City Pork Deli & Charcuterie will host a soft opening this Friday and co-owner Trey Williams says they plan to start serving a limited menu next week. The business, on Hollydale Avenue (Map it!) next to George's at the Perkins Road overpass, offers space for about 40 patrons and 20 more can be seated outside. Williams says City Pork will focus on daily special chalkboard menu sandwiches, a couple of salads and a house gumbo. The sandwiches will range in price from $8-$12 and come with housemade truffle chips and additional sides. Williams says the number of sides—hot and cold—as well as small plates will expand in the future. Read the full story.
In the latest issue of 225, Tracey Koch and Stephanie Riegel have a menu that's perfect for a more intimate party. This month’s "Dining In" includes easy-to-make dishes that are also comforting in the wintertime. The dinner starts with blanched asparagus with hollandaise, then goes into main course territory with a take on shepherd's pie before wrapping up with spiced poached pears and lemon stilton short bread cookies. Read the full story.
Nearly one year after a state audit slammed the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals' restaurant inspection process, DHH Assistant Secretary for Public Health J.T. Lane says improvements have been made to provide a better workplace environment and technology for inspectors. Now, inspections are taking place in "real time," Lane says, thanks to the improvements. "We're making sure every establishment is in accordance with our policy, and nothing is falling behind," he says. "This is a positive project to change something that means so much to people who go out to eat. Over 20 million come to visit us for our food—that's a huge statement. We need to get things right."But even Lane acknowledges some consumers may still have trouble understanding restaurant inspection reports that are publicly available via DHH's Eat Safe website. Read the full story.
Continuing its regular series of leisure cooking classes for the general public this month, the Louisiana Culinary Institute on Airline Highway will offer seven themed courses to get you and yours in the mood for the holiday season. This Saturday, children can take part in one of two age-appropriate workshops on decorating gingerbread houses. On the same day, adults will find a class on throwing a successful tapas party complete with appealing small plates and pick-ups. On Saturday, Dec. 14, learn how to prepare sumptuous seasonal eats like charcuterie, artisan breads, comfort foods and, just for kids, creative cupcakes. And on Monday, Dec. 16, stop by the state-of-the-art culinary arts college for a lesson on turning out a stellar brunch in time for Christmas. The menu features Jack Daniels’ bacon, perfect pain perdu and never-fail omelets. For specific times and registration information, click here. —Maggie Richardson
If Thanksgiving is about cooking within prescribed boundaries, then Christmas and New Year’s are about indulgence and sustained celebrations. I love this season for its limitless creativity, and that applies to the bar as well. South Louisiana is rich in local and seasonal raw materials to use in your own craft cocktails, from fresh-picked citrus fruit to regionally made rums that spring from our sugar cane heritage, such as Bayou Rum, Rank Wildcat, Old New Orleans Rum and Rougaroux. Read Maggie Heyn Richardson's latest blog post here to get more information and a recipe for a delicious kumquat sparkler.
Lunch breaks at work can often mean reheated leftovers and artificial frozen meals that never really satisfy, but that was before Trader Joe's (Map it!) came to town. The organic grocer comes stocked with convenient, delicious and natural pre-made meals from Indian rices to chicken Parmesan. They're perfect for a quick meal that won't bring you down by the time you're done eating it. You can pick up the chicken and vegetable wonton soup in the freezer aisle for just $2.29, add some water and pop it in the microwave for a fast and painless lunch at your desk. The broth is loaded with carrots, sugar snap peas, green onions and herbs for a subtle but still impressive flavor for a frozen meal, and the chicken wontons are a treat each time you fish one out the bowl. If you haven't yet taken advantage of the Trader Joe's selection, this soup could be the perfect place to start. For more information, visit the Trader Joe's website.—Kaci Yoder
Chef John Besh has just the stocking stuffer for those in search of something to impress a fellow foodie. Besh's new cookbook Cooking From the Heart is now on sale, and Besh will make an appearance tonight, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., at Bowie Outfitters on Perkins Road (Map it!). For more information on Besh's cookbook and tour, click here.
Cuban Liquor (Map it!) will sample different beers from Rogue Brewing Company. Rogue is one of the first microbreweries out of Oregon and is considered one of the main suspects in the craft beer movement in the nation. The tasting kicks off tonight at 6 p.m. For more information, call 364-2248.
Moviegoers at the AMC Cinema at the Mall of Louisiana may be able to enjoy beer with their popcorn beginning some time next year. The theater has notified the parish Alcoholic Beverage Control office that it intends to apply for a rezoning request, the first move in a multi-step process it must undergo in order to serve alcohol. Planning Commission Interim Director Ryan Holcombe says his department has not yet received the request, but that an attorney for the theater has contacted the commission by phone. "They asked us about the process for rezoning and we expect to receive their application by the next deadline,” which is Dec. 12, Holcombe says. If and when the Planning Commission approves the request, the Metro Council must also sign off on it. Then the theater must go before the ABC and formally apply for a permit to sell alcohol, according to a spokesman with the ABC. A state permit is also required. Calls to AMC requesting comment were not returned today in time for publication. But bars in cinemas are a growing trend nationwide. Last summer, AMC added bars to two theaters in Katy, Texas. At the time, the company's marketing director was quoted by The Houston Chronicle as saying serving alcoholic beverages in theaters is "… something we are doing around the country … and that it is very popular." The Metro Council zoning board will take up an unrelated rezoning request at its meeting Wednesday for another Mall of Louisiana tenant. Bar Louie has applied to change its zoning from C-AB-1 (restaurant) to C-AB-2 (bar). —Stephanie Riegel
Chef John Folse's acclaimed book, The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine, is now in its 10th printing and will be available for $29.95 on electronic readers beginning Dec. 17. The eBook will be available on Nook, Amazon Kindle and Apple devices. The book is an 850-page volume with more than 700 easy-to-follow recipes with classics such as gumbo, jambalaya and more. After the holiday season, Folse says he'll determine whether or not to convert After the Hunt and Hooks, Lies & Alibis to electronic versions as well. For more information, click here.
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Photos from the 2013 Voodoo Fest, November 1-3
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