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Staying with your restaurant


highchef
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The owner on Antoine's resturant has decided to stay with the resturant instead of following orders to evacuate N.O. . I understand how he feels about the place (I have had some great times there myself, a few Christmas parties that were a bit over the top, not food wise but character wise. This is after all New Orleans we are talking about.)

I just saw that there is a levy breach, this is bad news for the quarter and the people who woulden't/couldn't get out. It got me thinking of the places I'd miss the most if the worst happens. I have a very short list. Cafe DuMonde, Mothers, Camilia Grill and Central grocery. These are sentimental to me. I'd miss other places, like the cathedral and the pentabla apts. (I actually used to stay in a loft there every once in a while with a friend.) I'd almost wish the Superdome would blow away though if it didn't have 10,000 people in it as I type.

I'd miss those places, yes. But I would not be dumb enough to stay with them in this. What would you miss? Would you stay with your resturant? Why, what could you do to protect a building from 140 mph winds? I guess I'm just not sentimental enough.....

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I haven't even been to New Orleans, or anywhere in Louisiana, yet I find myself worrying about the people, the islands, the restaurants and all the other cool places I may not get to see. Most of all I worry about the people, and hope you eGulleteers make out okay.

I don't think I'd stay. I understand the impulse to stay, but it isn't like a boat or airplane that you may be able to move out of harm's way. Do you think the owner of Antoine's is confusing livelihood and life?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I think I've evacuated 10 - maybe 15 times - during the 30+ years I've lived in Florida. After doing my best to make sure things would be as ok as possible when I returned. All evacuations were false alarms except one - Hurricane Andrew.

IMO - the only reasons to stay put are lack of money/resources to evacuate - or urgent medical reasons. And even then - there are emergency shelters (like the Superdome).

There are people on the rooftops in the 9th ward (district?) in NO now - and some bodies floating in the water. The dead people couldn't have saved their property - but they could have saved their lives. Perhaps this will serve as a very sad reminder that man is no match for a major storm. And that it is better to be inconvenienced - however mightily - than to be dead.

About the only thing I regret watching the storm coverage is that the police are not shooting to kill when they see looting. Because it's the fear of looting - more than anything else - that keeps some people from evacuating. Robyn

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Well, if anyone is still in NO, they have to leave now..the town is under mand. evac orders and Martial Law is in place.

Not entirely true, at least according to this excerpt from Salon

We walk half a block down Royal Street from the Eighth District headquarters and come upon Brennan's Restaurant, one of New Orleans' most venerable dining institutions. The Brennans are a high-profile family of restaurateurs and run several of the highest-end eateries in town. Jimmy Brennan and a crew of his relatives are holing up in the restaurant along with the chef, Lazone Randolph. They are sleeping on air mattresses, drinking Cheval Blanc, and feasting on the restaurant's reserves of haute Creole food.

The atmosphere in the French Quarter, while relatively quiet, is decidedly tense, but Brennan isn't worried. "We're not too concerned. The police let us go over to the Royal Omni, to take a shower, freshen up, and we cooked them some prime rib. We take care of them, they take care of us," says Randolph. Two Brennan emissaries whisk past, bearing multilayer chocolate cakes, headed toward the precinct. "This has been working out real well for us," says Jimmy Brennan.

Contrary to many reports, the French Quarter remains undamaged by flooding. The streets are dry and damage to the 18th and 19th century buildings appears to be minimal. Heavily pierced French Quarter denizens are emerging slowly, almost groggily, and some are looking to evacuate. One woman, wearing a black lace slip and fanning herself with a souvenir fan from a production of "Les Miserables," makes her way toward the Superdome, carrying no luggage.

"The Quarter always survives!" declares Finnis, the owner of Alex Patout's restaurant on St. Louis Street, who declined to give his last name. Standing in front of his restaurant, he sips champagne with several friends, insisting that his restaurant's gradually warming walk-in fridges will provide them with sustenance for up to a month.

Indeed, food doesn't seem to concern those who intend to stay through the rebuilding process. Back Uptown, Jerrell and her sons will avail themselves of the local A&P, which has long since had its doors broken off. It will be a long time before it reopens, and until then its shelves will be a lifeline for many.

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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At least on a map (and in my memory) it makes a lot of sense that the Quarter is relatively intact. It's furthest from the levees.

Still, there are (were?) great restaurants all over New Orleans. The loss is still going to be huge even if the Quarter is intact. And those lovely restaurants in the Quarter could be prime targets for looters.

Imagine a New Orleans with a tourist section and no place for locals to live. I shudder at the thought.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Nice that the Brennan family is doing relatively well and drinking their Cheval Blanc.

I lived in New Orleans for 3 years and enyoyed the many wonderful restaurants and life style. I find it hard to believe that in the face of such devastation, a prominant family like the Brennans would put forward such an image. People can't even get water or food. I agree, looters should be shot!, but these other people need information and food and water. My heart gors out to them. Zip

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I too found it quite obnoxious that the Brennens are sitting fat, dumb and happy eating and drinking while people are dying in the streets. As long standing pilars of the community, they certainly come off as selfish.

Even using thier status to broker deals with the police. They get showers and the cops get prime rib.

That's just wrong.

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Nice that the Brennan family is doing relatively well and drinking their Cheval Blanc.

The older Brennans are now all together in Houston .. read this article for details ...

I too found it quite obnoxious that the Brennens are sitting fat, dumb and happy eating and drinking while people are dying in the streets. As long standing pilars of the community, they certainly come off as selfish.

In this type of a crisis, the inequities become even more visible ... especially with 24/7 coverage ... very sad.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I too found it quite obnoxious that the Brennens are sitting fat, dumb and happy eating and drinking while people are dying in the streets. As long standing pilars of the community, they certainly come off as selfish.

Even using thier status to broker deals with the police. They get showers and the cops get prime rib.

That's just wrong.

And what should they do exactly?? Start a riot by offering what amounts to too little food to the gangs of heavily armed looters and thousands of desparate refugees? What they have isn't enough to go around. The police have no supermarket or running water either and at least they're working to keep the peace and rescue people. Perhaps if there were water to be had they wouldn't be drinking wine. :hmmm:

I dunno. Seems like making lemonade to me. :shrug:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Katie, with all due respect, the Brennens' are utilizing thier position to keep themselves extraordinarily more comfortable than the people wandering on the streets. It's a I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine.

Of course they can't feed the masses. Of course cops need sustinence.

To ME, not you, to ME it seems self serving. This is my opinion.

Shrug.

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Katie,  with all due respect, the Brennens' are utilizing thier position to keep themselves extraordinarily more comfortable than the people wandering on the streets. It's a I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine.

Of course they can't feed the masses. Of course cops need sustinence.

To ME, not you, to ME it seems self serving. This is my opinion.

Shrug.

Hopefully when the roads are clearer and the water has receded they'll use their position and influence to organize and help feed the masses like many NYC chefs did after 9/11. They are the perfect people to do exactly that. When things aren't as chaotic as they are now and they're NOT helping, then I'll feel a little more comfortable judging their actions.

YMMV.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Katie,  with all due respect, the Brennens' are utilizing thier position to keep themselves extraordinarily more comfortable than the people wandering on the streets. It's a I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine.

Of course they can't feed the masses. Of course cops need sustinence.

To ME, not you, to ME it seems self serving. This is my opinion.

Shrug.

They are staying with their property trying to protect it. They are trying to keep the local police fed so they can work under the most extreme of contitions. So they had food inthe freezer, if they do not eat it, it will be thrown out. Have you ever had to clean up after a hurricane, the stuff in the fridge goes first, then the stuff in the freezer, then the canned stuff if you have it. So they have some wine to drink, what fine dining restaurant does not have some wine in its stores. The writer of that piece on Slate wrote a very onesided piece with no comprehension of what was truly happening, she did not stop to help anyone. At least the Brennans are sharing with their neighbors, and their neighbors is the preceint house for the Quarter. So my vision is not on the same page as yours, mine comes from experience. Have you contributed to Second Harvest yet?

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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i don't know anything about the authors of the salon piece, other than the fact that they admittedly had no credentials, and snuck past police barricades to go report that the brennans were allegedly living it up...but that tells me a lot, right there.

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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In the Quarter? The Verti Mart- on Royal- real food 24/7, delivery, the New York Times a bottle of wine, stamps, aspirin.

The Croisant D'Or.

All the little bars with cheap beer and fried crawfish tails.

Garden District:The Upperline.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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In the Quarter? The Verti Mart- on Royal- real food 24/7, delivery, the New York Times a bottle of wine, stamps, aspirin.

The Croisant D'Or.

All the little bars with cheap beer and fried crawfish tails.

Garden District:The Upperline.

what is this in response to? oh, please, please tell me the above spots have somehow been spared? (it's unimaginable that so many have been lost, and i feel petty to even "choose favorites", but i had such wonderful times/food at each of those..can you please clarify? thanks!)

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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i don't know anything about the authors of the salon piece, other than the fact that they admittedly had no credentials, and snuck past police barricades to go report that the brennans were allegedly living it up...but that tells me a lot, right there.

You make a good point chezcherie. I hope you are right.

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I just saw a spot on the news where they went through the French Quarter, and it looks as if much of it is still intact, and is now being protected from looters. They specifically pointed out Le Croissant d'Or, which looks to be unharmed.

Jennifer L. Iannolo

Founder, Editor-in-Chief

The Gilded Fork

Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Home of the Culinary Podcast Network

Never trust a woman who doesn't like to eat. She is probably lousy in bed. (attributed to Federico Fellini)

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Nice that the Brennan family is doing relatively well and drinking their Cheval Blanc.

The older Brennans are now all together in Houston .. read this article for details ...

I too found it quite obnoxious that the Brennens are sitting fat, dumb and happy eating and drinking while people are dying in the streets. As long standing pilars of the community, they certainly come off as selfish.

In this type of a crisis, the inequities become even more visible ... especially with 24/7 coverage ... very sad.

Sorry but if you and your family has worked for years to build a business if possible you guard it. While there are poor people without food, the looters for the most part consist of the felons that were let go.

It just makes sense that the quarter did not sustain much harm. It was built when it had to withstand floods before the current technology. I can also see why the police would guard the quarter first and foremost. If New Orleans is ever to be a viable city again, it's must rebuild and bring back it's tourist trade.

Never trust a skinny chef

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its all too easy to sit in judgement and be all sanctimoniuous of others in this type of crisis situation when one is far from it and not personally affected by it..i do, however, echo what irodguy said...when you have spent years building a business...putting in your time, your sweat, your tears, your money, building something you have pretty much dedicated your life to...logic may tell you that hey..these winds are pusshing harder than your building may have been built to withstand..but your heart and soul tells you to try to protect what you built, for as much as you possibly can..it may be a building and you may serve up the public with wonderful food, but to the people who own it..it is every bit as much like their own child...you gave birth to it...you nurtutred it...saw it through growing pains..and i dont know of anyone who would not try to protect their child...

if you cant relate to that then think of it this way..unless you have walked a mile in another mans shoes......

Edited by ladyyoung98 (log)

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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I don't care about the Bennens. They can do what they want. A business is not a child, it's a business, a thing - they die all the time. Bigger picture being shown all of us now it that there is 2 Americas. It has been obvious to me in every kitchen I have worked in for the last 30 years. The issue is food. Not restaurants, and fond memories of past meals. There will be time for all that later. Donate some time & money & energy. Our whole business depends on food & people eating, and now is the time to get back to the core & not the bottom line.

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Sorry but if you and your family has worked for years to build a business if possible you guard it.  While there are poor people without food,  the looters for the most part consist of the felons that were let go. 

It just makes sense that the quarter did not sustain much harm.  It was built when it had to withstand floods before the current technology.  I can also see why the police would guard the quarter first and foremost.  If New Orleans is ever to be a viable city again, it's must rebuild and bring back it's tourist trade.

This post is unbelievable. I came to EG today after being out of the country praying that this post would not exist...but sadly it does.

Mostly felons? Where does that come from? Looks like POOR BLACK families to me. These people are not disposable.

Who cares about the French Quarter or some restaurant you visited on vacation? NOLA is gone people, gone. Its not coming back except for some plastic Disney Land version. For anyone to consider a white tablecloth restaurant, for even one minute, while AMERICAN children die from lack of water, is sad and sick.

We reap what we sow.

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So...going back to the original post...does anyone know how Antoine's and its owner made out?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I am not sure whether this article appears here on eG elsewhere (this is my first time to get back online at eG after the Pig Pickin at Varmint's) but this is a marvelous article from the Washington Post:

An Icon Imperiled

You can't drown an attitude. You can't blow away jazz. You can't swamp the zesty, bayou-born love of visiting and eating that New Orleanians will bring back to their city when the all-clear finally blows. Mondays will be red beans and rice day again some day, even if it cooks in new kitchens. I grieve for every fallen oak, but trees don't make New Orleans. Trees grow. Walls get fixed. Tarot card readers come back from their forced sojourn in the Astrodome. They'll scrape the mud off those sidewalks where Louis Armstrong strode in his two-toned wingtips and people will come back to walk on them again -- and this being Nawlins, maybe to sleep on them once in a while.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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