My friend Brett Anderson has just resumed reviewing restaurants in the New Orleans Times-Picayune for the first time since Katrina struck, according to the New York Times. He reviewed the classic New Orleans restaurant Mr. B's Bistro in his typically straightforward, clear-eyed fashion. Anderson lauded what he found delicious (barbecued shrimp) and fairly criticized what he found wanting (fried catfish). In other words he did what a good restaurant critic does.
This is good news for Serious Eaters everywhere, who shouldn't need anymore reasons to visit the Big Easy to do some serious eatin'. When I last visited Brett in April he was already in reviewer mode, directing our meals together as only a newspaper restaurant reviewer—who eats virtually every meal out—can.
Before this Anderson felt that he was better serving his paper and the city he loves through coverage of the Big Easy food culture, as it tried to recover from Katrina. At Serious Eats we took note of a great series he wrote about the classic New Orleans restaurant Mandina's ultimately successful struggle to open after the devastating hurricane.
It's great to have Brett back guiding us to the best food in one of the greatest and truly most unique food cities of the world. In April, as you might recall, he and I shared some transcendent fried chicken at Willie Mae's Scotch House and a few extraordinary po' boys at the Parkway.
My guess is that his reviews will now either explicitly or implicitly incorporate more about the post-Katrina food culture just as a matter of course, as Brett's view of the city has been unalterably changed by the hurricane and his and many other Times-Picayune journalists' decision to stay in and report about the city he loves right after Katrina hit.
But he'll still call the food like he tastes it, and that's all we can ask for.
Welcome back, Brett. Serious eaters everywhere as well as residents of the Big Easy need you.