Thursday, June 21, 2012

And Don't Fall Asleep

On Frenchman St, or you'll miss out on les bons temps.

To put it another way: eschew the French Quarter. Head for Marigny and Tremé. Eat, drink and be merry. And get 50 wings at Man Chu for $20.

Not Ready for Bed Yet?

No worries. Last call on a Sunday is 2:30 am. Or later, depending on the barkeep's mood. Tip the


Is everywhere. Kind of Blue at 1 am? Got you covered. And that drummer is tight.

Find Some Friends with Tats

Summer Sausage knows some people. They play music, have a kid on the way, tend a lovely garden, roast their own cochon de lait, and attract what the rest of us would refer to as Hipsters, except these folk are actually hip, and probably started the whole trend in the first place. Local connexions. Nice deck. Good pool.

A Few More Things You Should Know

Before you go to dinner, grab a cocktail, preferably a Sazerac, at French 75. Do not order a second one. Just sayin'.

When you make it to Lilette, ignore the celebrities and focus on this: white truffle parmigiano toast with wild mushrooms, marrow and veal glacé. The opium of the food world. If you do not like this, if it doesn't put a face-melting expression of pure happiness on your face, there is something wrong with you.

When you do get up the next morning for brunch at Commander's Palace, wear pants. They will not admit you without pants. Also, order the turtle soup. And make sure you know enough Dixie so that when the band comes around you don't look like a total fool. Sweet Georgia Brown and Up the Lazy River are good calls.

Then take a nap. It's hot out.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Good Fellas

Tonight we ate at Lillette in the garden district and shared a dining room with not only Quentin Taratino but Seth Rogan. We were trying not to freak out as all the locals were so cool about it-- but it proved a little challenging. We felt like the universe should be exploding on some level--it was a very small dining room. Thankfully, our table neighbors added some levity by inviting us to a clothing optional party at a country club in the Bywater.

No chicken for me

Meanwhile, I spent the afternoon In a rarified tour of the New Orleans Museum of Art and sculpture garden with a colleague (Anish Kapoor below).

Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

Sure it's J-than's (aka Mad Dog, aka Summer Sausage) birthday, but there are presents for all.

"Where you goin'?"

"Willie Mae's."

"You boys learn about fried chicken from the TV?" We're already booking north on Canal. "Willie Mae's is shit. I eat there once, and it's for people who don't know from chicken. You feel me?"

Part of me knew this would happen.

"Where do you eat?"

"Dookie Chase is a block away. Their chicken's better."

"Let's go there."

"Man, you don't want to go there. I grew up in this town, feel me? I take you to Popeye's, 'cuz their chicken tastes like chicken, for reals, you get it?"

J-than chimed in at this point: "We've got Popeye's."

"It ain't nothin' like our Popeye's." Dude swings a right, down a lane under the freeway that still shows signs of the hurricane. "When you get chicken, you know what you want to be eatin'? Chicken. You feel me? What did I just tell you?"

He put his seat in lo-rider mode, pinning my legs into the back seat.

"Ima take you where they make the best chicken. Ima gonna go in wit you so you not scared. You know who makes the best chicken? You know? It ain't the the blacks or the Latinos, it's those Chinese or Koreans or whatever they are. Damn. Ima take you here: Man Chu. You get fifty pieces of chicken and shrimp fried rice and a salad for 20 bucks. Or you get 20 wings and rice, and you get the fish and shrimp and fries and a salad and it's still 20."

He winged it left under the freeway and triple-parked next to a ramshackle purple functional sculpture (calling it a building would be overkill). We got out and went in.

"Look at the board. You get 400 wings for 100 bucks. I buy 100 wings and they're still hot when I get home."

Fourteen wings, two catfish, nine shrimp and fries later, packed up in styro by two diminutive Chinese ladies, we were back in the cab and driving...somewhere.

"Open your chicken. Eat your chicken. What do you taste? WHAT DO YOU TASTE?! You tastin' chicken. Gimme one of those."

Dude was not wrong. This is what we came for.

"Open the fish." It was molten fucking hot. "What do you smell?" "Uh, fish?" "No! They put that Chinese stuff in it. Not cayenne...what is it...curry!"

At this point I've got chicken in one hand, catfish in the other, shattered batter all down my shirt and a mouthful of awesome. J-than had the sense to ask, "Is there a park where we can eat this?"

"Yeah, I take you."

He dropped us in the Marigny, and we stuffed ourselves silly.

Cuddle Party!

'Nuff said.

Irish twins day

It's that very special time of year when Karen and Jonathan are the same age--marked by June 15 (a.k.a. Jonathan's birthday or Irish twins day). As the clock struck midnight on this fine occasion, we found ourselves at the Saturn bar in Bywater--an ex-bareknuckled boxing joint turned hipster dive. Rough in all the right places. Cheap bottled beer and fine live music for Mad Dog's big 4-0. Meanwhile, Michael slaved at his computer back at the hotel...