Weekend Cheat Sheet: April 2016

Frolic among the budding flowers and trees, while enjoying all of the food and festivities that accompany the onset of spring in New Orleans. 


Friday

NolaWmnstjamescheeseLunch at: Whether you’re at the original Uptown or the brand new location in the Warehouse District on Tchoupitoulas Street, St. James Cheese Co. is an indubitably irresistible lunch spot. After all, who doesn’t like cheese? Both locales offer delectable meat and cheese boards, plus salads and sandwiches created to please any palate and to pair with select wines and beer. Try the classic Hooks Cheddar, made with smoked turkey, fresh basil, tomato and avocado on ciabatta or buckle down for a Smokey Bleu, made with rare roast beef, house smoked blue Mycella and Worcestershire mayonnaise on Wild Flour multigrain. 5004 Prytania St., (504) 899-4737 and 641 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 304-1185, stjamescheese.com

Grab a brew at: Belly up to the bar and sample all NOLA Brewing has to offer at the Tap Room. Open daily on Tchoupitoulas Street, the Tap Room is right next door to the brewery replete with two bars, reclaimed wood flooring and booths, and a second-floor balcony. The bar serves an ever-changing compilation of NOLA Brewing suds on tap from the 7th Street Wheat and Coffee Stout to Rebirth Pale Ale and Peach Mango Mecha. The Tap Room also offers food from McClure’s Barbecue, so feel free to scarf some pulled pork or Texas-style brisket if you’re feeling peckish. 3001 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 896-9996, nolabrewing.com

Revel at: Located on Oak Street in the Carrollton neighborhood, Maple Leaf Bar has been in business as a music venue continuously for more than 40 years. Open every night of the week, this iconic building has seen performances from both local and national music legends. The bar regularly features favorites like the Rebirth Brass Band, George Porter Jr., Johnny Vidacovich, Papa Grows Funk, The Radiators, Joe Krown and more. Maple Leaf Bar is also known for holding immensely popular benefits and events to support music education, fellow musicians, political causes and Mid-Summer Mardi Gras — and sometimes it even flaunts one of the best crawfish boils in the city. 8316 Oak St., (504) 866-9359, mapleleafbar.com

Saturday

Revive at: Open for almost four years now in the new Woodward building, Gracious Bakery has become one of the spots for a great cuppa joe and a stellar breakfast or lunch. Co-owned and operated by skilled pastry chef Meg Forman, this Gert Town treasure offers freshly roasted and brewed French Truck Coffee along with beatific brunch items like a warm cheddar and green onion biscuit sandwich with cured ham and scrambled eggs; house-cured salmon on a freshly baked and boiled bagel with caper cream cheese and red onion; or twice-baked French toast with berry compote, whipped cream and maple syrup. As if that were not enough, Gracious Bakery always has a case filled with pastries like croissants, danishes and muffins … not to mention devilish desserts like chocolate and caramel tarts, cookies, cupcakes and Black Forest Parfaits. 1000 S. Jeff Davis Pkwy., Ste. 100, (504) 301-3709, graciousbakery.com

Dine at: Easily one of the most popular spots to score a po-boy during Jazz Fest, Liuzza’s by the Track is a great local spot mere steps from the fairgrounds on North Lopez Street. Although known for its barbecue shrimp po-boy, this neighborhood gem offers a whole lot more with fried shrimp and oyster po-boys, paneed chicken, seafood platters, rich Creole gumbo, almond-breaded duck tenders and a wicked shrimp remoulade. Liuzza’s by the Track is open every day except Sunday from 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. 1518 N. Lopez St., (504) 218-7888, liuzzasnola.com

Rock out at: Hop on the bright red Canal Street Streetcar for a stellar show at Chickie Wah Wah. Open every night of the week, this heavily frequented venue is highly supportive of local musicians with their policy that 100 percent of cover charges go straight to the artists. Chickie Wah Wah also offers sustaining snacks from Blue Oak BBQ, which smokes and roasts its meats in house. Catch acts from local performers like John Rankin, Phil De Gruy, The Bluerunners, Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns, Alexis & the Samurai, Albanie Falletta and Susan Cowsill. 2828 Canal St., (844) 244-2543, chickiewahwah.com

Sunday

Brunch at: “Real food, done real good” is the motto at Elizabeth’s Restaurant in the Bywater — and they aren’t kidding. In the late 1990s, this spot became known for its huge affordable breakfasts, and, then later, the now-seemingly ubiquitous praline bacon. Chef Byron Peck took over the kitchen in 2004 and has since made it his mission to offer fresh, made-from-scratch, down-home dishes like fried grit cakes with tasso gravy; duck waffles with sweet potato and duck hash atop corn bread waffles; redneck eggs with fried green tomatoes; and campfire steak and eggs with cold-smoked rib eye. Don’t forget to indulge in one (or more) of Elizabeth’s killer cocktails like the Ghetto Fabulous mimosa with Poema Cava or a morning margarita made with fresh lime and orange juice. 601 Gallier St., (504) 944-9272, elizabethsrestaurantnola.com

Imbibe the city’s vibe at: Easily one of the most iconic locales in the city, Jackson Square says New Orleans like nowhere else can. Designated as one of America’s Great Public Spaces by the American Planning Association, Jackson Square is a National Historic Landmark that played a central role in the history of the Crescent City. Designed after the 17th century Place des Vosges in Paris, Jackson Square used to host public executions and even served as an arsenal. These days, it’s a place of art, music and frivolity. Stroll the square’s perimeter on any clear day and find local artists displaying their ware all along the wrought iron fence; tables of tarot readers and psychics seeking to tell your fortune; and impromptu musicians with everything from a lone acoustic guitar player to a full New Orleans brass band. 700 Decatur St., experienceneworleans.com/jackson-square

Relax at: Kick back with some Middle-Eastern fare at Lebanon’s Cafe on South Carrollton Avenue. This laid back, uber-casual restaurant really packs them in with tasty dishes and drinks that won’t break the bank. Lebanon’s is one of those invaluable neighborhood restaurants where local denizens can be found time and time again wolfing down plates of tangy hummus and baba ghanoush with warm triangles of pita bread, stuffed grape leaves, fried kibbeh, spanakopita, and all kinds of kabob and shawarma from chicken to rich lamb. Also, don’t forget a glass of Lebanon’s Famous Iced Tea, flavored with rose water and a sprinkling of pine nuts. 1500 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 862-6200, lebanonscafe.com

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Weekend Cheat Sheet: April 2016

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Frolic among the budding flowers and trees, while enjoying all of the food and festivities that accompany the onset of spring in New Orleans. 


Friday

NolaWmnstjamescheeseLunch at: Whether you’re at the original Uptown or the brand new location in the Warehouse District on Tchoupitoulas Street, St. James Cheese Co. is an indubitably irresistible lunch spot. After all, who doesn’t like cheese? Both locales offer delectable meat and cheese boards, plus salads and sandwiches created to please any palate and to pair with select wines and beer. Try the classic Hooks Cheddar, made with smoked turkey, fresh basil, tomato and avocado on ciabatta or buckle down for a Smokey Bleu, made with rare roast beef, house smoked blue Mycella and Worcestershire mayonnaise on Wild Flour multigrain. 5004 Prytania St., (504) 899-4737 and 641 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 304-1185, stjamescheese.com

Grab a brew at: Belly up to the bar and sample all NOLA Brewing has to offer at the Tap Room. Open daily on Tchoupitoulas Street, the Tap Room is right next door to the brewery replete with two bars, reclaimed wood flooring and booths, and a second-floor balcony. The bar serves an ever-changing compilation of NOLA Brewing suds on tap from the 7th Street Wheat and Coffee Stout to Rebirth Pale Ale and Peach Mango Mecha. The Tap Room also offers food from McClure’s Barbecue, so feel free to scarf some pulled pork or Texas-style brisket if you’re feeling peckish. 3001 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 896-9996, nolabrewing.com

Revel at: Located on Oak Street in the Carrollton neighborhood, Maple Leaf Bar has been in business as a music venue continuously for more than 40 years. Open every night of the week, this iconic building has seen performances from both local and national music legends. The bar regularly features favorites like the Rebirth Brass Band, George Porter Jr., Johnny Vidacovich, Papa Grows Funk, The Radiators, Joe Krown and more. Maple Leaf Bar is also known for holding immensely popular benefits and events to support music education, fellow musicians, political causes and Mid-Summer Mardi Gras — and sometimes it even flaunts one of the best crawfish boils in the city. 8316 Oak St., (504) 866-9359, mapleleafbar.com

Saturday

Revive at: Open for almost four years now in the new Woodward building, Gracious Bakery has become one of the spots for a great cuppa joe and a stellar breakfast or lunch. Co-owned and operated by skilled pastry chef Meg Forman, this Gert Town treasure offers freshly roasted and brewed French Truck Coffee along with beatific brunch items like a warm cheddar and green onion biscuit sandwich with cured ham and scrambled eggs; house-cured salmon on a freshly baked and boiled bagel with caper cream cheese and red onion; or twice-baked French toast with berry compote, whipped cream and maple syrup. As if that were not enough, Gracious Bakery always has a case filled with pastries like croissants, danishes and muffins … not to mention devilish desserts like chocolate and caramel tarts, cookies, cupcakes and Black Forest Parfaits. 1000 S. Jeff Davis Pkwy., Ste. 100, (504) 301-3709, graciousbakery.com

Dine at: Easily one of the most popular spots to score a po-boy during Jazz Fest, Liuzza’s by the Track is a great local spot mere steps from the fairgrounds on North Lopez Street. Although known for its barbecue shrimp po-boy, this neighborhood gem offers a whole lot more with fried shrimp and oyster po-boys, paneed chicken, seafood platters, rich Creole gumbo, almond-breaded duck tenders and a wicked shrimp remoulade. Liuzza’s by the Track is open every day except Sunday from 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. 1518 N. Lopez St., (504) 218-7888, liuzzasnola.com

Rock out at: Hop on the bright red Canal Street Streetcar for a stellar show at Chickie Wah Wah. Open every night of the week, this heavily frequented venue is highly supportive of local musicians with their policy that 100 percent of cover charges go straight to the artists. Chickie Wah Wah also offers sustaining snacks from Blue Oak BBQ, which smokes and roasts its meats in house. Catch acts from local performers like John Rankin, Phil De Gruy, The Bluerunners, Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns, Alexis & the Samurai, Albanie Falletta and Susan Cowsill. 2828 Canal St., (844) 244-2543, chickiewahwah.com

Sunday

Brunch at: “Real food, done real good” is the motto at Elizabeth’s Restaurant in the Bywater — and they aren’t kidding. In the late 1990s, this spot became known for its huge affordable breakfasts, and, then later, the now-seemingly ubiquitous praline bacon. Chef Byron Peck took over the kitchen in 2004 and has since made it his mission to offer fresh, made-from-scratch, down-home dishes like fried grit cakes with tasso gravy; duck waffles with sweet potato and duck hash atop corn bread waffles; redneck eggs with fried green tomatoes; and campfire steak and eggs with cold-smoked rib eye. Don’t forget to indulge in one (or more) of Elizabeth’s killer cocktails like the Ghetto Fabulous mimosa with Poema Cava or a morning margarita made with fresh lime and orange juice. 601 Gallier St., (504) 944-9272, elizabethsrestaurantnola.com

Imbibe the city’s vibe at: Easily one of the most iconic locales in the city, Jackson Square says New Orleans like nowhere else can. Designated as one of America’s Great Public Spaces by the American Planning Association, Jackson Square is a National Historic Landmark that played a central role in the history of the Crescent City. Designed after the 17th century Place des Vosges in Paris, Jackson Square used to host public executions and even served as an arsenal. These days, it’s a place of art, music and frivolity. Stroll the square’s perimeter on any clear day and find local artists displaying their ware all along the wrought iron fence; tables of tarot readers and psychics seeking to tell your fortune; and impromptu musicians with everything from a lone acoustic guitar player to a full New Orleans brass band. 700 Decatur St., experienceneworleans.com/jackson-square

Relax at: Kick back with some Middle-Eastern fare at Lebanon’s Cafe on South Carrollton Avenue. This laid back, uber-casual restaurant really packs them in with tasty dishes and drinks that won’t break the bank. Lebanon’s is one of those invaluable neighborhood restaurants where local denizens can be found time and time again wolfing down plates of tangy hummus and baba ghanoush with warm triangles of pita bread, stuffed grape leaves, fried kibbeh, spanakopita, and all kinds of kabob and shawarma from chicken to rich lamb. Also, don’t forget a glass of Lebanon’s Famous Iced Tea, flavored with rose water and a sprinkling of pine nuts. 1500 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 862-6200, lebanonscafe.com