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Lucky Dogs To Prowl Again
It's been easier to find a burrito on Bourbon Street than a Lucky Dog (571 Gravier St., 524-6010) post-Katrina, but that will soon change as the venerable fleet of wiener-shaped hot dog carts is prepped to hit the French Quarter streets again in February. Lucky Dogs manager Jerry Strahan says repairs from wind and rain damage are progressing at the company's downtown headquarters and that the carts will be back in business in the weeks before Mardi Gras. Lucky Dog vendors were dispersed all over the country in the city's evacuation, but Strahan says they've been calling in and are eager to get back to work. "Housing will probably be the biggest issue," he says, voicing one of the most often-heard concerns in the local hospitality industry these days. Lucky Dogs have been a fixture on French Quarter street corners since the late 1940s when brothers Stephen and Erasmus Loyacano built the distinctive carts. In 1998, Strahan wrote a book about his experiences with the company called Managing Ignatius: The Lunacy of Lucky Dogs and Life in the Quarter .

Industry Leaders
The Louisiana Restaurant Association
(2700 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, 454-2277; inducted new officers for 2006 and, as usual, local restaurateurs are in leadership positions. The LRA president for 2006 is Dawn Davis of the Northshore's Morton's Seafood Restaurant (702 Water St., Madisonville, 985-845-4970). Glen Armantrout , chief operating officer for Acme Oyster House (multiple locations;, is now treasurer for the industry group, while Melvin Rodrigue , general manager of Galatoire's Restaurant (209 Bourbon St., 525-2021) and co-owner of Galatoire's Bistro (17451 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, 225-753-4864), was appointed president of the LRA's New Orleans chapter for 2006.

Established "a.k."
The sign above Welty's Deli (336 Camp St., 592-0224) reads "Est. 2005 a.k.," putting passersby on notice that this is a new venture after Katrina, or "a.k.," as proprietor Donald Welty is calling it. Welty is well known around the local restaurant scene, having worked at many restaurants and most recently as a distributor of specialty food items to high-end kitchens. When his friend Jenny Martin decided not to reopen her Sweet Olive Café after Katrina, Welty and his wife, Tina , bought the Central Business District lunch spot lock, stock and barrel. The new menu features sandwiches layered thick with deli meats on Kaiser rolls and dressed up with a selection of sauces including creamy pesto, roasted garlic and ancho pepper, and nice-looking salads like chicken curry salad, shrimp remoulade salad and an Asian chicken salad with fried rice noodles and a honey ginger soy sauce. There's also a daily plate lunch special, such as a hamburger steak with mushroom gravy. Welty's serves breakfast and lunch weekdays.

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