Home FOOD & DINING Weekend Cheat Sheet: Fall Frolicking

Weekend Cheat Sheet: Fall Frolicking

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Feel free to spoil yourself for a weekend, or even just a weekday, while enjoying the food, fun and festivities of fall in the Crescent City.

 

pho1Friday

Lunch at: After waiting anxiously for its return to the East Bank, Pho Tau Bay is back in business on Tulane Avenue — and fans couldn’t be happier. This iconic restaurant has been serving devoted denizens of New Orleans comforting Vietnamese cuisine for over 35 years, and it was greatly missed during its sabbatical. Check out the new digs, and enjoy your old favorites like the crunchy, deep-fried pork egg rolls; fresh shrimp spring rolls; banh mi; bun (vermicelli salad bowls); rice platters; delicious pho; and the chef’s special (Pho Tau Bay’s Won Ton Soup with rice noodles). 1565 Tulane Ave., (504) 368-9846, photaubayrestaurant.com

Sip at: Imbibe the flavors of Peru at the Catahoula Hotel. One of many new downtown hotels, the Catahoula boasts its own Pisco Bar, a Peruvian liquor made from grapes that has been around for half a century. The cocktail menu includes several pisco cocktails from the traditional Pisco Sour to a Chinguerito (made with pisco cinnamon, muddled grapes and lime) or the Le Capitaine (made with pisco and blanc vermouth). If you’d rather stick to what you know, the Catahoula’s bar also offers traditional New Orleans cocktails like a Vieux Carre and a Sazerac, but why not try something new? The hotel also offers a quaint cafe that offers tasty bites during happy hour like a giant portion of fresh guacamole or a tangy bruschetta with tomato, green onion and tomato vinaigrette. 914 Union St., (504) 603-2442, catahoulahotel.com

Revel in the music at: Open a little over two years now, the Ooh Poo Pah Doo Bar in historic Treme is a legacy to Jessie Hill and home to the city’s celebrated Andrews family of local musicians. Enjoy stellar performances from James Andrews & the Crescent City Allstars, Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters, Bobby Love and more. The Ooh Poo Pah Doo Bar also offers plenty of cold drinks and (if you beat the crowds) some delicious home cooking like red beans and rice. Frequently touted as “the real New Orleans experience,” you won’t want to miss the friendly atmosphere and incredible music. 1931 Orleans Ave., (504) 435-3384, facebook.com/oohpoopahdoobar

 

Saturday

Revive at: A cyclist’s paradise, Rouler not only offers clothing and accessories for those rubber warriors “born to be chasers,” it’s also a great spot to grab a cuppa joe. Whether you’re donning a helmet and bib shorts or not, Rouler features terrific coffee pulled from a blend sourced from local roaster French Truck Coffee and pastries from Gracious Bakery. St. James Cheese Co. supplies the meats and cheeses, while Elysian Seafood cures the salmon for the lox. As you might expect, Rouler aims to promote the “benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle,” but certainly not at the expense of well-made, locally sourced foodstuffs like a BLT served on a croissant or decadent charcuterie served with fig jam and crostini. 601 Baronne St., Ste. C1, (504) 603-2781, roulercycling.com

Gorge on the local gourd at: If the stars are aligned and karma is on your side, the weekend you choose to indulge will be the same weekend of The Mirliton Festival. Held on the first Saturday in November every year, this Bywater festival is solely devoted to that beloved local vegetable, the mirliton. If you thought mirliton casserole was the only way to go, just wait until you get a load of the literal bounty of alternate ways to enjoy this unique squash. Past vendors have included Bacchanal, which offered a poached mirliton salad with satsuma and feta; The Joint made a vegetarian mirliton maque choux; Oxalis featured a mirliton bibimbap with steak or mushrooms; and Pizza Delicious made a mirliton pie. Aside from all the mirliton you could possibly eat, the festival features a day filled with local music from performers like Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Washboard Chaz and One Love Brass Band. bywatermirlitonfestival.com

Satisfy your sweet tooth at: Sometimes you want a spot where you can just have a good cup of coffee and something sweet that’ll knock your socks off. Look no further than St. Roch Market! Along with all kinds of good eats from vendors like La Mezcla Mexicana and Fritai, St. Roch boasts Coast Roast Coffee and Bittersweet Confections. Grab a cappuccino (or something a little different like the Phat American made with fresh roasted espresso and Coca-Cola) and sip lightly, while making your sinful selection from Bittersweet Confections. From her base in the Warehouse District, owner/baker/chocolatier Cheryl Scripter has expanded her reach to the folks in the Marigny and Bywater, offering sweet treats like French macarons, hand made chocolate truffles and flourless chocolate cake. 2381 St. Claude Ave., (504) 609-3813, strochmarket.com

 

Sunday

Brunch at: Chris Barbato, formerly of Rivista and Cafe Adelaide, recently became executive chef at The Country Club — a great reason to grab brunch at this cool Bywater restaurant. Before (or after) you take a dip in the pool, you may want to dive into some truffle mac ’n’ cheese; or polenta and eggs with creamy mascarpone and roasted shiitake mushrooms. You could pair your breakfast with a fruit-filled smoothie made with protein, bee pollen, vitamin B12, goji and açaí berries, or you could plan for a party-filled Sunday and grab a few cocktails at the cabana bar. 634 Louisa St., (504) 945-0742, thecountryclubneworleans.com

Celebrate at: Kick it in Armstrong Park on Nov. 12-13 for the Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. Enjoy the music that will be rolling all weekend long with local performers like the Tremé Brass Band, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Rebirth Brass Band, Hot 8 Brass Band, Panorama Jazz Band and more. The festival also includes an arts market, kids activities and, of course, gallons of gumbo. Past events have hosted vendors like Dunbar’s Soul Food, Carmo, Li’l Dizzy’s Cafe, Miss Linda The Yakamein Lady and the Praline Connection. Get your gumbo groove on with filé gumbo; chicken and sausage gumbo; seafood gumbo (with shrimp, crab and oysters); and even one that’s totally vegan. 701 N. Rampart St., jazzandheritage.org/treme-gumbo

Grab dinner to-go at: If you’re hungry, headed home and just don’t feel like cooking, make a pit stop at Part & Parcel located in the South Market District’s Paramount building. Not your average sandwich shop, Part & Parcel is a unique delicatessen created by Chef Phillip Lopez of Root and Square Root in the LGD. Chef de cuisine Michael Mericle is making all the charcuterie and sausages you get on your sandwiches, but you can also buy them by the pound. Take home The Pirate’s Catch made with lobster, Louisiana gulf shrimp, sauce gribiche and tomatoes or a Hot P. on Rye piled high with veal pastrami, juniper caraway sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and remoulade. Part & Parcel also offers Cajun potato salad and berbere coleslaw, and don’t forget to take home some caramel mocha gelato or a mango frozen fruit bar. 611 O’Keefe Ave., Ste. C8, (504) 827-1090, partandparcelnola.com