The one thing every New Orleanian can agree one is that someone is always coming to visit. We know our city is fabulous — filled with unique culture, food, architecture and music. We also are tasked with being tour guides several times a year. This is the list I hand out when they have to find their own way. It’s not that we — and I, as a professional tour guide — don’t love showing off our city, but sometimes, we’re busy.
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). 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. Coronella Porche-Jenneford opened Café Porche last year.
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. The yearly three-day event dates back to 1944 and has been led by the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians since 1957. “What began as a demonstration of the spirit of Mardi Gras” has grown into a celebration of Louisiana, its politics and its people,” per the krewe’s website.
“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. “Mardi Gras season is a great opportunity for our Marines to embrace the unique culture and traditions that this city has to offer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Three Weekends of das Oktoberfest! 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 it lacks authority, add more vodka,” those are Ernest Hemingway’s instructions while mixing his preferred Bloody Mary. Hemingway understood New Orleans. 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. First off, I must admit I hate tomato juice.