Category Archives: Local Cuisine

Gleason Gras, Downriver Festival & Burger Fest

My family is safe after Hurricane Irma but it was a long, scary weekend. Luckily, New Orleans always has plenty of distractions. Friday, I performed with the Pussyfooters at 7th annual Gleason Gras. Presented by former Saint, Steve Gleason, and What You Give Will Grow in the Superdome’s Champions Square, the event raises awareness and money for ALS and the Gleason Family Trust. The show included Jon Cleary, Colin Lake and Rebirth Brass Band as well as performances by the 610 Stompers and the Pussyfooters! We danced, ate, took photos with the Lombardi trophy and had a great time for a great cause.

Saturday was a 2 Fest day. First was Downriver Festival, celebrating the cultural and environmental impact of the Mississippi River region. Soul Brass Band played as DancingMan504 and Spidey504 put on a show under a shady tent next to the U.S. Mint. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, the Saints

Satchmo SummerFest Sat./Sun.

Usually, the only weather concern for Satchmo SummerFest is the oppressive heat and humidity but this year brought a huge rain storm that dumped over half a foot of rain in under an hour, overwhelming the pumping systems and flooding the entire city. That said, we did manage to have some fun at the fest before the weather came through. The distinctively dulcet voice of John Boutte serenaded us as we sampled the food booths starting with a Debris Po-Boy from the Rib Room – which we topped with horseradish mayo to bring out the flavor. Next we tried the Deep Fried Seafood Stuffed Bell Peppers and the Fried Green Tomato and Shrimp Remoulade Salad from Café Dauphine. We washed it all down with a cold Purple Haze Abita beer.  Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Concerts, Culture, festival, Local Cuisine

Satchmo SummerFest – Friday

Celebrating Louis Armstrong’s August birthday,  Satchmo SummerFest is often the sweatiest festival of the year, but rain cooled the day. The rain also left the grassy yard of the U.S. Mint a muddy mess. But much of the fest is tented and Friday was a great kickoff to the fest with food and beverage booths, non-stop live music on multiple stages and symposiums on Armstrong and related topics. We stopped by The Preservation Brass entertaining a crowd then started our day with a Soft-shell Crab Poboy served on Dong Phong Bread with Pink Sauce from Ajun Cajun and a Royal House Chopped Salad with Fried Oysters. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Concerts, Culture, festival, Local Cuisine

Random Acts of Kindness and 3 Birthday Meals

My birthday celebrating started early this year with a dinner at John Besh’s Domenica with old friend Richard Dreyfuss and his lovely and amazing wife, Svetlana. Over the 25 years we’ve known each other, Richard and I have worked on 3 movies together, collaborated on a Katrina relief project and he even wrote the foreword to my book, Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments into a Career. The menu from Executive Chef Alon Shaya, 2015’s  James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: South award winner, provided a delicious take on some traditional Italian dishes as well as offering show-stoppers like the Squid Ink Tagliolini with blue crab & herbs. We finished the meal with 3 beautiful and decadent desserts selected by our charming server, Cristina. Each dessert was decorated with a chocolate birthday banner. We were there for hours enjoying fabulous food and great company with perfect service. I’m definitely going back for that squid ink pasta dish. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Charity, Culture, Local Cuisine, Mama says, shopping

Naked Bike Ride 2017 (R-rated)

Rolling annually past the Creole Tomato Fest, the World Naked Bike Ride is one of our city’s simplest parades. People roll past in various and creative stages of dress and undress. Calling attention to bike safety, this year’s parade had an added reaction to recent targeting of cyclists in various assaults. The themes of naturalness, respect for the Earth and pride in owning your shape and size run deep but at the end of the day, it’s just a lot of fun to watch decorated naked people bike past. Enjoy the photos and don’t forget to check out posts on the Tomato Fest and the Gay Pride Parade. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, parade

Creole Tomato Fest 2017

The 31st annual Creole Tomato Fest delivered food, music, cocktails, food demos and the perfect backdrop to 2 parades, the Naked Bike Ride and the Gay Pride Parade (my next 2 posts). It was a warm, breezy day in the French Quarter so crowds were steady but lines weren’t too long. We headed straight for George’s Produce Co. for my favorite dish every year, The Pontchartrain – Sliced Creole Tomato topped with lump crab meat remoulade. So simple and so freaking good. We weren’t surprised when they won Best of the Fest’s “Tastiest Dish.” Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Concerts, Culture, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine

Oyster Fest 2017

The rain held off for the first day of the 8th annual New Orleans Oyster Festival in Woldenberg Park. I’ve attended every year for the live music, food booths, local artists (most of whom have oyster-inspired pieces of art, housewares and jewelry) and food demonstrations. Like many of our festivals, the event is meant to give back to the local community – this time through several non-profits aimed at coastal restoration. They provided oyster shell recycling bins to help build coastal reefs – so even throwing away your trash properly helped the coastline. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine