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The Mall and All

Four months ago, fried plantains, Spanish chorizo burritas and boiled yuca with chicharron joined the host of flavors found in the blocks neighboring Lakeside Mall. Beraca (3116 N. Arnoult Road, Suite L, 889-0962) helps enliven the same half-empty strip mall where the new Pho Tau Bay now wraps its spring rolls. Specializing in Central American cuisine, Beraca serves breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner Monday through Saturday. Call to confirm the unusual hours of operation.

The Beef With Mid-City

On Tuesday, July 24, Chef Gerard and Eveline Crozier are opening their new Chateaubriand Steakhouse (310 N. Carrollton Ave., 207-0016) for lunch and dinner. The couple's new restaurant will focus upon French cuisine with an emphasis on le boeuf. Other forecasted menu winners include a roasted rack of lamb and grilled Maine lobster.

Call It

Who knew a lone quarter could get you more than a few minutes at the meter? Through the end of August, heads or tails buys a martini alongside any lunch entree at Commander's Palace (1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221). The drink special resurrects one they ran during the 1950s.

Club Fed

Through Sept. 2, The Pelican Club (312 Exchange Alley, 523-1504) is offering appetizer, entree and dessert combinations from their regular menu for as low as $28. Depending upon the entree, the price might jump to $31 (for the Maine lobster, for example), or $35 (for items like filet mignon and rack of lamb).

Sonesta Fiesta

It's a regular fiesta from now until Aug. 11 at Begue's in the Royal Sonesta Hotel (300 Bourbon St., 553-2278). Guest Chefs Ignacio Gutierrez and Wilfredo Moreno of the Hotel Marquis Reforma in Mexico City have composed a five-course Mexican menu priced at $34. Ceviche Acapulqueno, tortilla soup, lime and tequila sorbet, chicken in pumpkin seed sauce and Metate chocolate soup touch upon the Mexican possibilities.

Wine Time

This Thursday, July 26, 1998 Bordeaux wines will take center stage in Martin Wine Cellar's (714 Elmeer Ave., 896-7350) tasting room. Hosted by Dave Gladden and Jody D'Anna, the $38 tasting includes fine cheese pairings.

Market Watch

On Tuesday, July 24, a chef from the Hyde Park Grille (1525 St. Charles Ave., 586-1525) will cook at the Uptown Crescent City Farmers Market. The following Saturday, July 28, it will be Chef Scott Varnadoe of Southern Hospitality Catering. Varnadoe is a former medal winner of the Louisiana Gold Culinary Classic. The Tuesday market is at 200 Broadway St. and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Saturday market, at 700 Magazine St., runs from 8 a.m. to noon. Call 861-5898, e-mail at or visit -- Sara Roahen


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