'Cue to Do
People who returned early to Lakeview after Katrina may recognize the proprietors of J'Anita's (1906 Magazine St., 373-5337; www.janitas.com), a new barbecue restaurant in the Lower Garden District. After their wholesale food business in Mid-City was destroyed by the flood, Craig and Kim Giesecke and their son Stu started serving barbecue from a trailer on Canal Boulevard. A business plan evolved, and earlier this month they opened J'Anitas. In the morning they serve a build-your-own-breakfast menu with eggs, pancakes and omelets. The lunch menu includes brisket and pulled pork, burgers, fish sandwiches, salads and the "triple bypass nachos" covered in beef, pork and crawfish. There is also a children's menu with lunches priced at $3.25. J'Anita's is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Rich in Po-Boys
Planning for the second annual New Orleans Po-Boy Festival (www.poboyfest.com) is already underway, and one of the festival's organizers also is distributing a guide to po-boy shops complete with a $1 discount coupon at participating vendors. Rather than attempt to list the hundreds of local po-boy purveyors, the Idea Village Po-Boy Initiative uses a flyer to showcase a diverse mix of nine restaurants spread out across the city: Banh Mi Sao Mai (a Vietnamese shop), Jazzy's Po-Boys , Johnny's Po-Boys , Liuzza's by the Track , Magazine Po-Boys , Mike Serio's , Parasol's Restaurant , Poppa's Seafood and Stewart's Diner . The initiative is the work of two nonprofits, the Idea Village (www.ideavillage.org) and Stay Local (www.staylocal.org) , which both see the po-boy as a vehicle for local economic development. Flyers are available at participating shops or online at www.staylocal.org/biz/guides.
Drinking Your Dessert
It's been hard to tell from day to day lately if the weather will be chilly or sweltering, but one reason to hope for a cold spell is the "spicy drinking chocolate" offered by Prince Michael Chocolate (2045 Magazine St., 586-7150; www.princemichaelchocolate.org). The Uptown chocolate shop opened this fall, selling an array of confections made in-house. The display cases hold truffles with candied ginger or smoked chipotle peppers; truffles infused with tequila and pieces of papaya rolled in cane sugar; and figs stuffed with marzipan and covered with dark chocolate, among other creations. Prince Michael doubles as a coffee shop as well, but often the demitasse cups the barista slides across the counter hold the melted drinking chocolate, which is decadently rich, warm and does indeed have a spicy taste.