Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Like many folks, my only experience of Landry's Vineyards was via an outdoor concert. It was very nice, and I plan to come again. For context, I'm not big on wine; my very refined palate can (usually) identify white from red... maybe. That said, I thought the wine was tasty (see? So refined), with sweet, light, and fruity varieties available. Our group bought 2 bottles (Redneck Red and Peach Muscadine) and enjoyed both for less than $30 total (cups provided). Next time I want to try one of the port wines, which are infused with brandy (I learned that from my jaunt at Landry's, so it's also educational). Our group also enjoyed the boudin available for purchase—especially the crawfish and shrimp boudin, which was very flavorful and just the right texture—not too mushy, not too dry. The jambalaya was drier than I like to make it, more like how I like my dirty rice, but it was generously loaded with meat and worth the $5 for sure. We found the prices for the food and beverages very reasonable. I didn't try them, but Landry's also offers wine bellinis in frozen daiquiri machines that seemed to be popular.
I'd like to see some bigger signs posted up to direct traffic, especially to replace the one outside in the pavilion above the wine bar. I found myself waiting in the wrong line, and saw a few other patrons doing the same. A poster board-size sign with clearer arrows would be perfect. A couple of employees posted at the entrance to direct newcomers on where to go would be very helpful as well. The website encourages customers to bring cash to pay to facilitate faster checkout, but I didn't notice much difference, after waiting in both lines. I have to wonder if a coffee-shop style line would help speed the checkout process, as it seems like folks behind the counter were doing double duty trying to pour wine and take orders, and maybe losing efficiency? Hard to say from the outside looking in. Plan to spend about 15 minutes in line for wine, about half that for food (if you arrive after 5:00, like we did).
Overall, we had a good time, it seemed like it was a safe place for parents to let their children run around, and our group of 20-somethings enjoyed watching our futures play out in front of us in the form of our olders and betters dancing their hearts out in front of the band.
Final note: you'd never guess the source of one of my most favorable impressions of the place... the portable toilets. Landry's contracted some service called Bare (Bear?) Necessities come out and let me tell you, it is the most bougie outdoor restroom experience I have ever had. It's in a camper/trailer-style portable building, one for men, one for women, each with a few stalls inside and a full sink, and very clean. So if you have heard that the only facilities available are of the portable persuasion, and were perturbed, never fear—the toilets flush.