Where Y'Eat

New Orleans writer Ian McNulty hosts Where Y'Eat, a weekly exploration and celebration of food culture in the Crescent City and south Louisiana.

Ian gives listeners the low-down on the hottest new restaurants, old local favorites, and hidden hole-in-the-wall joints alike, and he profiles the new trends, the cherished traditions, and the people and personalities keeping America's most distinctive food scene cooking.

 

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Ian McNulty

As the Hurricane Katrina anniversary draws closer, you’ll hear a lot about New Orleans restaurants and what their comeback did for the city’s recovery. You’ll hear some of this for me too. It’s an important story, and a powerful one.

But first, I need to acknowledge the role played by a different sort of establishment that came back fast on the heels of Katrina, a type that may not have necessarily served food but did provide social nourishment — served up by the glass, the cup, the bottle or whichever way they could manage it.

Ian McNulty

Of all the facets of local life that have been up for re-evaluation lately, the New Orleans neighborhood restaurant might seem an unlikely candidate for change.

You know the places I’m talking about. They’re long on tradition, beloved and generally successful, sharing a common approach that New Orleans knows by heart. Why would anyone mess with that?

Ian McNulty

Scoring prized road food finds hiding behind big corporate logos on the Louisiana highway.

Food is always top of mind on any road trip, at least for me. After all, getting there may be half the fun, but getting there with some stops for good food… that is serious business.

CroMary / Shutterstock.com

What do you do when you see an unfamiliar face? The more I get around Louisiana, the more I think the answer is, you stuff it.

Ian McNulty

Food writer Ian McNulty on a surpiring new restaurant in New Orleans that's giving the notion of fusion a good name.

Ian McNulty

Ian McNulty

Conjure an image of elegant decay, New Orleans style, and what comes to mind might look a lot like Feelings Café.

This is a restaurant found in the vestiges of a plantation established in the 1700s, and it retains the feel of a French country house even in the midst of its increasingly busy Marigny neighborhood. Framed in faded masonry, splashed with green fronds and steeped in a 40-watt glow, Feelings Café has been prized as much for this evocative ambiance as for its French and Creole cooking.

Ian McNulty

It was called a happy hour, but at this one the talk wasn’t so much about office politics or romantic prospects. Rather, the chatter centered on who had ever tried this and that fish before and, after tentative nibbles or bold gulps, how they all measured up to better-known staples of the Gulf Coast seafood menu.

Ian McNulty

Ask chefs to prepare one of their favorite steak dishes, and they may not go anywhere near the grill or the broiler. Instead, many of them will start chopping up meat for beef tartare, the classic French dish served raw.

This cold dish has had a warm spot in the hearts of many chefs and nostalgic gourmets for a long time, and now beef tartare is starting to gain wider appreciation and get some star treatment across a wide range of New Orleans restaurants.

Ian McNulty

Father’s Day, food and being there when the stories start percolating around the table.

Dad cooked a lot of the breakfasts when I was growing up. Pancakes were usually the order of the day, but no matter what he was making the meal usually included a little baloney.

Cooking seemed to put dad in the mood for stories, some about his days in the army, some about the dubious adventures he and his brothers got into when they were young. As the syrup and butter went on the pancakes, so the exaggeration and embroidery built these stories up to Paul Bunyan proportions.

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