Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Tunisian side dish

While we're on a Middle Eastern food theme, I thought I'd share a gem of a recipe from Paula Wolfert's bible Mediterranean Cooking. When I cooked a Middle Eastern feast for some friends, I searched for a tasty but unique vegetable side dish. I decided to try this recipe because the color and texture seemed a nice compliment to the main course, but I wasn't sure how it would taste because I'd never used harissa, a red chili pepper paste from North Africa. Harissa gave the carrots a rich color and a depth of flavor that contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the carrots. The addition of olives and feta makes it perfect. The dish was a huge hit, and it has subsequently become my favorite preparation for cooked carrots.

Houriya (Carrot Salad)
Serves 6 to 8

2 lbs fresh carrots
3 large garlic cloves unpeeled
fine salt
1 t. harissa or more to taste
2 t. caraway seeds
7 t.vinegar (cider or malt)
2 to 3 t. olive oil
2 doz. small black olives
4 oz. feta

Cut carrots into thin rounds and arrange in a pot. Add 3 T. water, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook until carrots are tender. Drain carrots, reserving 1T of liquid. Allow carrots to cool and then mash w/ a fork.

Blend in harissa w/ reserved cooking liquid. Add carrots, caraway, cooked and peeled garlic, and vinegar blending well. Gradually beat in oil. Correct seasoning w/ salt. Keep covered in refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. To serve, mound the carrots in a shallow serving dish and garnish w/ olives and feta.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Lamb and date tagine

Now that it's finally cool outside, I'm in the mood to cook heavier, saucier dishes. Some people have said to me that lamb is intimidating because it has to be cooked correctly or it tastes awful. This Moroccan recipe for a lamb and date stew, or tagine, is delicious and easy. My dad ate a similar dish in Paris at a place called Wally Le Saharien. Dates and lamb are a match made in heaven. The dates bring a touch of sweetness to the lamb.

Lamb and date tagine
Serves 4
2 T olive oil
2 ½ lb lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
¼ t. turmeric
¼ t. ground ginger
¼ t. finely chopped garlic
½ ground black pepper
6 fresh springs coriander (aka cilantro)
¾ to 1 c. pitted dates
2 c. water
¼ t. ground cinnamon

Heat oil in a large heavy casserole and lightly brown meet in all sides. Add salt, spices and garlic. Toss w/ meat and cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the onion, coriander springs, and water. Bring to boil and simmer, covered for 1 ½ hour (adding more water if necessary), or until meat is tender.

Preheat oven to highest setting.

Spread meat in one layer in an ovenproof serving dish. Place the dates in between the meat. Remove coriander sprigs from cooking liquid. Correct the seasonings, adding cayenne to taste. Pour sauce over meat and sprinkle with cinnamon. Set on highest shelf of oven and bake uncovered until dates become crusty – about 15 minutes.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Tortilla pie

Wednesday I stumbled across a foodie's delight quite by accident. At lunchtime, I headed over to Raleigh for a meeting at the Capital Center building on Jones Franklin Road. When I walked in the door of the office, I could smell something delicious so I made a note to stop by the little cafe on my way out.

Much to my delight, I discovered the Comfort Cuisine Cafe run by Maggie Radzwiller. Those of you who've been around Durham for a while might remember her as the manager of Nana's and one of the original partners of Pop's. Now she focuses on her catering business and this small restaurant in Raleigh.

The dish that I smelled cooking was her tortilla pie. It is a regular feature on her cafe menu and she'd made it as the daily special because the N&O had featured her recipe for it in the paper that same day. I ordered a serving and took it back to work for my lunch. It was perfect comfort food as the newspaper suggests.

I asked Maggie if the recipe in the paper was actually the one she made or if she had some secrets in her own batch. She said the only secret was the quality of the tortillas, and she graciously offered to sell me or anyone else the tortillas she uses at cost. I thought that was very generous of her. A cafe that is an abundance of food and an abundance of heart! I like that.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thai Cafe again

Last week I met a colleague at Thai Cafe on University Drive. The lunch entrees come with either a bowl of coconut soup or a salad. I had the soup. It was spicy, flavorful broth. Besides coconut milk, it had lemongrass and red chili in it. I found it light and refreshing.

For a starter, my friend and I shared an order of four crab angels, aka crab Rangoon. They were rich and therefore perfect for sharing. When I was a kid I loved crab Rangoon. One time my mother and I even made them at home. The crab angels did not disappoint although they were probably not as good as homemade.

My main course was spicy basil chicken in a curry and coconut milk sauce. It was hot but not bring-me-to-tears hot.

On Saturday at the farmers' market, I bought some Thai basil and decided to try some Thai food at home. Thai basil is more fragrant when cooked. It seems sweeter to me than regular basil. I tried an easy, stir-fry recipe for gai pad bai gaprow from epicurious.com.

It turned out great, and I thought I might try it sometime with shrimp. The sweetness of shrimp would go well with the Thai basil and the spiciness of the red pepper.

My next venture in Thai cooking will either be summer rolls or a red curry with coconut milk.

Monday, October 22, 2007


An anonymous commenter on the Watts Grocery post mentions how messed up compensation for waiters and waitresses is. That got me to thinking about tips.

I cannot think of a single time when I haven't left a tip. The waiter would have to slap me, cuss me out, AND call my momma a whore for me not to leave a tip. I'd probably also leave him w/ a black eye.

For the record, in America these days 20% is standard for restaurants, hair cuts, massages, whatever. Yes, tip your hairdresser. If you think 15% is standard, or (gasp!) 10%, then you are cheap. Do you really want people to think you are cheap? No, I thought not.

I leave a tip of 15% if the service has been really poor. In spite of being cranky from time to time about getting silverware and drinks in a timely fashion, I usually don't even knock it down to 15% for those minor infractions. Generally it takes a slew of mistakes: no silver or dirty silver, plus slow service, plus the wrong order, plus surly attitude.

A very long time ago I worked as a waitress. I found that waiting tables is far more stressful than a desk job, even the management job I have now. And customers can be a real pain. My biggest pet peeve is when I dine out with people who treat the wait staff as if they are servants. This is just wrong. In France, people respect their waiters and waitresses as founts of knowledge about the wine and the cuisine. Somehow we should recapture that.

So the next time you don't leave a 20% tip, or 15% if it is bad service, just remember that you are showing your own ass. And that is not a pretty sight!

I'm sure y'all will have opinions on this, but I stand firm in my own belief of what is correct and what is cheap and tacky, so beware.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Coffee and beignets: Rue Cler

This morning I met a friend for coffee and beignets at Rue Cler before wandering over to the farmers' market. Love Rue Cler in general. I've not been for dinner in a few months, but I really like how they do the prix fixe menu. More places should offer a set menu. It's got to be a good business model besides being exciting for the customer.

But I digress. When my friend suggested coffee and beignets, I wistfully recalled my trip to the Big Easy a few weeks ago where I went to Cafe du Monde for the most famous and most delicious coffee and beignets in the world. Those beignets are the size of your hand. The coffee is rich and dark and uniquely flavored with chicory. Yes, I know the place is touristy, but so what? It is beloved by many people for two very good reasons: one being in a cup and the other being deep fried.

Knowing that I might approach Rue Cler biased by my recent experience in New Orleans, I decided to be intentionally open to the differences. To say "Well it's not like Cafe du Monde" would not be helpful or insightful or fun! I'm all about the fun.

The cafe au lait was dark and strong and milky the way I like it. It seems like they serve the coffee in paper cups regardless if you order it as take out or dine in (now if this is some thing they are doing to save water by doing less dish washing, don't everyone yell at me or call me names for not being au fait with restaurant regulations and political statements!). I'm OK w/ paper cups but I sure would love for Rue Cler to serve coffee in some huge, white French cafe au lait bowls when I am dining in.

The beignets were good. They taste like, well, fried dough. What's not to love about fried dough coated in powdered sugar? Crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I wondered how they would be with a good dose of cinnamon sprinkled on them or maybe a side of apple or strawberry compote.

Rue Cler offers other items for breakfast if you are looking for a non-deep-fried option. You could always have beignets as a starter ad order egg for a main!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Favorite kitchen gadgets

I love kitchen gadgets and small appliances! I could spend hours in places like Williams Sonoma and, my fav, A Southern Season. However, a person does not need a lot of gadgets to be a great cook. Some gadgets are so specialized that they get used once in a blue moon. Think pasta maker or fondue pot. Other gadgets are items that no one ever needs, like the $130 cast iron, made-in-France, mussel pot I saw at A Southern Season.

Some gadgets are worth having. My ten favorite ones:

1. Microplane rasp -- Ditch the box grater for fine grating. This grater gives much more control and will prevent you from grating your fingers. I use it for cheese, chocolate, and zests.

2. Chinois -- This is the queen of strainers. It is a very fine mess sieve with a mortar to push the food through the fine mess. It is perfect for smooth soups and sauces.

3. Garlic press -- Buy a good quality one that will allow you to press the garlic with the skin on.

4. Pastry brush with acrylic bristles -- Easy to clean and no annoying bristles that shed. You need one.

5. Cuisinart automatic grind and brew coffee pot -- It makes morning so much more bearable. An evil boyfriend bought this for me. I ditched him but I never hated a man enough to return presents!

6. A saucepan with a spout for pouring -- I have on by Analon that has a spout on each side and a lid w/ holes for straining. It is very convenient.

7. An old cast iron skillet -- If you haven't inherited one from a grandmother or a great aunt, go to a thrift store and buy one. A cast iron skillet takes a good 30 years to be seasoned to a nice, slick, black surface that is non-stick. Cast iron does need to be looked after. It requires oiling and re-seasoning from time to time, but I love it. I only bought a non-cast iron skillet for cooking tomato and other acidic sauces. Apparently cast iron is not good for those flat glass, electric stove tops.

8. A tiny whisk -- It's perfect for whisking up a quick vinaigrette for one or two people.

9. Mandoline -- For those of us lacking the patience or fine motor skills to slice things very thinly, a mandoline is a savior. It takes up a lot of room, I don't use it that often, but when I need it, I love it.

10. Bread knife -- Not only is the serrated knife good for bread but it is also great for tomatoes or other soft fruits/vegs.

What do you have in your kitchen?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bad manners

For the record, I will not countenance being called names in comments. I reserve the right to delete anything rude or abusive. I believe in the freedom of speech but I also believe that your mother raised you better.

Believe it or not, I do not actually have time to keep abreast of all the restaurant regulations on water restrictions. So sorry about that. I have been too busy straining my pasta water into a bucket so I can water my plants.

Oh, I went to Watts Grocery for dinner, and they asked me if I would like some water. I asked about it, and the waiter said, "Well basically I asked you to tell me you would like some water," wink, smile, and I got my water.

It is somewhat worrisome that arm-chair commentators get worked up about a posting on a food blog. This is supposed to be *FUN* and if it isn't then, please, find something that makes you smile. Or better yet, get out of your chair and do some good for the world.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Deluxe grilled cheese

I adore grilled cheese sandwiches. Cook cheese cannot be beat especially when it is melting and oozing between two pieces of nice toasty bread! My mom always made my brother and me grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup.

I found this recipe in the NYT a couple of weeks ago, and I finally tried it out last night. Taleggio had great flavor and it melts nicely. The mustard, apricot, caper mixture reminds me of a chutney: fruity, a hint of sweetness, but savory and tart. It goes very well with the raisin bread, an interesting twist on the classic, and cheese. The arugula gives the sandwich a peppery kick. I could eat this every day for a week!

Taleggio grilled cheese sandwiches:

15 dried apricots

1 tablespoon nonpareil capers

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

8 slices dark raisin bread

5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

4 small handfuls arugula

8 ounces taleggio cheese, rind removed, at room temperature

4 pinches fleur de sel.

1. Place apricots in small saucepan and add water just to cover. Bring to full boil and immediately remove from heat. Mix in capers, mustard and olive oil. Pulse in blender to chunky consistency; set aside.

2. Spread one side of each bread slice evenly (to the edges) with 1/2 tablespoon butter. With buttered sides down, top four slices with 2 tablespoons of apricot mixture, handful of arugula and equal portions of cheese. Top with remaining slices, buttered side up.

3. Place large skillet over high heat, and melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Reduce heat to low and add sandwiches. Cook until browned and crisp on both sides, about 2 minutes a side. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels, and sprinkle each with a pinch of fleur de sel. Cut in half and serve.

Yield: 4 sandwiches.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The enomatic at Wine Authorities

My buddies at the Wine Authorities on University Drive have now installed two enomatics: one for red wines and one for white wines.

The enomatic is basically a vino vending machine. It stores several bottles of wine at the right temperature and dispenses it in servings of 1 oz, half glass, or full glass. This gadget is wonderful for people like me who want to taste a higher end bottle of wine before buying it.

Yesterday was the first time I'd tried it. I bought a card for the machine for $1 and then put $20 on the card. The 1 oz tastes start at around 90 cents and go up from there depending on the price of the bottle. A taste of the $40 Pomerol cost about $4. That's a bit pricey, and a full glass of it out of the enomatic is $20 so a person may as well just have a taste and then buy the bottle. I did enjoy being able to taste three French reds though, two Bordeaux and one from Languedoc. In the end, I bought a smooth and rich 2004 Graves from Chateau Lusseau for $16.

Seth and Craig at the shop change the wines featured in the enomatic regularly. It's a great way to try different wines without committing to a whole bottle.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Brunch at Watts Grocery

Marginally recovered from my cold, I headed to Watts Grocery for brunch today with a friend.

I have a few minor bones to pick before I get to the food:

1. They don't open for weekend brunch until 11am. ELEVEN AM?? They need to open earlier. Seriously that's too late to open for brunch.

2. When I order coffee, bring me a spoon. Ok, fine, for the sake of good manners, don't wrap a spoon up the cloth napkin with the knife and fork (a coffee or tea spoon should never be put on the table w/ a place setting, bring it with the cup and saucer...or mug), but bring me a spoon so I can properly give my coffee a swirl, pour in some cream and watch it magically spin into the coffee. A spoon, please. A lady never wants to use a fork to stir coffee!

3. Don't make me beg for more cream. Two cream drinkers are going to polish off that dinky little pitcher after a two cups.

4. Serve water without having to be asked.

Minor details, I admit. Now, regarding the food. I have to confess that my taste buds are not quite up to par at the moment because my nose and head are stuffy. This is a problem for someone who likes to TASTE food and who can usually taste individual ingredients in a dish. My remedy was to order spicy and hope I could taste it.

My friend and I had churros for a starter. These are fried strips of dough coated in sugar and cinnamon and served with a dark chocolate dipping sauce. The churros were light and crisp, almost like cookies, not like donuts as the menu may suggest. I could taste the cinnamon and that was about it. The chocolate sauce had a good texture but the taste was too subtle for my defective sense of smell/taste.

My main course was rather astonishing in its complexity: a grilled biscuit split in half and covered with a sauce of andouille sausage with tomato topped with a poached egg and a hollandaise w/ cajun spices and crawfish tails. It was good except for the crawfish which was too fishy, probably from being frozen. Crawfish should taste sweet and lobstery not strong and fishy. Like lobster, don't bother if it isn't fresh because frozen doesn't do it justice. I moved the crawfish to the side and at the rest. It was good, but next time I'll order something else like the shrimp and grits.

My friend had French toast. It looked amazing when the waitress brought it to the table. The slices were huge. It was served with delicious cooked fruit in a tasty caramel sauce with whipped cream on the side. I tend to like egg dishes for brunch but I will certainly order French toast at some point too!

Aside from the minor problems w/ the spoon and cream, the coffee was delicious. It was rich, dark, bold and served in large mugs. I'd say their coffee is nearly as good as Alivia's, which is the best coffee in town.

So, let me know when you head to Watts Grocery for brunch what you think of the other menu items. I might have to go back tomorrow to try the shrimp and grits!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Chicken soup remedy

I was going to head over to Watts Grocery for lunch today but I have succumbed to an evil cold and didn't feel like going. Instead I decided to make some chicken soup. The great 13th c. Jewish philosopher and doctor Maimonides was a huge advocate of chicken soup as a cure for many things including the common cold. If they've been doing this since the 13th century then something must be right. I thought I'd give it a try.

Luckily, I had a frozen, bone-in, skin-on chicken breast in the freezer. I defrosted it, tossed it into a pan of water with an onion (halved and skin left on). I had no carrots and no celery so clearly flavor was going to be an issue. No garlic either. A moment of inspiration hit me and I went to the cupboard to find some dried herbs to make a bouquet garni. I found dried rosemary, dried thyme, and dried parsley. I put a spoonful of each into a square of cheesecloth and added a bay leaf and some white peppercorns. I tied it up into a nice bundle and threw it into the water with a good glug of white wine and a couple of tablespoons of brandy. Who needs carrots when you've got that?

I let the whole thing simmer for a very long time. The chicken was falling off the bone and the liquid had reduced enough to have some flavor. It needed lots of salt and pepper no matter what, but reducing it slightly helps a lot. When in doubt, keep boiling, at least when it comes to stock.

Once my stock was done, I strained it through a chinois, shredded the chicken off of the bone and chopped up the cook onion then added them back to the stock. I divided the stock into two parts. One part is in the fridge and I'll make noodle soup tomorrow. Tonight I made dumplings. Somehow my dumplings never quite turn out light and fluffy like my mother's and grandmother's, but I was happy anyway.

Now I'm waiting for that chicken soup remedy to cure me!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chicken smothered in olives

A while back some friends invited for a memorable Middle Eastern feast. The highlight of the meal was the main course: chicken smothered with green olives. The recipe comes from Paula Wolfert's outstanding cookbook Recipes from Mediterranean Cooking. It calls for chicken legs and thighs which are much less expensive than breasts so it is economical for a feast (unless you have to buy all the spices because you don't have them already in your cabinet).

When my friends made this recipe, they pitted all of the olives with a cherry pitter. That seems a bit labor intensive to me, but it was nice not to have to deal with the pits. Nice touch, but not necessary. I've eaten countless dishes, including pizzas, in Italy and France with olives where the olives were not pitted. This dish is great. If you hate olives, you are really missing out, but at least that leaves more for the rest of us!

Chicken smothered in cracked green olives:
Serves 6 to 8

4 lbs chicken legs and thighs
2 large onions
3T olive oil
1 T chopped garlic
1t. ground ginger
1t. black pepper
½ t. ground cumin
½ t. sweet paprika
pinch of saffron
¼ t. chopped green coriander
3 c. water
2 lbs. green cracked olives (Greek or Moroccan cracked or French picholine)
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice or more to taste
whole wheat pita

Trim fat off of chicken. Cup up 1 ½ onions and chopped finely. Press through strainer to drain excess liquid. Measure ¾ c. and discard the rest. Thinly slice remaining half of onion.

In a 5 qt casserole blend oil, garlic, ginger, pepper, cumin, paprika, and saffron into a paste. Stir in chopped onions and herbs. Stir while adding 3 cups of water. Add chicken and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 min.

Drop olives into boiling water, simmer 1 min, then drain.

Preheat oven to 450.

Remove chicken from casserole and place on a baking sheet. Bake on upper shelf of oven for 15 min. or until meat is fully cooked and skin is lightly crisp.

Add reserved onion slices and olives to casserole. Simmer 15 min. Add lemon juice to tast. Season w/ salt if needed.

Remove chicken to a serving platter and cover w/ olives and sauce and serve w/ warm triangles of pita bread.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


My head is still in New Orleans...Pralines -- cooked sugar and pecans -- are a Creole specialty of the Big Easy. My favorite place to buy them is Aunt Sally's on Decatur by the Cafe du Monde. Down there they call them "prahleens" not "prayleens" as I am used to saying.

I could eat these things by the case. You can order them on Aunt Sally's web site or you can make them yourself. Pralines are very easy. You will need a candy thermometer though.

This recipe for pralines comes from my grandmother who is not Creole but who is a very good cook and an exceptional candy maker. She makes pralines for Christmas every year. I made them once last summer for a party from pecans picked off my friend's tree. It seems that humidity and air temp can affect how quickly the cooked sugar sets. In 100 degrees and 100% humidity, they set up so fast that I ended up w/ a cement block of sugar and nuts. Panic-stricken, I called my grandmother. She told me all was fine and that I could fix it by reheating the mixture gently until it melted again. Easy! They turned out great and every last morsel was eaten.


1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. white sugar
3 T light corn syrup
1 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. pecans, broken into pieces

Cook sugars, milk and corn syrup to soft ball stage (234 F) on a candy thermometer. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Allow pralines to harden.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Gulf Coast, the Big Easy, and a power drill

Sorry for my silence. I've been in Mississippi for the past week. I went with a group of eleven people from St. Philip's in Durham to Camp Victor in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, to help with the ongoing hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. The Gulf and the Big Easy are still a disaster. Something is very wrong in our country when we can spend a gazillion dollars a day on two wars we are LOSING but we cannot get a roof on the house of a poor, elderly couple on our southern coast. They lived two years with blue plastic tarp for a roof. What is wrong with this picture? It is an unimaginable scandal. Why aren't people more outraged?

But I digress. This is a food blog. The shrimp on the Gulf coast wonderful and huge. The crawfish are delicious, lobstery treats. The crab is perfection. The best shrimp po' boy ever is in Biloxi (pronounced "Biluxy" for the Yankees among us) on Division Street at Desporte and Sons Seafood. They also do a fantastic crawfish etouffe, fried dill pickle slices and fried onion rings. I love these people! Besides the restaurant, this place is a bonafide fishmonger where you can buy wonderful fresh catch.

My other favorite place in Biloxi is Le Bakery at the corner of Oak and Division. It is a Vietnamese run bakery that sells Vietnamese po' boys at lunch. I cannot even describe these sandwiches. They are fresh rolls stuff with deliciously seasoned pork or chicken and dressed with fresh shredded carrots, cilantro, jalapeno, and what I assume is shredded daikon. Le Bakery is not to be missed. The owners lost everything in the storm. They immediate set about to rebuild their business where they also lived for several months while rebuilding their home.

In Ocean Springs, we went almost every day to the Tato-Nut Donut shop on Government street for a decent cup of a coffee and heavenly donuts made of potato flour. I love fried dough!

One evening we went to a BBQ shack on the bayou outside of town called The Shed. It's a fun place. The BBQ is tomato based like in Texas. It's very tasty. Their side dishes are good too. I especially like their potato salad and macaroni salad. We sat outside at picnic tables, ate our dinner, and drank Southern Pecan beer from the Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company. I am not a huge beer drinker because it gives me a headache, but I will suffer a headache for a glass of Southern Pecan. It is a smooth, nut brown ale with no bitterness. It is robust in flavor and easy to drink. I wish they bottled this stuff. The Lazy Magnolia brew master is a woman. I like that a woman is making a kickass glass of beer!

Our last day, we rested from work and drove over to the Big Easy. It is about 90 miles from Ocean Springs. Coming into town we past the Lower Ninth Ward. We could see from the highway empty, devastated house after empty, devastated house. These people have been largely abandoned. Not even Walmart is rebuilding in some parts of the Lower Ninth.

We didn't have a lot of time in New Orleans, (pronounced "Nawlins" for all y'all up North) so we wandered around the French Quarter where we had Pimms cup cocktails at Napoleon House, ate dinner at the Gumbo Shop which included a rockin' shrimp remoulade, and had coffee and beignets (more fried, sugary dough) at Cafe du Monde. The Big Easy has a lot going for it. I walked by the house where Tennesse Williams wrote Streetcar, and Napoleon House was supposedly built for the little dictator when he returned from exile. Of course we all know how that ended up. The Big Easy's history and architecture are simply fascinating. The people are fascinating. I'd not been in about 20 years, and I realized that I should go more often. Next time, I will eat at Commander's Palace, the crown jewel in New Orleans cuisine, for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

If you are a person of taste and culture, you can just skip Bourbon Street altogether. It's an eyesore and tacky beyond belief. New Orleans has much more to offer than ugly bars serving bad beer next to sleazy clubs with naked women.

So get your power drill and your tool box and head south to the Gulf. What's better than doing some good for those in need and having great food and drink to boot?