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Perlows Eat New Orleans


Rachel Perlow
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Places that are open that we've never been to, so should try to hit this time:

Casamento's

Our first meal in New Orleans was at Casamento's -- after missing their last night of the season last year, Jason wasn't taking any chances at not eating their fried oysters! We sampled quite a bit of their menu, pics on Jason's blog. When we arrived around 7:30, there was a line out the door. We waited about 35 minutes for a table, but it was well worth the wait. First of all, Miss Leah Chase of Dooky Chase fame was on line just in front of us, with her son and daughter-in-law. We were both excited about meeting her, and Jason interviewed her (podcast to come on his blog). While Jason talked with Miss Chase, I chatted with a lovely lady named Jeanne (rhymes with lawn), who pointed us towards Ms. Mae's to get a drink, cheap beer, wine, and cocktails, while waiting on the sidewalk. :smile:

Once we made it in the door, Jeanne's husband brought Jason over to the raw bar, where you can eat some while you wait for a table and the main event (fried seafood). He had a few, I chatted some more, and soon it was our turn to sit. We were seated in the larger back dining room, but apparently the prized seats are the ones in front along the wall -- I guess so you can see and be seen. Someone on line commented that Casamento's is the "new" Galatoire's. In fact, one woman walked up and walked right in, we tried to point out the line to her, she said, she's already got a table inside. People waiting in line for others? Sounds like Galatoire's to me!

Like I said, we ordered about half the menu, including fried oysters, fried crab fingers, fried shrimp, french fries, fried soft shell crab, and Gumbo (no, it wasn't fried, unless you count the roux). What can I say? Everything is impeccably fried in pots on the stove. The french fries have a great potatoey flavor, but they are not particularly crisp, I don't think they are fried twice, but they're good anyway, several people on line said not to miss them. The shrimp were excellent and we really enjoyed the crab fingers. The gumbo was dark and rich, while not being too heavy or thick. It was full of meat, crab, and tiny shrimp, excellent first gumbo of the trip.

Jason and I were of two minds in regard to the fried oysters. He loved them, I thought they were too hard and crunchy and a little chewy inside. I like oysters lightly coated and just cooked a pointe. But the quality of the product was obviously there. The soft shell crab was our dessert, sweet, crisp, juicy, and full of meat. Mmm.

Today we're going to tour an Asian market and get some Vietnamese food with Todd Price. See you later.

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Places that are open that we've never been to, so should try to hit this time:

Casamento's

Our first meal in New Orleans was at Casamento's -- after missing their last night of the season last year, Jason wasn't taking any chances at not eating their fried oysters! We sampled quite a bit of their menu, pics on Jason's blog. When we arrived around 7:30, there was a line out the door. We waited about 35 minutes for a table, but it was well worth the wait. First of all, Miss Leah Chase of Dooky Chase fame was on line just in front of us, with her son and daughter-in-law. We were both excited about meeting her, and Jason interviewed her (podcast to come on his blog). While Jason talked with Miss Chase, I chatted with a lovely lady named Jeanne (rhymes with lawn), who pointed us towards Ms. Mae's to get a drink, cheap beer, wine, and cocktails, while waiting on the sidewalk. :smile:

Once we made it in the door, Jeanne's husband brought Jason over to the raw bar, where you can eat some while you wait for a table and the main event (fried seafood). He had a few, I chatted some more, and soon it was our turn to sit. We were seated in the larger back dining room, but apparently the prized seats are the ones in front along the wall -- I guess so you can see and be seen. Someone on line commented that Casamento's is the "new" Galatoire's. In fact, one woman walked up and walked right in, we tried to point out the line to her, she said, she's already got a table inside. People waiting in line for others? Sounds like Galatoire's to me!

Like I said, we ordered about half the menu, including fried oysters, fried crab fingers, fried shrimp, french fries, fried soft shell crab, and Gumbo (no, it wasn't fried, unless you count the roux). What can I say? Everything is impeccably fried in pots on the stove. The french fries have a great potatoey flavor, but they are not particularly crisp, I don't think they are fried twice, but they're good anyway, several people on line said not to miss them. The shrimp were excellent and we really enjoyed the crab fingers. The gumbo was dark and rich, while not being too heavy or thick. It was full of meat, crab, and tiny shrimp, excellent first gumbo of the trip.

Jason and I were of two minds in regard to the fried oysters. He loved them, I thought they were too hard and crunchy and a little chewy inside. I like oysters lightly coated and just cooked a pointe. But the quality of the product was obviously there. The soft shell crab was our dessert, sweet, crisp, juicy, and full of meat. Mmm.

Today we're going to tour an Asian market and get some Vietnamese food with Todd Price. See you later.

Rachel you are talking my language. I just managed to sneak in under the wire to get to Casamento's before they closed for Mardi Gras. In fact, CJ was kind enough to carry on an e-mail conversation with me before we got down to tell me the tricks of getting in before the floats lined up. I agree with you, a really fine eating place.

Did Ms. Chase say when they are going to reopen? I hope!

Thanks for the great information and detail..

bob

"Gentlemen: Madame Dodin-Bouffant."

So, when there is the slightest doubt, Marry the Cook!

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Did Ms. Chase say when they are going to reopen?  I hope!

According to her son, the "mold guy" is currently working on that problem. After he is through, then they could begin reconstruction. So, there's really no time estimate at this point.

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Did Ms. Chase say when they are going to reopen?  I hope!

According to her son, the "mold guy" is currently working on that problem. After he is through, then they could begin reconstruction. So, there's really no time estimate at this point.

Thanks, Rachel.

Do you hear anything about Willie Mae's..

I heard that the Camellia Grill may be taken over by the city..tax problems, or some such.

Thank you again, so much, for your great (and mouth-watering) reporting.

bob

"Gentlemen: Madame Dodin-Bouffant."

So, when there is the slightest doubt, Marry the Cook!

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Willie Mae's is working on financing. Dooky Chase is working on a much more complex set of issues, and not all of them money. The place got trashed (I helped gut it, I know, it was a mess). Dooky Chase is very complex, in terms of construction, it was underwater for weeks, and there are some severe issues to face given the size of the place and the way that it is cobbled together. The Scotch House, on the other hand, is a much smaller place and really, once we ripped everything out, it's a matter of rebuilding. I'll take R and J over there on Tuesday pm and they can see for themselves. They're destroyed restaurants in a pretty desolate and abandoned neighborhood. It's not pretty.

If you would like to contribute towards these efforts, all you have to do is contact the SFA-Mary Beth will be glad to tell you how you can help.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Willie Mae's is working on financing. Dooky Chase is working on a much more complex set of issues, and not all of them money. The place got trashed (I helped gut it, I know, it was a mess). Dooky Chase is very complex, in terms of construction, it was underwater for weeks, and there are some severe issues to face given the size of the place and the way that it is cobbled together. The Scotch House, on the other hand, is a much smaller place and really, once we ripped everything out, it's a matter of rebuilding. I'll take R and J over there on Tuesday pm and they can see for themselves. They're destroyed restaurants in a pretty desolate and abandoned neighborhood. It's not pretty.

If you would like to contribute towards these efforts, all you have to do is contact the SFA-Mary Beth will be glad to tell you how you can help.

Thanks, Brooks..

Yes, I talked to Willie Mae's great granddaughter (a very beautiful and professional young lady) when I was in New Orleans and have also had an e-mail from JohnT about the situation.

Bob

"Gentlemen: Madame Dodin-Bouffant."

So, when there is the slightest doubt, Marry the Cook!

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We're staying just down the street from Mother's, so convenience was a factor in having breakfast there yesterday. We shared a creole shrimp omelet, Mae's omelet (black ham and scallions) and a debris po-boy. If we go again, I think I'll just get ham and biscuit. Good ham.

Since we had a big and late breakfast, we had a very late lunch. We joined TAPrice on his exploration of the Hong Kong Market in Gretna. It is a very huge Vietnamese owned Asian supermarket, on par with some of our Korean and Japanese marketplaces we have in the NY area. Unfortunately, it had that bad fishy smell some Asian markets have, and the produce was hit or miss. They had a nice variety of vegetables, but the fruit was lacking and a lot of it wasn't the best quality.

However, their live fish selection was outstanding. Usually, the fish one sees in those live tanks appear half-dead, resigned to their fate. These fish were hopping! It looks like they were caught?farmed? yesterday, they were very active, swimming up against the glass, "hey what's going on here?!" Yum! :laugh:

One of the best parts of Hong Kong Market is the Bahn Mi stand, to the right, adjacent to the prepared food cases. A six inch french roll (not the typical New Orleans baguette) is filled with several slices of ham and other mystery luncheon meat, pickled vegetable salad, cucumber, cilantro, jalapenos, some sauces. Fab sandwich for $2.

As you enter the mall containing the giant grocery stores, there's a bubble tea shop and a pho restaurant. The bubble tea place has a tremendous variety of flavors to choose from, and several different "bubbles" besides tapioca. I had honeydew with a rainbow of square cut jellies, which was yummy and refreshing. Jason had Durian (ugh) with Green Apple, Todd had Avocado with Lychee jelly. I loved my selection.

Of course we stopped at the pho restaurant as well. Their menu is almost exclusively soup. I had a variety of Hu Tieu with a special noodle we suspected was raman. Todd had a basic pho, and Jason had a fiery Bun Bo Hue. Excellent broth, solid ingredients and accoutrements. If you're going to the market, a pho lunch (or more traditionally, breakfast) is necessary.

Since we had such a late lunch, we opted for a late, lighter, dinner at Restaurant August. We had a couple appetizers each, and dessert, of course. The highlight of my meal was an heirloom beet salad with quail eggs, bacon, crab and croutons made from black eyed peas. We also sampled some gnocci with black truffle and crab, very rich; agnolotti with cockscomb (I thought it would be a veg, if it's actual cock's comb, it should be spelled that way!), and oysters cooked three ways.

Today we work on a Passover Project, a coordinated effort of the New Orleans Jewish Federation and my local synagogue in NJ. More later.

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I can't recommend the wine bar 'Bacchanal' enough. Its the funkiest organic business i've seen in a while, typical N.O., and you'll probably mingle with staff from Lillet, August,et al there. Its across from the Naval Station uptown. (the chef from defunct Marisol does weekend outdoor grill menues there in their garden/courtyard)

I always frequented the Vietnamese restuarant in Chalmette, Duong Phong.

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We had to get up very early on Sunday morning to join my synagogue's group at their B&B. A group was down for the weekend helping out the local Jewish Federation with their annual Passover Basket program. They've been helping out the less fortunate, homebound, elderly, or just down on their luck families and individuals get kosher for Passover food for the holiday. The baskets (boxes really) contain some ritual items for the sedar plate, matzo, and other food products, including prepared meals for the week (frozen).

When most of the group arrived Friday morning, their first stop was to Shir Chadash Synagogue to put the dry goods into boxes. On Sunday morning, we arrived just as the Kosher Cajun did with the frozen dinners. After putting an assortment of dinners into the boxes, we took off in seven cars in every direction. We followed preprepared maps to a bunch of destinations and delivered the Passover Baskets to those in need.

I think I should backtrack a bit and explain how our synagogue in NJ became involved in this project. Like I said, they've been doing this for years down here. But this year was obviously different. First off, they didn't have the money to do it. Secondly, many of the people who received baskets in the past, just aren't here. They've relocated and haven't come back yet. Finally, many of the people receiving baskets this year, were the ones who in the past were making the donations and delivering the baskets, and many were self conscious about needing them this year. So, a woman in my synagogue, who had connections to the area and had even participated in some nasty but necessary clean up work back in December, asked the Federation if there were a concrete project B'nai Israel in Millburn could do. Something besides donating money. Besides the money raised to pay for the food etc (all purchased locally (except for some ritual items made by our religious school kids)), and the actual work of distributing the boxes, a large aspect of this Tikun Olam project is that the recipients were strangers to us -- there was no need to be concerned about having someone you know arrive at your door with charity.

I met some lovely people, many with heartbreaking stories. A young man told us about his mother who refused to evacuate. Her house was taken by the flood and her body was not recovered for 12 days. She was in her mid-50s. An elderly man was evacuated by his sister who lives in Baton Rouge. His rented home suffered minor damage, but his landlord doubled the rent, he was forced to relocate to a much smaller place. He is frail and his small apartment is cluttered with the accumulation of a lifetime, much of it still in boxes. A man in his 30s is living in New Orleans with his young daughter, trying to keep his family business afloat, while his wife commutes weekly to Texas where she found work during the evacuation. Many different stories, but most were welcoming of us. Surprised and thanking us for coming down from NJ to help them, and we were just as grateful to be of help in a tangible way.

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Breakfast yesterday was Bahn Mi from Hong Kong Market, brought back to the hotel for just that reason. Some tea at the B&B while waiting to depart, and some babka at Shir Chadash while assembing the boxes. We did some deliveries in the morning, then returned for a lunch of very good deli sandwhiches from the Kosher Cajun. I had a half of pastrami and half a corned beef, on rye, of course. I was aghast that there was a mayo packet in the tray! I suppose that was for the turkey eaters, the pickle could have been less new :wink:, but overall, it was a good lunch. We made some more deliveries in the afternoon, then returned to our hotel around 3:30, where we spent a relaxing afternoon. I watched a movie while Jason worked on his blog and podcasts.

We then proceded to The Upperline for dinner. We go to Upperline every time we're in New Orleans. Chef Ken was there, as was the lovely Miss JoAnn Clevenger, and our regular waiters Mark and Robert are still there, although the rest of the wait staff is new. We shared some Oysters St. Claude and Crab Cakes over Fried Green Tomatoes with a Crystal Hot Sauce Beurre Blanc as appetizers. This was followed by the Cane River Shrimp for Jason and the Veal Grillades over Cheddar Grits for me (click here for pics of these dishes which have been previously posted, except for the crab cakes, they were a special). For dessert, we shared the pecan pie and the fabulous creme brulee with pralines. I chatted past closing with some neighboring tables, one couple from Baton Rouge, another from NYC (who came based on Pableaux' article in the NYTimes), while Jason recorded Ken and JoAnn for his podcasts.

Today is an open day. It's Monday. Any suggestions?

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Rachel,

I don't know what you guys are in the mood for, but I'm pretty sure that these places are open on Monday:

Rio Mar

Clancy's

Herbsaint

I really liked Herbsaint..

bob

Edited by Probono (log)

"Gentlemen: Madame Dodin-Bouffant."

So, when there is the slightest doubt, Marry the Cook!

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La Cote Brasserie should be open.

edited to add

I was just reading over at Tom Fitzmorris' place at NewOrleans.com/foodfest about a place in Chalmette called Flour Power. Review from Best of New Orleans and their web page, this looks like a definite search out and see what it is all about.

Edited by joiei (log)

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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Good morning everyone. Thank you for your suggestions for yesterday. We did consider them, and Herbsaint and Clancy's are "on the list" but we didn't end up at either of them yet. Sorry. It was a pretty good day anyway, with a surprising ending. I'm such a tease.

After a late night at Upperline on Sunday, we started out the day pretty late. We had some fruit in the room and didn't head out for lunch until nearly 1 PM. We decided to try Stanley, Scott Boswell's breakfast/lunch place around the corner from his Stella!. We caught the streetcar on Canal just before it turned left towards the Riverwalk. Getting off at Ursuline, we walked past the nearly deserted farmers market area of the French Market (has it not come back at all, or, like a lot of stores right now, is it only open on the weekends, or just not on Monday?) to Decatur and Restaurant Stanley.

It is a plain, small place with about 8 tables and a bar. We ordered a bowl of Shrimp, Oyster and Andouille Gumbo, which was the highlight of the meal. Dark and rich tasting, the seafood was lightly cooked with a thin (in a good way) broth. Following the soup, Jason had their poor boy of Korean barbecued beef and kimchi, which is the only truly unique item on the lunch menu, I thought it was OK, but you have to really like kimchi. I had a shrimp poor boy. While the shrimp were large, the amount of them on the sandwich seemed skimpy and the price was expensive for the size of the sandwich. They were accompanied by french fries, onion rings or coleslaw, we tried the rings & fries. The rings were batter dipped and too starchy and the fries were overcooked. So, overall, Stanley was rather a disappointment.

We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling around the French Quarter. Peering into interesting stores and galleries on Royal, looking at the stained glass in St. Louis Cathedral, listening to some street musicians and having a snack of beignets and iced coffee at Cafe Du Monde. We took the street car back up the Riverwalk to our hotel to relax and prepare for dinner. Earlier in the day we had decided on K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. We hadn't been there before and it was high on our list to try this week.

We walked to the restaurant, which is about 5 blocks from our hotel. As we turned the corner from Conti onto Chartres, there was Chef Paul himself, out front listening to the musicians he has come every night to entertain his patrons. We introduced ourselves (I mentioned having met him previously at the Fancy Food Show in NYC this past summer). Jason requested an interview with him, and he graciously accepted for Tuesday afternoon. As we waited for our table, he changed his mind, "I could do it now, if you'd like?" So, he and Jason went off to a private room up front while I had a drink. I'll link to the podcast when Jason gets it online.

Dinner was fabulous. The soups only come in cup sizes, so we each ordered one. Jason had the gumbo, while I had the Corn and Andouille soup. Both were delicious, the gumbo had a slight bitter edge and was spicier than any other gumbo we'd had this trip. The corn soup was a little lighter in color and taste. We also shared the roasted three cheese sausage and the jambalaya appetizers. The sausage didn't taste of cheese at all, it was good, but really not what we expected, it was like a sweet Italian sausage, with peppers & onions. The jambalaya was terrific, garnished with sizzled pieces of sausage and surrounded by a spicy Sauce Piquant. I've never thought of serving jambalya with a sauce, it was very good that way.

For entrees, I had the K-Paul's classic of Blackened Drum filet topped with lump crabmeat and chipotle butter. It was just so damn good. Period. Jason had the panned veal cutlet with crab, shitake mushrooms, sundried tomatoes with a rich sauce. Jason really liked it, I had a taste, and while it was good, the sauce was even richer than the buttery one on my fish, and it was saltier than the seasonings coating my fish, so I was very happy with what I ordered. Since we had had two appetizers, all the desserts on offer sounded just too rich to me - I might have gone for a sorbet or other fruit based dessert, but it was all chocolate based or creamy/starchy (creme brulee, sweet potato pecan pie, or bread pudding with hard sauce). An orange back at the hotel was perfection.

And now it's time for your surprise. After our appetizers, the couple we met the night before at Upperline walk in (that's not it) and Jason was at the bar chatting with them. He comes over to me, "Doesn't that waiter look like Ray Nagin?" he asks. We laugh. He goes back to chatting. I watch the "waiter." He's over at the kichen pass talking to the cooks, then shaking hands and bumping fists. "Jason, that's not a waiter, that is Ray Nagin!" He waylays him on his way back from the kitchen window. Here's a link to Jason's interview with the current Mayor of New Orleans. He was there to pick up some take-out for his wife, on his way home from a live Mayoral debate. Sounds like a good husband.

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Again, thanks for the update. I've only been to Stanley's for breakfast a few times. Sorry to hear that lunch wasn't all that it could be.

The pod cast with Nagin is great. Jason and Nagin talk restaurants. Whether or not Nagin is up to the job post-K, I've never doubted that he's a decent man who truly loves the city.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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On Tuesday, we once again started with some fruit in our room, then lunch at Acme Oyster House. We had headed out for Johnny's Po-Boys, but we arrived to find them closed. They were open on Monday. We know this because that couple we kept running into had had lunch there on Monday. If they're open on Monday, of course they'd be open on Tuesday, right? Wrong. Apparently to keep their staff hours down to 40 hours a week, many restaurants choose to close a weekday or two. Lesson learned, always call ahead.

A nice lady noticed our distress at not being able to have lunch at Johnny's and suggested a "great local place." The Acme Oyster House, and she even offered to walk us there. We chatted away the five blocks, talking about her evacuation/relocation story, she ended up moving to the Quarter, and arrived at the Acme soon enough. Jason ordered a half-dozen raw, of which I ate 2! Sometimes, I just taste one, but these were very good, at least in my opinion. Nice and clean tasting. We shared the Oyster Rockerfeller soup, which was way to thick, salty and lacking in whole oysters, don't bother (I feel like we have to return to Liuzza's by the Track, to order this again and remind myself how good a soup this can be (and to compare to the version I made recently)).

We also had a couple Po-Boys. I ordered the Acme Special: ham, turkey, cheese and roast beef debris gravy. It was all melty and gooey and the gravy was the thickened kind, rather than the jus kind we had at Mother's. The bread didn't get saturated as fast and it was just really good. The waitress said it was the best and I highly recommend it as well. Jason got a "Peacemaker" which is a fried shrimp and oyster combo. It was good, but not as special as mine.

We were supposed to meet up with Brooks for a "disaster zone tour" but he got caught up with work, lucky boy, so that got pushed off until Wednesday. So we whiled away the afternoon before meeting up with him for dinner at Herbsaint. Talk about good! We ordered about half the menu between the three of us. The highlights include starters of Tomato and Shrimp Bisque, Housemade Spaghetti with Guancialle and Fried-Poached Farm Egg, and a Beet and Ravioli with Green Apple Slaw which was a special. FYI a "Fried-Poached Egg" is similar to a scotch egg. It is soft-poached, then breaded and fried; the finished egg still has a runny yolk. So this seems to be a twist on Spaghetti Carbonara.

For mains, Brooks had the fish of the day, a sauteed Redfish with mashed potatoes, butter beans and turnips. Yummy fish, but I avoided the dreaded turnips in my taste. Jason ordered the Hanger Steak Frites. It was good, it was steak. The fries are excellent and served with a "Pimenton Sauce" which reminded me of rouille. I ordered the Duck Confit with Dirty Rice and Citrus Gastrique. It was crisp on the outside and meltingly tender on the inside, well complemented by the gastrique. The dirty rice was excellent, however, it has so much meat in it, that I felt it distracted from the duck. I think it would match well with a non-meat side, maybe just a plain rice? The plate was also garnished with some simply cooked green beans.

We were quite full, but the desserts at Herbsaint are quite tempting. We shared some strawberry sorbet, the chocolate beignets (which are meltingly gooey in the center) served with brandied cherries, a scoop of the ice cream of the day (caramel ice cream with chocolate chips), and a dish of strawberries (by my special request). All were good, but nothing can beat fresh, red all the way through, in season, strawberries. Service is excellent, friendly, there when you need them. We had reviewed our list of restaurant contemplations with Chef John Besh, of Restaurant August, and he said not to miss Herbsaint, it is one of the most "passionate" restaurants currently open, a perfect description.

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RAchel, Jason, I'm totally LOVING this thread!

the story about ray nagin just made me smile!

its wonderful reading this, as reassurance that N.O. lives, and that the food is as good as ever.......

touching heartbreaking stories.......and i'm really interested in your pesach project........

bon appetit, mes amis,

Marlena

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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RAchel, Jason, I'm totally LOVING this thread!

the story about ray nagin just made me smile!

its wonderful reading this, as reassurance that N.O. lives, and that the food is as good as ever.......

touching heartbreaking stories.......and i'm really interested in your pesach project........

bon appetit, mes amis,

Marlena

I also, Marlena.

Was spielst Du?

bob

"Gentlemen: Madame Dodin-Bouffant."

So, when there is the slightest doubt, Marry the Cook!

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I'm so glad ya'll enjoyed K-Pauls. It's been our favorite for many years. We were there about 3 weeks ago, and I had the Corn and Andouille soup and loved it, too. My husband always gets the jambalya. My main was the eggplant canoe (I can't spell pi-row) :huh: and Steve got the tenderloin. We were delighted as always.

Also went to Acme for lunch. Incredible oysters. We ate a dozen each, then went on to the Peacemakers.

Eat On!!!

Stop Family Violence

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I'm so glad ya'll enjoyed K-Pauls. It's been our favorite for many years. We were there about 3 weeks ago, and I had the Corn and Andouille soup and loved it, too. My husband always gets the jambalya. My main was the eggplant canoe (I can't spell pi-row) :huh:  and Steve got the tenderloin. We were delighted as always.

Also went to Acme for lunch. Incredible oysters. We ate a dozen each, then went on to the Peacemakers.

Eat On!!!

Right On!!

I was there for 4 days..and ate at Acme everyday...sat at the counter..hollywood broadway is one fine oysterman..did i mention that three of four times before..ate three dozen on the half-shell everyday...my wife, a fabulous austrian from vienna, never stayed far behind..i like the way the oysterman cuts under, flips the oyster in the shell and removes any little bits and pieces, without losing the brine..just take them down without any embellisments..good stuff..worth the short wait..the line is longer than the wait..

I certainly agree with Sara about the rockefeller chowder..forget it...i really only liked the raw, on the half shell..and, I'm Still Standing...

I really like to eat Oyster's Rockefeller at 'the source'...

bob

"Gentlemen: Madame Dodin-Bouffant."

So, when there is the slightest doubt, Marry the Cook!

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Its a great town with the best and worse of AMERICA. Anyone who can ought to go. Check out Mommas. It real.

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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Its a great town with the best and worse of AMERICA.  Anyone who can ought to go. Check out Mommas.  It real.

You are 'right on'...and i love your quotes...

thanks

bob :wub:

"Gentlemen: Madame Dodin-Bouffant."

So, when there is the slightest doubt, Marry the Cook!

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I've heard (off the public forums of eG) that some people feel our concentrating on the food, restaurants, and other positive aspects of the current New Orleans, is callous, self-centered, that we're ignoring the trauma of the city. That couldn't be further from the truth. The timing of our trip was to specifically participate in a charity project that wouldn't have occured without my synagogue's participation. Jason has posted some pictures of the devastation on his blog. Some of his pictures will be incorporated into this journal as we have the time. Our goal in posting so much that is positive, that much of the main tourist areas of town are open, there are hotels to accomodate you, restaurants to serve you, cabbies to drive you, etc., is to encourage tourism.

When we were planning this trip, many people asked us, "Why are you going to New Orleans for vacation?" The simple answer? To spend money. Our trip contributed to the livelihood of cooks, waiters, bussers, dishwashers, cabbies, hotel desk clerks, housekeepers, growers/producers/farmers of food, shopowners, and so on. Two comments from locals we've heard over and over is 1) that New Olreans needs an influx of money (there's only so much recycling of money within the community can do (i.e. a local shopkeeper eating at a restaurant and a local chef buying something at a local store), they need money coming in from outside, and besides government help, that means tourists. And 2) almost everyone we talked to, from the Mayor to a guy on the streetcar says "thank you for coming to New Orleans" -- very sincerely.

You're welcome and thank you for having us.

Check out Mommas.  It real.

"Mommas"? I can't find it on yp.yahoo, do you mean Mother's?

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Wednesday was a pretty good food day. We had lunch at Bon Ton Cafe, which is an old school, business lunch, hangout for judges and lawyers. It is located right near the Hale Boggs Federal Building and many other business towers. Although the fried soft shell crab a judge at the next table was having looked real good (I asked the waitress if he was a judge after he left, everyone kept stopping at his table to say hello and shake hands), I opted for the catfish, which was excellent. Jason had the crawfish etoufee, he liked, I thought it was too salty (what else is new?). The entrees are preceded by salads with a terrific, strong, creole mustard vinaigrette. We had shared a cup of gumbo to start, and it was pretty darn good. They are currently only open for weekday lunch (11-2), dinner on Friday only.

While Jason went off to interview Chef Donald Link at Herbsaint (upcoming in his blog), I took the Magazine bus uptown to do some shopping. The bus and streetcars are currently fare-free, until June, so hopping on and off them is a very convenient way to travel around the tourist meccas of the Vieux Carre and Magazine's shops and restaurants.

For dinner, I was starting to crave anything unfried nor creamy. I was thinking a salad, maybe topped with some crab meat or other seafood. Calling on TAPrice and Brooks for suggestions, we unfortunately concluded that our only choices were Deanies (only open in Bucktown) or Landry's (in the Quarter). It's a haul of a cab ride to Deanies in Metairie, so we hoofed it to Landry's, only 4 blocks from our hotel. Jason was in the mood for a simple shrimp or crawfish boil, and their website menu indicated that could be had as well. However, in perusing the menu at the bar, while we waited for a table and Jason had a beer (nice and cold), we discovered the boiled items were sorely lacking. We left. We had felt uneasy with the idea of eating at a chain (you all know we're snobs that way), and just could not bring ourselves to even consider Bubba Gumps or Hard Rock Cafe, neighbors of Landry's, so Jason said, "screw it, let's just go to Jacques-Imo's!" He didn't have to twist my arm.

A cab ride later.

Jack Leonardi was present, we've met him a couple times before, and we said hi and he remembered Jason, he bought us a round at the bar. I asked for a "girlie drink" and bartender presented me with a Watermelon Mojito - nice and refreshing and not too sweet, for a girlie drink. :wink: Like K-Pauls, they also present their jambalaya appetizer with a sauce. But where's KP's is "piquant", Jacques-Imo's is sweet with Creole Tomatoes. Even though I couldn't get a simple big salad (although the house salad of spinach salad with a fried oyster on top is great), I tried to stay healthier and ordered the seafood bouilliabase. Lovely, lightly cooked seafood (oysters, shrimp, mussels and some fish) in a broth studded with tomato. Jason abandoned his boiled seafood craving and went for the stuffed pork chop (massive, rich gravy, ground meat, shrimp & mushroom stuffing, not light). I knew from previous experience that the desserts at Jacques-Imo's are great, so I only ate half my dinner to save room for a terrific strawberry shortcake. I think every dessert I've ordered this week has taken advantage of the Louisiana strawberry season. Too bad we're leaving right before the Pontchatoula Strawberry Festival.

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And that is one of the major reasons I went down in January. The city still needs help, good for you all to help let the world know that there is still things to do and places to go and people to see and good food to be eaten. I left as much money behind as I could. Yes, the devastation is still there and the residents are dealing with it.

This is an extract from an email a friend who lives in the Esplanade ridge area sent me today,

The Save-a-Center near my house has reopened.  That is a big sign that Mid-City is coming be to life.  They don’t have full phone service.  When the cashier needed a manager she had to go get her.  The city has taken back over regular garbage pickup and now seems to doing it.  They are also getting around to fixing more stoplights.  Crime is returning, ah it’s the little things that warm my heart.

  The election is 2 ½ weeks away, and it’s a huge mess.  Whoever wins I hope they win big!  Any close calls are going to be subject to lawsuits.  I’m not concerned about the mayoral candidates because the top few are savvy enough to understand that post election suits will be more harmful to the city and make them look bad.  I’m concerned about outside parties, the council seats, and the other elections being wrongfully contested.

  The problem with the recovery is that sooo many key decisions have to be made all at once, and that’s not New Orleans.  There is so much that needs to be done right, and that’s not New Orleans.  We need so much help, money, and the eyes of a nation are spotlighting every, of our many, flaws.  A dysfunctional paradise, yesterday, today, and forever.

  So many good people around the country are coming to the area to help.  So many locals are committed to the recovery.  People get tired though.  I’m scared of everybody turning into zombies.

  I have two major things on my mind.  The first is that I haven’t heard anything during the campaign about a key in the recovery, childcare.  Of 283 childcare centers in the city BK only 50 are open, few takes infants, and they are all full with long waiting list.  Of 455 family childcare providers BK only 16 are open.  Yes people need housing and jobs, but childcare is equally important.  It’s one of the things that need to be available before people come home.  The second is the mental and emotional health of everyone. The extreme cases of Katrina Fatigue are obvious, example A the mayor, but there is a greater undercurrent.  I’m predicting a rise in child and adolescent behavioral problems, abuse of all kinds, drug/alcohol addictions, marital problems/devoice, ...you get the point.

There is still a lot of work that needs to be done, and one way to help is to go visit and spend money. I like to think of this as direct contribution to aid recovery efforts.

Jason and Rachel, I enjoy reading your posts of your visit. Reminds me that I need to go back.

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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