Christmas Amid the Oaks

by

     It’s Christmastime in New Orleans, and while that doesn’t bring forth images of snow covered driveways and chimneys thick with smoke, it does conjure images of mighty oak trees adorned with lights. The sound of a small train horn reminds locals that the holiday season is once again in full swing as City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks opens its gates to invite visitors to bask in the magic of the season. Complete with Santa Claus, hot chocolate, and the light display of a Cajun Night before Christmas, Celebration in the Oaks combines all of the elements of a perfect New Orleans Christmas.      Every season, thousands of park visitors gather to embrace the joy of the season in what has truly become a New Orleans tradition. The beautiful carousel that...

read more

Seasons of the South

by

     Living in New Orleans, I actually had to check my calendar to verify that summer had ended. There are no colorful trees with leaves of bright orange, yellow and red. No gently flowing cool breeze brushes my cheek to usher in the change in seasons here in south Louisiana. No magical environmental changes symbolize the transitions from season to season in our warm, often unbearably humid climate.      Now that fall has officially made its annual debut, the countdown begins to my favorite season, the Christmas Season. As soon as there are fewer than 100 days until Christmas, the shopping pressure is on. Every year I tell myself that if I diligently plan ahead, I can have all shopping done by the first week in November. As many times as I have tried to instill...

read more

Southern in L.A. II: The Heart of Barbecue...

by

     When I think about barbecue, I think about backyards, family, a down home easiness emphasized with beer, and inevitably secret sauce on your face and fingers. Park's Finest BBQ had all of that, but I didn't expect to find it in Filipinotown.      Between the sign for Historic Filipinotown and the skyline of Downtown Los Angeles, you could easily pass this new storefront. The sign is a sagging banner and the parking is less than inviting--that is to say there is none. But inside, the place offers a casualness of a family joint and the crux of any barbecue joint: delicious sauce. I dropped in on a Wednesday, when all they serve is what they call their Worker's Plate. It's a little bit of everything: pulled pork, barbecue chicken, smoked sausage, coconut beef,...

read more

Middendorf’s Restaurant

by

     Fresh seafood accented by a waterfront view is the best way to describe the dining experience at Middendorf’s Restaurant. Opened in 1934, this family restaurant has been a staple in Manchac for nearly 78 years. After Louis Middendorf lost his job in the 1929 stock market crash, he and his wife moved to live with her family in Manchac, LA. With a minimal amount of cash and a small loan, they opened a café in its current day location. When the interstate highways opened, business began booming. A mere thirty minutes outside of New Orleans, people from all over seemed to find their way to this thin-fried catfish capital of the south.      Fast forward to present day and this restaurant is still providing the homemade personal recipes of Louis’s wife. Delicious fried...

read more

Finding Soul in SoCal Food

by

     When I moved from Savannah, GA to Los Angeles, CA a fleeting three months ago, I was warned by people who'd lived in LA that I might become one of two things, either a pot head or a health nut. Well, so far, I'm still a Southerner just looking for some good grub. The extensive healthy food options and easy access to fresh produce is a luxury that took no time to for me to appreciate, but I've been missing, well, anything fried. I crave that stick-to-your-bones full you get from any food that might have "down-home" in the name. Not the kind of food you eat to fuel your chakras or to detox. I'm talking about the kind of food that (despite your cholesterol levels) feeds the needs of your soul. I've...

read more
s2Member®