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Friday Open Thread #5: Chaos is a given, Your Honor

May 14, 2010

Ya’ll know what to do, and what not to do.

So get to doin’ and not doin’.

  1. May 14, 2010 11:08 am

    Dave Walker interview with David Chang:

    in which it seems to me he kinda disses Besh:

    The visiting chefs found time to eat out at real New Orleans restaurants when they weren’t filming at the fictional one. “We had an amazing meal at Cochon and (Cochon Butcher), and we went to August,” Chang recalled.

    Had amazing meal at Cochon. Merely “went to” August. Heh.

    And here is the quintessential frustration that all locals have with their visiting friends:

    Lolis gave us a list of places to try, but we just didn’t have enough time to get to them.”

    Always always ALWAYS, when friends of mine visit New Orleans, they ask me where to eat, and I give them a great list, and then they end up just eating wherever they would have eaten if they hadn’t asked me. What is with that? It happens with my normie friends all the time, but here are a bunch of high-powered New York chefs, presumably hardcore foodies, adventurous people, and they’ve got a list of restaurants given to them by an Nth-generation local and renowned food writer, and what do they do? The standard circuit. Cochon. August.

    I don’t mean there’s anything wrong with their choices, I fucking love Cochon to death, but they could have gotten off the beaten path instead of sticking with the places that get all the color glossy write-ups in the national food press.

  2. greg p permalink
    May 14, 2010 11:26 am

    It really is overwhelming, though. Speaking as a recent plant, the everyday possibilities are so mind-boggling that I just say “fuck it” and go to Juan’s. And it’s not that I worry about getting a bad lunch at MiLA or Rio Mar, it’s that I might be missing out on something better, and do I want Thai or fried pig parts or who fucking KNOWS ahhhgh.

    That said, yeah, you would think Chefs would have it a little more together. Imagine if some tiny little place got a completely unexpected shout-out instead of more Be$h love.

    At least they didn’t go to Bayona. “I think (Kim Dickens, the actress who plays Desautel) had a few lessons from Susan Spicer.” Pffft. What, she taught her to hang out by the cash registers and block the way to the can while waiting for someone to recognize her?

  3. May 14, 2010 12:18 pm

    Ray, same here! D and I go out of our way to make nice lists of restaurants and watering holes, and folks end up eating at Tujague’s or River’s Edge because it’s two blocks from their hotel. (I try, Willie Mae’s, Dooky Chase, Bywater Bar-B-Que, Mandina’s and Verti Marte, I try.)

    Bayona is nice for a splurge lunch, especially the three-cheese ravioli or sweetbreads, with 25-cent lunch martinis or drinks that cost cents during their birthday/anniversary week, when they are doing that. And I guess that’s where some local restaurant owners go to eat, too, including the cute young guy who runs Pho Tau Bay. (There I said it.)

    Hey, Greg, next time you’re by the can, check out the wallpaper in the ladies’ room. Make sure Spicer isn’t in there first.

    And speaking of Mr. Elie, did y’all catch his recent Lolis Eric Elie Explores The Origin Myth of New Orleans Cuisine in the Oxford American?

    “Still, there is a consistency to the definitions—and the mistakes within them—that can tell us much about history, class, and race.”

    For some reason, all this talk is making me long for the Swizzle Stick Bar.

  4. May 14, 2010 12:41 pm


    Jeezus, Greg.

  5. greg p permalink
    May 14, 2010 1:23 pm

    Well, maybe not Juan’s. So much. Lately.

  6. May 14, 2010 1:35 pm

    So if I make it down in August, I’ll have to watch my eating itinerary very….carefully….
    🙂 Ya’lls pride in good cuisine is a force to be reckoned with!

  7. May 14, 2010 1:47 pm

    Baby, you won’t have an itinerary, you’ll have a dozen or so drivers/tour guides.

  8. Ralph permalink
    May 14, 2010 2:10 pm

    Enough with the goddam cameos. We get it, Simon. You have a lot of famous friends. You know a lot New Orleans insiders who apparently approve of your work. But we’re five (I think) episodes in and it’s time to put the brakes on the name-dropping. Kermit Ruffins dropping in to play trumpet at Davis’s recording session might have been the most predictable development in TV history.

  9. May 14, 2010 2:50 pm

    But of course these guys are going to eat at the places they hear about over cocktails at the Beard awards. They’re not going to eat at Willie Mae’s Scotch House. When I first had that through I was trying to remember when the out of town foodies showed up to help with that and I can’t remember and don’t really have time to Google it up.

    Now, if Anthony Bourdain had come here then, that would have been entirely different. He probably would have gone out with the Wildlife & Fisheries guys sh0oting the wild pigs in City Park, and built a fire there on the spot. But that’s Bourdain.

  10. Amanda permalink
    May 14, 2010 3:33 pm

    I’m over the cameos too. I love the Earles but it felt incredibly forced them turning up as buskers. What I want to see is more character development. At the moment I feel like Lambreaux and Batiste are the only ones with any depth and complexity.

  11. mistlethrush1 permalink
    May 14, 2010 3:33 pm

    When we come down we like to hit Parkway Bakery & Tavern and we order in Verti Mart when we’re too hung over to face sunlight.

  12. The Central Scrutinizer permalink
    May 14, 2010 6:27 pm

    I’d appreciate some photo spot recommendations from you guys. I’ll be in NOLA for a few days next month and am looking to shoot a lot of non-touristy venues for a combo of fine art, photojournalism and street shots. Please save me from “fuckmook photography” [insert Sally Struthers here]. Free drinks could happen.

  13. doctorj2u permalink
    May 14, 2010 7:41 pm

    The have the Shame, Shame, Shame Dubya song up on Youtube now. I loved that scene!

  14. May 14, 2010 9:07 pm

    Folse: The irony is that Willie Mae has a James Beard award.

  15. May 14, 2010 9:35 pm

    I was in the restaurant biz for 20 years & always found that folks only trust the popular wisdom when it comes to eats. I mean, after all why are all those chain restaurants still around anyhow? Those in the know for the good eats? Barbers & bartenders.

  16. rickngentilly permalink
    May 14, 2010 11:10 pm

    yo ray. give brett anderson props for that interview , not dave walker.

    i quit going out with my friends who are in town for conventions.

    i tell them bayona for lunch (best deal in town) g.w. fins. etc.

    they allways end up at mothers and deanies or ihop etc..

  17. May 15, 2010 7:36 am

    Hell, I think they need to put it up for download before I launch audacity and just scrape it.

  18. Kevin permalink
    May 15, 2010 4:45 pm

    At The New Republic’s website, John McWhorter finds Treme’s insistence on authenticity annoying in an essay titled “Please, Treme, I Beg You: Get Over Yourself”:

    He has a point until he gets to this:

    “Let’s also talk about Portland. Another character says people there clap on beats one and three. Really? I’m sure more than a few thoroughly cosmopolitan, Obama-voting white people in Portland, as proud of their “reality” and their bond with black culture and its music as New Orleans folk are, would take umbrage at that.”

    And then he loses it completely:

    “Although I suppose I did not have a “real” experience according to the standards of Simon and the “Treme” characters, as I did not spend a night getting seriously trashed with a gold-toothed old (black) local, or at least I don’t recall it. And although I did spend some time outside of the French Quarter, I highly suspect it wasn’t for quite long enough, or in just the right way, in terms of the “reality” we are concerned with.”

    The hell???

  19. May 15, 2010 6:28 pm

    Kevin, Athenae already picked McWhorter’s shit apart in the post “Opposites”. That particular quote was something I missed, but wow. The man really did have a major burr up his butt.

  20. Scott Harney permalink
    May 15, 2010 6:34 pm

    That and he probably doesn’t know what is meant by clapping on the one and three.

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