Yesterday, my neighbor , Christina, and I went Uptown for brunch at Patois. The word patois means local language, something we have plenty of here. The food at Patois is prepared with ingredients from local gardens and dairies (Louisiana cheese? Who knew?) and, of course, the once gorgeous and fruitful Gulf.

Our host was a handsome devil who seated us in the window looking out on the beautiful architecture and gardens that characterize Uptown. New Orleans is a romantic city and love was in the air. It’s so nice to see a man in a pastel suit (straight from church, I’m guessing) pulling out the chair for his lady in a floral print shift. A young man sat on the same side of the table as his paramour, a blonde in a black and white strapless with a feathered cocktail hat (a small cap with feathers and netting), and they fed each other bites.

Our waiter was an even cuter version of Entourage‘s Adrian Grenier. He was friendly, chatty even, and threw us a steady stream of dazzling smiles. Christina and I split the muffins, a basket of brioche and insanely good banana nut. We also split a starter of potato gnocchi, locally grown edamame, crawfish and marscapone cheese all in a lovely cream sauce. It arrived with a giant pat of butter melting on top.

I would have liked to try more menu items but we both just had to have the same sandwich. I’m not much for sandwiches, but this was damn good eating. An over easy egg, cheddar, crisped pork belly and a friend green tomato sat between slices of toasted brioche with a dollop of some yummy sauce. Shoestring fries and the crispiest sweet pickle chips I’ve ever eaten finished the dish. Happy birthday indeed!

Afterward, I ran some errands, helped out a friend who was injured then rewarded my self with the area’s sweetest treat, a nectar and sweetened condensed milk sno-ball from SnoWizard on Magazine Street. For as long as I can remember, I’ve easily ignored Kool-Aid, popsicles, and most other sugar-syrup treats. I don’t know why sno-balls are so different, I only know that they RULE!

And now that I’ve revealed that I’m moonlighting for Nola Defender, my next article was published this morning, a piece on volunteering for Second Harvest. It’s the first in a series of articles where I will volunteer at a variety of places and explore ways to give when you’re broke. Here’s the opener and the link:

Like most Americans, I’m strapped for cash. When I hear the cries from places like the Gulf and Haiti, I feel puny and impotent. That, coupled with a feeling that I need my own personal bailout, has sucked some of my generosity from me.

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Filed under Culture, Local Cuisine

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