Hot Dish

Treebeard's is a chain out of Houston--not a promising origin for a cafe with a Louisiana bill of fare, but Treebeard's is a regular destination for downtowners who lunch, and rightly so. Red beans and rice and etouffee are reliable. The gazpacho, every vegetable hand-chopped so the result is like a salad you eat with a spoon, is coolly outstanding, even when Autumn is arriving. In fact, a cup of cold gazpacho with a cube of Treebeard's yellow cornbread may be the best Indian summer-lunch solution I've found. It's especially refreshing if you sit "outside" in the air-conditioned Plaza of the Americas and watch the ice skaters.

--Mary Brown Malouf

Treebeard's, Plaza of the Americas, 700 Pearl, 871-7477

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