Louisiana Daily Photo: Zuppardo’s Supermarket Est. 1931

Zuppardo’s is easily the best supermarket in the New Orleans metro. It’s really not even close although I do have a nostalgic love for Circle Foods.

Rouse’s, Breauxmart, Robert’s, Winn-Dixie…they all have to get in line behind Zuppardo’s, the king of local grocery stores.

I go to Zuppardo’s for insane weekly specials, particularly the ones they run on their freshly butchered meats. The protein case at the store is always filled with housemade sausage, thick ribeyes, big fatty pork shoulders (well tended hogs develop beautiful marbling stripes of snow white fat) whole chickens and freshly ground beef.

Zuppardo's Supermarket

Zuppardo’s Supermarket

The produce section is almost as good as the meat market. There you will find sweet onions, zucchini, cabbage, roasting ears of corn, russet potatoes, truly hot jalapenos and just about anything else you could want or need.

The interior aisles probably yield many treasures as well but I rarely exit the perimeter of the store as that’s my primary interest.

Zuppardo’s Supermarket
5010 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Metairie, LA
70006

Hours of operation
Sunday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Monday 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Tuesday 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Thursday 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

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Louisiana Daily Photo: Handmade Sausage Banh Mi At Eat Well Foodmart

I have dozens of banh mi sources scattered about Southeastern Louisiana. I’ve explored the Vietnamese food scene in this region since the 80s and have made it a point of pride to be well-versed in the whys and wherefores of banh mi culture.

Handmade Sausage Banh Mi

Handmade Sausage Banh Mi

Eat Well Foodmart is a humble little corner store cum Vietnamese cafe in the Mid-City neighborhood in New Orleans. The front part of the shop can stock your larder with all the Zapps potato chips, Mars bars and Big Shot sodas you could ever want or need but the gem of the operation lies in the back where a tiny kitchen is putting out some of the best banh mis in all of Louisiana.

Pictured is the handmade sausage banh mi. It’s one of the best bites of food in all of New Orleans.

Eat Well Food Mart
2700 Canal St, New Orleans, LA
70119

Hours
Sunday Closed
Monday 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
Tuesday 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
Wednesday 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
Thursday 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
Friday 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 8:00 pm

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Louisiana Daily Photo: Crab Lady In Westwego

The soft shell crabs were a mite on the small size this past weekend at the Shrimp Lot in Westwego. The “Extra Large” were more like smalls that I’ve seen in the past.

Quality was high even though the value wasn’t there.

The Westwego Shrimp Lot Is Located At 100 Westbank Expy Westwego, LA 70094

The Westwego Shrimp Lot Is Located At 100 Westbank Expy
Westwego, LA 70094

100 Westbank Expy
Westwego, LA 70094

List of vendors with phone numbers at Westwego Shrimp Lot

Ruth Ann & Rob’s 504-340-3351

Wayne Hebert’s 504-340-1830

Sue’s Seafood 504-348-9394

Pauls Seafood 504-436-7730

Wade’s Seafood 504-341-2222

Debbies Seafood 504-348-9285

Amy’s Seafood 504-348-9285

Capt. Jonathan 504-436-6005

K&B Seafood 504-347-9227

Jerris Seafood 504-371-7705

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Barbecue Party At Octavia Books With Pit Boss Gary Wiviott And Colleen Rush

Gary Wiviott is the pit boss at Barn and Company, one of the best smoked meat houses in Chicago.

Colleen Rush is a bon vivant and noted scribe of the South.

Gary Wiviott On The Carving Station

Gary Wiviott On The Carving Station

The two have authored a pair of books devoted to teaching common folks how to up their barbecue game: Low and Slow and Low and Slow 2. These tomes are crucial if you’re trying to become an amateur pit boss or if you just want to improve your ability to transform raw hunks of animal flesh into luscious, silken entrees.

Y’all should come to their barbecue party at Octavia Books Sunday July 26th 2015 from 2-4pm.

Nibble on tri-tip sandwiches with chimichurri sauce + shrimp cocktail with smoked horseradish sauce, buy a book and have the pair of authors sign it for you.

Octavia Books
513 Octavia St
New Orleans,LA
70115

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Louisiana Daily Photo: The Washing Well Laundryteria Est. 1949

The Washing Well Laundryteria is situated amid the hubbub of Bourbon Street right next to the historic Bourgoyne House, an 1830s-era home that has been converted into a guest house.

Washing Well Laundryteria

Washing Well Laundryteria

Address
841 Bourbon St
New Orleans, LA
70116‎

Hours
Sunday Closed
Monday 7:30 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday 7:30 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday 7:30 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday 7:30 am – 5:00 pm
Friday 7:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday 7:30 am – 12:00 pm

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Louisiana Daily Photo: Southern Hotel

Southern Hotel In Covington, Louisiana

Southern Hotel In Covington, Louisiana

With little else to interest us on a recent torpid afternoon we made our way north out of the Bywater and set sail for the Southern Hotel in Covington, Louisiana.

Not for an assignation mind you. We were merely interested in visiting the Southern Hotel bar where surely an old school barman would be tending, and we could sit back with a Rob Roy or Sidecar and brush off the hurly-burly of New Orleans existence.

Barkeep Doug put on a masterclass in hospitality while we sat back and drank a little tequila and wondered what life would be like as residents of Covington, Louisiana.

Southern Hotel
28 E. Boston St. Covington LA
70433

Hours
Sunday 7am-10pm
Monday 7am-10pm
Tuesday 7am-10pm
Wednesday 7am-10pm
Thursday 7am-10pm
Friday 7am-midnight
Saturday 7am-midnight

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Louisiana Daily Photo: Old Rail Brewing Company

Old Rail Brewing Company up in Mandeville is putting out some of the best craft beer in Louisiana.

Our state is starved for high quality beer with only a tiny handful of breweries putting out craft that can compete on a national level.

Old Rail Brewing

Old Rail Brewing

And compete Old Rail did when their ESB brought home a silver medal at the 2014 US Beer Open finishing one notch above Ballast Point one of USA’s greatest breweries.

639 Girod St
Mandeville, Louisiana
70448

Hours
Sunday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Monday Closed
Tuesday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Wednesday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Thursday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Friday 11:00 am – 10:30 pm
Saturday 11:00 am – 10:30 pm

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On The Road With RL Reeves Jr: Sanders Court And Cafe In Corbin, Kentucky

Colonel Harland Sanders could turn the air blue with his violent cursing.

This Sign Marks The Location Of Sanders Court And Cafe

This Sign Marks The Location Of Sanders Court And Cafe

As a child my parent chastened me to never repeat any words that the Colonel would say when he was eating country ham dinners at my grandparents big farmhouse in rural Knox County, Kentucky.

Fried Chicken From Corbin, Kentucky

Fried Chicken From Corbin, Kentucky

On the Colonel’s frequent visits to Saint Camillus Academy, where his daughter Mildred had graduated and where I matriculated as a child, he was much more circumspect in his speech. The nuns brooked no nonsense from any man no matter how rich and famous he was.

The Kitchen Where Colonel Sanders Plied His Trade

The Kitchen Where Colonel Sanders Plied His Trade

On a recent visit to Corbin, Kentucky I did what I always do; ate at the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken; Sanders Court And Cafe. It’s located on the north end of town right down the road from a Quick Lube and around the corner from where the Colonel lived in a modest one story home.

Colonel Sanders Outsider Art

Colonel Sanders Outsider Art

Entering the museum side of the restaurant, you’re faced with a mockup of the original kitchen with all the period implements one would expect in such a setting. I’m particularly taken by all the antique cast-iron pots and pans just sitting around.

Preparing For The Lunch Rush At The First Kentucky Fried Chicken

Preparing For The Lunch Rush At The First Kentucky Fried Chicken

Vaulting the counter, gathering the pans and hightailing it briefly seems like a good idea but an inner, cooler head prevails and I make my way to the counter.

I order a chicken thigh and a breast and content myself with walking about taking pictures while the food is prepared. The sides at Kentucky Fried Chicken are dismal so there’s no need to pollute my belly with mashed potatoes or other nonsense.

If you’re looking for a square meal you’ll have to look elsewhere.

What Year Did Kentucky Fried Chicken Drop Hand Cut Fries From Their Menu?

What Year Did Kentucky Fried Chicken Drop Hand Cut Fries From Their Menu?

A young hip hop artist is posing with a life-sized statue of the Colonel and I ask if I may take his photo; he acquiesces.

The food comes quickly and I note that I’ve been bequeathed two free biscuits, a bit of lagniappe in Southeastern Kentucky.

As the skin crunches, the exterior gives way to firm, greasy flesh. The seasoning is mild with hints of garlic, black pepper and sweet paprika. This fried chicken is serviceable but in no way stirs memories of when the Colonel was still commanding the kitchen and the foods were served on good, bone plates.

An Homage To Colonel Sanders

An Homage To Colonel Sanders

Unfortunately, those days are long gone but I’ll always eat one meal per year at the original Sanders Court & Cafe.

Same as I’ve done each year since I quit the mountains of Kentucky when I was 17 years old.

A Young Colonel Sanders Fan

A Young Colonel Sanders Fan

688 Us Highway 25 W
Corbin, KY

Hours
Sunday 10am-10pm
Monday 10am-10pm
Tuesday 10am-10pm
Wednesday 10am-10pm
Thursday 10am-10pm
Friday 10am-10pm
Saturday 10am-10pm

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Louisiana Daily Photo: Clover Grill

Back in 1939 when Clover Grill opened in the French Quarter, Bourbon Street was a very different place. When I interviewed Frank Cimini of Evelyn’s Place back in the 90s, the old barkeep recalled Bourbon as once being “classy” where the gents took their dates to impress them and everybody got dressed up to go to all the swanky nightclubs.

The Clover Grill Opened In 1939

The Clover Grill Opened In 1939

The clientele at Clover Grill in 2015 could be described as dressed up depending on what time of night you get there. The trannies flood in there around 4-5 am and they are some of the most nattily attired creatures on God’s green earth.

I go to Clover Grill for fried eggs, sausage patties and boiled grits with plenty butter. If you’re looking for an assignation then you’ve come to the right spot. As the evening begins to wind down (early in the morning) there are plenty drunks at Clover raring to make a bad decision.

900 Bourbon Street
New Orleans, LA
70116

Hours
Twenty Four Hours A Day
Seven Days A Week

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Louisiana Daily Photo: Ruby’s Roadhouse

Black lumberjacks built the structure that would become Ruby’s Roadhouse some 60 years later. There was no bar in Mandeville for them to party in so they did what any enterprising drinkers would do, they built their own damn bar.

Ruby's Roadhouse

Ruby’s Roadhouse

A recent visit to Ruby’s (est.1984) found the old roadhouse sagging a mite with a scraggly band of old timers chain smoking and drinking cold Michelob beers.

My kind of place.

840 Lamarque St.
Mandeville, LA
70448

Hours
Sunday 9am-
Monday 10am-
Tuesday 10am-
Wednesday 10am-
Thursday 10am-
Friday 10am-
Saturday 9am-

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Louisiana Daily Photo: Robert E. Lee

While New Orleans streets run red with the blood of residents our mayor and city council take up the task of tearing down statues of long dead Confederates.

Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee

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Louisiana Daily Photo: Wild Thing

The Lower Garden District in New Orleans has many native creatures.

Louisiana Daily Photo

Louisiana Daily Photo

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Louisiana Daily Photo: Li’l Dizzy’s

While it’s unfortunately true that Li’l Dizzy’s does not make stock from scratch as a building block for their gumbo, they somehow still manage to put out one of the finest bowls in the city.

Li'l Dizzy's Cafe

Li’l Dizzy’s Cafe

If I don’t have time to make stock then I reckon I don’t have time to make gumbo but I had the necessity of scratch stock for soup hammered into me by my early mentors and have never looked back.

Li’l Dizzy’s gumbo is rife with hunks of good sausage, pork shoulder and city ham. All that meat (and a tiny bit of seafood) combine to make a really fine stock-free soup. A bowl runs around ten bucks, comes with plenty French bread and butter and will fill up all but the most recalcitrant of dockhands.

Where do y’all go to get your gumbo in New Orleans?

1500 Esplanade Ave
New Orleans, LA
70116

Hours
Sun 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Mon 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Tue 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Wed 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Thu 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Fri 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Sat 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

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Louisiana Daily Photo: Hansen’s Sno-Bliz

What year did Hansen’s Sno-Bliz open for business? 1939.

Hansen's Sno-Bliz

Hansen’s Sno-Bliz

“Old Regular” party scion Robert S. Maestri was the mayor of New Orleans while Richard Leche presided over the State House as governor (Earl Long took over the governorship later that same year). Dixie Brewing had already been in business for 32 years and the old Charity Hospital was brand spanking new.

494,537 people called New Orleans home.

Hansen’s Sno-Bliz is on the nation’s radar as being the finest exemplar of sno-ball-dom in the US. They accomplish this via their unique ice-shaving machine created by one Ernest Hansen. No one has ever been allowed to take a peek at the innards of the machine but suffice to say there is no finer-shave put on ice anywhere in the developed world.

Hansen’s also makes all their syrups from scratch, a step that almost no other New Orleans sno-ball stands even attempt. That would mean hard work, something many folks are averse to nowadays.

I always get the coconut but latter day patrons may partake in fancy flavors such as honey lavender or ginger cayenne. You got to stay up with the times in the fierce New Orleans sno-ball market.

Hours
Sunday 1pm-7pm
Monday closed
Tuesday 1pm-7pm
Wednesday 1pm-7pm
Thursday 1pm-7pm
Friday 1pm-7pm
Saturday 1pm-7pm

4801 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans,La
70115

Hansen’s is a seasonal sno-ball stand. Last year they closed on October 1st. This year they opened on March 3rd.

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Louisiana Daily Photo: Grillades And Grits

The finest kitchen in the Bywater continues putting out New Orleans soul food classics. On a recent morning I got up bright and early and boiled up a kettle of grits while I fired my cast-iron skillet until she was good and hot.

Grillades and Grits

Grillades and Grits

Grillades and grits used to be common on New Orleans menus but not anymore. If you want the really good ones I hope you’re friends with a chef or are handy in the kitchen yourself as that’s about the only way you’re going to get a good plate of them.

These grillades are my favorites: blackened pork belly and the grits came from Tennessee where I bought them at Allen Benton’s old smokehouse in Madisonville.

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On The Road With RL Reeves Jr: The Rootbeer Stand In Corbin, Kentucky

In business for over 50 years, The Rootbeer Stand in Corbin, Kentucky is a curiosity, a time travel restaurant where a $1.10 will get a you a grilled cheese sandwich and you can park in a spot where a man was murdered over a love rivalry back in 2009.

Southeastern Kentucky is the sort of rough and tumble region where sticking your head inside a man’s tow-truck window, unbidden, can lead to all manners of bad things happening.

Like getting yourself killed.

The Rootbeer Stand In Corbin, Kentucky

The Rootbeer Stand In Corbin, Kentucky

Root Beer Stand owner Willie Champlin: “… All that machinery is running, fans are going, exhaust, fans, people are talking, it’s loud in there, so I didn’t hear a thing until those girls came busting through the door screaming ‘call 911,’ so we called 911.”

It was too late. Tod Carter of Woodbine, Kentucky was already dead, and Larry Wilson was in handcuffs and being led off to jail.

Best Hamburger In Kentucky

Best Hamburger In Kentucky

Over a woman.

Larry Wilson’s secret love affair with Kristi Carter was finished. Carter had reconciled with husband Tod and told Wilson to please quit coming to the Rootbeer Stand where she was employed as a waitress.

Wilson declined, noting that The Rootbeer Stand has “awful good hamburgers.’

And they do. On a recent stay in the little coalfield town of Corbin where the drive-in is located, I ate multiple burgers, chili buns, onion rings, french fries and house-brewed rootbeers over the course of a week.

The Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail

The Eastern Kentucky Chili Bun Trail

Locals complain mightily about the pricing (a hamburger is $2.70) but that doesn’t stop the old, gravel and blacktop parking lot from filling up Monday through Saturday from morning to night.

I ask the waitress what the secret to their success is and she allows as how it’s due to Kroger bringing freshly ground beef by the restaurant multiple times daily.

Rootbeer Stand does not cut their own french fries and the onion rings are from a freezer bag, but their food is still delicious and somewhat of a rarity in that mom and pop restaurants in rural Kentucky are scarcer than hen’s teeth. It’s a lot easier to find a Hardees or Dairy Queen than a homespun burger joint.

Larry Wilson: “Tod Carter was trying to kill me. He was beating me with a rootbeer mug trying to bust my skull.”

The cuckold was soon shot dead, his young daughter watching from a nearby car, his wife scrambling out the back door of the restaurant.

Love and rage in Southeastern Kentucky.

Hours:
11 am – 10 pm Monday-Saturday
The Rootbeer Stand closes around Halloween and reopens in the Springtime
129 18th St, Corbin, KY 40701

Online Menu For The Rootbeer Stand

Online Menu For The Rootbeer Stand

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Louisiana Daily Photo: VFW 7194

The Veterans Of Foreign Wars posts number in the thousands.

Scattered all over North America, they operate by their own rules, exclusive of local governments. You can drink alcohol at a VFW regardless of whether the local municipality allows it, and you can smoke tobacco at a VFW, regardless of whether the local municipality forbids it.

VFW 7194

VFW 7194

Growing up in rural, dry, Kentucky, the local VFW was the only place in town where you could walk in and order a cold beer and not have to worry about going to jail.

I’ve never ventured inside the Chalmette VFW 7194 but I imagine a good time can be had in there. At other VFWs around the US that I’ve visited I’ve found the men inside to be a friendly lot.

Expect lots of talk of firearms, sports, smoked meat and old military battles.

There are certainly worse ways to spend an afternoon.

2600 Vfw Ln, Chalmette, LA 70043

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Louisiana Daily Photo: Nasa Michoud Assembly Facility

Elvis.
Always and forever.

Nasa Michoud Assembly Facility

Nasa Michoud Assembly Facility

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Louisiana Daily Photo: Dairy Dip In Belle Chasse

Sad state of affairs at the Dairy Dip in Belle Chasse.

I judge milk bars, restaurants that earn their living off dairy products, by their ability to turn out a superb pineapple milkshake.

My platonic ideal exists in the rural hamlet of London, Kentucky at a tiny restaurant called Dairy Dart.

Dairy Dip In Belle Chasse

Dairy Dip In Belle Chasse

There you will find a pluperfect cold mix of vanilla ice cream permeated with dozens of delicious, fruity pineapple tidbits enswirled with whole cow’s milk into a melange of deliciousness that is unsurpassed in western kitchens.

The pineapple milkshake at the Dairy Dart in Belle Chasse, Louisiana is a naked fraud with scantly any pineapple.

The concern has been open for 59 years and they may have menu items worthy of ordering but it would take a signal change in that kitchen for me to take another crack at that redoubtable pineapple milkshake.

9252 Hwy 23
Belle Chasse, LA
70037

operating hours

Sun 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Mon 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Tue 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Wed 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Thu 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Fri 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sat 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

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Louisiana Daily Photo: Waitress At Los Frijolitos In Marksville

I had an excellent late-night meal at Los Frijolitos in Marksville last month.

After decades spent in Texas I’d given up on finding good queso in Louisiana but my meal at this tiny mom n pop in a repurposed Taco Bell abated my Texas-born hunger pangs.

Los Frijolitos in Marksville, Louisiana

Los Frijolitos in Marksville, Louisiana

A $2 margarita in a beer stein set the tone for what would be the best Mexican meal I’ve had in Louisiana since eating at the old Santa Fe in the Marigny in New Orleans two decades ago.

Totopos were fresh, hot, thin and house fried; queso compuesto was loaded with refried beans and carne molida and served alongside a tiny carafe of a tomato-based salsa that could’ve done any Tex Mex diner in San Antonio proud.

Unfortunately the queso appetizer was so large that I had to call it a day after scraping the bowl clean but if I find myself in Central Louisiana again I will make a beeline for Los Frijolitos and their San Antonio-style Mexican food.

Los Frijolitos
433 Tunica Dr E
Marksville, LA
71351

Operating Hours

Sun 11-9:30
Mon 11-9:30
Tue 11-9:30
Wed 11-9:30
Thu 11-9:30
Fri 11-9:30
Sat 11-10:30

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