Our breakfast spies have reported with certainty that there are now not one, but two spanking-new Waffle House franchises within a fifteen-minute drive of Downtown New Orleans. (Up until recently, anyone wanting food smothered, covered or chunked had to drive to Baton Rouge, or an equal distance along Highway 90 West.) The restaurants are located at the Read Blvd. exit of I-10 in New Orleans East (pictured), and at 3429 Paris Rd. in Chalmette. Both, of course, have the full selection of Waffle House songs on the jukebox. We were also pleased to see a new condiment on the table: "Casa de Waffle" hot picante sauce.
So this is a little old, but between eating, football and shopping there wasn't much else to be done. On Thanksgiving night, Chris Paul and company made their
firstsecond appearance on national TV facing off against the Denver Nuggets on TNT. Needless to say, CP3 and his boys left a favorable impression on Marv Albert and Doug Collins and anyone else who was able to endure the tryptophan and stay up past 1 a.m. EST on Thanksgiving.
Five years ago the restaurant company I was working for in New York took on the laborious task of turning all seven of our restaurant's voluminous international wine lists into strictly American wine lists. It was just shy of a monumental task which our 29-year-old wine director accomplished by first finding wineries in each state, then by tasting a tremendous amount of wine, some of which was incredibly bad. Fortunately there was a lot that was also very good.
As it happens Louisiana is proud to be home to six wineries - but only one of those wineries produces wine from grapes, a primary necessity in selecting the wine for our wine lists. Thru no regional nepotism, John Seago's Pontchartrain Vineyards wine was selected as one of the wines we would not only have on our wine lists around the country but would also be featured at a press-heavy kickoff luncheon in Manhattan. There were 100 American wines opened at this lunch event and American wine all-stars such as Michael Mondavi, Jess Jackson, Bo Barrett (of Bottle Shock fame) and Doug Schafer poured wines side by side winemakers like John Seago.
John was wonderful. He is an avuncular character well-versed not only on wine and Louisiana but how those two things intermingle. As well he is quite a history buff and knows a tremendous amount about wine's history in America. His quest to start a vineyard in Louisiana is enough to fill several hundred pages alone.
This Saturday, November 29th, from noon to 5pm, Pontchartrain Vineyards is hosting a Harvest & Holiday celebration with food, hayrides, barrel tastings, tours, music and, of course, wine. Adults $7, Children under 12, free. This is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with the people of Pontchartrain Vineyards and to taste wine local to Louisiana that doesn't start with "strawberry" or "muscadine"
Click here for directions.
As frustrating, infuriating, aggravating, and bass-ackwards as this crazy town can be at times, I think we're all fortunate to be living here...and to even be here. At a time with such great hope and promise for the country, and at a time when some people can only spread pain and suffering in the world, we've got a good deal for which to be grateful...and all of us at Gambit are grateful for you.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and take to heart the message in this wonderful video from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Clint Maedgen. It's been around a while, but it never gets old, and if it's new to you, enjoy it:
Photo by Jonathan Bachman
In an effort to give Hornets fans the best look at their favorite team, I'll be showing a series of video interviews with various New Orleans Hornets players in Gambits Best of theme. Some will be short and sweet while others will be a bit longer and still sweet. Today I present to you the Best of Mike James. He talks about golf, his connection with pit bulls and has a couple words for his friend, Tyson Chandler. And in case you're wondering, that music you hear is Sick Like Sinatra.
Hit the jump for the video and Happy Thanksgiving everyone (P.S. I'm thankful that I get to film stuff like this).
He is surly, unkempt, crass, oafish and one of the New Orleans best-loved fictitious citizens. Ignatius J. Reilly has been entertaining readers since he was first unleashed upon the Crescent City in John Kennedy Tooles 1980 novel A Confederacy of Dunces.
But his personality, among other things, was too big to be contained within the pages of Tooles novel, and his immense popularity has tempted many actors and directors to try and bring the character to the silver screen. While a film adaptation is still pending, actor and WWL talk show host John Spud McConnell has successfully filled Ignatius green hunting cap on stage. He reprises the role of the bayou buffoon, closed valve and all, in a benefit for the Tenessee Williams Festival at Le Chat Noir on Sunday, Nov. 30. (Two shows, 3 p.m. & 6 p.m.; tickets $50 general admission, $35 students, includes $5 drink credit)
By purchasing an analog-to-digital converter box, I assumed Id be freed from the shackles of a snowy-fuzz pair of bunny-eared antenna. Instead, though I have a little-more-than-limited cable, the picture comes through like a blurry YouTube video on dial-up.
But every once in a while, I come across basic-cable infomercial gems like this:
Im not sure what kind of cancer this thing is capable of producing, but Im sure millions among the Thanksgiving-panicked masses are at least tempted by a two-hour turkey.
I just hope my Louisiana neighbors stick to what they know best turkey fryers. Im not sure if Id want infrared lasers anywhere near my more than likely lead-contaminated New Orleans apartment.
We at Gambit Weekly are well aware that our compatriots at 3800 Howard are forbidden under pains of death of even mentioning our publication in the august pages of The Times-Picayune, but this morning's graphic by Times-Pic art critic Doug MacCash took things to a new level:
The piece by French artist Anne Deleporte is actually titled Gambit; Tulane University art preparator Alexis Stahl explained to me that Deleporte used pages from Gambit in its construction.
But somehow the T-P saw the need to change the artwork's title to "Surreal wallpaper" in its infographic review rather than print the dreaded G-word on the front page of the Living section.
God only knows what they're going to do next year when Ethan and Joel Coen's next movie, Gambit, opens in New Orleans. "Untitled Coen Brothers Project," anyone?
Photo by Wlodi, courtesy of Flickr.com
Theres good news and bad news for Louisianans in a recent report on cancer in the United States. For men, the good news is that lung cancer and the deaths associated with it are decreasing, but for women the rate of lung cancer continues to rise and so does the death rate.
A well-researched paper, Annual Report to the Nation on the Status on Cancer, 1975-2005, Featuring Trends in Lung Cancer, Tobacco Use, and Tobacco Control, is for the first time reporting a decline in both cancer incidence and death rates in the U.S. One of the papers co-authors is Dr. Xiao Cheng Wu, an associate professor and the assistant director of the Louisiana Tumor Registry at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health. The paper is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.
The report will be published on December 2, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and states that both incidence and death rates from all cancers combined are decreasing significantly in men and women overall and in most racial and ethnic populations. These decreases are largely driven by declines in the three most common cancers in men (lung, colorectum, and prostate) and in two of the three leading cancers in women (breast and colorectum), combined with a leveling off of lung cancer death rates in women. Although the national trend in female lung cancer death rates has stabilized since 2003, there is prominent state and regional variation. Lung cancer incidence and/or death rates among women increased in 18 states, 16 of them in the South or Midwest. California was the only state with decreasing lung cancer incidence and death rates in women.
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