Have we eaten here before? … Our city's first permanent food truck lot, Deja Vieux Food Park, opened recently on Religious Street. Launched by owners Ross Baudy, his wife Sharonda, and Grant DeFilippo, the food park not only offers a spot for up to six New Orleans food trucks to congregate, it also features a full bar (created from a shipping container) and covered patio seating with TVs and music. Soulstation Kitchen, the only permanent food trailer there, is owned and operated by Sharonda Baudy and serves breakfast and brunch all day, with dishes like the James Brown with smoked drum and crawfish cream sauce over grits, or the Superfly, a bowl of hash topped with smoked chicken thigh, avocado, and eggs-your-way. Other food trucks like Crêpes à la Cart and Johnny's Jamaican Grill have already “parked” at Deja Vieux; time will only tell what other trucks plan to join the lot.
1681 Religious St., (504) 248-9553, dejavieuxfoodpark.com
Mo poke! … In the Riverbend spot that formerly housed O'Henry's and the short-lived Batture, Tony Zheng (former owner and creator of Sake Café) has launched Mo Mo Ramen + Poke. A blend of several different Asian cuisines, the new restaurant features everything from ramen and poke, to robota-style grilled dishes like kimchi short ribs and ribeye beef skewers, to crawfish spring rolls and baked oysters with sriracha. Mo Mo Ramen + Poke is open daily.
632 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 218-5248, momoramenpoke.com
Peace, love, and burritos … Bust out your bell-bottoms and tie-dyes for a fun-loving meal at Hippie Kitchen, now open in Old Jefferson. New York City chef Charlotte Morton is helming the kitchen that puts out healthy, delicious dishes that emphasize local, seasonal, and organic ingredients. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, their dishes include everything from huevos rancheros and veggie wraps to grilled cheese sandwiches and brisket burritos. Hippie Kitchen is open from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
3741 Jefferson Hwy., (504) 444-4113, hknola.com
Fine dining … at home! … First generation New Orleanian Zakaria Khanboubi has launched Aria's NOLA, a gourmet food service business offering high-quality, health-conscious cuisine delivered right to your home or business. The focus is on in-home fine dining with a customer-friendly price point. Dishes include things like Aria's Caesar Salad with artichokes and pickled watermelon, alligator shiitake risotto, BBQ pork loin with fried orzo primevera, a shrimp and andouille po-boy, and tangy herb hot wings with crab boil potato salad.
Salute to spring … Paloma Cafe, the “all-day” restaurant that took over the space vacated by Café Henri in the Bywater, has launched their new spring menu. Chefs Danny Alas and Justin Rodriguez have drawn from their Venezuelan and Dominican heritages to create a menu with dishes like Bidi Bidi Bom Bom, a.k.a. a rice bowl with roasted pork and black beans; corn custard with salted caramel popcorn and fresh strawberries; Ceviche de Pulpo made with octopus and shrimp; and Camarones con Tomate with charred tomatoes, masa, and chili butter.
800 Louisa St., (504) 304-3062, palomanola.com
Bigger can sometimes be better … Just recently, Chef Donald Link expanded the space and the menu at La Boulangerie, the popular Uptown bakery. It was shuttered for only a day while they knocked out a wall, adding more windows and table space to the formerly limited dining room. Executive pastry chef Maggie Scales has also expanded the bakery's menu to include more dishes for both breakfast and lunch.
4600 Magazine St., (504) 269-3777, laboulangerienola.com
A delicious learning experience … The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience has announced their 2018 Seminar & Experience Series as part of the 26th annual event taking place May 23 to May 27. The series includes Winetasting 101: A Sensory Tasting; Louisiana Caviar, Oysters & Champagne; Road Crossing (a journey of all things charcuterie); Have Your Steak & Eat It, Too, with Chef Isaac Toups educating us about breaking down ribeye; and The Spirit of New Orleans, an absinthe tasting with the Southern Food & Beverage Museum; and much, much more.