Food, family and holidays are intrinsically linked, particularly in New Orleans where traditions run deep. With Passover starting today (Wednesday, April 8) and Holy Thursday (April 9) leading up to Easter Sunday, more families are planning their feast around these holidays at home due to COVID-19 self-quarantine rules. Gatherings will be far smaller and religious services will be virtual, but it’s still the holidays. Some will want a day off from cooking or may just want something special, picked up or delivered. Local restaurants, bakeries and caterers have filled the culinary void with to-go menus.
COVID-19 can live up to eight hours on cardboard takeout boxes and up to 72 on Styrofoam containers, straws, cups and plastic bags, says a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine. Airborne droplets can linger in the air for three to four hours after a person has coughed or sneezed. What does that mean for locals who are supporting our beloved local restaurants and coffee shops? It means risk. Takeout and curbside service is a risk to the health of the workers and the customers, but how much?
While some bars in New Orleans hoped they could survive the economic fallout of COVID-19 by selling alcohol to-go, city and state officials have clarified that they must close completely – leading to a peculiar situation where restaurants, breweries and even drive-thru daiquiri shops can sell alcohol to-go, but not regular bars. To stem the spread of coronavirus, on March 16 Gov. John Bel Edwards ordered all bars in the state closed until at least April 13. However, drive-thru daiquiri stores can still remain open and restaurants can still sell packaged beer or wine for curbside pick-up or delivery. Breweries can still sell their beer, though not from the tap. Some bars with kitchens initially thought that they could still employ some staff by selling alcohol and food to-go as well, but officials ordered them to stop.
Food historian, educator, and author Zella Palmer will present her recently published “Recipes and Remembrances of Fair Dillard, 1869-2019” this Sunday, March 8. Using recipes and research, Palmer’s book documents the African American culinary history of New Orleans through the lens of Dillard University. She will be signing copies of her work for 2 p.m. at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St. The event page describes the collection as follows:
This cookbook shares over eighty years of international and indigenous New Orleans Creole recipes collected from the community, friends of the university, campus faculty, staff, and students, providing readers with a glimpse into the rich food culture of African-Americans in New Orleans. Recipes and Remembrances of Fair Dillard is dedicated to Dillard University alumni, faculty, staff, friends, and family who enjoyed past campus festivals, dinners, picnics, Monday red beans and rice with fried chicken, and Friday fish frys in Kearny Dining.
The electricity was turned on this week at former drugstore at Oak Street and South Carrollton Avenue — soon to open its doors as a Canseco’s Market. General Manager Sisi Canseco said he’s aiming for an opening on Wednesday (March 11) or Thursday, but the timing depends on what the city inspectors say. Now building has electricity, the health department and the fire marshal can come in to inspect and sign off on market. In the meantime, the shelves are stocked and fixtures moved into position. “We’ll be a full-service grocery — full-service meat department, full-service bakery,” Canseco said, discussing his plans in between supervising crews and meeting with vendors.
Lenten fish frys at Catholic churches and schools start today and continue throughout Lent. Here’s some local fried-fish dinners from a list compiled by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Knight of Columbus 3411
Where: Blessed Pauline Center, 4219 Constance St. When: Fridays from Feb. 28 to April 3; after 6 p.m.
Menu: Fish and fries or crawfish pasta, coleslaw, vegetable, dessert, drink.
Barracuda, winner of the 2019 Top Traditional Taco award, has announced it will return to the one-night only taco and tequila throw down in March to defend its title. Barracuda, a walk-up taco restaurant with a tequila garden, opened at 3984 Tchopitoulas St. in 2019 after winning the Top Taco award. Also returning to defend a 2019 Top Taco title is Tacos & Beer, which won the Critic’s Choice for Best Creative Cocktail. Tacos & Beer is located at 1622 St.
In New Orleans, family recipes that date back several generations are being pulled from well-worn family journals and put into play. We are a city that holds an unflinchingly tight grip on our family traditions and history. With Louisiana’s unique food culture and some family roots going back 300 years, that history includes old Creole recipes that have been passed down for well over a century. We already know our tablescape differs from the other 49 states on any given day. But on the holidays, our fare is markedly different from the rest of the nation.
After the gift giving, feasting and family bonding – hopefully without a dose of politics over the dinner table – the stir crazy hours set in. To keep good tidings this holiday season, this list shows what is open and closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It includes major attractions, movie theaters and events. Christmas Eve
Aububon Nature Institute (Audubon Zoo, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Aquarium of the Americas, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Theater last show, 3:40 p.m.; Butterfly Garden & Insectarium, 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.; and Nature Center, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., trails 3:30 p .m.)
Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, 10 .m. – 3 p.m.
CLOSED: Contemporary Arts Center, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Louisiana Children’s Museum, Louisiana State Museums (Cabildo, Presbytere, 1850 House, Madame John’s Legacy), McKenna Museum of African Art, National World War II Museum, New Orleans African American Museum
Crescent City Farmers Market at Tulane University Square: 9 a.m to 1 p.m.
The Broad Theater: “Cats,” “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” “Frozen II,” “Queen & Slim” and “Parasite.”
Check schedule online for times.
The Prytania Theatre may be a single-screen movie house in a multiplex world, but there is one movie-house trend it does want to join: serving alcohol. The treasured Uptown institution got one step closer to that goal this week with approval from the City Planning Commission of a zoning change that could allow the theater to add adult beverages to its menu of drinks and snacks. “The Prytania is a single-screen movie theater, which is practically non-existent in the United States,” theater operator Robert Brunet told the commission on Tuesday. “It’s one of the only in Louisiana and the only New Orleans. We are looking to serve alcohol so that we can be competitive with every other theater in the metropolitan area.”