The reputation New Orleans enjoys for great food has long carried the asterisk that this just isn’t a barbecue town. But things may be starting to change.

Ian McNulty

A category of café I call "Viet Orleanian" are run by Vietnamese people, specialize in New Orleans staples and, increasingly, are started to weave a little of their own native flavors into the mix too.

Ian McNulty / WWNO

Traditional Turkish food finds a nontraditional setting along rejuvenating St. Claude Avenue inside the multi-modal Healing Center.

Ian McNulty / WWNO

Long a symbol of post-Katrina defiance, the refurbished sign at vintage burger joint kindles the past and points to the future.

Ian McNulty / WWNO

As turkeys were prepared in countless New Orleans kitchens this past holiday season, in the Cuban kitchen at the back of the Mid-City corner grocery Regla Store, attention turned to roasted pork legs.

Fish Tales at Kanno

Feb 3, 2012
Ian McNulty / WWNO

Along the diverse, densely-packed blocks of Fat City you’ll find a creative Japanese chef crafting exquisite compositions.

Caribbean Creole

Jan 26, 2012

Writer Ian McNulty  checks out the West Bank restaurant Taste of the Caribbean 

Ian McNulty / WWNO

As word got around last year that a new restaurant called Redemption would open at the Mid-City address that had for so long been Christian's, it naturally kindled expectations, and even specific food cravings. Christian's was one of the few major restaurants that didn't return after Hurricane Katrina, and its setting, inside a century-old church, gave it an ambiance like nowhere else in town.

If you couldn't find someplace new and different to eat around New Orleans in 2011 it's probably your own fault. Certainly, our chefs and restaurateurs did their part this year to bring new options, new flavors and whole new concepts to the scene, and if you had a highly-specific craving in mind when setting out to sample them that was all the better.

Ian McNulty / WWNO

If some people out there still don't yet appreciate the heritage of our cuisine and the natural abundance that fuels it, I really wish they would get with the program already. After all, I don't think our region can stand another brutal lesson in just how much it all means.