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4 minutes | Jan 18, 2012
Lunch with a Legacy at K-Paul's
Run a restaurant for a few decades and you'll see some ideas come and go. After a while, you might even see some ideas come back. That's how lunch service returned to K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen back in 2009 just in time for the famous restaurant's 30th anniversary that year. From just a few days a week initially, this lunch service has expanded to five days and to me it's become one of the great, unheralded spots for a midday meal in the French Quarter.
4 minutes | Jan 11, 2012
Mid-City's Cuban Connection
As turkeys were prepared in countless New Orleans kitchens this past holiday season, in the Cuban kitchen at the back of the Mid-City corner grocery Regla Store, attention turned to roasted pork legs. With the shape and approximate size of bagpipes, weighing 20-some-odd-pounds on the bone, these pork legs are the traditional centerpieces for some local Cuban families at holiday gatherings and even at parties for football games so momentous they call for their own home feasts.
4 minutes | Jan 4, 2012
The Road to Redemption
As word got around last year that a new restaurant called Redemption would open at the Mid-City address that had for so long been Christian's, it naturally kindled expectations, and even specific food cravings. Christian's was one of the few major restaurants that didn't return after Hurricane Katrina, and its setting, inside a century-old church, gave it an ambiance like nowhere else in town. But Redemption is no Christian's replica, nor did its owners intend it to be.
4 minutes | Dec 28, 2011
Restaurant Year in Review
If you couldn't find someplace new and different to eat around New Orleans in 2011 it's probably your own fault. Certainly, our chefs and restaurateurs did their part this year to bring new options, new flavors and whole new concepts to the scene, and if you had a highly-specific craving in mind when setting out to sample them that was all the better.
4 minutes | Dec 21, 2011
In Synch with the Season at Irish House
You might expect meatloaf at a pub, and the way things are going with the gastropub trend these days you might even expect a few high-brow touches along with it. Still, I wasn't initially expecting one made of heritage cattle from a family-run ranch in New Iberia, nor that it would be slathered with foie gras butter, balanced on fried walnut bread, and served at the Irish House bar by the same guy who just took the two minutes necessary to properly draw off my Guinness pint.
4 minutes | Dec 7, 2011
South by Southeast Louisiana at High Hat Cafe
It's the dishes with a bit of a drawl that jump off the menu at High Hat Cafe - the Delta-style tamales napped neatly in their cornhusks, a pimento cheese plate, homey sides of beans and greens and the restaurant's centerpiece, fried catfish with hushpuppies, a dish that's practically the fish and chips of cotton country. But before you get the idea that High Hat is a Southern outpost in this Creole city, you have to try the gumbo and the shrimp remoulade, because High Hat is a hybrid.
3 minutes | Nov 30, 2011
Unpeeling the Season with Satsumas
If you find yourself at a festival this weekend that features an orange peeling contest one day and a shrimp peeling contest the next, you know you must be in Plaquemines Parish. Specifically, that would be the Plaquemines Parish Fair and Orange Festival, where locals gather to party and to celebrate the harvests of this exceptionally productive parish.
4 minutes | Nov 23, 2011
Farm to Holiday Table
The Thanksgiving table is set with more than food. It's set with lore, tradition and symbolism, and the dishes we bring to the holiday table often have stories behind them too, from heirloom recipes to this or that peculiar item that could be one family's holiday necessity. These days it's increasing likely that many of these stories will be told with distinctly local accents.
4 minutes | Nov 16, 2011
Making Groceries, and a Difference
Walk the aisles of the New Orleans Food Cooperative's gleaming new grocery store in the Faubourg Marigny, and it seems there's something different to catch the eye on every shelf and in every bin, from rare and colorful heirloom produce varieties to specialty meats to bulk grains and seeds. It turns out, there's also a mission and a community purpose behind them too. The Food Co-Op marked the grand opening of its grocery just this month.
4 minutes | Nov 9, 2011
Stein's Deli, Den of the Sandwich Monster
Imagine the dubious scrutiny a native New Orleanian might bring to an oyster po-boy encountered in Atlanta or a muffuletta in San Francisco. That's how the Philadelphian approaches the cheese steak or roast pork sandwich outside of their natural habitat, how the Chicagoan looks at an Italian beef abroad and how a Northeasterner with a hoagie jones regards anything dubbed a sub. And yet they all line up eagerly when these specials are on the board at Stein's Deli & Market.
4 minutes | Nov 2, 2011
The Food-Minded Saints Fan
For players and coaches, a football game starts long before kickoff. The same holds true for the food-minded Saints fan. For such fans, it starts with choosing what to cook and devoting the hands-on work to ensure a victorious feast. It's really no wonder. Take the enthusiasm of the Who Dat Nation, add south Louisiana's endemic passion for food and the results are predictably over the top.
4 minutes | Oct 26, 2011
Contemporary Curry at Saffron NOLA
The flavors at Saffron NOLA are unmistakably Indian, yet this place ranges far from the usual curry house script, embracing local seafood and a worldly, contemporary cooking style. Countless restaurants have taken that approach with the influences and traditions of Italy or France. But by drawing from the robust, famously flavorful fundamentals of Indian cuisine, Saffron NOLA is charting a different path, and at this unconventional restaurant it's as delicious and polished as it is inventive.
4 minutes | Oct 12, 2011
Heritage by the Link at the Andouille Festival
There is noting remotely seasonal about andouille sausage. But there is no denying that the urge for andouille goes through the roof at this time of year, as summer weather slackens and the first whiff of Louisiana's fall and winter weather hangs in the air. The capital for andouille is LaPlace, and it's no coincidence that this time of year, with the seasons change, is when this riverside town hosts its annual Andouille Festival. It's this weekend, Oct. 14-16.
4 minutes | Oct 5, 2011
An Oktoberfest Relocated
This year, the Oktoberfest celebration from Deutsches Haus will be held in Kenner, and the different venue isn't the only change for the long-running autumn celebration.
4 minutes | Sep 28, 2011
The Power of Pastry
Pastries and bread evidently have a power that goes beyond the mere calories they carry. Anyway, that's the impression I got hanging around Maple Street Patisserie, where under some evocative, aromatic influence customers often start gushing to the counter help about the amber braids of challah bread from their youth, or the mystifyingly light croissants from their honeymoon in Paris or maybe even some Greek holiday cake they sampled on vacation and are desperate to find somewhere back home.
4 minutes | Sep 21, 2011
The Street Fare Derby
The roving spud masters known as At Fry Bar serve their gourmet garlic/ parmesan/rosemary fries at local art markets. The Peace Love & Sno-balls trailer whirls out a rainbow of syrup-soaked shaved ice at Audubon Park. A food truck called Geaux Plates parks outside Uptown bars with inventive sandwiches. And at second line parades, Linda Green serves yaka mein, that only-in-New Orleans, Asian/soul-hybrid soup. But this weekend they'll all be in one spot for the Street Fare Derby.
4 minutes | Sep 14, 2011
Plenty of Fish in the Sea at GW Fins
One of the thrills of sport fishing in the Gulf is the potential for a delicious surprise each time something takes your bait. Even when a skillful guide sticks you over a good spot for, say, red snapper or under a rig where amberjack are schooling, no one really knows just what from the vast inventory of Gulf fish you'll find on the hook until you reel it in. That's a little like the experience of dining at GW Fins, a high-end seafood restaurant in the French Quarter.
4 minutes | Sep 7, 2011
The Pick of the Bywater
You know regulars really treasure a particular restaurant when they begin protesting a menu change. In the case of Satsuma Cafe, that change was to nix fresh kale for a while when local farmers who grow that burly, vitamin-packed green cycled more summer crops through their beds. Customers expressed anguish when informed of the change at the cafe counter and a few shared their disappointment in notes on Satsuma's Facebook page. The common theme read something like this: "Nooooooo!!!!"
4 minutes | Aug 31, 2011
Restoration Row on Freret Street
Is it possible that the fastest way to neighborhood revitalization in New Orleans is through the stomach? That seems to be the story these days along the Freret Street commercial corridor, a historic but long-neglected and under-loved shopping district that has blossomed into the city's newest restaurant row.
4 minutes | Aug 24, 2011
When the Taste of Home Mattered Most
A restaurant meal is sometimes a convenience, and usually an indulgence. But after Katrina, dining out could also feel like an act of faith and an expression of solidarity with our neighbors and with the small business owners who struggled to bring these eateries back. That's precisely how it felt in early November 2005, just about two months after the storm, when the tiny Spanish restaurant Lola's reopened in Mid-City.
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