Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Quote of the Week

"Folks who have no vices have very few virtues."  ---Abe Lincoln 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The State of Drink

October 27, 2013

Regarding Cocktails and their Constituents:

The state of the cocktail culture is stronger than ever.  However, if you called it culture, you would be insinuating that our lives are consumed by drink.  You would be correct.  Everything these days is an advertisement for  booze.  Mad Men characters drink continuously.  So do the characters in Game of Thrones and Hell on Wheels.  The Great Gatsby remake was a huge glamorous advert for champagne and martinis.  All over Facebook we see our friends' Mad Men or Gatsby themed cocktail parties.  Where did this come from?  

If you talk to cocktail historians they will likely tell you it started in New York with Dale Degroff and his push to keep fresh citrus available at the Rainbow Room.  But I'm not discussing where good drinks came from.  The real revolution started much later.  

With the advent of "foodie" culture came an obsession for quality.  This meant buying food that was grown naturally. (i.e. cows eating grass not corn, and accepting that tomatoes don't have to be red and perfectly round.) People started talking about buying local, going organic, going gluten-free, being vegan, and countless other foodie inspired trends.  The Food Network turned into culinary porn, cooking at home became obsolete, and chefs became superstars.  With this renewed interest in where food came from, people started looking elsewhere for improvement.  If we cared about how our food is grown and where it came from, why not the same attention to what we drink?  So similarly the Mixologist trend was born.  "Mixologist" no sooner became a term than it was banished by trade bartenders convinced that there is no magic or "-ology" involved in making an Aviation or Dark and Stormy.  So why the fascination with cocktails?

It has something to do with an ideal.  When you hold a perfectly made drink in your hand and stare up at the bottles on the back bar, your mind drifts.  Your shoulders relax, your blood warms, and that project due on Monday is all but forgotten in that moment of crisp, cold bliss.  With a cocktail in your hand you can be Don Draper, Hunter Thompson, or Marilyn Monroe.  You can transcend this world of mediocrity and blasé to a place of limitless potential.  

So you know that hot number across the bar with the 1940's pencil skirt?  Yeah, she's totally in your league because you know what an Algonquin cocktail is.  So go walk up and charm her with your obscure knowledge of J.D. Salinger because with a drink like a 1:1 Perfect Gibson with orange bitters she'll definitely be into you.  But only if she's drinking a Sherry Cobbler.

H. Ktiri

Friday, October 25, 2013

Feelin' Lucky Punk?

I decided it was time to delve a bit further into the art of getting lucky by showcasing one of the best downtown lunch spots.  This place is stylish, badass, and delicious.  Lo Mein and behold:

Eat the Korean Fried Chicken, the Dragon Warrior or the Lo Mein Spinach Salad.

Drink the Inocente Fino Sherry or the Honolulu Hipster.

Finish with the house-made fortune cookie or a shot of Fernet Branca.  


Thursday, October 24, 2013

After a Brief Hiatus

To my amazing readers:

To everyone that has been following me on here let me just say that I'm sure you've noticed that I haven't etched my thoughts on to a serviette lately.  The truth is I have been terribly distracted by recent attempts at perfecting a David Chang style ramen.  Soft boiling eggs is nowhere near as easy they seem it turns out.

Needless to say, I will be posting something for you New Orlean-philes very, very soon.

And again, thanks so much for your support!

Hadi Ktiri

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Cigar Life

New Orleans.  One of the last great vestiges of civilized society.  At one time in America there were ashtrays in airplanes, businessmen drank whiskey in their offices, and a smoke filled bar was a given.  Life was simpler then.

Now our fair city of New Orleans is one of the only places left where you can smoke indoors.  So to celebrate this truly civilized freedom, I give you: The Cigar Life.

First, go here to buy a cigar.  

Then smoke it here -- with a drink of course.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Young, Rich and the Famous Crawl

If you are dressed up, with a date or friends, and have money to burn, this a baller way to spend the evening.   Enjoy:)

---  First make a reservation for around 8 or 8:30 at the Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel.  Ask for Joe to be your server.

Then start the night with cocktails.  Two bars.  One drink at each.

Then go to dinner. 

Then after dinner drinks.

Now for some jazz. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fewer Tourists? Eat Lunch in the CBD

You wake up downtown.  You're starving, but can't make a decision about where to eat.  Laying back down in bed, you dig around on Yelp before just settling on some place you've been to so many times.  (Or even worse, a chain restaurant)

Venture out to the CBD.  There are a lot more amazing spots out there than
you'd think.  And you won't be surrounded by tourists.....

First go get coffee.   To Spitfire if you're near or PJ's if you're not.

Then try one of the places on this list.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Enough with the Cocktails... Where is the Good Beer?

There are lots of great craft cocktail bars in New Orleans, but the craft beer bars are harder to come by.  Here are a few of the best ones:

-- Oh, and Stein's isn't a bar, but they do have a killer beer selection.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

NOLA Dive Bars: Where One Beer Turns into Seven

Am I suggesting you go to these places?  Not really.  But yes, definitely go.

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Don't order "cocktails."
2. Don't play Wagon Wheel or Freebird on the jukebox.
3. At this point in your night you have little left to prove.  Leave the shots of whisky to the bartenders and regulars.

Enjoy in mediocre health!

Also don't forget to get a sandwich from Killer PoBoys while at Erin Rose.  They go from 12-12 and their poboys are fantastic.  

**I left Snake's for last because it requires some additional advice:
1. I wouldn't show up before midnight.
2. Order Schlitz beer.
3. Think twice before going there.  Then think about it again.  (Never once have I regretted not going to Snake and Jakes.)
4.  But seriously, if you like dive bars Snakes is a must-see.  Oh and George Clooney and Anthony Bourdain  have both been there.  If it's cool enough for them it's cool enough for you.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Great People Watching?

In a city famous for its drinking culture, people watching is one of our main attractions.  Here is a list of some of the best places to see the drunken hilarity in relative solace.  

The exception to this list is Whole Foods on Magazine street.  The people watching here is mostly yoga moms hopped up on Prozac and Xanax cocktails zig zagging around the store on a quest for bulk quinoa or organic Cheddar Bunnies.  

If you enjoy talking shit about random strangers as much as I do, you'll love this list as a brief guide to the art of stealth commentary in a city that has some of the weirdest and most interesting people in the country.  But be warned, this is New Orleans, and these people you are passively observing might overhear you talking about them.  My advice? Use coded language.  My favorite...  DPHG.  It stands for disproportionately hot girlfriend. 

  Enjoy.  :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Ultimate FQ Bar Crawl.

Do this crawl in order. 

Drink water.  

Shoot vermouth. 

Eat small plates.  

Use the buddy system.  

Don't do this with Nick Jarrett. 

Tell them Napkin Local sent you.  

Happy Tales of the Cocktail.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Friday, July 12, 2013

Best Seafood in the Quarter?

At any of these spots you'll be blown away by the ingenuity and quality of the dishes they feature.   Go to these places - or you'll be sleeping with the fishes..

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Great French Quarter Bookstore

Let's make reading cool again.  Go support a great guy running an amazing bookstore.  

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Red Beans and Rice on Monday?

You might not be doing laundry today, but you can still eat red beans and rice just the same.   Here are some of the best places to have this New Orleans staple.  

Making the Rounds

We routinely do this bar crawl to see all of our friends.  Try not to have liquor in every place or you won't make it.  Trust me.

Also most of these places have food so make sure to eat along the way and have lots of water.  It helps stave off the "where the f*%k am I's."

P.S.   This is just an abbreviated list of the places you should go and the people you should ask for.  If the people I wrote aren't there it's not a big deal.  All the bartenders at these bars are badass.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Muscle Car of Burgers

There are a lot of burger joints in this town, and everybody has their favorite. But I don't care what your favorite places are.  If you want a burger - that is ground beef, cheese, and a sliced bun - then you want this place...

This place is an amazing example of how fresh bread, quality cheese, and house-ground, butchered, and pattied beef can take a hamburger from, "Do you want fries with that?" to, "Wow! That was IN-credible..."

They do have a BYOL and BYOT policy (no lettuce, not tomato, and certainly no peanut butter-bacon).  That is to say we think it's fantastic the way it is;  if you don't agree, bring the extras yourself.

Simply enough, the burgers here are a bit similar to a muscle car - simple, uncomplicated, old-school, and exciting in ways you never though possible. Or am I thinking of a beautiful woman?  Either way, you need to come here.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Easily one of the best happy hours in New Orleans

Between 3 and 6pm everyday the pizzas, wine, beer, and well drinks are half off.  Which would already be dope except for the pizzas, that can serve 2, get cut from 14 down to about 7 dollars.  Highway robbery..... 

Oh and you can thank Michael Glassberg for the selection of Italian amaros.  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Best Hangover Recovery Bar??!

We've all had those mornings.  You have to be a productive adult, but every fiber of your being is telling you to crawl in a hole and hibernate.  

Sylvain is dark.  It's cool.  It's inviting.  And best of all, it has some of the best craft cocktail bartenders in New Orleans. 

Just bring sunglasses.   Because when you leave this nurturing haven for the artists of the night, you'll be blinded by the reality of the day, and the always surprising hot New Orleans sun.  

Drink more water next time...

Any Questions about Nola?

Ask away and I will answer your Nola questions.... Napkin style!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Best Coffee in the Quarter?

Google it.

If you don't have google, how the hell are you reading this?

(Also, no chairs.  Get your coffee and get the f**k out)

Staying Wet in the Quarter

So you wanna go swimming...  

You're not friends with anyone with a pool, and you're not staying at a hotel.

 Don't worry, we got you covered.   Make sure to tip the pool bartenders well and you should have no problem enjoying lots of sunshine, cool water, and fruity drinks.   

Oh, and one last thing.

Don't get kicked out for being an asshole, and don't tell 'em we sent you.   Word.

Here's the list:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Late night food in the Quarter?

After 11 in the quarter, decent food choices get dicey.   Don't go to Krystal Burger or some shitty Bourbon Street pizza place.  Use this list, and you'll be happier than a bodybuilder directing traffic.

Lunch on Freret?

I had the beet and arugula sandwich today, and it was fantastic.   As a girl I know likes to say, they have the best salad-sandwiches.   Ask for Peter; he's wicked cool and good at making you feel like you're a regular your first time here.