Ian McNulty


Ian covers food culture and dining in New Orleans through his weekly commentary series Where Y’Eat. 

Ian is also a staff writer for the daily newspaper the New Orleans Advocate, covering the culture, personality and trends behind the city’s famous dining scene.

He is the author of two books - “Louisiana Rambles: Exploring America’s Cajun and Creole Heartland,” a travel narrative about south Louisiana culture, and “A Season of Night: New Orleans Life After Katrina,” an account of the first months in the city after Hurricane Katrina.

He has been a contributor to WWNO since 2009.

Coolinary is a popular prix fixe promotion in August in New Orleans. The seafood stuffed eggplant at Brigtsen's Restaurant is dish on its Coolinary menu.
Ian McNulty

When it comes to dining around New Orleans, it’s possible that the worst of times can also be the best of times.

No, this is not a tale of two cities. It’s the story of one hot city, our own, going through its all-too-predictable slow summer season. 

Ian McNulty

In the middle of summer, could anything be better than a good old scoop of ice cream?

But what if it isn’t a scoop? What if it’s a cluster of wafer thin ice cream rolls made before your eyes and bundled under various sauces, candies and breakfast cereals.

Fried catfish at Barrow's Catfish is based on the family recipe from Barrow's Shady Inn.
Ian McNulty

In the world before Hurricane Katrina, Barrow’s Shady Inn was on the map for great New Orleans food, though it still took a little doing to get to its door, tucked away down Hollygrove side streets.

But Barrow’s Shady Inn was the kind of place that people remembered. It was acclaimed for its fried catfish, in the way that other Creole soul restaurants are known for their chicken or their gumbo. Catfish, in fact, was all it served, washed down with lemonade, hazy yellow and sweet tart.

A poke bowl of raw tuna, rice and garlic honey sauce at Poke-chan in New Orleans.
Ian McNulty

Earlier this year, when the hot weather was just revving up, I ate a meal that qualified simultaneously as the healthiest and trendiest I’d had in a long time.

It was a poke bowl, chopped raw fish over sushi rice and under a quasar of colorful toppings. It was prepared before my eyes, assembly line style, faster than a fast food burger. It set me back a lot more. But it was quick, tasty, protein-packed and satisfying. Still, something about it made me just a little uneasy.

The 2018 edition of Tales of the Cocktail began with a presentation of community grants supporting projects in the hospitality field.
Ian McNulty

For cocktail connoisseurs, New Orleans has always had a place on the map. Tales of the Cocktail gave this connection a spot on the calendar too, right when it’s needed most.

Ian McNulty

When we talk about diversity in New Orleans restaurants, it usually means minority representation, or to put it plainly, with black-owned restaurants.

A portrait of the late Al Copeland hangs in a Copeland's of New Orleans restaurant.
Ian McNulty

New Orleans food legends never die. Now, the legend of Al Copeland is helping people live.

The Pythian Market in downtown New Orleans is a hub for more than a dozen local vendors.
Ian McNulty

How do you make a historic, nine-story building disappear? In the case of the Pythian Building in downtown New Orleans, the trick was to encase the grand structure in bland paneling for half a century and keep it empty all the years after Hurricane Katrina.

Ian McNulty

The tomato sandwich is simple, it's cheap and, because it's at its best in the summer, it has special powers, at least here in New Orleans.

Ian McNulty

Dad cooked breakfast a lot when I was growing up. Pancakes were the order of the day, but no matter what he was making the meal usually included a little baloney, and I don’t mean the sandwich meat.