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Jason Perlow

Willie Mae's Scotch House (N.O.)

87 posts in this topic

Thanks for taking the time to post an update! I appreciate it.


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

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Say Hey, Kid

Ahhh, the great Willie Mays. That was his nickname: The Say Hey Kid. You all remember him, right? The awesome Hall-of-Fame center-fielder for the New York slash San Francisco Giants, who finished his career with the New York Mets. With 660 home runs. With a .302 batting average. With a dozen Gold Gloves. Those were the days...but...don't worry; this post has absolutely nothing to do with him.

You see, I'm talking 'bout Willie Mae's. Willie Mae's Scotch House in New Orleans, to be precise...

Willie Mae\

Willie Mae's was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, but with the help of the Southern Foodways Alliance and donations of time and money from friends and neighbors, was rebuilt and reopened two years after the tragedy...

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Doesn't look like much, I know, but Willie Mae's is famous for many things, and has stood on the same corner in the city's Tremé neighborhood for over 50 years, originally opening as a bar. Now, it's a food destination, notably for its fried chicken, and people come from all over to line up and get a taste. They're only open from 11 AM until 3 PM, so you can imagine that there's a wait sometimes, as there was the day Significant Eater and I went. But I'll bet the famous people don't wait as long...

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You gotta figure - if Barack likes it, it must be good, no? There were lots of happy faces, so he's not the only one.

Significant Eater and I both ordered the fried chicken; there are also fried pork chops and smothered veal chops on the menu, but today was a chicken day. Along with our chicken, we had sides of red beans and rice as well as green beans with rice and gravy...

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I haven't had green beans like this...well, at least since my mom opened up that can of Green Giant...but, let's also say the green beans were helped along by the perfectly cooked rice and scrumptious gravy. Okay - I'll say it - they were. But really, are you here for the vegetables?

Nope - you're here for the fried chicken...and when our platter arrived, it looked like this...

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Crunchy, juicy and moist - and even somewhat delicious once you get past the salt, which there is no shortage of. Would I eat this stuff every day? No, probably not - unless I brought my cardiologist with me. But if you're heading to New Orleans, give it a try - I'm betting you won't be disappointed.

Willie Mae's Scotch House

2401 Saint Ann Street

New Orleans, LA 70119

(504) 822-9503


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I feel compelled to mount a defense of the meltingly tender, long-simmered, southern-style green bean. Seasoned properly (ie, with a good, smoky pork of some sort), those beans are a revelation. I wonder if Kerry is leaving out the meat in hopes of offering a vegetarian item? (pure speculation)

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I feel compelled to mount a defense of the meltingly tender, long-simmered, southern-style green bean. Seasoned properly (ie, with a good, smoky pork of some sort), those beans are a revelation. I wonder if Kerry is leaving out the meat in hopes of offering a vegetarian item? (pure speculation)

Do you know if she starts with fresh green beans or perhaps frozen ones. I make long-simmered green beans, and they still have a lot more texture than these did.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I have no idea whether she's using fresh or frozen. I use frozen all the time; they're as good as fresh for smothering. The key is seasoning--without the judicious application of savory (tasso, andouille, smoked turkey wings, salted pork, or something similar) and salt, they're just mushy snap beans. My favorite version of the dish includes chunks of new potatoes simmered along with the beans; the potatoes get all creamy & soak up the smoked meat & vegetable flavors. The dish of green beans & potatoes is standard home cooking in this region.

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Chef Jack McDavid, who hales from the hills of Virginia, gave me a short history lesson on southern, stewed-for-hours, green beans. Like a lot of southern dishes it ties into the poverty found in parts of the South. Housewives would add a bit of meat to green beans to add some meat flavor - a way to extend a small piece of meat for a large family. Up to a point, the more the meat stewed with the beans, the meatier the beans became.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I dunno about "stewed for hours"....I cook frozen beans about 30-45 minutes. Fresh beans take just a bit longer, depending on whether you've bothered to french 'em or if you've left the beans in fairly large snaps.

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Chef Jack McDavid, who hales from the hills of Virginia, gave me a short history lesson on southern, stewed-for-hours, green beans. Like a lot of southern dishes it ties into the poverty found in parts of the South. Housewives would add a bit of meat to green beans to add some meat flavor - a way to extend a small piece of meat for a large family. Up to a point, the more the meat stewed with the beans, the meatier the beans became.

That's the way my mom makes them. Stewed-for-hours until they're limp and lose their vibrant green color. They swim with bits of bacon until, when done, the bacon and the beans are one in flavor.

And don't forget the salt. :wink:


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

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smoked pig tails are pretty good in them too.

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That fried chicken looks like it has an incredible crust on it - almost roof of the mouth scraping. Can you describe the thickness and crunch factor?

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I've been there twice and approve. The fried chicken is up there with "best in the world" as Nubian Queen Lola's in Austin. The style is quite different from anywhere else that I've had. Crispy, but not grainy (from cornmeal), or flakey (like KFC). I think there may be some egg in the batter.

I would guess that the beans are canned. They always look like that at Southern restaurants. I honestly prefer something fresher, with a better texture.

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