River Water to the Rescue The New Orleans recovery effort has been the beneficiary of countless restaurant-based fundraisers held around the world since Hurricane Katrina. Next week, a host of local restaurants will be asking customers for a little something extra to help return the favor. UNICEF (www.unicef.org
), the global children's health and nutrition agency, is bringing its Tap Project to the city and from Sunday, March 16, through Saturday, March 22, restaurants will ask customers to donate a minimum of $1 for the tap water that is normally served free of charge. UNICEF will use the money to fund clean water initiatives in 90 countries. The program started last year in New York City, where 300 restaurants participated, and now UNICEF has expanded it to 12 other cities across the country. In New Orleans, 19 restaurants had signed up to participate by press time, and local ad agency Trumpet has volunteered to help support the project locally as well. For a list of participating restaurants, visit www.tapprojectnola.org
. "Hecho en Metairie" Tacos San Miguel , one of the finest of the crop of taquerias to open in the area since Hurricane Katrina, has expanded with a Metairie location (3517 20th St., 267-4027) near Lakeside Shopping Center. The original Seventh Ward location (2120 N. Claiborne Ave., 473-3529) was opened early in 2007 by the Cruz family, who moved to the area soon after Katrina for rebuilding work and decided to enter the burgeoning taco business. Both locations feature a wide array of meat fillings for tacos and burritos, exemplary tortillas and alarmingly hot salsas. The taqueria's proud downtown motto "hecho en New Orleans" has been modified for the new location, which bears the declaration "hecho en Metairie," or "made in Metairie." Smoking Off Frenchmen A new hookah bar, lounge and late-night restaurant has opened in the hub of Frenchmen Street nightlife attractions. Jericho's Lazziza (2106 Chartres St., 943-0416) has a menu mixing Middle Eastern staples like hummus and lentil soup with burgers and pizza, plus an array of flavored tobaccos for hookah water pipes, which patrons typically share around a table. Lazziza features belly dancers on Friday nights beginning at 11 p.m. Open daily, kitchen hours are determined by demand, but lately the restaurant has been serving as late as 5 a.m. McNulty
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