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.

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Even some gas stations in New Orleans get into the Mardi Gras spirit, especially those that double as fried chicken outlets.
Ian McNulty

Somewhere near the entrance to a Magnolia Discount gas station in Gert Town, a whiff from the gas pumps and a waft of just-fried chicken commingled in the air.

King cake doberge at the Bakery Bar in New Orleans.
Ian McNulty

The cynical might chalk it up to the sugar buzz talking, but I believe king cake brings optimism. It barrels through indecision in favor of indulgence. It can brighten your day, even if it’s the last thing you eat at night. It’s not just a cake, it’s an emblem.

This is also why king cake has become contentious.

King cake milkshake at Frey Smoked Meat Co. in New Orleans.
Ian McNulty

The kid was staring at me, and I didn’t blame him. He was having lunch with his parents at the next table over and he was fixated on the king cake milkshake that I was eating all by myself.

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.

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. 

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