and it took her forever to come up with our bread pudding. ($6.00) When we got it, it was just a blob of bread pudding on a plate...without the caramel topping. Finding and applying the topping was a major time consuming project! After all of that effort, I thought that the bread pudding was way too mushy…although Laurie said that it was OK in her opinion but not warm enough for her tastes.
Despite a couple of issues, The Loft on Central Avenue in Laurel Mississippi was a winner! (I concur with TripAdvisor’s ratings which showed 28 Excellent or Very Good reviews vs. 2 Poor or Terrible reviews prior to our trip) We will return…and probably share an entrée along with that Norwood Appetizer! This restaurant is located at 535 Central Avenue. Phone: 601-518-0404. The Loft on Central Avenue can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/theloftoncentral.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by and sharing our dinner with us!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave