New Orleans

June 27, 2014
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The one and only Café du Monde. All photos: © tablehopper.com.

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Fried bread with sea salt at Pêche.

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What a dish: beef tartare and fried oysters at Coquette.

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Shrimp and grits at La Petite Grocery.

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The muffuletta of my dreams at Cochon Butcher.

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The jaunty exterior of Commander’s Palace.

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Grasshoppers at Tujague’s.

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Our daily breakfast: crawfish bread!

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Too cute: red beans and rice (partying together, of course).

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Galactic at the storied Tipitina’s.

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Liuzza’s by the Track (otherwise known as Bloody Mary HQ).

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Just after the rain.

Ahhh, Jazz Fest. It was something that was on my sister’s bucket list for a while, and since my sister and I are cut from the same cloth, it was on my list for too long as well. She has a posse of friends who like to go to the fest, so it was a blast to have quality peeps to do it up with. Fortunately they were all experienced Burners as well, because Jazz Fest is not for the faint of heart. Well, at least how we did it. Only the strong survive.

I’ll share some Jazz Fest newbie tips we learned (some the hard way), but first, here are a few places where we had some memorable meals in between all the shows (I really needed to update my last New Orleans jetsetter, which dates back to 2008).

Pêche: before my sister’s late-night flight came in, I enjoyed a solo meal at the counter of Donald Link’s latest place in the Warehouse District—it was just 10 days old when I ate there. It’s dedicated to seafood, and if you speak French, you’ll already know this from the name (no, it’s not peche, like a peach). Sitting at a bar in New Orleans, well, you are never lonely. I had some excellent dining and drinking companions, including an inspiring older gentleman, Charlie from New York, who has been coming to Jazz Fest for 40 years, much respect.

Loved the long list of appetizers and bar snacks: I had some oysters, and the fried bread with sea salt. Oh, and the shrimp toast! It was so good that Charlie next to me ordered a second round, smart man. Some unique dishes were the canapé-like disks of golden beets topped with a tartare of gray tilefish with curry vinaigrette and Vietnamese shiso, and catfish with pickled greens and chile broth (so good). Next time I’ll go back with friends so we could order the whole fish coming out of the custom grill. Really appealing menu here.

Coquette: what a charmer in the Garden District, such a beautiful freestanding building, full of rich New Orleans atmosphere, with brick walls, old wood plank floors, and chandeliers. We sat upstairs at a round table, enjoying a shared feast of shaved foie gras and root vegetables, beef tartare and fried gulf oysters, chicken-fried sweetbreads, and soft-shell crab (a main dish, $28). Loved all the seasonal and local vegetables in the innovative dishes, and I’d love to come back to try chef Michael Stoltzfus’s tasting menu.

A highlight was their menu of after-dinner drinks, four in all, which were built for a night of after-partying, like The Best Part of Waking Up, made with cold-brew coffee, reposado tequila, walnut liqueur, and vanilla syrup. Wish more places made after-dinner drinks like this. Desserts also rocked—their version of milk chocolate mousse with peanut butter sorbet and salted caramel, oh yeah. Some quality cocktails and wines too.

La Pétite Grocery: we got rained out of the festival one day (it was pouring, just buckets) and opted to have lunch at this historic space, which dates back to the 1800s (it was converted into a restaurant in 2004). Chef Justin Devillier is known for his Gulf shrimp and grits with smoked bacon, and there’s no way you can pass up the blue crab beignets. Sis loved their Reuben special that day, with Two Run Farm pastrami, quality. Classic bistro atmosphere, with bent cane chairs, white tablecloths, and banquettes the color of deep cherry.

Cochon Butcher: this was the move for this muffuletta-loving girl. About 45 minutes before I needed to grab a cab to the airport, I called ahead and order a muffuletta to go—had my cab wait outside while I ran in to pick it up and pay for it, and then enjoyed one of the best muffulettas of my life on the plane at some point close to Texas. House-cured meats, killer olive salad, this sandwich is such a star (although I did have a local muffuletta connoisseur tell me their favorite is from FredRick’s in the CBD, noted!).

Commander’s Palace: so, we finally did the weekend jazz brunch here. And while the entire experience is pretty marvelous from an atmospheric standpoint, with the dining rooms full of happy guests enjoying their turtle soup and a jazz trio moving table to table, the meal itself knocked us out for the rest of the day. (My friend also knew someone in the kitchen, so they lovingly killed us with dessert.) You get three hefty courses for about $40 that mean buttery business, so don’t plan to move a lot afterward. But a grateful shout-out to the bourbon milk punch for getting me back into the game that morning.

When it’s late, and you need some quality tequila and a burger (isn’t that all the time?), Yo Mama’s in the Quarter will take care of you. They’re known for their peanut butter burger (weird, but it works, especially with bacon), late kitchen hours, and bonus points for the extremely saucy bathroom art, and yo mama jokes on your receipt.

If you want to do a fun little tablehop in the afternoon (what else where we gonna do on a rainy day), we started with Pimm’s Cups at Napoleon House (of course), walked over to Tujague’s (say “Two Jacks”) for grasshoppers (yes, where they were reportedly invented), and then we had to tuck into some beignets and chicory coffee at Café du Monde (note: the original French Market location is open 24 hours a day, mmmhmmm).

Bellocq: I ended up meandering over here for a drink (cobblers galore) after dinner at Pêche (it’s in the Hotel Modern). Damn nice bar staff; from the folks behind The Cure (the bar, not the band). Over-the-top swank décor, dense wall o’ quality spirits, and you gotta love that off-sale action (was able to bring home a bottle of bubbles for our hotel room).

Arnaud’s French 75 Bar: when it’s time for a civilized cocktail and not a lot of French Quarter ruckus, this is where you can sit back, enjoy a quality cocktail, admire the old-world atmosphere and antiques, and catch your breath. Ahhhh.

Bar Tonique: we had a good nightcap here—they serve straightforward craft cocktails minus a big show and mustaches. The scene was a bit rowdy and mixed and fun, although truth be told, I also felt a wee bit too old for the crowd.

Molly’s: frozen Irish coffees, what? This will sound good to you at some point, trust.

For the extra late-night (or wait, is that early morning?) dranks, we hit Chuck’s and Igor’s (which came with their own sideshow).

I always leave New Orleans with a list of places I failed to make it to, I guess it’s one of its many charms. Here are five spots that are (still) at the top of my current to-do list:

Char-grilled oysters at Drago’s.
The legendary fried chicken at Willie Mae’s Scotch House.
Étouffée at Annunciation.
Lunch at the Bon Ton Café.
Cocktails by the fabulous Abigail Gullo at SoBou.

Notes on Jazz Fest:
We managed to have some rainy weather the year we went, and let me tell you, you can’t go out to the Fairgrounds without some mud boots. We got lucky and found a shop that was selling boots (we literally got the last two pairs in our size), but now we know: don’t fly to Jazz Fest without mud boots. It was like Glastonbury, with mud almost to our knees in some spots. Actually the entire week we were there got kind of chilly. So much for sultry NOLA nights!

Crawfish bread is the best breakfast in the world. Well, it was more like brunch since it was what we’d eat immediately upon arrival at the Fairgrounds, which was usually around 11:30pm or noon. Quickly followed by Crawfish Monica, boudin balls in rémoulade, jambalaya, cochon de lait po’boys, and about 100 other things to make you love New Orleans, hard.

After a day of shows, before you head back to your hotel you have to saunter over to Liuzza’s by the Track for their Bloody Marys and a fun crowd hanging out in the streets, with impromptu music performances everywhere, yay. You could also start your day here too, because as we discovered this trip, more is more.

We took cabs to the Fairgrounds (they operate at a super-cheap flat rate) and took a public bus back to the Quarter and just walked to our hotel in the Warehouse District (buses are definitely the fastest way back—cabs were in short supply).

A lot of restaurants close earlier than you’d expect. We learned the pro move was to grab a bite at the end of the day after the Fairgrounds, and then plunk down for a disco nap before heading back out to midnight shows at Tipitina’s, The Blue Nile, Republic, and every other joint we hit up.

Thanks for the epic long week, New Orleans—you always send me home tired, hungover, and with a head (and heart) full of indelible impressions. No one has a community like yours—the city overflows with characters and hospitality and style. I sometimes can’t believe you’re part of America, with your refreshingly lawless ways and deeply soulful resonance. Keep up the good work. See you soon.

For more pictures, be sure to click here for my Flickr album.

February 26, 2008

When I was invited to attend the annual Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans in July of 2007, I was beyond thrilled. I hadn't been to New Orleans in years, and to visit the birthplace of the cocktail was like a trip to Mecca for me. Yeah, it was going to be hot and humid, but that's what sundresses and air conditioning are for.

Before I left, I asked some former Nawlins residents for recommendations, like Brenda Buenviaje of Brenda's and Jan Birnbaum of Epic. I barely made a dent in my lengthy list, but boy, did I try.

This trip was so moving, and downright bittersweet--most of the conference events were held in the ever-atmospheric French Quarter, which really gives you a weird semblance of normalcy, and that everything in the city is fine. No. It. Isn't. As soon as I took my first trolley ride up Canal Street, and a ride out to Mid-City, everything in my chest got tight.

You see entire first floors of office buildings that are boarded up, and residential streets with houses elevated, eerily vacant, and so many for sale. Countless homes still have those cryptic symbols that were spray-painted on their front doors that only the National Guard or recovery efforts could decipher. I couldn't believe how many people I saw still living out of their FEMA trailers. You still see the telltale water line on so many homes and buildings like some naughty child went around to thousands of homes and drew a big fat line across them. Each line is like a bleak horizon of sadness, measuring the amount of tears on each house. Still. Still. Still. It's like Katrina happened six months ago, but it didn't.

Ask people about "the storm," and everyone has a story to tell, each and every one heartbreaking. It just makes you want to hold people, hug them, make the hurt and suffering go away.

I had a chance to speak with chef-owner Donald Link of Cochon (many know him from his years here in San Francisco), and I also spoke with his staff at Herbsaint, his first restaurant. I was so touched with their tales of reopening Herbsaint. The story they told of cleaning up the restaurant, and the walk-in, after weeks of not being able to access it were harrowing to say the least. The hard-working folks at Herbsaint managed to reopen five weeks after Katrina, and they said you have no idea how powerful it was for them to be able to host guests at the restaurant, with white tablecloths, and nice stemware their customers were just thrilled to be in a restaurant, like it was the first time they ever ate in a nice establishment--they said the excitement was just palpable. Guests could pretend things were normal for a little while, at least for the time they were dining there.

My last morning in New Orleans, I was taken out to the Lower Ninth Ward by a friend and former resident who had a car. It was beyond haunting, like a ghost town that nature is slowly and steadily taking over, weeds climbing high, with people's clothes and personal effects blending in the soft soil. The backsides of houses were ripped open, spilling their guts, a jumble of destroyed furniture, torn curtains, broken dishes. Homes were picked up by the water, and then dropped off blocks away. The elements that remained steadfast were front stairs, now to nowhere, and a few brick houses. A school bus lies on its side like a carcass, cars nosedive under houses. It's now a neighborhood of chaos, none of it makes sense. It makes you feel sick. I am also posting a link here to some of my pictures so you can see--words sometimes aren't enough to accurately portray the awful.

One of the most important things we can do to help New Orleans in their efforts to rebuild is to support their local economy. Restaurants are trying to open, or staying closed, or closing, businesses are struggling each and every business that manages to open, or stay open, is a major victory. If you are at all considering a trip somewhere, I can't encourage you enough to visit New Orleans. You'd be able to afford it more than you might think.

I was blown away with the true Southern hospitality I encountered, the kindness, the helpfulness, the warmth. It really resonates. People call you sweetheart and darling and ma'am there (even if you should be "miss"). It's a beautiful, old, and mysterious city, with such interesting history, and character. This city is special, and unique, and we need to preserve it and appreciate it like the national treasure it is.

I haven't had a sense of local and regional cuisine like I did in New Orleans in a long, long time. The food there has such a sense of place; talk about terroir. The history runs deep--heck, it's not every day you meet a daughter of the woman who created Bananas Foster (be sure to visit Brennan's for the original!). At one of the Tales of the Cocktail events I attended about the history of New Orleans's regional cuisine, the irrepressible Poppy Tooker, the founder and leader of the NOLA Slow Food convivium, said, "Eat it to save it." So here's how I did my part in saving it. I ate. A lot.



Let's start with a visit to the ~NAPOLEON HOUSE~, known for their Pimm's Cup, which reinforces the timeless importance of a place having a good signature drink. It's one of the most atmospheric bars I've ever been in, with spinning fans, wood tables, old-school bartenders, and a dusky, intimate feeling--the building dates back to 1797. I would have a drink here every afternoon if I could. In fact, Dave Wondrich called it, "A New Orleans day spa." Some folks don't know they also serve one hell of a muffuletta (which I heard pronounced as "muff-ah-lot-a"), a ridiculously stacked (and warm) sesame-studded sandwich of Italian cold cuts, plus cheeses like provolone, and the famed chopped olive salad. I tried a bunch of these while I was in New Orleans; this was one of the best. You can even rent out the apartment upstairs, formerly the living quarters of Joe Impastato who bought the Napoleon House in 1914--his family runs it still. This place is pure class.

Napoleon House
500 Chartres St.
Cross: St. Louis
504-524-9752




Since we're on sandwiches, one of my passions, I also made the trek one day out to ~LIUZZA'S~ to try their Frenchuletta (they grill the meat while the French bread toasts)! This place was the picture of a neighborhood restaurant, with the same family running it for almost 30 years, and a great mix of folks hanging out in the cute vintage space that dates back to 1947. The sandwich was big, my schooner of Abita amber was ice cold, and the fried green tomatoes with crawfish remoulade, simply delish! Another amazing story: they were under six feet of water, but managed to renovate and reopen in July, a year after the storm. Good people, here.

Liuzza's
3636 Bienville St.
Cross: N. Telemachus
504-482-9120




A lot of people talk about ~MOTHER'S RESTAURANT~ in the Quarter for po' boys, good home cookin', and breakfast (served all day). I will say the incredible baked ham po' boy I brought to go on the flight home with me was the envy of the plane--so good with their Creole mustard. They are also famous for their "debris" sandwich of all the yummy bits that come off when you carve a roast, and the Ferdi special of ham AND roast beast. They did win for my favorite picture of the trip (seen here). If you have a chance, you should read their account of reopening after Katrina--they impressively managed to do so on October 15.

Mother's Restaurant
401 Poydras St.
Cross: Tchoupitoulas (say Chop-a-TOO-lis)
504-523-9656




My po' boy mission also included a trip to the much-adored ~PARKWAY BAKERY & TAVERN~ in Mid-City. Talk about a local hangout. I learned this place was pivotal in keeping people fed in the area after the storm, especially the throngs of construction workers, who were still ordering lunch when I was there in 2007. The famous hot roast beef with gravy po' boy here was as scrumptious as it was messy, ditto on the golden shrimp and oyster combo version (just ask for it 50/50), served on a Leidenheimer's roll, heaven with a few shakes of sauce picante (either local Crystal or Tabasco), plus Zapp's chips on the side, a Barq's longneck to drink, and Hubig's pie for dessert! Make the trek to eat here!

Parkway Bakery & Tavern
538 Hagan Ave.
Cross: Toulouse
504-482-3047





The smell upon entering ~COCHON~ was bliss: meat and oven. Come and get it! Clean industrial style, with brick walls and a concrete floor, plus wood slat chairs and booths that made me feel a little like a pig in my own (very happy) pen. We loved the spicy fried alligator ($10), fried boudin balls ($7), supple and creamy head cheese ($6) with house-made mustard, plus smoked ham hocks and grits ($16), and the namesake Louisiana cochon with cracklins ($18). Dessert was $6, if you can make it that far. I'm putting the prices in so you can see how affordable it is to dine well here. Loved, loved, loved. Co-owners and chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski kick (pork) butt.

Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St.
Cross: Andrew Higgins Drive
504-588-2123




One of my favorite evenings was dining at the bar at ~HERBSAINT~, Donald Link's first restaurant, which turned seven years old in October 2007. The menu was the picture of appetizing, with a stunning gumbo of the day with andouille and a touch of brandy, braised beef shortribs on a crispy potato cake, house-made spaghetti (!) with crispy guanciale and a fried-poached farm egg, and remarkable jumbo shrimp from Dino the shrimper, whose motto is "If it swims in the water, place yer order!" (I think I love Dino), served with scallion spoonbread and roasted corn salad. Oh, and the dirty rice is Link's family's rice. Don't miss some absinthe service at the end of dinner, natch. Killer cocktails, classy wine list, too.

Herbsaint
701 Saint Charles Ave.
Cross: Girod
504-524-4114




What on earth were we thinking? We weren't. ~MANDINA'S RESTAURANT~ took us down. We got excited. This is what happens when you have a legit Creole-Italian menu, full of things to order like turtle soup (be sure to request a light pour on the sherry), seafood gumbo, crab fingers in wine sauce (read: a ton of butter), a half and half (oyster and shrimp) loaf (a po' boy), and fried chicken with onion rings. Ouch! This honest family joint dates back to 1932, and as it says on the website, "There was a concern that Mandina's wouldn't come back after the storm. [Fourth-generation owner] Cindy Mandina insisted on it. 'It was a financial risk, but I had to reinvest in my city.'" The pictures on their site of the post-storm damage are intense to say the least (be sure to slide your cursor over them).

Mandina's Restaurant
3800 Canal St.
Cross: N. Cortez
504-482-9179




After killing myself at Mandina's, I experienced a first: I was too ill to eat dinner. Seriously. I sat at the table, but upon my first bite, both liver and stomach said, "Hells no!" All I could bear was to sip soda and bitters while my dinner pals ate--we called it DBP (Dining By Proxy). Big shame, because chef-owner John Harris's ~LILETTE~ in Uptown was darling--a former drugstore, with tiled floors, a painted tin ceiling, rust-colored walls, creamy booths with black piping, a jazzy/bluesy soundtrack, all in a neighborhood that exuded pure Southern charm--cicadas included. Here's what the table raved about: marrow toasts with mushrooms and veal glace ($9.50), cool corn soup with avocado and crab, gnocchi with sage brown butter ($8.50), and a roasted poulet breast ($21). Licorice ice cream for dessert was brilliant. Charmed, you will be.

Lilette
3637 Magazine St.
Cross: Napoleon St.
504-895-1636




How can a place this famous, and this overloaded with tourists, still remain so cool? I treasured my breakfast at ~CAFÉ DU MONDE~ of wondrous eggy and spongy beignets in a pile of powdered sugar and my chicory coffee au lait (with half and half and hot milk), so creamy you don't need sugar. You will end up with powdered sugar on you, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, as if you were partying up late with Pablo Escobar. Adored the vintage 50s-era chairs in olive drab with chrome legs, the jazz trumpeter playing over the hubbub of people, the cheerful green and white striped awning… you can take it all in for $1.59 for three beignets, and $1.59 for coffee ($2.73 for an iced one). Open 24 hours!

Café du Monde
800 Decatur St.
Cross: St. Anne
504-525-4544




I also adored my croissant at ~CROISSANT D'OR PATISSERIE~. Charming place. The croissant, was quite legit. Buttery goodness. And warm, yay! Check out the old separate entrance for ladies, what a trip.

Croissant D'Or Patisserie
617 Ursulines St.
Cross: Chartres St.
504-524-4663




Sometimes you need a dark, cool, shady hideout, especially the day after, when you require some sustenance, but no sunlight--yet. ~COOP'S PLACE~ totally hooked me up one afternoon--it's a divey little bar complete with pool table and Ozzy the lazy brindle bulldog sacked out on the brick floor. It's all about their spicy rabbit and smoked pork sausage jambalaya. Of course I made mine "supreme," with crawfish, shrimp, and house-made tasso (smoked Cajun ham). $9.25, done. Oh, and a salad with thick house-made green goddess dressing with a little kick from their house pepper blend. And naturally, a cold Abita. Loved this place--the bar means business (complete with menacing signs like "Be Nice or Bleed"), and the food means business too, with the local scene here tucking into fried fish, jambalaya, po' boys, whatever makes you feel better. Open late too.

Coop's Place
1109 Decatur St.
Cross: Ursuline St.
504-525-9053




My final send-off meal (thank god, because after five days I was going to keel over) was brunch at ~ELIZABETH'S RESTAURANT~ a down-home little joint with a bit of a hippie vibe. It's just a tiny bit in the outskirts, in the Bywater. And famous for their praline bacon (as good as it sounds, oh yes), callas (an obscure type of beignet made here with rice flour, waffle mix, nutmeg, cinnamon, and powdered sugar), grillades and grits (steak and a tasty gravy with peppers and celery), and all kinds of things covered in hollandaise and cheese. As they say, "Real Food Done Real Good." Uh huh.

Elizabeth's Restaurant
601 Gallier St.
Cross: Chartres St.
504-944-9272



A big thank you to Harrah's New Orleans for generously hosting me as a media guest at their hotel on this trip--and they had one of the nicest doormen I've ever met.

Some great places for drinks:

Alan, the bar maestro who was presiding over the tiny bar at ~IRIS~ restaurant set me up with a memorable cocktail of cilantro-infused triple sec, tequila, and watermelon, with chopped cilantro and a salt rim, yum, more please! All kinds of unique and refreshing culinary cocktails here, like kaffir-cayenne limeade, and a blood orange and basil martini. The menu looked good for dinner too--a sweet little space.

Don't miss some of the expertly made cocktails at the ~SWIZZLE STICK BAR AT CAFÉ ADELAIDE~. The huge block of ice behind the bar says it all. (I also had a wicked brunch here, blue crab scrambled eggs with oyster mushrooms and leeks, with buttered brioche toast and Brie fondue, yes, it knocked me out, and I can't blame it on the eye-opener of brandied rum milk punch, good morning!)

I enjoyed the gentleman's club atmosphere of ~THE BOMBAY CLUB~--the drinks were fine, it was more about having a nice place to relax, tucked away in the Prince Conti Hotel.

Here's an extensive list of places to drink in NOLA from Difford's.

A few things to know:

Most of the clocks run slow in New Orleans. Hotels can even miss your wake-up call.

Po' boys get their name from the 1927 streetcar strike, when Martin's Grocers wanted to offer free meals for the "poor boys" who were striking. The owner sat down with the baker to determine what would be the correct size to feed a family. Hence the huge size of po' boy sandwiches. If you order one "dressed," that means yes on mayo, lettuce, and tomato. Oh, and no giggles when you hear mayonnaise pronounced "my-on-ezz."

There is a strong Italian population and presence here, partly because it was the second port for immigrants besides Ellis Island back in the day (that's what I was told--guess who hasn't fact-checked this!). A muffuletta sandwich is a perfect example of the Creole-Italian style of cuisine that has developed here. Genius, that sandwich.

In the summer, thunderstorms and crazy rain can come out of nowhere--total downpours. Carry a small umbrella in your bag if you want to be prepared.



Next time:

~A muffuletta from Central Grocery, the reputed home of the darned thing--I tried to go once but the lines were long and my time was short. (Vegetarians: you can get one with just olive salad and cheese!)
~Have a Café Brulot at Arnaud's French 75 Bar
~Visit the Crescent City Farmers' Market
~Oysters Rockefeller at Antoine's--the oldest continuing restaurant in the US, with six generations of the same family running it since 1840, and many waiters have been there for forty years.
~Café Freret (I had a bite of their muffuletta, I think it was the best!)
~Bayona for Susan Spicer's acclaimed cuisine
~Restaurant August, a high-end resto from John Besh
~Lüke, a brasserie from John Besh
~Peristyle--Tom Wolfe's casual yet classy Creole outpost
~Brigtsen's--James Beard award-winning chef, restaurant is in a cool old shotgun house way uptown
~Li'l Dizzy's for gumbo and authentic southern cooking
~Cafe Rani on Magazine for some healthy eating (shocking!)
~Bon Ton Cafe for their combo fried crawfish and catfish with remoulade dipping sauce, and crawfish etouffée
~Johnny's PO-Boys for classic po' boys
~Domilise Sandwich Shop & Bar for famed po' boys--everyone has their favorite place!
~Casamento's for oyster loaf
~Surrey's Juice Bar for breakfast--healthy stuff too!
~Galatoire's, a classic since 1905--to order: pommes soufflé, crabmeat maison, broiled pompano with crab on top
~Camellia Grill--a popular landmark diner dating back to 1946, reopened in 2007
~R&O's in Bucktown for a ham, roast beef, and turkey po' boy (a Donald Link favorite)--216 Metairie Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 504-831-1248

Music/bars:
dba bar
Spotted Cat
Vaughn's
Saturn Bar in Bywater
Snug Harbor
Maple Leaf Bar
Tipitina's
Tujague's

How to help:

Donate/volunteer/help with their wish list: commongroundrelief.org/

Contribute to Slow Food's Terra Madre Katrina Relief Fund to Benefit Gulf Region Food Producers: slowfoodusa.org/katrina_relief.html

Support the New Orleans Food & Farm Network, helping to provide access to fresh food to neighborhoods: noffn.org/

Become a member: museumoftheamericancocktail.org

Book a trip: neworleansonline.com

Go to Jazz Fest (April 25-May 4) or Tales of the Cocktail (July 16-20)

Read 1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina by Chris Rose

More thoughts, and quotes:

You know it's time to stop eating when the waitress at Mandina's says she's impressed.

I overheard people talking about the evacuation while sitting at a bar, "Really, it only took you four hours?"

"It can be sweet, but sometimes you hit some minty pockets." -Camper English on the Starfish Cooler, the official cocktail of Tales of the Cocktail, 2007

"Without the cocktail, how would we have jazz?" -Ti Martin

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