Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Curmudgeon No More, Gourmand to the Core

In the interest of countering my recent negativity, here's a ray of pure delight: a link to a great article on a great eatery in New Orleans, a great eating town. Yes, "End of the Lines for Uglesich's?" is a chef d'oeuvre of food writing, but more than that, it evokes a place and feeling and people in a multi-layered portrait of a deservedly cherished diner. And no, it doesn't seem to be the end of the lines just yet.

Why NOLA, why now? My little cousin is going to New Orleans for three days (What? Just three days? Does she have any idea what lies in store? She'll need at least a week!) and I rounded up the creme de la creole for her. Glad I kept such good notes when I was there. This is in no wise an exhaustive list, nor would she be able to use one in three paltry days, even if she were speed-feeding. Moreover, my cousin, bless her faithful heart, was raised kosher and has stayed that way, more or less. Hard to imagine what she'll do confronted by an endless parade of magnificent shrimp and crawfish. There's always chicken, I guess.

Kosher in the Big Easy?

Here's what I sent her.
For a short stay, I recommend the following restaurants, in this order:

>Uglesich's, though you may have a hard time ordering a full lunch without any seafood in it. The eggplant side dish is terrific, but stealth shrimp lurk within, so beware. Expect to wait a while. $
>Nola (make reservations now!) I was deliriously happy with my pecan-crusted redfish. The service is amazing. And I didn't know it was run by the TV chef. $$$
>Commander's Palace for brunch (make reservations now!) Live Dixieland included. Good strolling in adjacent Garden District post-brunch. $$$
>Cafe du Monde for one amazing thing: beignets. So unbelievably good, even if the idea of a mountain of powdered sugar on a hot square piece of fried dough doesn't sound like much. Note that this unqualified praise comes from a confirmed donut-hater. (Snack or dessert) $
>Praline Connection -- really good, but you might be unable to have any of it because of treifness. $
>Old Dog New Tricks -- this vegetarian place is a much-needed antidote to the cooking everywhere else ... if it's still there; the locals scoffed at us for asking about it. On Frenchman Street, itself a worthy destination $

The Art Museum is a very pleasant surprise, and the bus trip out to it is a good way to see parts of the city you'd otherwise miss.

Just three days. Tsk tsk tsk. O, to be a tastebud on that tongue. Or better, to be that whole tongue. No, wait. That's still not right. OK, scratch that. To be in New Orleans once more, tying on the feedbag.

That'll do, pig.

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