Friday, May 21, 2010


Nectar Cream/Ice Cream Flavored Sno-Ball From Plum Street Snowballs

(Orginally posted on

It’s getting to be summertime here in New Orleans. While most of us are dreading the heat, there are a few things to look forward to during the summer months.

It is not surprising that in New Orleans, at least two famous frozen concoctions exist. While both the New Orleans Frozen Daiquiri and the New Orleans Sno-Ball are icy, syrupy, delicious summertime staples, only one is fun for the whole family (depending on your parenting style).

The New Orleans Sno-Ball, finely shaved ice topped with a generous helping of flavored syrup, has been a city tradition for over 70 years. Originally served by push-cart vendors and shaved by hand, the sno-ball’s popularity exploded with the creation of Ernest Hansen’s Sno-Bliz machine in 1939. Today it is hard to travel a few blocks without coming across a neighborhood sno-ball stand offering flavors like cherry, strawberry, nectar cream, cake batter, chocolate or limeade.

Wild Cherry/Limeade Sno-Ball From Hansen's Sno-Bliz

While sno-ball stands are easy to find, there is little doubt that the city's favorites are the original Hansen’s Sno-Bliz and Plum Street Snowballs. Arguments about whose sno-balls reign supreme have torn friendships apart.

Hansen’s at 4801 Tchoupitoulas Street, has the honor of being the inventor of the sno-ball machine and the first to open up a permanent shop in 1944. The walls are covered in news articles and other Hansen’s memorabilia and they dish out everything from a $1.50 one flavored small cup, to a tub of sno-ball covered in crushed pineapple, crushed strawberries, condensed milk, whipped cream and cherries… with ice cream in the middle.

On the other hand, over at 1300 Burdette, Plum Street Snowballs can fit only three ordering customers at a time and its limited wall space has barely enough room to list the dozens of flavors they offer. Plum Street has its own long history to boast, having opened in 1945, only a year after Hansen’s. If you venture to Plum Street Snowballs don’t blink or you might miss it tucked into the surrounding residential neighborhood.

So if the heat is getting to you… or you are nursing a hangover from the other kind of New Orleans frozen treat, grab a sno-ball in your neighborhood and appreciate one of the perks of summer.

La Boca

Another post from GoNOLA.

With so many great Creole and Cajun restaurants in New Orleans it can be easy to forget that some of the best restaurants in New Orleans don’t have gumbo on the menu.

There are a number of great chefs in the Crescent City whipping up delicious dishes that are not of the New Orleans variety. One of these chefs is Adolfo Garcia. Garcia, a New Orleans native with Panamanian roots, has ties to three New Orleans restaurants that offer something a little different. Rio Mar, Garcia’s seafood restaurant which opened in 2000 is a favorite of both locals and critics and a Mano which opened at the end of last year has quickly become staple in the Warehouse District.

But it is La Boca that really steals the show. La Boca, Garcia’s Fulton Street Steakhouse, is a true Argentine Steakhouse. They serve traditional Argentine cuts of USDA Prime Beef, Organic Beef and American Kobe. Oh, and it is the top Zagat Steakhouse in New Orleans.

I was lucky enough to try it out with a few friends on Monday and La Boca did not disappoint.

If you are the appetizer ordering type, you have to experience the Provoleta. It tastes as good as it looks. Delicious Argentine cheese melted with olive oil and oregano.

I had the Centro de Entrana – An organic hanger steak from Oregon. Do yourself a favor and order it medium-rare. It comes with a good char and seems to get more tender with every bite.
Organic Hanger Steak

This was the daily special. Flap steak marinated in lime and garlic. It has a great acidity that the avocado mellows out well.

And here are the famed “French Fries La Boca.” Apparently they they take three days to make… they take about three minutes to eat.
La Boca French Fires

So if you’ve worked up a hunger from a day of exploring the myriad art galleries and fantastic museums that make up New Orleans Arts District, be sure to duck into to La Boca for a fresh, new take on the old classic steakhouse.
Monday, May 10, 2010


Another post from but with some more pictures cause I know you love pictures...

There are three types of places to eat in New Orleans – where tourists eat, where locals eat, and where ONLY locals eat.

New Orleans, maybe more than any place else, is a city of mom and pop grocery stores. Part of the charm of the city is that you have to go out of your way to find a chain supermarket but you are never more than a few blocks away from a superette. And more often than not, where there are superettes, there are New Orleanians eating po-boys, fried seafood and hot lunches.

On my first trip to New Orleans I came across one of these establishments and though I don’t remember the location or the name of the place, I do remember I got the best po-boy anyone has ever eaten. Luckily for me (and you) these superettes are not few and far between. Below are some of my favorites in the city.

Zara’s – Garden District
2042 Prytania Street, New Orleans, LA or
4838 Prytania Street, New Orleans, LA
Zara’s is closed on Sundays but Monday-Saturday they serve up po-boys, fresh deli sandwiches, fried seafood, BBQ and even muffuletta. 

Canseco’s Esplanade Market – Faubourg St. John
3135 Esplanade Ave.
Tucked right into a great little Mid-City neighborhood, Canseco’s is like a tiny Whole Foods.  In fact, it’s in the same location the first New Orleans’ Whole Foods was years ago, before it relocated to a big box building in nearby suburban Metairie. In addition to groceries, they have a lunch counter that serves made to order po-boys, muffulettas and hot lunches, and picnic tables outside under the oaks.

Calhoun Superette – Uptown
3135 Calhoun Street
In addition to sandwiches, po-boys and burgers, Calhoun Superette serves daily lunch specials and offers seating.

Verti Marte– French Quarter
1201 Royal Street
A French Quarter favorite, Verti Marte never closes and serves everything from breakfast to salads to seafood sandwiches… they even have free delivery.

So you want to eat like a local? Then stop by one of these local groceries (or walk a block or two… you’ll find one) and order up something fried, something over rice, or something between two pieces of french bread.