Ian McNulty

Producer

Ian is the host of Where Y’Eat and the Community Impact series at WWNO.

Each week, Ian shares his commentary on the intriguing food culture of New Orleans and south Louisiana with WWNO’s Where Y’Eat. He also shines light on the difference that innovative nonprofits are making across the New Orleans region through WWNO’s Community Impact series, interviewing nonprofit leaders and the people they serve.  Ian first became a WWNO contributor in 2009. He is a freelance journalist and a published author. A native of Rhode Island, Ian is a graduate of Rutgers University. He has lived in New Orleans since 1999.

Bao, or Chinese steamed buns, anchor the menu of traditional dishes at Bao & Noodle in New Orleans.
Ian McNulty

The meal started with a sticky cluster of peanuts spiked with chiles that temporarily numbed the tongue. There was a salad that had the crunch of fresh-cut slaw and brought a bona fide caffeinated buzz from bits of fermented tea leaves strewn throughout.

The New Orleans coffee house Rue de la Course once had nine locations around the city and a loyal, widespread fan base.
Ian McNulty

Do you remember your first beer? How about your first sip of wine? I don't. The first brush with those pleasures must've happened casually, something introduced with a taste here or there.

But, the first taste of New Orleans coffee? For me, that stands out very clearly.

A spread of traditional Vietnamese dishes at the original Pho Tau Bay, which has now relocated to Tulane Avenue in New Orleans.
Ian McNulty

Vietnamese banh mi is now bar food, spring rolls are a festival snack and many neighborhoods across the city have not just their own outpost for pho but competing options. It’s never been easier to find Vietnamese food in New Orleans.

And yet, for the past year plus, I heard audible yearning for the return of one particular Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Tau Bay.

The Pontchartrain Hotel is a St. Charles Avenue landmark that recently reopened in New Orleans.
Ian McNulty

In New Orleans these days, some restaurants aren't just up against all the other eateries in town. Some revived historic restaurants are also up against idealized memories of themselves that live on in the city's long memory.

Roux Carre, a new food court from a local nonprofit in Central City.
Ian McNulty

Roux Carre is a new food court in Central City, conceived and managed by the nonprofit Good Work Network as a project to help more women and minorities stake a claim in the growing New Orleans restaurant sector.

"The bomb," a sepecialty po-boy at Guy's Po-Boys in New Orleans.
Ian McNulty

Guy’s Po-boys was closed for months earlier this year after a vehicle plowed through its front door late one night. Guy’s is back open now, but a group of fellow po-boy purveyors decided to hold a fundraiser to support its proprietor after losing out on so much business during the repairs. It will be a street party with a purpose, powered by po-boys.

See details below:

The name Creole tomato can turn heads in the market place this time of year.
Ian McNulty

This time of year, if you haven’t seen a Creole tomato it’s probably right behind you.

Summer is revving up, so these ultra-seasonal beauties are everywhere, big red orbs tumbling from bins at farmers markets and fruit stands and grocery stores.

Eat Local Challenge

In the weeks ahead, you may start seeing a different side of local food, one that might include the innovative, the overlooked or underutilized, and even the invasive.

The bar at Tujague's Restaurant, a New Orleans restaurant marking its 160th anniversary.
Ian McNulty

Give any restaurant enough time and an institutional history will accrue. Give it as much time as Tujague's has on the clock, and it can develop its own lore and legends and even some dichotomies that might seem like contradictions but end up defining the place.

Restaurants near the Lafitte Greenway are seeing a different kind of customer since the bike path opened. Po-boy purveyor Parkway Tavern & Bakery is one of them.
Ian McNulty

Look around the streets of New Orleans these days and it's impossible to miss that more people are traversing the city on bicycles.

Some restaurants and bars are noticing too, and nowhere more than a part of Mid-City that's becoming a crossroads of bike paths, a destination for in-town outings and, on nice days, a hub for people making the rounds by pedal power.

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