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

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.

It’s one of our greatest food holidays, never mind that there's rarely ever any cooking involved. It’s Halloween. So what if most of the food that makes this holiday tick is store-bought candy, dispensed one little bit at a time from your front steps?

Pumpkin gelato is a highly specific flavor of the season at Angelo Brocato's Ice Cream in New Orleans.
Ian McNulty

You can't really count on the calendar to tell you when seasons change in New Orleans. Balmy and temperate one day, you know we can still plunge right back into humidity the next. You’ve got to be on your guard. But there are other cues that let us know where we stand.

Ian McNulty

We don’t hear much about German heritage in New Orleans, until October that is, when it comes at us with all the oomph of an oompah band. Suddenly you’re showing your nephew how to do the chicken dance, you’re dissecting the differences between bratwurst and weisswurst on your sausage platter and you’re proclaiming “prost!” as the foam drops another inch down your stein.  

The patio at Treo on Tulane Avenue in New Orleans.
Ian McNulty

In deepest summer, there is a certain mindset in New Orleans that regards the outdoors as enemy territory. Maybe you’ve succumbed to it once or twice yourself.

When this mindset sinks in, the outdoors is something to be monitored and cordoned. You dash from door to door at your own risk, and air conditioning on an outing for dinner or drinks is as necessary as air tanks for a deep sea dive. When true fall arrives, of course, all is forgiven and an outdoor perch is the place to be.

Red snapper from Maypop (top) and char-grilled pork steak with herbs from Marjie's Grill, two innovative new restaurants in New Orleans.
Ian McNulty

Brace yourself, I'm about to use the F word. That would be “fusion.”

Alright, maybe that's not such a big deal to you, but in certain restaurant circles fusion is one provocative term. It brings food memory flash backs to the days of sesame crusted everything, of the indiscriminate use of plum sauce and of milky green wasabi mashed potatoes.

Betsy's Pancake House in New Orleans announcing its return to business after Hurricane Katrina in 2006.
Ian McNulty

After Hurricane Harvey, it was no surprise that restaurants here in New Orleans quickly became a hub for many local efforts to help. 

In the long haul, though, restaurants in the very areas hard hit by Harvey that will be their own sources of community self help.

A fried shrimp po-boy from Avery's on Tulane.
Ian McNulty

We talk about it with our best friends and with perfect strangers. We rant about it online and we dream about it at night. It's a natural fixation when we’re hungry, yet we still talk about it when our mouths are full.

It's the food of New Orleans, compelling, often uniting, frequently divisive and never boring, at least not if you’re doing it right. May it always be at the ends of our forks and on the tips of our tongues.

Red snapper sushi from the specials board at Shogun in Metairie gets a precise garnish.
Ian McNulty

What’s your go-to sushi bar in New Orleans? It might be that first place where you tried a California roll way back when, or it could be the spot that always has something different on the specials board to try. Maybe it’s the sushi bar that just happens to be closest to your house, or it’s one across town where you’ve built a rapport with a particular chef.                        

Whatever seals the deal for you, though, sushi lovers in New Orleans tend to be highly loyal to their favorite Japanese restaurant.

A flood line crosses a po-boy at a New Orleans sandwich shop in 2006.
Ian McNulty

When I first moved to New Orleans, back in 1999, I was amazed by how often people talked about restaurants that no longer existed. But I had it all wrong, of course. In New Orleans, just because a restaurant is no longer open for business does not necessarily mean it no longer exists.

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