As the temperatures start rising and we all begin to sweat in the increased humidity, things are happening in the industry with the distinct intention of cooling us down. Are we complaining? Hell no! After all, there can never be too many ways to beat the heat in the Crescent City.
One of the most anticipated developments has been happening over the past month and that is the arrival of brand new flavors from our own creamy, cool confectionery genius...the New Orleans Ice Cream Company. Owner Adrian Simpson has already delighted us with local flavors that have been magicked into ice cream form like Ponchatoula Strawberry, Creole Cream Cheese, Coffee & Chicory and Nectar Soda. But “The Ice Cream Man” has once again outdone himself with 11 new flavors that have just been released—11! The new flavors include Hubig’s Apple Pie, Brandy Milk Punch, Peach Melba, Cafe au Lait & Beignets, Baked Alaska and Red Velvet Cake. It’s like Willy Wonka is alive and well and living in New Orleans!
As if that was not enough to cool you off, don’t fret because there’s a brand new spot on the ever-burgeoning Freret Street that just might do the trick. Frostbite Frozen Yogurt & Treats recently opened up right across the street from Midway Pizza, much to the neighborhood’s delight. It’s another delicious, serve yourself, pay-per-ounce yogurt bar that offers several flavors that will rotate throughout the seasons and a huge bar of more than 50 different toppings to choose from. Frostbite also touts the use of live and active cultures, no extracts and fresh fruit purees, promising a natural, healthful alternative.
In other news, The Bonefish Grill just opened it’s newest location in Metairie on Veterans Boulevard near Cleary. This national chain that began in St. Petersburg, Florida has swept the nation and become one of the most popular, seafood spots in the U.S., boasting top ratings in ZAGAT’s 2011 National Chain Restaurants Survey. Louisiana already has two locations, one in Baton Rouge and the other in Lafayette, and welcomes the third and newest locale only a hop, skip and a jump away from Lakeside Mall. The Bonefish Grill specializes in providing a white linen experience in a casual atmosphere that the whole family can enjoy and features specials like White Tuna Tacos, Bayou Redfish & Shrimp and Fresh Strawberry Shortcake. For more information, please visit them online at www.BonefishGrill.com.
Another newcomer that has popped up in Harahan at the old Fat Hen Grocery location on Hickory Avenue. HuckleBerry’s Restaurant is a casual, neighborhood eatery run by Henry Guste of the Gustes that own the legendary Antoine’s in the French Quarter. Folks are warming up already to the welcoming atmosphere and tasty menu that features classic New Orleans dishes at a reasonable price like a rich Soul Gumbo, Hot Roast Beef Po-Boy with au jus and spicy hot Buffalo’d Oysters with home-style fries. It’s good to know there is a place for locals to enjoy local cuisine without the chaos of our well-known and well-visited Vieux Carre.
Finally, we were all surprised (and a bit shocked) when Craig Giesecke of the recently shuttered J’anita’s decided to don his toque once again (figuratively, of course) only two short months later and open another kitchen in another bar, this time the Blind Pelican. This recently remodeled and reopened St. Charles Tavern is now sporting a “J’anita’s-esque” menu with their famed dishes like St. Chuck Duck and Best Fish Sammich making a reappearance, but there is also room for more creativity with a pizza oven and a smoker out back. We hope this location works out for the Giesecke’s, I for one will be gorging myself on Kimmie’s Guacamole in the hopes it never disappears again...