Home FOOD & DINING Weekend Cheat Sheet: Hometown Finds

Weekend Cheat Sheet: Hometown Finds


Explore your hometown this weekend, and you’ll likely discover things you never even knew existed. 


Lunch at: Feed your falafel craving at Tal’s Hummus, a new Israeli street-food joint that opened up about six months ago on the corner of Magazine and Bordeaux streets. Located in the building that once housed McClure’s Barbecue, Tal’s offers many Middle Eastern food favorites like labaneh goat cheese, hummus, house-baked pita and kebab at reasonable prices. Stop by for hummus topped with sauteed onions and mushrooms, a plate of fresh-fried falafel or a pita beef kebab with well-seasoned, grilled beef and creamy tahini. 4800 Magazine St., (504) 267-7357, talshummus.com

Put your paws together at: See the Serengeti come to life at Disney’s The Lion King! Touted as the “world’s best musical,” The Lion King has won six Tony Awards and features the extraordinary work of director Julie Taymor, choreographer Garth Fagan, and music from artists like Elton John and Tim Rice. Over 80 million people all over the world have had the pleasure of experiencing The Lion King and now, thanks to Broadway in New Orleans, it’s your turn! This timeless musical will be showing all January long at the historic Saenger Theatre. 1111 Canal St., (504) 525-1052, saengernola.com

Sip at: Get a taste of history at the Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street in the historic French Quarter. Built in 1806, the Old Absinthe House was originally a type of corner grocery store, but, less than a decade later, the first floor was converted into a saloon where mixologist Cayetano Ferrer created their famous Absinthe House Frappe. Stop in and try a frappe or two, a Ramos Gin Fizz, a Brandy Milk Punch or even a Sazerac, and revel in a spot that entertained such folk as P.T. Barnum, Mark Twain, Franklin Roosevelt, Frank Sinatra and Liza Minelli. 240 Bourbon St., (504) 524-0113, ruebourbon.com/oldabsinthehouse


Revive at: Get your java fix and a whole lot more at District Donuts. Sliders. Brew, now open in Lakeview. Located in a brand new building on Harrison Avenue, this version offers the same menu everyone knows and loves from the original Magazine Street location Uptown. Enjoy specialty coffees brewed from Georgian roaster 1000 Faces, and indulge in a decadent doughnut or two like pineapple upside down, pumpkin cheesecake or cookies and milk. The Lakeview District also offers a slew of lunch items like fried chicken or pork belly sliders and Cali-style fries with cheese sauce, caramelized onions and slider sauce. 527 Harrison Ave., (504) 827-1152, donutsandsliders.com

Discover unusual talent at: Now in its second year, The New Orleans Cigar Box Guitar Festival kicks off once again for a three-day musical extravaganza at the Frenchmen Theater from Jan. 19-21. Shane Speal, the King of the Cigar Box Guitar, will once again headline this unique event that will offer a line-up of improvised instrument practitioners. The festival also includes demonstrations on how to create your own cigar box guitar, seminars about its long and storied history (much of which took place right here) plus a contest for the best handmade instrument. neworleanscbg.com

Dine at: Recently renovated from a former police station, Rosedale is the latest restaurant by beloved local chef Susan Spicer. Rosedale offers an uber casual environment with kitchy salt and pepper shakers, affordable dishes and an outdoor dining patio that backs up to the railroad tracks. Delve into dishes like eggplant caponata with buratta cheese; shrimp puppies fried in hush puppy batter and served with a sweet pepper relish; lamb meatballs with ricotta; a cochon de lait po-boy; and pineapple mango upside down cake. Rosedale is open Wednesday through Sunday. 801 Rosedale Dr., (504) 309-9595, rosedalerestaurant.com


Brunch at: Located on the corner of Chartres and Spain streets in the Marigny, Cake Cafe & Bakery has become the quintessential neighborhood cafe that locals frequent regularly and tourists flock to because the food is just that good. Forget the excellent cakes and pastries for a moment (if you can), and sink your teeth into boudin and eggs with stone ground yellow grits; a crab omelet with brie and fresh spinach; buttery biscuits and gravy topped with andouille sausage; or one of their house-made bagels with a pesto shmear. 2440 Chartres St., (504) 943-0010, nolacakes.com

Satisfy your sweet tooth at: On Jan. 29, the 4th annual King Cake Festival presented by Ochsner will kick off once again at Champions Square in front of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Vendors from all over the Crescent City will be sharing their king cakes, from Maurice’s French Pastries and The Buttermilk Drop to Nona Randazzo’s Bakery and Quintin’s Natural Ice Cream & Sorbet. But before you taste those cakes, register for the races, a 4.5K Rep Run and a one-mile Fun Run to encourage whole-family participation. kingcakefestival.org

Relax at: Kick back on Carrollton Street for a casual and inexpensive, yet authentic Mexican meal at Panchita’s. If you’re into fresh guacamole, earthy carne asada, spicy chile rellenos and soul-warming chilaquiles, look no further than Panchita’s, a neighborhood gem offering an array of Mexican and Latin American dishes. Open now for six years, this family-owned restaurant offers house made tortillas, mole sauce, tres leches cake and other fresh ingredients so that diners can enjoy the varied flavors of Mexico right here in New Orleans. 1434 S. Carrollton Ave., (504) 281-4127, panchitasmexicanrestaurant.com