Food News: October 2021

09:00 October 04, 2021
By: Kim Ranjbar

There's a dizzying amount of food news happening in the Greater New Orleans Area, and now that this column is only quarterly, there'll be even more excellent foodstuffs in town before this article is published, not to mention what I couldn't cover here. I'll just keep on keepin' on and do my damnedest to bring you all the news that's fit to eat. Who's hungry?

Twice the pie—In August, meat pie purveyor Empanola opened their second location on Magazine Street, the first being their foray into the college zone on Freret Street. It seems like just yesterday Jimena Urrutia and her husband Marcelo Garcia were vending inside Marigny food hall St. Roch Market, but it's obvious their creative empanadas are rolling in the dough! As anyone who has enjoyed a Chicken Peruvian pie can attest, the food is not only scrumptious, it's inordinately affordable. The larger kitchen at the Magazine Street location means even more meat pies, including breakfast and dessert options like a Banana Nutella empanada. 3109 Magazine St., 504-249-5977,

Classics go strip mall—A mere four months after Morning Call had its grand re-opening on Canal Boulevard, beloved burger stand Bud's Broiler returned to New Orleans and opened up right next to it. Bud's, a burger by-word in the GNO since 1952, is once again serving up burgers smothered in their signature, hickory smoke sauce just a hop, skip and a jump from City Park.5101 Canal Blvd., 504-488-2837,

Dusty to destination—The divey accommodations of the St. Vincent Guesthouse on Magazine Street have been elevated into the Saint Vincent Hotel, a vacation destination after a $22.5 million restoration. Within the shiny new/old hotel are two new restaurants, San Lorenzo and Elizabeth Street Cafe. Named for the patron saint of cooks, San Lorenzo is a high-end eatery featuring coastal Italian cuisine executed by Chef de Cuisine Christian Hurst. Be prepared to break your bank with dishes like beef carpaccio, burrata and Kaluga caviar, and dry-aged porterhouse steak. The Elizabeth Street Cafe is the more casual option, a French/Vietnamese-style cafe featuring everything from spring rolls and banh mi to pork and shrimp crepes, as well as red curry dan dan noodles.1507 Magazine St., 504-350-2450,

Corner culture—The highly anticipated "tropical roadhouse" Mister Mao recently opened up on Tchoupitoulas Street. Located inside the old Dick & Jenny's building, this wild, tiki-inspired spot is the creation of Chef Sophina Uong and her husband William Greenwell featuring "inauthentic" food and cocktails. The ever-changing menu offers "eclectic, globally-inspired" cuisine, plus a selection of small plates served from roving carts (kinda like dim sum). Dishes range from scallion bread served with smoked aubergines and Escargot Wellingstons to Niman Ranch Pork Shanks smoked with chochoyotes and Mawi Tortilla masa dumplings. Mister Mao's will also play host to guest chefs and local pop-ups like Persian Lime and Radical Joy Bakery on the nights when they're otherwise closed. 4501 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-345-2056,

Amazing!—Longtime Pittsburgh-style pop-up Yinzer's Amazing Cheesesteaks has at last opened its own digs on Delachaise Street in the space formerly occupied by Vintage Garden Kitchens. Chef Colleen Ryan and her partner Michael Woodhull are kicking out a simple menu of mostly killer cheesesteak sandwiches (chicken or steak) and house made pretzels. You'll find their bright yellow shop open Thursday through Monday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. between Pyrtania and St. Charles Avenue. 1514 Delachaise St., 412-860-6801,

Bub's NOLA [Robert Witkowski]

No rest for the wicked—Famed Northshore chef Pat Gallagher recently opened another restaurant: a huge 19th century, lakefront dining experience in Mandeville dubbed Pat's Rest A While. With space to seat almost 300 guests, there's no way rest will be in Pat's future anytime soon. Originally built in the 1880s, the two-acre property has been renovated from the old Frappart Hotel into a restaurant, bar, and event space. Pat's menu includes New Orleans BBQ Shrimp with "loaded" cornbread, grilled swordfish with corn maque choux, and sweet chili-glazed shrimp served with buttermilk ranch dressing. 2129 Lakeshore Dr., Mandeville, 985-951-2173,

Bo banna—A couple of spots in the Marigny are doing the restaurant shuffle. Mimi's in the Marigny, a hip, late-night tapas bar on Chartres, was forced to close due to the pandemic, but has plans to reopen soon in the old Feelings Cafe building on Franklin. Meanwhile, a new concept by LeBlanc + Smith dubbed Anna's (named for their bar director Anna Giordano) has moved into the old Mimi's spot. Seattle-born chef Chris Hamm is helming the kitchen, putting out flavors like chilled cucumber gazpacho with pickled shrimp, crispy octopus with black rice, and manchego toast. Kind of like an homage to its predecessor, Anna's Bar is cocktail-focused with food and open late night. The more things change, the more they remain the same. 2601 Royal St., 504-766-8376,

TwoferIn late June, co-owners Peter Zhang and Lily Rueangnuy opened Zhang Bistro on Decatur Street in the historic French Quarter. Located in the space that formerly housed Angeli and Lee's Hamburgers, the new spot is a nod to the owners' heritage, offering both Chinese and Thai dishes. Diners can enjoy shrimp shumai right along with buttery roti, egg drop with tom yum, and kong pao chicken with pad thai. Zhang Bistro is open daily for lunch and dinner. 1141 Decatur St., 504-826-8888,

Bub is the new dude—In an homage to Rand Owens, the founder of Mid-City Pizza who died last year, a group of friends started a burger pop-up. Aaron Amadio, Tristan Moreau, Peter Prevot, Josh Richard, and Ron Richard dubbed the pop-up "Bub's," a friendly term often used by Owens. The smash burger pop-up did gangbuster business during the shutdown and the owners were able to open their own digs in early June right behind the Banks St. Bar. Bub's NOLA offers several different smash-style burgers, from the basic "Bub"—two patties with American cheese, griddled onions, and Bub sauce—to the "Rodeo Adobo" with pepper jack, jalapeños, chipotle adobo sauce, and a fried onion ring. Bub's is open on Banks Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and they're still popping up at Zony Mash Beer Project on Friday nights. 4413 Banks St.,

Puffin' it Uptown—The world-famous cream puff purveyor Beard Papa's has finally made it to New Orleans. Opened in late June on Magazine Street, this Japanese-born bakery specializes specifically in cream puffs in a build-your-own kind of way. You choose your "shell" and then your filling and feel free to mix and match to your liking. Shells range from original and honey butter to Oreo cookie crumble and strawberry, while fillings stay simple with vanilla, green tea, and chocolate. Beard Papa is also known to offer limited edition cream puffs such as a churro shell with horchata filling, but only the New Orleans location has Bananas Foster on the regular. 4712 Magazine St., 504-345-2459,

A slice of the Big Apple—Brooklyn-born pizzeria Paulie Gee's Crescent City Slice Shop opened this past May in the Warehouse District, taking over the space that formerly housed the short-lived Roman-style pizzeria Bonci. Founder Paul "Paulie Gee" Giannone brought his nostalgia to life in 2010 when he opened the first location, an homage to the pizzerias of his youth with wood-paneled walls, bright orange plastic booths, black and white checkered floors, and old Coke bottle vending machines. Now he has seven different locations, with lucky New Orleans being the latest. Both the New York and Sicilian-style pies are offered at Paulie Gee's, whole and by the slice. Along with simpler options like cheese and pepperoni, Paulie Gee's also serves "The Mootz," with lots of fresh garlic and Pecorino Romano cheese, and the "Hellboy," a pepperoni pie with Mike's Hot Honey drizzled on top. 726 Julia St.,

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