Mar 132018

The St. Patricks’ Day block party outside Tracey’s and Parasol’s on Sunday. ( file photo by Zach Brien, 2014)

Tracey’s Original Irish Channel Bar will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this week like it does every year—with the St. Patrick’s Day Block Party this Thursday (March 15), followed by the Irish Channel Parade on Saturday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day itself). Continue reading »

Mar 132018

The Smashburger restaurant on Magazine Street. (Robert Morris,

After months of negotiations with neighbors about seat counts and parking space, the owners of Superica restaurant have decided against moving into the Smashburger space on Magazine Street and are withdrawing their application before the City Planning Commission today, their representatives said. Continue reading »

Mar 062018

A rendering by Bell Architecture of the Framework building exterior on Magazine Street showing the central arcade leading to the courtyard in the rear. (via city of New Orleans)

A large new commercial development planned for a vacant lot on Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District will include a number of new businesses around a central courtyard, with a new wine bar from the owner of Tujague’s as the first announced tenant. Continue reading »

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Feb 272018

Étouffée, Gumbo, and Red Beans and Rice with Chops created by Eat NOLA Noir chefs (photo credit Erica M. Durousseau, co-founder of Eat NOLA Noir)

As Black History Month comes to a close and the concurrent, much-needed addition of a “Black Restaurant Week” winds down, I have pondered the lack of celebrated minority chefs in our little hamlet of Uptown New Orleans.

The discouraging results after searching memory, calling fellow habitual diners, and ultimately an internet hunt, is that in a city whose famed culinary prowess is shaped by its black cultural contributions, we don’t have nearly enough celebrated, household name, black chefs or black-owned restaurants, past or present.

Other than iconic Tremé Chef Leah Chase of Dooky Chase fame, what other black chef pops into the New Orleanians’ dining-centric mind? Continue reading »

Feb 222018

Three Local Black Chefs hit LOT 1701 for Eat NOLA Noir Restaurant Week

by Kristine Froeba

Eat NOLA Noir’s New Orleans Black Dining Week continues with its pop-up division—Pop-Up NOIR—in a continuation of its Black History Month celebration of local black culinary talent.

This Friday night (Feb. 23), three minority chefs are the feature at “Beats & Bites”, a fundraiser presented by Eat NOLA Noir in conjunction with the HBCU Material Culture Conference, a multi-cultural conference presented by Dillard and Tulane Universities. Continue reading »

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Feb 162018

Cherry Espresso Bar (via Facebook)

Cherry Espresso Bar, the coffee shop that opened nearly two years ago in a former firehouse on Laurel Street, now hopes to become a full service restaurant with alcohol sales, according to documents filed with the city. Continue reading »

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Feb 152018

A rendering of the exterior of the Subway sandwich shop planned for Magazine Street.
(image via city of New Orleans)

A Subway sandwich shop is seeking permission to become the latest fast-food operator on Magazine Street, with plans to open the corner of unit of a strip mall near Valence Street, city documents show. Continue reading »

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Feb 062018

Eat NOLA Noir shows off merchandise at their pop-up event at Backatown Coffee Parlour (Kerri Ebanks)

Story by Kerri Ebanks
Special to NOLA Messenger

Walking into Backatown Coffee Parlour while DJ Chinua is spinning Caribbean Funk vibes could make you feel a little guilty because you’re out on a weeknight, but when it’s carnival season, the word “guilt” is never mentioned. There’s more of a crowd than there would be on a typical weekday, and that’s all due to a pop-up event hosted by Eat NOLA Noir.

(l-r) Zella Palmer and Erica Durousseau, founders of Eat NOLA Noir (Kerri Ebanks)

Just in time for Black History Month, Eat NOLA Noir previewed New Orleans Black Dining Week last Wednesday (Jan. 31) at Backatown. The semi-annual event will begin Feb. 12 and last until Feb. 24. The organizers previewed what’s to come for the themed cuisine week, set to bring more exposure to Black-owned eateries in New Orleans through social exchange. Continue reading »

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Feb 042018

Breaux Mart King Cake (via Kristine Froeba)

My commentary is usually filtered through nostalgia—in this case, my fond memories of Mardi Gras. Two words sum that up: McKenzie’s and Doubloons.

Mardi Gras was fun, easy, laissez-faire, with no tattletales, no politics, no bead safe-spaces, and no King Cake scalping—yes, this is really a thing in 2018.

Why can’t we just enjoy the greatest free show on earth without government intervention, irate commentary, division, and scary cakes? Continue reading »

Feb 012018

The Smashburger restaurant is being planned for conversion into a new restaurant called Superica next year, developers say. (Robert Morris,

The Superica restaurant proposed to replace the Smashburger on Magazine Street has reduced its planned seating count, but will postpone its scheduled appearance before the City Planning Commission until later this month amid neighbors’ ongoing concerns. Continue reading »

Jan 302018

A rendering of the Chipotle proposed for 2801 Magazine Street. (via city of New Orleans)

Chipotle Mexican Grill has been officially cleared to make its debut in the city of New Orleans, following the unanimous approval of the City Council to open a location on Magazine Street in the Garden District. Continue reading »

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Jan 262018

King Cake Ice Cream, King Cake Cocktails, King Cake Macarons, a King Cake Festival and… King Cake Burgers?

NOLA chefs and bartenders have jumped on the King Cake bandwagon, and nothing is sacred. Locals—who are game for most anything—are documenting the King Cake craze with enthusiasm.

If Instagram excels at anything, it’s the cataloging of what we eat. And New Orleanians love to eat. From Twelfth Night onwards, NOLA eats King Cake. A lot of King Cake. Masses of King Cake. Everywhere. Dirty Coast is even selling a King Cake Consumption poster and King Cake T-shirt.

Dirty Coast King Cake Consumption Print from

Continue reading »

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Jan 122018

Saints Feasts, Playoffs, and homemade King Cake!

Gerald and Missy Young Duhon #saintscooking (via Missy Young Duhon’s Facebook Page)

Can we get a #WhoDat?
The Black and Gold are back in the playoffs, and locals are talking about more than just Kamara’s yardage. What’s cooking this Sunday is a hot topic as New Orleanians plan to watch the game from home. Viking’s fans can have their frozen chicken wings, brat dogs, and bagged chips, but the Ain’ts aren’t having it.

Saints fans have oiled the jambalaya pots, chilled the Abita, and connected the gas-line to the burner. Epiphany’s passing the week before the playoffs guarantees King Cakes are ordered—or better yet, about to be baked. Yes, it’s crawfish and King Cake season in NOLA. Continue reading »

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Jan 092018

The former Zara’s property at 2042 Prytania Street, following extensive renovations. (photographed in April 2017 by Google Maps)

The first proposed restriction on short-term rentals in New Orleans hit a snag Tuesday when city planners said it was likely to create more problems than it would solve, but the proposed rezoning of the former Zara’s property in the Lower Garden District that prompted the proposal is still pressing forward with negotiations. Continue reading »