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.

 

Subscribe to Where Y'Eat as a podcast:

1. Open Itunes

2. Go to the File Menu, click on Subscribe to Podcast…

3. Enter this URL: itpc://wwno.org/podcasts/6095/rss.xml

And that’s it! New episodes download automatically.

Ways to Connect

Oysters line the stand-up oyster bar at Mr. Ed's in Metairie.
Ian McNulty

This is an ode to the oyster bar, and not just any oyster bar. Today I raise a toast to the stand-up oyster bar. 

King cake goes black and gold at Hi Do Bakery, a Terrytown bake shop just outside New Orleans.
Ian McNulty

What happens when purple, green and gold morphs with black and gold? New Orleans is now getting a long overdue refresher course on the phenomenon and one of the ways it shows up is king cake.

Creole gumbo from Cafe Dauphine in New Orleans. Gumbo in its many varities satisfies more than just a hunger in Louisiana.
Ian McNulty

The arctic blast that visited New Orleans this week set teeth chattering and tongues waging, with some cursing the very weather. Sure, those accustomed to colder climates may scoff at our complaints down here, but they don’t know what we endure in deepest summer. To freeze in winter too can feel like a betrayal by dear old Mother Nature herself. 

But here are a few thoughts to warm your heart, if not your house.

Ian McNulty

Dining trends and new concepts can be exciting, but for some New Orleans expats the food priorities are all from the past. The holiday season is their time to reconvene with familiar flavors, and that time is limited. Don't get in their way. 

For those interested in the latest from the realm of food and restaurants, these have been exciting times around New Orleans. There have been so many new eateries, new flavors and hot trends turning up, it’s been hard just to keep track of them, never mind try them all.

Photo by Ian McNulty

There's an old adage that New Orleans food doesn't travel well. But it will take a lot more than an adage to keep people from trying, especially during the holidays.

Photo by Ian McNulty - The gumbo at Dunbar's Creole Cuisine is loaded with meat and seafood.
Ian McNulty

No two bowls of gumbo should be exactly the same. Heck, even when they’re served from the same pot the precise mixture of seafood and meat and seasoning may differ from bowl to bowl, based on the luck of the ladle.  This is certainly the case with Creole gumbo, a down-home style sometimes described as kitchen sink.

And yet, even for the endless gumbo variations out there, sometimes an overarching house style for a particular gumbo can speak to you in a voice you may recognize even years after your last taste. 

That’s just how food memories are wired, and that was my experience recently over a bowl of gumbo at Dunbar's Creole Cuisine. 

Antoine's Restaurant in the French Quarter threw a party for its longest-serving waiter, marking his 50th anniversary.
Ian McNulty

We live in an era full of celebrity chefs that you probably have never heard of. Just think about that for second - people can be celebrities now and you’ve never even heard their names. 

The title is the usually bestowed because a TV producer somewhere said so, and thus is born the next celebrity chef. New Orleans has produced its share. It's nice to see local talent in the national spotlight, but there’s a different category of acclaim in the New Orleans dining world that runs a little deeper in our own particular culture, and it’s one filled by the career waiter. 

Marjory Collins

Even before you start picking at the turkey or swilling the early afternoon Beaujolais, you might be feeling a bit full of Thanksgiving. It’s the run up, which we are now in the midst of. As the calendar ticks down to Turkey day, we’re being stuffed with advice, product promos and tips to "master" the feast and host the "ultimate" holiday meal. How will yours compare? 

The Buffalo shrimp po-boy from Avery's on Tulane.
Ian McNulty

If you love po-boys, you already know how you like them. It’s sloppy roast beef or crispy shrimp, thin-sliced ham or fat fried oysters. I bet you even have a precise combination for how you like it dressed.

Just listen to some po-boy pros when they order at the counter. In their confident cadence and specifics, they can sound like surgeons gloved up for an operation. “Hot sausage. Dressed. No lettuce.” 

When the Saints are playing, New Orleans is eating.
Ian McNulty

For players and coaches, a football game starts long before kickoff. The same holds true for the food-minded Saints fan. For such fans, it starts with choosing what to cook and devoting the hands-on work to ensure a victorious feast.

It's really no wonder. Take the enthusiasm of the Who Dat Nation, add south Louisiana's endemic passion for food and the results are predictably over the top.

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