We All Live to Eat
Wait a minute! Isn’t “We All Eat to Live” the upstanding, sensible version of this saying? Yes, it is. But something happens in New Orleans. Visitors who have sane and proper dining habits at home, throw caution to the wind the minute their plane hits the tarmac. Every bite of food becomes an adventure so one’s thinking tilts more and more until it’s, “Oh wow, what’s next? Or “Are you kidding? I have to try that!” Or “If I don’t try that I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.” I feel I must help all you wayward souls so here are eight suggestions on how to handle The Big Feasty.
“I’M THINKING EXTRA-CRISPY SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN”
We have just the place for you. It’s called Willie Mae’s Scotch House and it has been described as having “the best fried chicken ever” by the James Beard Foundation and the Food Network. Each piece is crispy-crunchy outside, and super juicy inside. The restaurant is located in New Orleans’ 6th Ward, which is just blocks away from the French Quarter. You’ll find it at 2401 Saint Ann Street.
“I’D KILL FOR DEEP-FRIED ALLIGATOR MEATBALLS TONIGHT”
Looking for a dive bar with pub grub? And live music? Check out Buffa’s Bar and Restaurant at 1001 Esplanade Avenue (or, On the Border of the Quarter Since 1939). Don’t want to tackle gator with a spicy sauce? No problem. You’ll also find shrimp and grits, honey-mustard wings and the Buffa burger served with fries. The Front Bar is open 24/7/365 while the Back Room is open Mon.-Tues. 6pm to whenever.
“I’M WANTING A ‘SMALL PLATE’ PLACE, I’M NOT HUNGRY YET”
We hear you. So how about a snug bar and eatery that features small plates and special house cocktails? The Three Muses Restaurant is a great spot for drinks before heading out to explore the lively music scene in the area. Tapas style portions make it easy to try new things and share with others. Cheese plates and stuffed olives are favorites. And don’t forget: local jazz combos perform as one nibbles. Three Muses is open seven days a week and is located at 536 Frenchmen Street.
“OK, I’M IN THE SOUTH. I WANT SOME REAL GOOD SOUL FOOD”
You said, “Soul food.” Well, we’ve heard that Dooky Chase’s Restaurant serves Southern Creole that we’re sure you’ll love as you take note of the white linen tablecloths and art bedecked walls. From Tuesday to Friday the restaurant offers a delicious lunch buffet. The “regular” menu on Friday nights offers favorites such as Chicken Creole and Stuffed Shrimp. You’ll find this gem at 2301 Orleans Avenue.
“I WANT THE SANDWICH THAT STARTS WITH THE LETTER ‘M’”
I can’t spell or pronounce it either, but I saw it on March 20th on Channel 88 in New York City at midnight on a program called The Zimmern List. They featured a muffuletta sandwich at The Central Grocery and Deli located at 923 Decatur in the French Quarter. It looked absolutely delicious and VERY filling. Go for it.
“WHAT ABOUT ROYAL STREET? ANY MORE RESTAURANTS?
Yes, I promised last week I’d finish with Royal. Here are three more: Verti Marte at 1201 Royal is open 24 hours and has delicious sandwiches, salads and burgers. Then there’s Bennachin at 1212 Royal that features West African cuisine. This restaurant is one of the first places in New Orleans to feature vegan items on its menu. And right next door with the same 1212 Royal address (this throws people for a loop) is the Mona Lisa restaurant that has a menu featuring Italian-American cuisine. Diners rave about its mouth-watering lasagna and baked ziti.
That’s it. You’ll never starve in New Orleans, that’s for sure.