Food news - November 25, 2013

00:00 November 25, 2013
By: Kim Ranjbar
Holiday season is here again; we're scrambling around celebrating the last week of Hanukkah, purchasing last-minute Christmas gifts, attending company parties, gorging ourselves at splendid Reveillon dinners, spending what seems like the billionth evening sipping hot cocoa under City Park's twinkling oaks and raring for what will surely be the most spectacular New Year's Eve ever. Amidst all the hurlyburly and hullabaloo, the restaurant industry in New Orleans marches ever on, with changes of the guard, special culinary events, new restaurants opening and old saying a tearful adieu.

Likely one of the biggest hardships that happened this holiday was waving a final farewell to Crazy Johnnie's in Metairie. The popular Fat City steakhouse announced its imminent departure on a Facebook post that garnered hundreds of posts from local fans all over the Greater New Orleans Area urging owner Johnnie Schram to remain open. Due to popular demand, it will be open through the end of the year. Crazy Johnnie's has long had a reputation of inexpensive, yet tasty steaks and seafood, most notably their Overstuffed Filet Mignon Po-Boy with “crazy potatoes.” This classic Fat City landmark will most definitely be missed...

In other news, there's a new Vietnamese restaurant in town. The convenience-store/Chinese take-out place on the corner of Tulane and Carrollton has gone through some major renovation and transformed itself into a sit-down eatery dubbed Namese. The Doan family has owned the corner spot for over 20 years, but upon noticing all of the revitalization in the Mid-City area, they decided to step up their game. Using locally sourced produce, Namese offers the typical Vietnamese fare like banh mi and pho, they also harken back a little to their Chinese take-out days with items like pot stickers and crab rangoon. Plus, though they've only been open a couple of weeks, you can already order online for pickup at, or you can just peruse the menu.

In other news, Arnaud's Remoulade has teamed up with Bayou Teche Brewing to offer a five-course, beer-paired dinner, The B(roux) Tasting, this month on December 3rd, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy creative and authentic Cajun cuisine with everything from Shrimp Corndogs and Boudin Wontons to Filé Gumbo and Bûche de Noël, with each course paired with one of Bayou Teche's exquisite brews from Passionné to Bière Noir. “The B(roux) Tasting is sure to be a cultural experience, blending a perfect trinity of traditional Cajun cuisine, music and of course, beer,” said Archie Casbarian, co-owner of Remoulade Restaurant. For more information and to view the menu, visit

Speaking of new tastes, Dick & Jenny's recently announced that they will now be open for brunch. Restaurateurs Kelly Barker and Cristiano Raffignone recently bought the restaurant and have since been implementing gradual changes and updates to the menu, pairing the talent of chefs Lindsay Mason and Stacy Hall in their endeavor to enliven the popular, Tchoupitoulas Street spot. Among other mouth-watering items, the new brunch menu features such dishes as a Chicken Biscuit with country-fried chicken and white gravy and a Veal Burger with pesto aioli and smoked gouda. Dick & Jenny's is open for brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mizado Cocina has opened at the corner of Metairie Road and I-10. Chefs Gary Darling, Hans Limburg and Greg Reggio are offering Mexican and Latin American cuisine using contemporary cooking techniques and traditional flavors. From “fresh batch” guacamoles and salsas to an array of tacos and ceviches, it'll be hard not to gorge on appetizers before embarking on the “Platos Principals” like Yucateca Cornish hen marinated in pineapple and jalapeno and grilled over hardwood. Don't forget to toss back a few Chipotle Sunrise Margaritas made with Herradura Resposado Tequila and St. Germain and say Ole! For more of the menu or to make reservations, visit

The cupcake craze continues in the Crescent City with the opening of the Kupcake Factory's 5 th location in the French Quarter at 537 Toulouse Street. Owned and operated by local New Orleanians Claudia Melgar and her sister Victoria, The Kupcake Factory launched its first location five years ago and have been going strong ever since. Now Quarter denizens won't have to go far for a Goin' Banana's Cupcake with Banana Cream Cheese Frosting, a CocoNuts Cupcake with chewy, brownie cake and German chocolate frosting or a Cherry Rocky Road Cupcake with cherry-flavored cake dotted with chocolate chips baked inside, butter cream frosting topped with marshmallows, almonds and a drizzle of chocolate.

Finally, if cupcakes aren't enough, get your sweet tooth sated at the newest donut digs in town, District Donuts on Magazine Street. Located right next to Stein's Deli and across the street from Charcoal's Gourmet Burger Bar, District.Donuts.Sliders. Brew is offing craft donuts, gourmet sliders and micro-roasted coffee daily to all and sundry. This eclectic grouping of consumables includes incredibly creative recipes that seem to challenge diner as well as the chef. How about a glazed donut with poached pears, goat cheese, almonds and Earl Grey cookies or one with Sriracha Maple Glaze and candied thyme? The creativity doesn't end with the donuts if you consider the likes of a BLT Slider with Nueske bacon and Root Beer mayonnaise or another featuring Hawaiian-braised oxtail with crispy onions and muscadine syrup.

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