Mar 082019
 

Shrimp & Grits, Gumbo, Poboys, & Snoballs

The up-and-coming Faubourg Lafayette is the location of Café Porche & Snowbar which opened last year on Baronne Street. You may have to look twice for the red umbrellas, as the little southern Café is tucked behind a whimsical two-story Lilliputian white and blue Wendy house that operates as the café’s Snowbar (snoball stand).

Café Porche’s Seafood and Sausage Gumbo (Courtesy of Coronella Porche-Jenneford)

The modern Café has proven popular with locals and tourists and is finding its footing in the new Central City restaurant scene. It is noteworthy that the kitchen and restaurant is owned and run by a Black woman, which is still too rare in our local food scene. Continue reading »

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Feb 182019
 

Mystick Krewe of Louisianians revelers second-line to the jazz orchestra while tossing beads and throws to Washington, D.C., ball attendees on Feb. 3. (Kristine Froeba)

The movers and shakers of Louisiana including quite a bit of New Orleans, and more than a few hundred Uptowners recently descended on the nation’s capital to celebrate the annual Washington Mardi Gras.

“If a bomb dropped on this ballroom tonight, Louisiana as you know it would cease to exist,” said one of the organizers at the Saturday night ball. Leaders of business, law partners, CEOs, congressmen, congresswomen, mayors, senators and the governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, were all present. Continue reading »

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Jan 212019
 

Jeffrey P. Wilke, left, the 86th king of Alla, shakes hands with Lance Cpl. Montana Olle, a saxophone player with Marine Corps Band New Orleans, before the Alla parade on Feb. 4, 2018. (Cpl. Dallas Johnson, via Reserve Band Facebook page)

“There is no sharper band in all of Carnival than the local Marine Corps Band,” said Mardi Gras expert Errol Laborde. Specifically, the Marine Corps Reserve Band New Orleans.

Uptown routinely sees the Marine Corps Reserve Band’s bus and its Marines filing out and lining up to march down Jefferson Avenue, Napoleon Avenue or, in the case of Thoth, Henry Clay. Saints’ fans recently enjoyed their pregame concert performed at Champions Square outside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Continue reading »

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Jan 112019
 

La Boulangerie’s traditional sugar topped cinnamon King Cakes (via La Boulangerie)

The local New Orleans grocer Breaux Mart has rechristened itself King Cake Mart on Twitter for the duration of the carnival season. That should give out-of-towners an idea of the importance of King Cake in our city.

As many in the world awaited Twelfth Night and the Epiphany or Three Kings Day to mark the ending of Christmas, New Orleanians impatiently ticked off the days until Jan. 6 for another reason: to signify the arrival of the carnival season and the blessed arrival of King Cake.

It’s the time for locals to play, feast, and attend endless parties, masque balls, and parades. But first, it’s time for an entire city to eat large circles of sugar-laden cake. Every. Single. Day.

Continue reading »

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Dec 142018
 

series photo via Bravo.com

With the potholes, power outages and never-ending boil water advisories, one would think New Orleans has suffered enough. But no, the Bravo network seems fit to punish us further — with Season 2 of “Southern Charm New Orleans.”

While no formal announcement has been forthcoming, the worst has been confirmed by the New Orleans Office of Cultural Economy: Film New Orleans permitting department. “Southern Charm New Orleans” Season 2 has been filming around the city. The filming permit states the filming dates as Oct. 13 to Dec. 17. Continue reading »

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Nov 202018
 
Casamento’s Creole Oyster Soup

Casamento’s Creole Oyster Soup as prepared by Kit Wohl at The Cookbook Studio (photo by Kit Wohl)

Before and since the Americans purchased New Orleans from the French, New Orleans has remained unique and distinct, 215 years later, we still spurn convention. Thanksgiving is no exception. Where other states lead with carrot and parsnip soup, we lead with oysters: Oyster Soup, Oyster Patties and Oyster Dressing (you’ll find the recipes below in the Thanksgiving recipe section).

Not just oysters, oysters seasoned in whole or in part with our “holy trinity” — bell pepper, onion, and celery. “The trinity,” the divine secret of New Orleans’ cuisine and even our Thanksgiving menu. We then double-down and add garlic, green onion, fresh herbs and a dash of cayenne.

Yes, on occasion, we may have to boil our drinking water, read by candlelight or be rescued from the errant pothole—but that’s OK, because we know our food tastes better.

Continue reading »

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Oct 192018
 

The insanely rich, dark, mahogany hued Quail Gumbo, from the kitchen of Gabrielle’s Chef Greg Sonnier. (Photo Credit: Gabie Sonnier)

The return of Gabrielle Restaurant last October was literally the talk of the town. Not “literally” in the way millennials misuse the word, but literally, as in literally.

Twelve years is a long time to miss a menu. And few chefs and kitchens have been as missed by locals as James Beard-nominated Chef Greg Sonnier and his beloved Gabrielle.

The original Gabrielle—located on Esplanade in the historic Faubourg St. John–opened to critical acclaim in 1992, but like so many of New Orleans’ culinary institutions, was lost to Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters in 2005. Continue reading »

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Oct 052018
 

Three Weekends of das Oktoberfest!

German beers on tap at Deutsches Haus’ Oktoberfest

German beers on tap at Deutsches Haus’ Oktoberfest (Kristine Froeba)

Prost! Deutsches Haus and Oktoberfest are back in town.

Das Deutsches Haus, New Orleans’ German cultural and heritage center, aka the German house, is back in the city proper and celebrating Oktoberfest. This year marks the organizations 90th anniversary and its inaugural Oktoberfest at its new location in Mid-City.

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense that New Orleanians celebrate the most Bavarian of holidays down on dah bayou—Bayou St. John to be exact. Continue reading »

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Sep 282018
 

“If it lacks authority, add more vodka,” those are Ernest Hemingway’s instructions while mixing his preferred Bloody Mary. Hemingway understood New Orleans.

The Deluxe Bloody Mary at New Orleans’ Apolline Restaurant

The Deluxe Bloody Mary at New Orleans’ Apolline Restaurant, garnished with a freshly baked bacon breakfast biscuit sandwich perched aloft of the mug. (photo by Kristine Froeba)

It’s Bloody Mary Season in New Orleans
The Classic Cocktail Enamored By Locals

Some might say Fall marks the arrival of Bloody Mary season in New Orleans—at least for me anyway. I find the Bloody Mary too heavy for the humid southern summer, but curiously sublime when temperatures drop or are supposed to drop.

Come late September or October, this staple of the brunch bunch becomes the staple of many a tailgate or pre-game party. Continue reading »

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Sep 152018
 
Gabrielle’s Seared Duck Liver and Caramelized Onions

Gabrielle’s Seared Duck Liver and Caramelized Onions on Cinnamon Toast with Cherry Jam (photo credit Gabbie Sonnier)

New Orleans’ Restaurant Week has only two days and nights left to enjoy. September is one of the slowest months of the year for restaurateurs, but it’s an excellent opportunity for locals to experience new chefs and new menus from old favorites.

Celebrating its eighth year, Restaurant Week New Orleans offers a line-up of restaurants with innovative menus at discounted prices. The week, a brainchild of the Louisiana Restaurant Association in partnership with New Orleans & Company, runs through Sunday, September 16. Continue reading »

Jul 132018
 

La Crêpe Nanou’s Classic garlic wine broth Moules et Frites (Kristine Froeba)

France’s La Fête Nationale, or national celebration, commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. La Crêpe Nanou, our resident French bistro, has been an Uptown touchstone since 1983. At 35 years of age, it hasn’t a long history, but in restaurant years, remarkable nonetheless.

In a city where things are changing more often than not, the familiar is appreciated. A plate of steaming Moules et Frites bathed in a garlicky white wine sauce and a crusty baguette at La Crêpe Nanou’s qualifies. Continue reading »

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Jul 012018
 

The Sassy Private Chef’s Shrimp n’ Grit’s Recipe as featured on Bravo

Bravo’s Chef Benny Poppins aka Benjamin Levasseur (photo by G. Doucet)

Each series has one breakout character, and while the Bravo Southern Charm New Orleans series offered little to locals other than indigestion, it did present us with the sass of New Orleans’ private cook, Mr. Benny Poppins.

Poppins, aka Benjamin Levasseur, originally from Algiers, plies his trade amongst New Orleans’ families as a personal cook. “The name ‘Benny Poppins’ came from working closely with families and their children as a personal chef, and it stuck,” said Levasseur. Continue reading »

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Jun 092018
 

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum holds a yearly “Made in Louisiana” festival. The fest features merchants, chefs, distillers and all-around interesting people with locally made products available in New Orleans. I was lucky enough to be invited, and I plan to introduce you to some of those people and their products.

Part One
Bulldog Pepper Jelly: Jelly with a Bite

Bulldog Pepper Jelly sisters Kim Johnson White and Cindy Johnson Anders (photo by Kristine Froeba)

Everyone should have the pleasure of meeting the Bulldog Farm Pepper Jelly sisters, Kim Johnson White and Cindy Johnson Anders. These ladies are contagiously happy, high energy, hard-working and Louisiana to the core. These are Robert Harling characters come to life, southern belles, vivacious go-getters whose beloved bulldogs, Jolie Blanc and Rocco, inspired their brand name. Their entry into the food market is Pepper Jelly. It’s good pepper jelly, and it’s now available at Rouses in New Orleans. Continue reading »

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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