Tasting Notes

00:00 April 16, 2013
By: Emily Hingle

Juan's Flying Burrito and EYEHATEGOD's Gary Mader

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]
Juan's Flying Burrito has been serving Mexican food since 2007 at its Magazine Street location, and since 2002 at its Carrollton Avenue location. Juan's expanded the family in 2004 with its hand-tossed pizza shop, Slice Pizzeria, and will soon open its latest venture into Asian Fusion food, called Lucky Rooster, at 515 Baronne Street. All of the Juan's family restaurants have an emphasis on serving fresh food. "Juan's is fresh; we make everything in-house from scratch, buying local produce when we can. Our volume is so tremendous that we can't get too far ahead, which is a great thing to have," states Operations Manager David Greengold.

Juan's is known for its rock n' roll attitude, hiring musicians who proudly display their tattoos, and pumping rock and metal music through the speakers. Guitarist Cranston Clements could defi nitely feel at home here. "I feel like people that are a little more clean-cut get fresh food when they come here, but I think they also feel they get to do something 'bad;' they're experiencing counter-culture, when really it's just the typical people that would be in a restaurant, and a lot of them are musicians, tattooed, and different than your status quo. I feel like that's another element that Juan's brings to the other cross-section of the population that maybe drives a $35,000 car. They appreciate what we're doing, and they feel like they're dabbling in something edgy," explains Greengold.

Juan's not only employs many musicians, the ownership and management have been in bands as well. David Greengold is the singer in Los Po-Boy-Citos. He fi nds it hard to name just a few musicians he likes. "You have to mention the founding families of New Orleans music with the Nevilles and the Marsalis family. The old cats were doing it, but they so clearly passed it on to the younger cats, and now you see that the grandchildren are lending to New Orleans music. Gary Mader from Eyehategod is awesome. He was a guitarist, and I remember the day when he said, 'Wow, I just discovered the fourth string on my guitar!' To see him playing bass and going on tour with his mega-outfi t Eyehategod is really cool to see, and he kills it," exclaims Greengold.

Gary Mader not only plays bass in the heavy metal outfi ts Eyehategod, Hawg Jaw, and Headwoundz, he has been friends with Greengold for many years. "Dave and I shared a house with a few other friends around 2000, and they were certainly tolerant of my inability to mix alcohol and cooking things that required fi re, AND hours of playing my guitar or bass. I have been playing bass since I was fourteen. I took several years of theory, played in Brother Martin's jazz band for a year (with Stanton Moore on drums), and decided that it was time to start my own band around 1989. I was more interested in learning the bass line for 'Sex and Violence' than 'Ornithology,' though I appreciate that music now," says Mader.

Eyehategod will be releasing its fi rst album in over a decade soon, which will spread like wildfi re with fans all over the world. "We worked hard on making this a record worth waiting for. We're calling the music 'hardcore blues'. Our plan is to release it on our own when the time comes. There's a lot of work that goes into doing it this way, but we know we'll have a whole lot less regret in the end," emphasizes Mader.

Mader also works in the kitchen at Juan's Flying Burrito. "I started working over there in 2005 with my wife Tomasa, following a prior fi ve-year stint working in the kitchen at Cooter Brown's. Juan's had always been a place I loved to eat, and it was another kitchen where we have many good friends. It doesn't get any better than that," says Mader.

Gary Mader often tries international foods on his band tours worldwide. "I look at eating abroad as a learning experience. I am grateful to be immersed in a culture completely different from here, and take in as much of it as I can, especially the food. In Australia, we almost had the opportunity to eat kangaroo steak, but it was that or see Melbourne," recalls Mader. Mader defi nitely has a few favorite restaurants to eat at when he's home. He says, "If I want a shot of absinthe for an appetizer, I go to Cafe Degas for their perfectly fried soft-shell crab atop a bed of arugula. Little Tokyo is good for hibachi. Fire, food, and sake…how can you go wrong? The Joint has the best BBQ everything, and in the words of Mannie Fresh, 'I still love that chicken from Popeye's!'"

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