Finding Daniel's on the Bayou, the garlic-tastic Mediterranean café reviewed in this week's issue, is only half the battle.
The Esplanade at City Park apartment building in which it is housed faces Bayou St. John, but Daniel's faces the building's rear parking lot and the adjoining cemetery. "Daniel's on the Cemetery" just doesn't have the same ring I guess, but if you're standing on the bayou there's no sign of a restaurant here.
Once you've spotted the place in the corner of the building closest to Esplanade Avenue, there is the question of getting to it. I used the building's main entrance on Moss Street on my first visit, and while there was a chalkboard right by the front door listing the day's lunch specials I had to get directions from a security guard and walk the equivalent length of a football field to get to the restaurant.
It's much more direct to enter from Esplanade Avenue, but the entire building and its parking lot are surrounded by gate. On my second visit, I felt I lucked out by slipping through the auto gate behind an arriving car. Another time we found the pedestrian gate ajar and entered that way. Eventually, however, I figured out you need only ring a buzzer (pictured above) at either auto or pedestrian gate and in you go.
It takes a little more negotiation than usual for a restaurant visit, but after a while the entry process grew on me. The place really is more charming than its unusual location would indicate, and of course, as was mentioned more than a few times in the review, there is all that garlic.
Fantastic! In my neighborhood! Yum.
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