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 »

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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Nov 222017

Creole Dressing, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Rice, or Macaroni?

150 year old family Creole Oyster Dressing, the recipe is below and it’s good! Shrimp and Ham Stuffed Mirlitons share the table in a cast iron skillet. (Kristine Froeba)

The countdown to a New Orleans Thanksgiving dinner has begun. The old guard, as we know, still serves Oyster Dressing along with their roast turkey. However, an influx of newcomers might be changing the local menu.

What goes with your New Orleans Turkey?

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Oct 132017

Oktoberfesters in Alpine hats and Lederhosen (Photo by Katherine Kimball)

Oktoberfest and the Oompa band have finally returned to New Orleans proper. What could be more fitting for a New Orleanian than Bratwurst and beer on the bayou?
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Aug 182017

Rosa Mezcal Apache, Mezcaleros, and Notenos Tacos (Kristine Froeba)

Magazine Street winds itself along the river down the center of old New Orleans from the French Quarter to Audubon Park.

It’s our Main Street. It is also our restaurant row.

Along its corridor, diners can explore our unique local culinary styles and culture, and experience both regional and international food.

What makes this plethora of restaurants unique is their individuality. Each is a small business with a chef, a menu and a soul. Our restaurants, big and small, represent the histories, tastes, and dreams of the owners and chefs. Continue reading »

Jun 172017

The Victorian coffeehouse on Nashville and Magazine Street predates the nearby chains by over twenty-five years. Café Luna is more than a neighborhood hangout; it’s become an Uptown fixture. Well known for its hip vibe, superior coffee, and Eastlake corner porch, it’s also a restaurant.

Strawberry Peach Muffins (Kristine Froeba)

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Jun 092017

“Eating a good creole tomato is just like eating a strawberry.” – Uber Driver

(via Creole Tomato Festival)

They’re here: back-road vegetable stand tables and farmer’s markets laden with baskets of huge red homegrown tomatoes. Some might say that the Creole Tomato is a season unto itself in Louisiana. I guess we can add it to parade season, crawfish season, and football season. But, then again, New Orleans has always had its own way of telling time. Continue reading »

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Apr 072017

CrawFest 2011 at Tulane University (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Good Friday and Easter Sunday for some may involve church, bonnets, and chocolate bunnies, but in Louisiana it also usually includes a good old-fashioned Crawfish Boil.

Hams and pork loins will be studded, glazed, and stuffed, awaiting Uptown ovens. Bundt cakes baked, brownies cut, and eggs dyed. Someone’s great-aunt will lobby to bring the macaroni and cheese, while another tries to control the dinner menu (this is why they invented wine). Continue reading »

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Mar 032017

Twice-Baked French Toast with Berry Compote, Whipped Cream and Maple Syrup (Kristine Froeba)

Mid-City’s successful Gracious Bakery has opened a second full-service location, Gracious on the Avenue. Pastry Chef Megan Forman has brought her pastries, brunch, and luncheon selections Uptown—the Garden District to be exact.

Uptown is always ready for a new breakfast spot. Continue reading »

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Nov 112016
Avocado Toast on Grilled Bread with Watermelon Relish and Calabrian Chili Salt; Pan Seared Fish in Carrot-Ginger Emulsion with Watermelon Relish and Mustard greens (Kristine Froeba)

Avocado Toast on Grilled Bread with Watermelon Relish and Calabrian Chili Salt; Pan Seared Fish in Carrot-Ginger Emulsion with Watermelon Relish and Mustard Greens. (Kristine Froeba)

Bar Frances and its sleek, modern building has replaced what was once the location of Frank’s Steakhouse. The Freret of our parents’ day—Long’s Bakery, Israel Delicatessen, and Canal Villere—has given way to the new Freret Street Corridor. We have Stacy Head to thank for the Freret renaissance. What was once a dilapidated abandoned street is now a thriving neighborhood and an established restaurant row of sorts.

Bar Frances is the latest addition to the growing area. The New American-styled restaurant and wine bar arrived on Freret only six months ago yet has become a firm favorite, serving an elegant European-inspired menu featuring classically refined cocktails, craft beer, and a French wine list. Continue reading »

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Oct 142016
Matt Eckenhoff enjoying a German feast of Schnitzel, Bratwurst, German Pototo Salad, Braised Red Cabbage, Sauerkraut, and Lager. (Kristine Froeba)

Matt Eckenhoff enjoying a German feast of Schnitzel, Bratwurst, German Pototo Salad, Braised Red Cabbage, Sauerkraut, and Lager. (Kristine Froeba)

The Germans settled the German Coast of Louisiana or Bayou Des Allemands, as it became known in the 1730s. The majority of New Orleans’ German immigrants arrived en masse in the early to mid-1800s. Those Germans settled in the City of Lafayette, now part of the lower garden district. St. Mary’s Assumption Catholic Church, built right across the street from St. Alphonsus Catholic Church and around the corner from Catholic Notre Dame de Bon Secour Church tells the tale of a spirited New Orleans immigrant community that insisted on the continued worship in their native traditions and languages.

As we all know, New Orleans are indeed a spirited and spirit laden lot. We not only cherish and keep our traditions, we celebrate them like no other. Ergo, it’s October in New Orleans, and that means Oktoberfest. Continue reading »

Oct 072016
Surrey's Costa Rican Breakfast (Kristine Froeba)

Surrey’s Costa Rican Breakfast (Kristine Froeba)

One of the go-to Magazine breakfast spots continues to serve fresh, unique, and healthy choices. Surrey’s is one of those rare places where the health-conscious can order vegan tofu, black beans, and fresh squeezed juices, while their other half enjoys a Montana breakfast platter of Eggs, Ham, Bacon, Sausage, Country Gravy, and butter-laden Biscuits. There is more than enough variety to indulge one’s sweet tooth while friends concentrate on the savory side of the menu. Sadly, the house juice-blend of grapefruit, orange with fresh ginger has been MIA from the menu for over six months. Continue reading »

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Sep 302016

The renewed post-Katrina CBD is a hotbed of new restaurant concepts. One of the most popular is Willa Jean, located in the heart of the new South Market area. If you haven’t been, it’s time. Frankly, if you haven’t ventured out of Uptown, it’s time to explore the CBD restaurant scene. The days of wandering Poydras in search of a meal, any meal, are long gone. The CBD is now host to dozens of new and upcoming chefs and menus. Open for just a little over a year, Willa Jean is the current star.

Bear Claw Pastries (Kristine Froeba)

Bear Claw Pastries (Kristine Froeba)

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Sep 092016

Italian cuisine has arrived in the Lower Garden District, albeit tucked beneath an unlikely package. The Italian-American Trattoria is housed on the first floor of the historic Harris-Maginnis House, the antebellum boutique hotel currently known as the Magnolia Mansion. The location is an irresistible combination of soaring Corinthian columns, ancient oaks towering over equally ancient iron gates, craft cocktails, a piano bar, “Mack the Knife” wafting through the air, and the perfect Osso Bucco.

Spiedini Mozzarella, pan-fried thick house bread topped with Mozzarella with an Anchovy-Lemon Caper Sauce, the way Frank Sinatra ordered it (Kristine Froeba)

Spiedini Mozzarella, pan-fried thick house bread topped with Mozzarella with an Anchovy-Lemon Caper Sauce, the way Frank Sinatra ordered it (Kristine Froeba)

The signature appetizer is Spiedini Mozzarella, served with authentic Rat Pack origins. Chef Sonny DeCrescenzi or “Sonny D”, as he was known, was the originator of the dish. Continue reading »

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Aug 262016

The Petrossi family behind the bar at Charlie’s Steak House, later 1940s (via Charlie’s Steak House)

Charlie’s Steak House is many things. There’s the menu, or lack thereof, the history, and then, there’re the anecdotes. It’s an old school New Orleans restaurant of the neighborhood variety. It’s a tad “Goodfellas”, in the best way; its Italian origins are everywhere. It’s a place where local’s grandparents drank highballs and chain smoked between courses. Of course, it’s not an Italian restaurant; it’s a Steak House. The Original New Orleans Steak House.

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