All right, I've said what I had to say about looking at the Katrina carnage in New Orleans. Now I'll move on to the food.
I made three new discoveries this year. Stanley! (1031 Decatur, 504-)s is a fabulous new breakfast and lunch spot on Decatur Street in the French Quarter. Great banana walnut pancakes topped by a scoop of decent vanilla ice cream and some optional Louisiana cane syrup, and an even better eggs benedict-like concoction with killer fried oyters on top. The fried oysters were so good I think I will do as my friend John T. Edge does when he goes to Stanley's, have a plate of fried oysters for breakfast.
I had a disappointing, tasteless roast beef with debris (the shards of meat left in the roasting pan after you take the roast beef out) po'boy at Mother's, but then I more than made up for that lousy sandwich with a transcendent roast beef po' boy from the Parkway Grill and Tavern (538 Hagan Avenue(at Toulouse), 504-482-3047. Plenty of gravy, the best hero roll I've had in NO, just enough tender shards of roast beef, and a squiggle of mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato made up this paradigmatic sandwich.
Finally, the sweet potato turnovers, the biscuits, and the sticky bun at L'Espiga Bakery were outstanding. The city will be back, and so will I. My advice to all of you: You should go see and eat New Orleans now. In my next post I'll talk about the more formal upscale meals I had in New Orleans. Two quick postscripts: For those people who want to take a food guidebook to the Crescent City (or just eat vicariously without leaving their house) I think Pableaux Johnson's Eating New Orleans: From French Quarter Creole Dining to the Perfect Poboy is a beautifully written treasure trove of information and opinions. And a thank you to the reader who sent me an e-mail telling me that Gerald Ford was President from August 9, 1974 to January 20, 1977, not the early eighties, which is what I wrote in my first New Orleans post.