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Gourmet Galley: Bean Healthy

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Warm up with White Bean Soup With Pasta on a cold day.

We hear something every day about the importance of beans in our diet. Thank goodness, most Louisianans have grown up liking red beans and white beans. They’re full of healthy nutrients and fiber our bodies need, and the best news is that they’re cheap. In fact, dried beans, which I’m using in this recipe, may be one of… Continue reading →

Food Bowl for Super Bowl Sunday

Associated Press photo by MATTHEW MEAD -- The New England Super Seven Dip is made with barbecued pulled pork topped with skillet sauteed apples and butter.

Honestly, most football fans in south Louisiana probably will be more interested in what’s on the buffet than who wins the Super Bowl Sunday. Whether you are a fan of the Seattle Seahawks or the New England Patriots — or are more interested in the Super Bowl’s television commercials — it’s a good bet you… Continue reading →

What a Crock!: Memories of 'beanie weenie night'

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND  --  For an economical and tasty dish, try Slow-Cooked Beans.

My husband I and joke about our early years together when the budget was especially tight and a night out meant a hamburger at the local college fast food establishment. We remember and commemorate those days every so often with what we call “beanie weenie night.” The menu, of course, is canned pork and beans with a… Continue reading →

Eat Your Vegetables: Get on Kale bandwagon

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad combines two popular, good-for-you vegetables.

Have you gotten on the “kale” bandwagon? It is not just the ornamental, thick frilly leaves you see dividing the foods in the refrigerated sections in the grocery cases. There are new varieties, sizes and green mixes that are popular now. Raw kale in salads is all the rage. Personally, I like the “baby” varieties… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Christina always had a good word, good food

Staff Photo by Arthur D. Lauck   -- This is a 2006 Advocate file photo of Christina Bannister owner of Christina's Restaurant in downtown Baton Rouge.

Thursdays are fried chicken day at the popular Christina’s Restaurant near the Baton Rouge governmental complex. I know this because a friend always wants to meet there for lunch then. But, we get more than just good fried chicken at the little St. Charles Street eatery. It’s a good bet we’ll learn some interesting story about… Continue reading →

What’s Happening, Jan. 29, 2015

The grand opening of the first Schlotzsky’s Cafe in Baton Rouge kicks off at 10 a.m. Thursday at 5565 Essen Lane, Suite A. The restaurant includes a co-branding deal with Cinnabon. To celebrate the opening, there will be a day of events, including a prize… Continue reading →

TV-free spots to avoid reminders of Super Bowl dreams denied

Photo by Ian McNulty -- Cure on Freret Street offers a TV-free haven for upscale bar food and craft cocktails.

As tides of Alabama fans and the Ohio State faithful filled the city at New Year’s for the Sugar Bowl, and as other bowl games seemed to fill every TV screen in town, Annene Kaye fielded some unexpected calls at Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29, the tiki restaurant and bar she and her husband Jeff “Beachbum” Berry… Continue reading →

Building a legacy: Why this well-known New Orleans restaurant brand is booming

Advocate photo by J.T. BLATTY-- Paul McGoey has been charting an aggressive expansion for NOHSC Restaurant Group, which is opening a new location of its Legacy Kitchen concept inside the Renaissance Arts Hotel.

As he led a recent tour of his planned restaurant Legacy Kitchen, now under construction inside the Renaissance Arts Hotel, Paul McGoey traced a progression of different dining areas, from a counter facing the open kitchen, through a bar and lounge and out to a lobby atrium to be set with cafe tables like an indoor… Continue reading →

If you’re looking for wine advice, check out Somm’s Pick series in New Orleans

Photo provided by Commander's Palace - Dan Davis, the sommelier and resident wine

The customary way to get face time with a sommelier is well understood. Make a reservation at one of the upscale restaurants that typically employ these certified wine pros and ask for advice on your bottle of the night. However, a new program beginning next week is designed to give a different type of access to some of… Continue reading →

Feelings Cafe in Marigny to open new chapter Saturday with more changes to come

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Feelings Cafe in the Marigny is preparing to reopen with new ownership and a different menu

As Krewe du Vieux begins its parade in the Marigny this Saturday (Jan. 31), that neighborhood’s oldest restaurant will officially open a new chapter. Feelings Café (2600 Chartres St., 504-945-2222; closed late last year, but the restaurant’s new owner plans to reopen it in phases beginning Saturday with drinks… Continue reading →

Red beans and rice: A take on the classic Louisiana dish from Food Network’s Melissa D’Arabian

This Jan. 12, 2015 photo shows red beans and rice in Concord, N.H. This is from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

When I was growing up, beans and rice were an end-of-month staple. As money got tight, my mom would whip up a beans and rice casserole, a healthy, budget-friendly choice that stretched our pantry a bit longer. Not that we necessarily appreciated it. “It’s a complete protein!” Mom would proudly announce as my sister and I groaned.… Continue reading →

Wee Willie Whiskey? Mommy needs a cocktail, and pun-filled new book has the recipe

'Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist.' (Running Press; $15)

Tim Federle, the award-winning author of “Tequila Mockingbird,” has turned his penchant for mixing puns and cocktails toward the perils of parenthood. Printed on thick cardstock in bright colors that evoke children’s picture books, Federle’s latest book, “Hickory Daiquiri Dock,” is a cheeky and, at moments, darkly humorous recasting of Mother Goose… Continue reading →

What a Crock!: Overlooked squash can be mild, tasty treat

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Use boneless pork ribs to make Pizza Spaghetti Squash.

I am of the generation that was blessed with many new cooking conveniences, among them the slow cooker and the microwave, just to name a couple. They are both kitchen must-haves for me, and I find they pair well for preparing some foods. Take, for example, the versatile spaghetti squash. It often gets overlooked… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Will French tea cakes be next trend?

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  --  Madeleines au Chocolat is a French tea cake version of the classic puff pastry, pain au chocolat.

Talk about specializing. Barbara Feldman Morse has written a cookbook limited to madeleines, the French seashell-shaped pastry. “Madeleines: Elegant French Tea Cakes to Bake & Share” is filled with more than 70 recipes that Morse says she developed through years of experimenting to expand on the classic vanilla-flavored madeleine. In her book, Morse does such a… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Try these recipes with deer or duck meat for something tasty and a little different

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Gourmet Galley, deer sausage with sauted peppers for sandwiches,  and elk wrapped in bacon

Fortunately for me I’ve always had hunters and fishermen in my family, so I’m used to having wild game and fish available. Now, my grandsons, James Poché, 14, and Thomas Rimes, 12, are avid hunters. Each of them bagged a deer recently so I have a nice little stash of smoked deer sausage for gumbo or… Continue reading →

In a city suddenly full of Mexican food, a chef-led approach stands apart at Johnny Sánchez

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Tuna aguachile at Johnny Sanchez is a marinated salad of raw fish and many fresh vegetables.

For those of us who grew up eating along the Tex-Mex mainstream, it’s been eye-opening in recent years to see the diversity of Mexican cooking from restaurants, or food trucks for that matter, working closer to the source material. Johnny Sánchez, the collaboration of celebrity chefs John Besh and Aarón Sánchez, moves things in… Continue reading →

At this weekend’s King Cake Fest, the traditional treat gets dozens of makeovers.

Photo provided by Katherine Sutton -- Chef Eric Damidot of the Hyatt Regency created a king cake croissant for FroYo CafÈ and Sweets.

Plain or filled? There was a time when those were our primary king cake options. But nowadays, the beloved Carnival treat might come in the form of a croissant. It might be filled with crushed pralines, gilded with gold flakes or even cradling a brisket burger. Variations of the venerable king cake will be… Continue reading →

Ian McNulty: Big restaurant project stirs in French Quarter; smaller one offers pop-up preview

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - The former Ralph & Kacoo's on Toulouse Street.

All across town, small houses and modest storefronts have been converted into restaurant spaces to feed the ongoing eatery boom. Now, one of the bigger restaurant venues in town is up for conversion. Ralph & Kacoo’s, the seafood restaurant that started near New Roads in 1969 before growing into a chain, closed the doors of its… Continue reading →

Digging In: Cane skewer adds flavor to Vietnamese specialty

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Shrimp paste on sugar cane skewers at Tan Dinh.

WILDCARD Shrimp Paste Tan Dinh 1705 Lafayette St., (504) 361-8008 It sounds unusual on the menu, it looks even stranger on the plate. It’s shrimp paste ($12.99) molded around a fat plug of sugarcane and cooked to a golden crispy shell. The texture on its own… Continue reading →

Here's a chicken dish that's special -- and simple -- to impress that someone special

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Chicken With Tangy Artichoke and Mushroom Sauce

Fifteen years ago, I made the first of what would become thousands of meals for my husband, Philippe. Back then, it was our fifth date, and he was visiting my tiny Parisian apartment for the first time, where we planned an evening of binging on episodes of "Friends" on the VCR. For our date, I wanted to make something… Continue reading →

What a Crock!: New slow-cooker users should start simple

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Try this simple-to-make, slow-cooked Enchilada Chicken.

This month marks the 20th anniversary of “What a Crock,” a column born out of a cooking population tired of struggling with the demands of work, growing families and a desire to find an easier way to put dinner on the table at the end of a long day. For those of you who received new slow… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: When it comes to desserts, think small

Photo by Julie Rimes  --  Think small when serving a decadent dessert such as Easy Tiramisu.

If you are going to have a dessert, think about making it small. A small dessert, just a taste, can look very special if it’s served individually. A layered or parfait-type dessert works fine in clear, miniature serving pieces. Think of small banana puddings served in a footed wine glass, and don’t fill them to the top.… Continue reading →

Eat Your Vegetables: Fresh pomegranate seeds secret to well-rounded salad

Photo by Julie Rimes  --  Spinach Salad With Strawberries, Cucumber and Pomegranate Seeds makes an easy, colorful choice for a luncheon menu.

The recipe for this pretty salad, sparkling with fresh pomegranate seeds, has made the rounds. I first heard about Spinach Salad With Strawberries, Cucumber and Pomegranate Seeds when Gretchen Kantrow served it at her study club luncheon. My neighbor, who tasted it there, served it for a luncheon she gave and then I made it… Continue reading →

Bites of History: Beans, peas and lentils — legumes, all — have a long, detailed history

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles  --  Mango and Black Bean Salad

It’s January, and I’m starting to run out of the beans and peas I bought and froze this summer from the Red Stick Farmers Market. Every time I pull out a precious pack, I remember sitting in front of my family’s black-and-white television set as a child and dutifully shelling the pride of my father’s… Continue reading →

From Slavic soul to unconventional Chinese food, a new restaurant row on St. Claude is diverse and delicious

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty -- Red's Chinese recently opened in the ground floor of a former grocery on St. Claude Avenue.

We left Red’s Chinese stuffed from fried chicken crusted with chiles and peanuts, ginger-spiked noodles and a brassy-hued soup of mustard greens and oversized wontons, not to mention a few tequila cocktails and a shot of rice wine brandy. We clearly needed nothing else to eat, nor necessarily another drink. But still we continued, making a short… Continue reading →

Need a drink at the parade? Just flask

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty -- Flasks come in many styles and designs.

Hip flasks are a bit like wigs. If you’ve always lived in New Orleans, you probably can’t remember a time when you didn’t have at least one. Since moving to New Orleans 14 years ago, my husband and I have somehow acquired four or five flasks, including a set of hollowed-out “binoculars.” For the great wave… Continue reading →

Despite high prices and lower supply, oyster bars and specials proliferate around New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty -Superior Seafood opened in 2012, bringing what would prove an early addition to a wave of new oyster bars in New Orleans.

On a recent night at Café B in Old Metairie, the waitstaff was busy ferrying bowl-shaped platters of raw oysters from the kitchen. Two were bound for Anne Francis, who stacked them one atop the other at her spot at the restaurant’s bar, slurped them down with impressive speed and then reupped with a third dozen, sharing a… Continue reading →

Ian McNulty: Parsing the potential of pop-ups

Photo provided by Longue Vue House & Gardens - The mansion and grounds at Longue Vue will be the venue for a dining series this year.

We tend to call them all pop-ups these days, but the New Orleans dining world has long offered chef collaborations, reoccurring and one-off special menus and meals served in unconventional settings. A few upcoming events, very different in scope and aim, show the diversity of ideas in action behind the buzzword. For instance, we’re accustomed to… Continue reading →

Bites in Brief: Museum interprets modern Southern flavors

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty -- Purloo is open inside the Southern Food & Beverage Museum in Central City.

The exhibits at the newly relocated Southern Food & Beverage Museum (1504 O.C. Haley Blvd., 504-569-0405; interpret the culture and history of the South through its food. With Purloo (504-324–6020;, the restaurant now open inside the museum’s new Central City home, those interpretations now continue on the plate and in… Continue reading →