City board bows to Hogs | Arkansas Blog

Monday, January 3, 2011

City board bows to Hogs

Posted By on Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 9:37 AM

The Little Rock Board of Directors will meet at 6 p.m. tonight rather than Tuesday so as not to conflict with the Sugar Bowl. (FYI: That's a football game played in New Orleans.)

OYSTERS HERE: Casamentos
  • OYSTERS HERE: Casamento's
New Orleans has been much on my mind with Arkansas media hordes swarming the place and just about every news outlet offering its list of supposed hidden restaurant gems. There are not many secrets about New Orleans eateries in the era of food blogs and cable TV. My personal favorite, Mosca's, was written up in the New Yorker a few weeks ago by Calvin Trillin. (It's a long drive to a remote stretch of the West Bank across the old Huey Long bridge; waits can be long; only cash taken; bring a crowd; have, at least, oysters Mosca, shrimp Mosca, crab salad and spaghetti bordelaise (oil and garlic); don't go if you don't like garlic.

The eternal question, since I first went to New Orleans with my dad in the 1950s: Felix's or Acme for oysters? My dad was so dedicated to Felix, I never set foot in Acme until my independent college years. I think I favor Acme now.

Want to eat with locals? Two places in Mid-City will do the trick:

* Liuzza's, a neighborhood cafe/tavern with po boys, frozen mugs of beer and Italian dishes, plus lunch specials.

* Mandina's, an old school New Orleans restaurant on Canal with roots in the late 19th century. It's casual and family friendly with all the familiar seafood favorites, from po boys to trout meuniere. A whole oyster loaf (or maybe half-and-half with fried shrimp and oysters) is calling to me.

So many more, so little time. I know the last time I was in Casamento's on Magazine, a supplier walked in with a box of soft shell crabs. They were still snapping. And the oysters are just as fresh.

Wine lovers might consider a stop by Martin Wine Cellar — huge inventory, good prices. Katrina apparently knocked out the original Martin's on Carondelet in the Garden District, but there's still a store on Magazine. Good deli food at a good price is also available at the Martin's in Metairie. Special today is, naturally, red beans and rice with sausage. Shrimp bisque also is on offer. Tomorrow: stuffed salmon.


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