The cluster of restaurants and other businesses along Esplanade Avenue are throwing a holiday block party for the public on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Ponce de Leon Street will be closed to traffic between Esplanade Avenue and North Lopez Street for the event, where restaurants including Caf Degas, LolaÕs, Asia Pacific Caf, Beauregard Deli and La Vita (the new pizza restaurant taking over GabrielleÕs former location) will serve food. PalÕs Lounge is providing corndogs and Swirl Wine (formerly called Sip Wine) and LiuzzaÕs by the Track will provide beverages. Terranova Supermarket will host a childrenÕs craft area. Asia Pacific Caf will show Christmas movies on a large, outdoor screen and an artificial snowmaker above the new day spa Lux will add to the atmosphere. Expect a visit from Santa and other activities.
No matter whatÕs cooking on the stage at TipitinaÕs, there has lately been a new late-night street food option just outside its doors that is smoking. The Que Crawl is a purple catering truck operated by Nathaniel Zimet, who turns out worthy barbecue and other eats until the wee hours at the corner of Napoleon Avenue and Tchoupitoulas Street. The menu changes constantly but some mainstays include ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, nachos, sausage po-boys and a wonderfully dark andouille and duck gumbo. Offbeat items like fish and papaya egg rolls sometimes show up, but the reliable show-stopper is a $2 order of grit fries, which delivers deep-fried planks of cheese grits with barbecue seasoning. Catch them Thursday through Saturday from 10:30 p.m. or so until the TipitinaÕs crowd clears out and starting at 6 p.m. on Sundays for the clubÕs weekly Cajun dance party. Que Crawl also provides on-site catering. Zimet can be reached at 232-9344.
Talking With Our Mouths Full
New Orleans people love to talk about food, and a new oral history project called New Orleans Eats wants to hear their stories. The Southern Foodways Alliance (www.southernfoodways.com), an academic group focused on Southern food culture, and Tabasco hot sauce maker the McIlhenny Company (www.tabasco.com) are partners in the project and are asking the public to contribute their stories and memories of New Orleans food. TheyÕre looking for contributions from chefs and home cooks, farmers and consumers alike. Paul McIlhenny, president and CEO of McIlhenny Co., says the goals of the project are to highlight the relevance of New Orleans in the food world and establish a forum for people across the country to share their memories of New Orleans. To participate, call (888) 841-6153 or email email@example.com. Ñ McNulty