Dishcrawl NOLA: Dining Around Freret

by Emily on April 16, 2014

The Dishcrawl group outside of Mint on Freret Street (Photo Credit: nola.com)

Last Wednesday night I was lucky enough to participate in my very first Dishcrawl. I hadn’t heard of these events before our local ambassador, Michelle Mashon, contacted me and asked me to join. Not knowing what to expect, I immediately did some research, only to discover that “Dishcrawling” exists in multiple cities across the U.S.! I was instantly thrilled.

Sipping draft beer at Wayfare

The concept of Dishcrawl is to take food lovers on a walking tour to different restaurants, located all within a chosen neighborhood. The meeting location is a secret until the day before and then each restaurant is revealed while en route. It’s a fantastic way to taste dishes from great local restaurants, expose yourself to new neighborhoods, and meet lots of new people.

We began the evening at 7pm at Wayfare on Freret Street where we sampled the “Knuckle,” a sandwich of cold roast beef tossed with a horseradish dressing and topped with arugula and crispy onions on a pretzel roll, black bean arancini with cilantro lime crema, and an empanada with salmon and spinach served with a lemon dill sauce. Dude, if I could give “knuckles” to the “Knuckle,” I would. What a brilliant combination… no wonder it’s a best seller.

Aracini, Empanada and the "Knuckle" from Wayfare

Aracini, Empanada, and the "Knuckle" from Wayfare

The next stop was Midway, where we enjoyed deep dish slices of pizza and house salad. I tried a slice of the “Thunderbird” with ham, chicken, caramelized onions, and Creole aioli. I’m not usually one for deep dish pies (I prefer thin crust) but this pizza was GOOD. The onions and aioli definitely stole the show.

The "Thunderbird" pizza from Midway

Last was Mint, Freret’s one and only Vietnamese restaurant, specializing in modern renditions of the classics, as well as a full bar including special cocktails and brews on tap. Our sampler plate included all of my favorites: Lemongrass chicken bun (vermicelli), chicken wings, and spring rolls with steamed shrimp and pork. For dessert, a piece of green waffle topped with green tea ice cream.

Lemongrass Chicken Bun, Chicken Wings, and Spring Rolls at Mint

All of the food was excellent and the crowd was a really fun mix of people. My only complaint is that for the $45 price tag, I would have liked for each participating restaurant to have also provided a beverage – a small glass of beer, wine, or house cocktail – or special drink prices for the crawlers. Perhaps that’s something that can be implemented in the future…

Check out Dishcrawl NOLA’s website for information on upcoming crawls and other events. I’ll definitely be attending more of these!

Green Waffle with Green Tea Ice Cream at Mint

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New Year’s Traditions

by Emily on January 2, 2014


With the turn of each new year I always yearn to participate in and create new traditions amongst my family and friends. Aside from being an opportunity to create lasting memories with the ones you love, instilling traditions (especially those that require cooking) is a chance to perfect something over many, many years. My mom makes cornbread, black eyed peas, cabbage and grilled pork chops every New Year’s Day and I swear that meal gets better and better every year. So last year, I started a little cooking tradition of my own.

I had been wanting to make John Besh’s Grillades and Jalapeno Cheese Grits for a long time and decided that it would be the ideal dish to make every year on New Year’s Eve. Since I hosted Christmas this year I opted to make them for Christmas brunch instead of New Year’s Eve. The meal was a huge hit and this recipe makes so much food, I still have leftovers in the fridge. In fact, I think I’ll go heat up some right now.

Happy New Year! I hope 2014 offers many opportunities to share new (and old) traditions with the ones you hold dear.

Meal prep: Diced trinity (onions, bell pepper, celery), chopped canned tomatoes, bacon fat, red pepper flakes, and garlic.

Sear the pork tenderloin in bacon fat. I used pork instead of veal to save money. Boston butt works great as well.

Sweat onions in all the flavor bursts leftover from searing the pork

Add the trinity and some flour to thicken the sauce

Then the tomatoes…

Then the stock. Instead of veal stock, I used half chicken stock and half beef broth. Your taste buds won’t know the difference.

Add the pork back in with a bay leaf, fresh thyme and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer until the meat is cooked through.

Serve with jalapeño cheese grits, biscuits, and fruit salad for the ultimate holiday brunch meal. And don’t forget the mimosas!

Mom’s New Years Day dinner

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RTW In 30 Days

by Emily on October 15, 2013

Back in August, I had the tremendous privilege of filming a television show pilot with Jenny McIver, blogger, world-traveler, and career woman extraordinaire. On her blog, Round The World in 30 Days, Jenny shares tips on how she uses air miles and hotel luxury points to book lavish month-long vacations that take her across multiple countries. Her savvy travel tips are budget friendly and empowering – world travel isn’t just reserved for some, it’s attainable by everyone!

Round the World in 30 Days, the show, will highlight Jenny’s traveling tips, as well as the insider scoop from hotels and restaurants on how to sleep and eat in style without draining your wallet. And as a blogger herself, Jenny wanted to interview a local New Orleans food writer about some of the food that makes New Orleans such a unique travel (and dining) destination. She picked me!

I showed up at Antoine’s to film on a weekday afternoon without a clue as to what they were going to ask me. I was so nervous, and after filming I even had that freakout moment where I thought to myself, “OMG, what the hell did I just say?!” I knew that covering all of my favorite restaurants simply wasn’t going to happen, so I just tried to relax and answer the questions as they were asked. In the end, I’m really proud of the result. Considering it was my first time doing any type of on-camera filming, I was surprised to see that my nervousness didn’t translate on camera. Phew!

I can’t thank Jenny and her entire crew enough for this amazing opportunity and for all of their encouragement. Clearly, I’ve been a little MIA for a while but after seeing the pilot yesterday, I was instantly reminded that this is something I really love.

Click here to watch the pilot. Or, to skip to my interview, scroll to 11:18.

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I’m In Trouble: Rivista

July 10, 2013

After a long holiday weekend of poolside iced coffee, fried trout with homemade tartar sauce, s’mores and lemon ice box pie, and a shameful trip through the drive thru for $1 hot fudge sundaes, it’s safe to say that these past few days away from the office were more than detrimental to my waistline. But [...]

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Cool Stuff I’ve Gotten Invited To

June 24, 2013

Some sweet friends invited me to attend a Caribbean-inspired Dinner Lab inside a plant nursery
Since starting my blog in 2010, I have had the honor and privilege of attending multiple invite-only food-related events. In 2010 there was the James Beard Benefit at the Kingsley House, judging at Hogs for the Cause in 2011 (and again [...]

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28th Birthday Marathon

May 13, 2013

Photo op on our way to my birthday lunch at Muriel’s
I’m going to go on writing and pretend like I haven’t taken a month off.
Okay…over a month. It’s terrible, I know.
I have, on the other hand, been doing some frequent writing over at GoNOLA. If you haven’t already, please check it out!
This past Friday was my [...]

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Judgin’ and Hoggin’

March 26, 2013

This past Saturday marked my third time attending Hogs for the Cause and my second time to judge. Every year I’m impressed at how much bigger and better they have been able to make this event — raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to help families whose children are undergoing treatment for brain cancer. Over [...]

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Checkin’ Out Charcoal’s

March 21, 2013

On Valentine’s Day this year (yeah, so I’m a little late posting this…), I decided I would treat my boyfriend to lunch since I knew he was going to buy all of the ingredients to make a steak dinner at home that night. A bit burned out on our usual lunch spots, I was excited [...]

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Super Bowl Sunday Brunch: Atchafalaya

February 11, 2013

When I was growing up, Super Bowl Sunday was never a huge deal to me. If the Aints Saints weren’t playing (which they weren’t) I guess I didn’t really care. But on February 7, 2010 that all changed. Watching the Saints dominate against the Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl 44 will forever remain as one [...]

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My Super Weekend

February 4, 2013

3rd Stop: Woldenberg Park to see the Roman numerals and the river
This weekend was filled with Super Bowl madness. On Saturday, my friend and I rode bikes downtown to partake in all the festivities – seeing the Super Bowl numbers on the river, hearing live music, and socializing with all the awesome fans from Baltimore [...]

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