Feb 052016
 
Ignatius Eatery Alligator Sausage & Peppers Poboy, Cochon de Lait with Jalapeño Cole Slaw Poboy, and Chicken & Sausage Gumbo (Kristine Froeba)

Ignatius Eatery’s Alligator Sausage & Peppers Poboy, Cochon de Lait with Jalapeño Cole Slaw Poboy, and Chicken & Sausage Gumbo (Kristine Froeba)

Kristine Froeba

Kristine Froeba

While New Orleans’ unique culinary history is well known, its influx of new restaurants can be dizzying. Many of the newer restaurants provide an homage to traditional New Orleans culinary dishes, many do not. The choices are endless. On Magazine Street alone, we can chose from African, Mayan, Japanese, Chinese, Caribbean, Italian, Israeli, Lebanese, Indian, Mexican, Korean, French, Vietnamese, and Thai. Gourmet Hotdogs, Elk Burgers, Gluten-Free, Sweet Potato Pancakes and Vegetarian, co-exist with Paleo.

So, where do locals go for local food? Where do we take our never-ending houseguests for an authentic, inexpensive, casual Creole New Orleans meal? Where do I find my New Orleans traditional wash-day Red Beans & Rice?

Lately, I find myself returning to the following three. Continue reading »

Feb 042016
 
Sarah Slamen works at the Bernie Sanders campaign headquarters. (Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Sarah Slamen works at the Bernie Sanders campaign headquarters. (Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

With Tuesday’s surprising Iowa caucus results and attention now turning to New Hampshire, New Orleans voters are beginning to focus on Louisiana’s March 5th presidential primary. Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have made fundraising stops in the region. Sen. Bernie Sanders has opened a campaign headquarters in Metairie. While Congressman Cedric Richmond and state Democratic Party chair Karen Carter Peterson are currently leading Hillary Clinton’s outreach efforts, Louisiana chairs have been named for Trump, Rubio and Kasich. Continue reading »

Feb 032016
 
Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

Prologue: Once upon a crisp and sunny New Orleans Sunday in January 2015, the six-fold brood of my wife and kids found ourselves at a children’s backyard birthday party Uptown–a relatively ordinary scenario for any weekend, really. Until, through some trampoline netting and just the other side of a jungle gym, I spied an unexpected theatrical ruckus erupting, composed of overdramatized yelling and exaggerated grunting paired with kinetic flashes of thrown elbows, flying colors of booted feet, and the like.

Men and women dressed in wrestling masks, tights, and even some capes in the adjacent lot separate from festivities furiously faux fighting along to a foreign soundtrack, ebbing and flowing between this and orchestrated dance.  I stopped, and dumbfounded, I pointed meekly in their direction.  Quizzically, I uttered just above a whisper “What is that?”
Continue reading »

Jan 292016
 
Domilise's Roast Beef Poboy (Kristine Froeba)

Domilise’s Roast Beef Poboy (Kristine Froeba)

Kristine Froeba

Kristine Froeba

It wasn’t long ago that every Uptown house was within walking distance of a Roast Beef Poboy. Only twenty years ago, almost every second corner had a grocery or bar with a sandwich shop in the back. You can still see their architectural remains Uptown. The historic corner houses with double doors facing the intersection are vestiges of that simpler time. A select few of these locations continue to operate. Clancy’s the restaurant was once old man Clancy’s Bar and Poboy Shop. I rode my bike there to buy candy. Norby’s bar and restaurant has become Patois. An apartment two blocks down was formerly LaCour’s Grocery. In another direction was Mouledous’ Butcher and Grocery, now Fresh Bar. Toast now occupies the defunct Draube’s neighborhood Bar and Grocer. These establishments coexisted with dozen of others in the same few blocks. Most served poboys. Due to gentrification and time, most are now lost. Continue reading »

Jan 282016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Though the April elections are still months away, Mayor Landrieu brought his pitch for additional taxes to hire 400 new police officers and fund millions owed firefighters to the often skeptical Bureau of Governmental Relations yesterday. Before getting to the money ask, Landrieu spun his story of accomplishments, just in case BGR members “hadn’t been paying attention” the last six years. He also explained that with only 831 days left in his term – he counts every day – he wants to go faster rather than slower, do more rather than less. Continue reading »

Jan 272016
 
Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

 

“Keep it between the ditches.” So often the parting phrase between folks out in the country and words to live by, no matter the context really. And though born of a more rural and how-to-drive nature, the sentiment echoes truth, even when it comes to how one may want to navigate another carnival season. Keep moving forward and avoid pitfalls. To wit, please embrace the following 10 points to aid in your Mardi Gras journeys this year. Continue reading »

Jan 252016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

In March of 2015, Irvin Mayfield was downright cocky. He had recently opened the New Orleans Jazz Market, a home venue for his New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO).

In an interview with Jennifer Odell of Offbeat, he painted a picture colored with lofty notions and ideals. Waxing poetic, Mayfield boasted that “[o]ur work is about conveying truth, love and beauty.” Continue reading »

Jan 222016
 
Sucre' Ziggy Stardust Cream Cheese King Cake* Kristine Froeba)

Sucré’s Ziggy Stardust Cream Cheese King Cake (Kristine Froeba)

It’s that time of the year again. You’ve probably already had one.

Kristine Froeba

Kristine Froeba

If not, you’re planning on buying two. But which King Cake will it be? Things have changed since McKenzie’s Bakery held sovereignty over King Cake’s court. Before the year 2000, New Orleanians chose between the small round King Cake or the large oval classroom size. There was no question of which “type” of King Cake. King Cake was, simply, King Cake. The cake was plain, akin to French bread, narrow, no filling, barely sweet, but covered with colored sugar crystals. Earliest memories of King Cake for most New Orleanians are King Cake parties in grammar school. The teacher bringing a sugary chunk of cake to your desk. Green, Gold, and Purple sugar all over your uniform. Terrified you’d get the baby. Hoping you’d get the baby. If you lost, or won, depending on how you saw it, your mother would be delivering the next King Cake to class. Somehow, I always got the baby.

Today’s King Cake market is wildly different. The rules are—there are no rules. Continue reading »

Jan 212016
 

Whether we live Uptown, in Uruguay or Uzbekistan, we are all impacted by oil and the global economy. Though many sectors of New Orleans economy like real estate and technology are prospering, the war in the Middle East and its related immigration crisis, China’s economic slowdown, the broad impact of the continuing drop in oil prices coupled with new state and local taxes on the horizon could squeeze many lower and middle class New Orleanians in 2016. Continue reading »

Jan 202016
 
Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

A lifetime ago, I worked as a counter server slinging lattes at PJ’s on Maple St. I was a punk 19 year-old kid that found a fun group to grow in, my co-workers a lot like family—many of whom are still today only an email away or closer. We had a shorthand as close compatriots often do and inside jokes too of course.

We’d often go out together, drinking, catching a show. But none of us, not one of us, really, truly dug Motorhead—at least not enough to go to see them play live.  But we had a little fabricated vignette we would trot out periodically specifically about Lemmy. And that was, if only he’d do a set in one of our living rooms while we sat couchside, then, yes, we’d go. That was over 20 years ago, and damn if I don’t regret never having seen Motorhead now. Continue reading »

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Jan 152016
 
Kristine Froeba

Kristine Froeba

New Orleanians love international food and Mexican food is no exception. However, Uptowners crave the authentic, we are not a crowd clamoring for a Chimichanga. Tex-Mex also doesn’t cut it. Two new restaurants on Magazine are satisfying Uptown’s need for fresh authentic Mexican Cuisine.
Continue reading »

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Jan 142016
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

As Baton Rouge area residents listen President Obama’s remarks on Medicaid expansion today, we can’t help but think how strange our politics are getting. Governor Jon Bel Edwards can’t get his choice for speaker elected but at least St. Rep Walt Leger gets the consolation prize of Pro Tem. The next day Governor Edwards signs an Executive Order expanding Medicaid for a couple hundred thousand Louisiana residents who cannot afford health insurance, which made the President want to visit here this week. Who else noticed that Congressman Cedric Richmond was with the President on Air Force One? Continue reading »

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Jan 132016
 
Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

Paul Simon recently let the cat out of the bag. He will appear at this year’s JazzFest, but otherwise, historically performers stay hush hush regarding their participation until festival organizer’s reveal the line up en masse.  And that usually happens right about now.  As such, the wild hair of getting back on that prognostication horse has tempted me yet again.

And through divination, conjurings, and tea leaf readings—but mostly looking at existing, published tour schedules—I submit the following 10 predictions. Consider Mr. Simon lagniappe that you may or may not have already known.

Continue reading »

Jan 112016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

We’ve long come to expect bizarrely poor public transit in New Orleans. Nothing runs on time, streetcars are useless following a modest fender-bender, and virtually half of bus service still hasn’t been restored after Katrina.

Meanwhile, tourist lines soak up the lion’s share of capital dollars while residents who live paycheck-to-paycheck wonder whether they’ll actually be able to get to work the next day. In short, transit is a basket case.

In the midst of all of this inefficient blundering, one would at least expect that RTA could get one thing right – using technology. Continue reading »

Jan 082016
 
(Courtesy of Lynne Hempe)

(Courtesy of Lynne Hempe)

 

On a sleepy stretch of Millaudon St. in the Black Pearl, barely out of the shadow of Loyola’s Law School, rests an unassuming sky blue two-story home with a handsome vegetable patch of a front yard, also known as the Sunshine School. A daycare during the week, once a year this coming Saturday morning from 10 to noon, the garden will host the school’s Farmer’s Market and sell homegrown veggies, baked goods, and small plants that Lynne Hempe and her students have propagated. All of the proceeds will be donated to charity. As a father of one of Ms. Lynne’s preschoolers, a story about this now annual boutique event and her squad are frankly too good to pass.

Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

As bleary-eyed returnee parents seeking childcare for our two oldest in the still drying out terrain of the Crescent City, my wife and I first met Ms. Lynne at CDP (Child Development Program on Claiborne Ave) 10 years ago and have had the privilege of having all four of our children spend their preschool experience with her. Reflecting on this recently, and being reminded of the 2016 market, I wanted to share a little insight to her world and the contributions she makes to our community. So we did a little Q & A:

Continue reading »

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Jan 082016
 

Craft Cocktails, Boutique Wine Pours, & Southern Comfort with Style!

Red Dog Diner’s Roasted Duck Waffle with Duck Crackling, Slaw, and Five Spice Maple Syrup (Kristine Froeba)

Kristine Froeba

Kristine Froeba

Red Dog Diner opened only two months ago, but they are making their mark with the breakfast and brunch crowd. The “Kitchen Sink Bloody Mary” lists “everything in the kitchen sink. Tell ya mom an Dem!” They aren’t kidding.

“Everything fresh and made from scratch” isn’t a bad way to start. Another unique attribute is that Red Dog plans to serve brunch seven days a week until 2 p.m. Currently, it’s Tuesday through Saturday. New Orleanians love breakfast, and long lines at most Uptown breakfast spots attest to that. Unlike most of those other favorite breakfast spots, Red Dog also serves dinner. Continue reading »

Jan 072016
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

When the New Orleans City Council chose to honor retiring Criminal Court Judge Frank Marullo today, they did so because “we owe (him) a continuous debt of gratitude and appreciation…for his commitment and dedication.” Having first taken the bench in September, 1974 and continuously being reelected for forty years, we don’t believe any other elected official in Louisiana can make that longevity claim. Continue reading »

Jan 042016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

It is often said that prefacing bad news with good news helps soften the blow. We have now cross the threshold into 2016, which seems to be giving New Orleans equal parts of each. Thus, at the risk of sounding trite, I have some good news, and some bad news. Continue reading »

Dec 312015
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s visit to the Gulf Coast on Saturday night will help put Louisiana’s March presidential primary into focus for many voters in our region. Trump has done an excellent job of galvanizing voters nationally who have felt disenfranchised and underappreciated over the years. He is taking advantage of their obvious anger, frustration and fear. Continue reading »

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