Sherman's Food Adventures: October 2017

Toup's Meatery

Here we are again chasing the "Top Chef".  We love the show and yes, it is becoming clear on this trip that we were doing just that.  Although Executive Issac Toups did not win his season of Top Chef, we were impressed with his meat-focused culinary direction.  Let's be honest here too, talented chefs such as him are often behind the 8 ball on a show like Top Chef.  His type of no-excuses big and bold cooking often takes a back seat to the delicate cookery required to win.  Well, we already did that with a visit to Restaurant August.  This time, it was all about the meat and honest food at Toup's Meatery.

Of all things on the menu, the one thing we had to get was the Meatery Board for a reasonable price of $25.  My favourite item was something served on the side being the Cracklings.  They were crunchy, aromatic, well-salted and sinful.  These should be sold as a snack to go!  On the board, the Boudin Ball as it was firmly crispy with a spicy and meaty filling that was also quite smooth.  The Chicken Liver Mousse was on point being silky and creamy with an appealing sweetness spiked with brandy.  I found the Chicken & Pork Sausage to be meaty and juicy with nice hits of lemon and rosemary.  I wasn't a huge fan of the Pastrami as it was chewy.  It was appealingly peppery and salty though.  On the other hand, the Rillons (candied cracklings) were addictive being sweet with a great mouth feel.  The Hog Head Head Cheese was buttery and fatty with a porky gaminess.  Lastly, the Daube GlacĂ© was salty and meaty with some tang from the gelee.

For some inexplicable reason, Viv wanted to try the Bone Marrow with confit beef heart and chicken liver mousse despite already sharing the meatery board.  As if we needed this meal to get any heavier and decadent!  Predictably, the dish was rich and sinful.  Featuring a large bone with plenty of fatty and creamy marrow, it was topped with a silky and gelatinous sauce.  We felt the marrow was oversalted though.  Meaty and tender, the beef heart was not gamy at all.  On the side, we found crostinis topped with the same delicious and smooth chicken liver mousse as found on the board.

With the food we had so far, we could only add one entree, but what an entree it was.  We selected the Double-Cut Pork Chop atop dirty rice and served with a cane syrup gastrique. Oh wow, this was awesome!  The huge pork chop was brined expertly where it was juicy and succulent while cooked perfectly.  It wasn't salty though, which allowed us to taste both the pork and the gastrique.  We liked how the meat was nicely charred on the outside which added nice visuals and smoky caramelization.  The dirty rice was also delicious with the saltiness balanced by the gastrique.  As you can see, the food at Toup's is not light by any stretch of the imagination.  However, this brash, no-excuses cooking is what makes it a must-try in NOLA.

The Good:
- Meat!
- Those cracklings...
- Nice casual atmosphere

The Bad:
- If you don't like heavy food (but what are you doing in NOLA???)
- Some things were salty

Mahony's Po-Boy Shop

Ah yes, the po' boy...  Up to this point, we've had some beignets, BBQ shrimp, gumbo, etouffee and crawfish pie.  But we did not have any po' boys yet.  That was going to change when we took the St. Charles street car out to Mahony's in the Garden District.  Not really on the beaten path nor is it usually regarded as the best (because Parkway has that distinction being the oldest and featured on Triple-D's).  But according to some (including Mijune), it sports one of the best Po' Boys in town specifically The Peacemaker (with bacon and cheese).

Behold, The Peacemaker stuffed with P&J fried oysters, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo.  This was only the "regular" sized version!  Imagine the large!  It ate as good as it looked with large buttery oysters that were bursting with briny juices.  They were lightly coated and fried where the outside was crispy but not heavy.  Combine that with cheddar cheese and crispy bacon, how could one go wrong???  The fresh veggies kept things light while the pickles added some crunchy zing.  We added drops of hot sauce to put it over the top.  Only thing we would've liked to see was softer bread as everything fell out with each bite.

We also got something that they are not known for in the Shrimp & Grits.  You know what?  It was pretty good despite that fact.  It featured fluffy grits that still retained texture while not being too runny.  It was topped with meaty shrimp that were well-seasoned and naturally sweet and aromatic.  The flavors were appealingly salty, buttery and slightly spicy with the brininess from the shrimp.  However, the smaller pieces of shrimp were on the chewier side (the bigger ones were on point though). 

Our 3rd plate was the Loaded Fries topped with crawfish etouffee.  These well-salted and crispy fries were aggressively sauced with the etouffee and plenty of cheddar cheese.  It was strangely sweet for some reason, but the saltiness of the fries did balance somewhat.  Loved the briny murkiness of the crawfish as it added an Earthiness to the dish.  We would've liked to see some more spice, but again, the hot sauce came to the rescue.  In the end, we found the food in general pretty solid and the po' boy to be on point.  It was worth the trek out there.

The Good:
- Loaded and tasty po' boy
- Solid service

The Bad:
- Things could've been spicier, but that is what hot sauce is for
- Bread was too chewy for me

Morning Call

Now that we had visited the famed Cafe du Monde, it was time to do a comparison test.  The "other" spot for some delicious beignets is Morning Call located in City Park.  You might wonder what the difference could be for fried dough topped with powdered sugar right?   Well, with any form of cooking, including baking and frying, there are many subtleties.  In fact, if not done right, the differences are not subtle at all!  So we headed over to Morning Call the day after right in the morning to try the same 3 things we had at Cafe du Monde.

Let's start with the Beignets first.  These were presented without the powdered sugar.  Rather, we were supplied with a shaker and were able to control the amount.  This was a good idea not only for taste purposes, but also it allowed us to not waste any of it.  When I said subtleties, this would be the case here as the beignets were different, but not in a huge way.  I would say the same applied as Cafe du Monde whereby the beignets were doughy in some spots and airy in others.  Overall, I thought the ones at Morning Call were denser.  Since we could control the sugar, it was less sweet.

As for the Cafe au Lait, there was a considerable difference in my opinion.  I felt that the coffee wasn't as strong nor as impactful.  Hence there was less aromatics going on.  Rather, it was more milky (no problem with that as it was a cafe au lait) going down smooth and silky.  Viv went for the Frozen Coffee which was totally different from Cafe du Monde since it was more like a frapp being icy and sweet.  She liked it, but thought that it was hard to finish due to the sugar content.  In terms of the beignets, it is hard to say if they were better than Cafe du Monde.  This would be purely subjective.  Personally, I liked them more, but not the coffee.

The Good:
- Can control the sugar yourself
- Lovely park setting

The Bad:
- Coffee is so so


Restaurant August

I've never considered myself one to chase restaurants run by the "celebrity-chef".  After all, when the kids were younger, it was not really practical as well (in terms of appropriate food and cost).  But if I look at some of my choices, there have been the several restaurants that I have targeted based on the chef.  This is particularly true when Viv and I go on vacation without the kiddies, such as our visit to Juniper & Ivy in San Diego.  Now that we were in New Orleans sans enfants, we put that into effect by dining at Emeril's.  Next up was John Besh's flagship restaurant, August. 

Viv and I decided to do a la carte rather than the tasting menu as we were already getting full after the second day in NOLA.  They started us off with an Amuse Bouche consisting of garlic, leek and potato soup topped with crispy potato served in a hallowed-out egg.  This was a wonderful little start to the meal with aromatic flavours and different textures.  Nothing was overpowering another where there was balance.  Loved the presentation too.

For our actual starters, Viv had the Potato Crisp P&J Oysters with malt, tarragon and pickle of Covey Rise vegetables.  The oysters were plump with sweet briny juices.  Crispy and light, the potato crisp coating was devoid of grease.  There was a good amount of spice that was not overwhelming while the malt vinegar was impactful in the creamy aioli but was still balanced.  Providing both acidity and a textural contrast, the pickled veggies were appealingly crunchy.  For myself, I had the Spicy Crab Cornmeal Tartlette with basil, burrata and heirloom tomatoes.  Chock full of fluffy sweet crab, the tart was on the wetter side.  It was due to the tomatoes which were plump and tangy.  However, the firm tart shell held everything together.  Loved the combination of the creamy burrata and bright tomato as well as the smoky and salty bacon.  On top, the crunchy cornmeal topping added a nice mouth feel.

For my entree, I decided on the Roasted Triple Tail with black garlic, corn, chanterelle and blue crab.  I found the triple tail to be seared expertly being crispy and well-seasoned while sporting a flaky and barely-cooked interior.  I really enjoyed the silky sweet crab and corn jus as it was flavorful in a natural manner.  The Earthy black garlic added a robust taste to an otherwise light flavor profile.  The aromas and developed flavors were kicked up even more by the chanterelles and chunks of fluffy briny crab.  This was a fairly subtle dish, but it was supremely composed with layers of taste.  Viv opted for the Five-Spiced Breast of Duckling with fig, summer peppers, foie gras and heirloom grits.  We found the duck prepared medium-rare being tender and succulent.  It was nicely seasoned (especially the seared skin), but the skin could've been more rendered.  The buttery foie was accented well by the sweet marmalade while the pickled peppers and onions added a tangy sweetness to the dish.

For dessert (and no, it wasn't our 78th anniversary... LOL), Viv went for the Fior di Latte with dark berries, ricotta, pound cake and aged balsamic.  This was beautifully plated with surprisingly light and airy pound cake which was still buttery and just sweet enough.  The ricotta was rich and creamy, yet a bit too strong on its own.  When combined with the berries, it was more balanced.  However, the berries were only mildly sweet.  The ice cream made up for it though as it was creamy and sweet with the light hint of balsamic.  For myself, I had the Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich.  This was killer with a creamy semifreddo that was aromatic and just sweet enough.  The crispy cookies were a nice textural contrast and were not too sweet.  Loved the dehydrated peanut butter dust as it added another layer of creamy peanutiness.  The creamy chocolate ice cream was rich and did not add any unnecessary extra sweetness to the dessert.  As for celebrity chef restaurants go, we though August lived up to our expectations.  Yes, it was pricey, but with things considered, it wasn't overpriced.

The Good:
- Excellent service
- On point execution
- Classy, yet not pretentious

The Bad:
- On the pricier side, but worth it IMO

Mr. B's Bistro

Sometimes, it may seem like my choice in restaurants might seem odd considering there are better choices to be made.  However, one must factor in convenience as a major determining prerequisite.  This is especially true when kiddies are in the picture.  Well, this time in New Orleans, that wasn't the case.  Rather, we were already in the French Quarter, so it would make sense to eat in the French Quarter.  We realized that many of the spots are tourist traps, but Mr. B's Bistro seemed to have a redeeming quality.  It boasts the "best" BBQ shrimp in the city.  Yes, I realize the risk of such a statement, but we went on a recommendation by Mijune.

We started the meal with some Fried Oysters since we hadn't tried any up until this point (only day 2 though).  These were buttery and barely cooked through which meant there was plenty of briny juices.  The breading was super light and only lightly crispy while being a touch greasy.  We would've preferred for a firmer crunch, but then again, that might've overcooked the oysters.  On the side was a jalapeno tartar sauce which was quite mild and resembled a kicked up thousand islands.  We also got a order of the Seafood Gumbo which they split into 2 portions for us.  It was not heavy at all with smoky and briny elements.  There was a nice balance between the sweetness and saltiness.  We enjoyed the low rumble of spice that lingered to the end.  As for the seafood, everything was on point where it was not overdone.

Onto the main event, the BBQ Shrimp didn't look like much, but in reality, it was extremely tasty.  We liked how they used the entire shrimp shell and all because it kept all of the sweet juices in.  Furthermore, the shells added another level of aroma to the dish.  We did find the shrimp a tad overdone except for the 2 bigger ones.   They were meaty and sweet with penetrated flavours from the rich peppery sauce.  It was appealingly salty with sweetness.  Compared to the one at Emeril's, this one was more balanced.  For myself, I had the Catfish which was coated in crunchy cornmeal.  It was well-seasoned and not greasy at all.  The fish was buttery and soft while being surprisingly not murky-tasting.  The creamy beans and sausage on the side was rather filling, but nice texturally. Overall, we found the things we ordered at Mr. B's to be fairly good.  Sure, the shrimp was the best of the bunch, but there is more than that at Mr. B's.

The Good:
- That BBQ shrimp...
- Outstanding service
- The rest of the food was good

The Bad:
- On the pricier side
- Rather stuffy and proper, but they treated us well despite not dressing up

Cafe du Monde (French Quarter)

Generally, when some things start off small and gain a following, it will inevitably become popular and go mainstream.  Sometimes it completely takes off due to social media, TV and the sort.  I'm not sure if Cafe du Monde fits into this category completely, but it certainly hasn't hurt that it has been in all forms of media including the movie Chef.  It is almost placed on a pedestal being the holy grail of beignets in New Orleans.  For myself, it has been on my bucket list since I can remember and it was quite exciting to finally visit the famed coffee shop that serves fried dough doused with enough powdered sugar to make Tony Montana proud.

Viv and I decided to work off our calories by walking from out hotel to the French Quarter (I'm sure that didn't burn off much).  Our first stop was Cafe du Monde for some breakfast (yes a real healthy one).  We went for 2 orders of the Beignets and waited in large outdoor seating area.  These arrived with mounds of powdered sugar that wasn't as sweet as it looked.  In fact, we had to mop up the sugar from the plate with the beignet as we ate.  About that beignet, it was a bit dense in some spots but also light with little airy pockets strewn here and there.  Was it amazing?  No, but it was good nonetheless and we finally fulfilled another bucket-list item.

For myself, the real draw was the Cafe au Lait as it was aromatic and went down smooth.  The half and half of hot milk and coffee was a nice balance where the strong coffee was present without being too bitter nor was the drink too milky.  It was the perfect compliment to the beignet as the sweetness of the sugar was counteracted by the slight bitterness.  The addition of roasted chicory added another layer of flavour that was subtle yet chocolatey.  Viv had the Iced Coffee since it was already hot in the morning and it was fine for what it was.  I felt that the hot coffee activated the aromatics while the cold coffee was just a beverage.  So did Cafe du Monde live up to the astronomical expectations?  Probably not, but was still fun to visit anyways.

The Good:
- Iconic
- Great coffee
- Open 24 hours

The Bad:
- Beignets were "okay"

Cochon

Prior to embarking on our New Orleans food adventure, I did plenty of internet research.  From that, I made a list of places to go and narrowed it down since we only had 5 days.  No, I'm not like Mijune, who can eat 10 meals a day, so it really had to be a condensed list!  However, I did ask her for some recommendations and her list did overlap with mine.  One of the spots is Cochon located a block away from our hotel.  Not only was that a convenient dinner location, it is one of the most recommended spots according to many top 10 lists of places to eat in Nola.  We ended up heading there for dinner on our first night.

Since Cochon isn't a fancy spot (still classy though), we were able to dress down a bit (yet looking respectable).  We went for 2 of the more popular small plates including the awesome Crawfish Pie.  Looking like an overstuffed Jamaican patty, this was flaky and crispy like one, but much more buttery.  Inside, the etouffee filling was chock full of briny and Earthy crawfish, rice and veggies.  It was noticeably spicy and smoky, but not overwhelming while hits of spices were in abundance.  This was super tasty and despite being sinfully rich, I couldn't stop eating it.  Next up was the Smoked Pork Ribs with watermelon pickle which was equally tasty.  These aggressively sauced ribs were tender and meaty while retaining a succulence. They were also smoky and well-seasoned.  The sauce was spicy, sweet and tangy with plenty of depth.  What really put this over the top was the pickled watermelon rind which was almost like candy being sweet and sticky.

For our mains, I had their signature dish being the Louisiana Cochon with cabbage, cracklings & pickled peaches.  In terms of flavour and overall impact, we enjoyed this dish as the meat was full of depth without relying on salt.  There was a definitely spiciness that continued to build and linger with each bite.  Also, there was a hint of clove and/or star anise that added more body.  This was lightened up by the Asian tasting tangy cabbage and daikon underneath.  On top, the pickled peaches were sweet and sticky.  But the meat itself was a little dry where it didn't create an appealing mouth-feel.  Viv went for one of their features which was the Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab atop tomatillo sauce with a corn salad.  This was one large cornmeal crusted soft shell crab.  It was crispy on the outside while moist and sweet on the inside.  The tomatillo sauce was bright with a slight kick that went well with the crab.  The sweet pops of corn were complimented by cilantro, basil and Italian parsley.

For dessert, we shared the Pineapple Upside Down Cake served with coconut milk lime ice cream and caramel sauce.  This was aromatic and buttery where the caramelized pineapples were intensely sweet.  Loved the "ice cream" as it was tangy like yogurt but still had the aromatic richness of coconut milk.  The texture was more sorbet-like as a result.  We thought the sweet caramel sauce was not necessary as the cake was already pretty sweet with the pineapples.  Despite the dry pork, we thought Cochon lived up to our expectations at a very reasonable price.

The Good:
- Reasonably-priced
- Simply tasty food
- Friendly service

The Bad:
- Pork was dry

Emeril's

Originally, we didn't have any plans to visit Emeril's in New Orleans.  In fact, one could say we were doing our best to avoid something so typical and touristy.  However, before all of this food snobbery crept into our consciousness, Emeril's was a place I've always wanted to try.  Looking over the menu, some reviews and the prices, we changed our mind and it ended up back on our "to-eat" list and consequently was our first spot for lunch after an overnight flight from Vancouver connecting in Dallas/Fort-Worth.  It was actually pretty convenient since it was only a 5 block walk from our hotel.

I do not talk about House Bread very much because it sometimes is pretty plain and not very interesting.  However, the 3 types we were started off with did satisfy the "different" quotient.   They included Roasted Red Pepper and Honey, Cornbread Muffin and Honey Wheat Bread.  My favorite was the roasted red pepper as it had the texture of soft focaccia, but was cheesy and sweet. Seeing how we were going to visit Mr. B's Bistro the next day, Viv decided to do a comparison with the Emeril's New Orleans BBQ Shrimp.  The de-shelled shrimp tails were buttery with a snap while naturally bring and aromatic.  The sauce was extremely buttery and creamy with smokiness and umami flavours.  It was silky and rich with a concentrated saltiness.  This was surely tasty if not heavy and a bit too salty.

For myself, I had the Lobster "Tchoup" which was more like a slaw consisting of shaved brussels sprouts, apples, grilled bacon, lobster, spiced pecans, blue cheese and soft egg.  When mixed together including the silky runny egg yolk, the whole thing was dominated by the sharpness and pungency of the creamy blue cheese.  Texturally, the crunch from the brussels sprouts and apple was appealing, yet at the same time, hid the plentiful sweet lobster.  In addition to the blue cheese, the firm and salty bacon was a perfect compliment while somewhat offset by some pepperiness.  

For her entree, Viv had the Chicken & Waffles that featured two large pieces of perfectly fried chicken.  The batter was crunchy, yet not overly heavy while the chicken was moist and nicely seasoned.  Underneath lay a sweet corn Belgian waffle which was tasty, but ultimately soft and lacking in texture.  The side of watermelon slaw was crunchy and nicely acidic.  The whole dish was drizzled with a fairly sweet Crystal hot sauce syrup.  I decided to go for one of their signature items being the Andouille Crusted Gulf Drum.  As the name suggests, the fish was coated with an andouille "dust" of sorts which created a crispy exterior that was salty and smoky.  The fish itself was mild, flaky and buttery soft.  I found the Creole Meuniere sauce to be buttery and sweet.  Underneath, the crispy shoestring potatoes were on point texturally, holding up to the moisture.  The veggies consisting of squash, eggplant and red peppers were on point being cooked all the way through while retaining a bite.

For dessert we shared the Banana Cream Pie, which to be honest, has never been a favourite of mine.  However, this version was actually quite good.  It featured plenty of banana chunks (probably 70% of the pie) that wasn't overripe.  The cream portion was more like a semifreddo and was just sweet enough and aromatic.  The crust was light and buttery while the caramel on top was rather important as it added even more aroma and necessary sweetness.  Although it didn't wow us per se, our visit to Emeril's was pleasant enough and crossed off another bucket-list item.

The Good:
- Excellent service
- Food is actually quite good
- Not that expensive with all things considered

The Bad:
- Heavy food, but not uncommon for New Orleans


Fortune Terrace

When I was younger, I vividly remember going for Dim Sum every weekend with my parents.  There weren't many choices back then and I was well-aware what a luxury it was to go every week, sometimes twice a week.  Then in the 90's, an explosion of Chinese restaurants helped keep the cost reasonable and at times, it seemed to be less expensive than before.  However, as we moved into the 2000's, we witnessed an increase in higher-class Chinese establishments that pushed the prices upward.  Then more recently in the past decade, we've seen the ultra-expensive Dim Sum spots open up where a steamer of Ha Gau is pushing close and sometimes exceeding $10.00.  So when Fortune Terrace opened up across from the Olympic Oval, I wasn't super interested as it was another fancy and expensive Chinese restaurant.

However, my curiosity can never be denied, so we finally ended up trying the place out with my parents.  We began with the Pea Tips with dried scallops & shrimp in soup.  This was prepared properly with tender pea tips that were still crunchy and vibrant.  They were mildly seasoned but with the generous amount of briny & salty dried shrimp and scallops, there was enough impact.  When I marked off the Baked Egg Yolk Paste Bun down on the checklist, I knew it would arrive before it was time for dessert.  I didn't mind as I knew they were in the shape of cute little piggies.  Appearance aside, these were good being fluffy and soft.  Inside, the runny  but not thin, yolk custard was purposefully sweet while creamy.

Looking over the menu, it was strange that I could not find the usual rice noodle rolls.  Rather, we took a chance and ordered the Supreme Three Treasure Rice Roll and it arrived as a large square.  Inside, there was eggplant, silky tofu and scallops.  This was overstuffed as there was more ingredients than rice noodle.  The noodle itself was actually quite thin while exhibiting a great deal of elasticity.  Hence, it was on the chewier side, but I didn't mind it.  Naturally, Dim Sum wouldn't be Dim Sum if we didn't order Shrimp & Chive Spring Rolls for my son.  This was also good with a firmly crunchy exterior that was easy on the grease.  Inside, the whole shrimp filling was moist while having a sweet snap.  It was seasoned enough without being salty.

Off to some more typical items, we had the Steamed Chicken Feet in Supreme Sauce.  If you look closely at the picture, you will noticed that these were some pretty large feet.  As such, they were also plump and on point texturally.  The skin was tender while not mushy where the cartilage and fat underneath was buttery, yet not melted.  I wasn't sure what they meant by supreme sauce, but it did taste good with the usual sweet and salty thing going on aided by garlic.  Consisting of mostly meat portions, the Steamed Pork Rib & Taro in Garlic Sauce was executed nicely too.  Each piece of rib was tender with a perfect bounce texture.  There was more than enough seasoning including a good hit of garlic and the saltiness of black bean.  The taro, on the other hand, was not so good being dry and powdery.

Arriving as one large Lo Mei Gai rather than the more common 3 mini-versions, it was a pleasant surprise.  For me, I like the ol' skool large type due to the overall texture and moisture.  This one featured plenty of ground pork, chicken, salted egg yolk and mushroom for both texture and flavour.  The intermittent wild rice added a chewier texture to the soft and glutinous rice.  Looking like a dish of fried shallots rather than Deep Fried Chicken Knees, it was rather deceiving.  There was actually a bevy of well-sized chicken knees hidden underneath.  They were crispy while succulent inside.  Despite the amount of shallots and chili flakes, the flavours were muted and more aromatic than anything else.  It could've used a bit more salt and pepper.

Normally, with Ha Gau, we would order the ying to the yang with the Siu Mai.  However, they left it off the original ticket and even after a reminder, they still didn't put it in.  Oh well...  As for the ha gau, they were good.  Enveloped by a chewy, yet tender dumpling skin, the whole shrimp filling was meaty with a sweet snap.  There was only a mild amount of seasoning (including noticeable sesame oil), so that it didn't overwhelm the shrimp.  Once again, we got the Xiao Long Bao despite it probably being so-so in a Cantonese restaurant.  That it was with a thick skin that was doughy.  However, on the inside, the pork filling was succulent and tender.  It was more sweet than savoury with only a small amount of soup.

Our obligatory offal dish was the Steamed Beef Tendon in Curry Sauce.  I found most of the pieces to be on the softer side where some parts were melting.  My mom liked it, but I personally like some texture left rather than a mush.  Flavourwise, I found the curry to be present in a mild manner.  For our actual dessert, we went for the visually-impressive Souffle with Almond Flakes.  This featured a sweet and chewy exterior that gave way to a soft and airy centre.  It was only purposefully sweet and easy to eat.  In general, the Dim Sum at Fortune Terrace was above average with some highlights.  Yes, the pricing is definitely on the higher end and for many, it just isn't worth it.  I wouldn't mind coming back, but just not very often.

The Good:
- Above average Dim Sum
- Some interesting items

The Bad:
- Of course pricey
- Service was not bad, but they insisted that our siu mai was not missing, but they didn't even put in the order... twice...