Monday, January 31, 2011

Slim Goodies - dirty hands in the kitchen

I always liked Slim Goodies. They have a fantastic breakfast menu, and the Veggie Slammer, as it states on the menu, is a killer cure for a hangover. The waitstaff is appropriately apathetic (in that indie, too-cool-for-school kind of way) and the photography on the walls is awesome. The coffee isn't half bad too.

Recently, though, I heard something that made me think twice about eating there. A friend of mine, a Coast Guard chef, told me about the downright gross sanitary standards in the kitchen at this local breakfast eatery.

When you first walk into Slim Goodies, there are a few booths and a counter that is attached to the kitchen. I have never sat at the counter myself, but my source has, and he ended up throwing his entire dish away.

"It was pretty gross," he told me over a drink the other night, "I saw one cook sneeze into his bare hand and then go right on preparing someone's dish... another went from handling raw meat to handling fresh fruit without washing his hands. That's some nasty cross-contamination."

Now this information comes to me through another party, so I can't verify its truth. However, I wouldn't post it if I didn't trust the source. I like the food there but now I'm unsure of what else, aside from eggs and chili, might have been lingering in my slammer.

Sometime in the next month I'll head back and sit at the counter to see for my own eyes, but until then: order at your own risk.
Slim Goodies Diner on Urbanspoon

The Short List: Mon Jan 31st

John Cleary @ Chickie Wah Wah - 8pm

Jimmy Eat World @ House of Blues - 8pm

Papa Grows Funk @ The Maple Leaf - 11pm

Why are we building such a big ship? @ One Eyed Jacks - 9pm

Full Calendar at

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Short List: Sat Jan 29th

Johnny Sketch @ The Blue Nile - 11pm

John Boutte @ dba - 8pm

Garage A Trois @ dba - 11pm

Big Sam's Funky Nation @ Howlin' Wolf - 9pm

Yo La Tengo @ Tips - 10pm

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Short List: Thurs Jan 27th

Billy Iuso's Birthday with Gravity A @ The Blue Nile - 10pm

Danny Abel +Ashlin Parker + Khris Royal + Michael Watson @ Donna's on Rampart  - 7pm

Soul Rebels @ Le Bon Temps - 11pm

The Trio with Johnny Vidacovich @ The Maple Leaf - 11pm

Alex McMurray @ The Saturn Bar - 7pm

Kermit Ruffins @ Vaughan's  - 8:30pm

Check out a bigger list at

Dinner at Jacques-Imos is well worth the wait

Every single time someone comes to visit me, I take them to Jacques-Imos on Oak St. The restaurant is packed from 6pm, when it opens, to 11pm when it closes. From outside, you can hear ridiculous pop hits from the 80's and 90's blasting from the outdoor speakers. In front of the restaurant is a painted pickup truck that has a table for two set up on warmer days.

The crowd outside and in the first room may scare you out of putting your name on the list, and if you make it to the hostess, the wait time may scare you even more. Don't walk away! That hour and a half to two hours will fly by, and the food is completely worth it.

Steps to take in order to handle the wait time:
1. Show up really early or really late. They start taking names at 5:30 and stop at 9:30. I'm nocturnal so I show up around 9ish to put my name down. This way you won't get bulked into the middle.
        1a. Make a reservation if your party is larger than four. Parties four and under can't make reservations - sorry folks!
2. Once your name is on the list, grab yourself a drink. Get a double, get it in a Crabby Jack's plastic cup. The bartenders at Jacques are some of the best in the city so feel free to ask for your favorite complicated drink. It will taste good. The bar specialty is a watermelon mojito (I think - I know it's something with watermelon in it) but I prefer a madras to start the night off.
3. Take a walk across the street to Frenchy's gallery. Frenchy is a live painter - that is, he paints events (music concerts, sporting events etc) while they are going on. If you are a music fan, Frenchy has almost definitely painted your favorite band - probably while you were watching them play.
4. Poke your head into the Maple Leaf Bar. If it's earlier in the evening, there's usually something going on for free - Oak Street locals jamming etc.
5. Head back to the restaurant and borrow a menu. The deliciousness of everything can be overwhelming so you might want to do some planning.
6. Only keep half an eye on the time. Usually the wait is a little less than what the hostess says it is, but if you aren't in the restaurant itself, the hostess will come out onto the street and yell until she finds you.

5 Delicious Dishes(apps and entrees):
Carpet-Bagger Steak
Alligator Sausage and Shrimp Cheesecake
Crab Stuffed Shrimp
Eggplant Priogue
Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Remoulade

Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly Dish:
Vegetarian Delight -Halved/Cored squash with mixed veggies in a Thai coconut cream sauce with black beans, topped with fried sweet potato slivers
Jacques-Imo's Café on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

St. Joe's Bar - Magazine Street

Last night I checked out St. Joe's on magazine for the first time. I stopped in around dinner time for a quick whiskey-on-the-rocks aperitif with a friend who suggested the place. I didn't get much further than the first seat available, but from the bar I definitely liked what I saw.

St. Joe's was appropriately dark for the rainy evening outside. The low lighting was accented by the classic neon bar signs and old rich wood of the bar. Almost every bar stool was filled with people of all ages, all quietly enjoying their own conversations. At that early hour I figured most of the patrons were regulars; most knew the bartender by first name and a few knew everyone else in the crowd (except for my friend and me).

The bartender was really nice. Even when he was absorbed in conversation at the other end of the bar he still kept one eye out for drinks that were running low. He never forgot what bourbon I had ordered, which was nice because after a few of them I had begun to forget myself.

My friend told me that St. Joe's is known for their blueberry mojitos. I'm not a big fan of sugary drinks, so I didn't order one, but I saw the bartender serving them to numerous people while I sat there.

I would imagine that this place gets pretty packed at night. It's small enough that even an average crowd would pack the place. I liked the evening ambience, but if I saw a large crowd inside I doubt I'd even walk in.

If you're going to/coming from dinner on Magazine St. this is definitely a good place to stop off.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Short List: Mon Jan 24 & Tues Jan 25

I'm not in love with much of what I'm seeing listed for Monday and Tuesday. I guess everyone's feeling a little wiped out from the weekend. If you're just looking for something to see, I'd suggest just walking down Frenchmen Street and letting your ears make the decisions. Or if you don't feel like walking, just head up to the Leaf.

Papa Grows Funk @ Maple Leaf - 11pm

Charmain Neville & Friends @ Snug Harbor - 8&10pm

Rebirth @ Maple Leaf - 11pm

Full calendar @

The Radiators Anniversary Shows at Tips - After the fact

The Radiators killed it this weekend.

Both Friday and Saturday were packed at Tipitina's as the Radiators played two full sets - going till at least 2:30 in the morning both nights.

I showed up on Friday afternoon to help Benjammin' deck Tips out in massive tie dye tapestries. The effect was incredible - the balcony and stage lined with tapestries in Mardi Gras colors. Ben also set up a set of projectors for his tie dye inspired light show, which would be projected onto Professor Longhair's face above the stage. 

On Friday night, Honey Island Swamp Band opened for the Rads, starting around 9:30. They are a great country band, and although their style is completely different than the Rads, they had the crowd going right off the bat. Pooba, the show's host, came out at 11:11 to introduce the band and everything beyond that was a blur of color and jam music. Frenchy painted the band that first night as well, next to Benjammin as he controlled the light show.

On Saturday, the Walrus, a local Beatles cover band, started the show. Their opening set was a little quieter, with less of a crowd watching the show. Once it got closer to 11pm again, the house was packed. The band was great, and there were a few moments when the more devoted fans got pretty emotional. All in all it was a really fun show.

One of the only problems I had with my entire experience had to do with Tip's itself. The bar was so packed that it took twenty minutes to get a drink upstairs (where it is usually less crowded) because the bar was understaffed with only two people making drinks. Since I knew I didn't want to wait that long again, I got myself four shots of Maker's Mark on the rocks which was both a great and terrible idea.

The crowd downstairs was a bit too devoted at times. When I was trying to push through to get to stage left to go backstage, people kept telling me to turn back, or wouldn't move for me. When I tried to tell them that I wasn't going to take their spot, that I was only interested in making sure my boss was happy, they either didn't care or became even more obstinate. I can understand the frustration of a packed house, but that's no reason to be rude towards your fellow fans. Everyone is just trying to enjoy the music, folks.

All in all, this was one of those weekends that the attendees will never forget and that the people who missed out will always wish they had been there.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Short List: Saturday Jan 22nd

If you're missing out on the Radiators Anniversary Show tonight, here are a few others to check out.

John Boutte @ dba - 8pm

Soul Rebels Brass Band @ dba - 11pm

New Orleans Bingo Show @ le chat noir - 8pm --SOLD OUT

DJ Soul Sister @ Mimi's in the Marigny - 10ishpm

Carol Fran & David Torkanowsky's Quartet @ Snug Harbor  - 8&10pm

A full calendar can be found at

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Orleans Jazzfest 2011 Lineup Released

The Jazzfest schedule was made released last night. I like most of the lineup, dislike some of it for sure. Here are the people I will be seeing:

April 29th
Wyclef Jean
Tab Benoit
George Porter Jr. & the Runnin' Pardners
Mia Borders.

April 30th
Irma Thomas
John Boutte
The Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians

May 1st
Dr. John
Glen David Andrews
The Dirty Dozen
Honey Island Swamp Band
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indians
Anders Osborne
May 5th
Maceo Parker
Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes
Gov't Majik

May 6th
Willie Nelson
Lupe Fiasco
Big Sam's Funky Nation
Soul Rebels Brass Band
Mingus Big Band
Alex McMurray
Red Hawk Mardi Gras Indians

May 7th
Ms. Lauryn Hill
Trombone Shorty
Khris Royal & Dark Matter
101 Runners
DJ Soul Sister

May 8th
Neville Brothers
Michael Franti
Robert Randolph
The Radiators
Anders Osborne
Big Chief Bo Dollis

The full lineup can be found at the Jazzfest Website

Dive Bars in New Orleans - Part I

Here are some of my favorite dive bars listed by area. I'm sure, as I find more, the list will grow.

Snake n' Jakes Christmas Club Lounge
Crowd: Hemingway-loving hipsters, casual alcoholics, crazy neighborhood regulars
Decor/Interior: What was once an old tractor shed is now the grungiest bar in the city. No windows, a few couches and tables strewn around.
Good to know: Open until at least sunrise on weekdays, don't bother showing up before 2AM, no one but the bartender will be there.

Crowd: All local, most live within walking distance
Decor/Interior: Basic squeaky barstools and a few tables across from the bar.
Good to Know: If I remember right there's free pool/ping pong, although the pool table has a definite lean.

Uptown/Garden District:
The Club Ms. Mae's
Crowd: Severe alcoholics, party animals, and people going to or coming from a show at Tip's down the street.
Decor/Interior: Grime and spilled drinks, a pool table and air hockey table, a jukebox that almost exclusively plays metal.
Good to Know: Due to changed ownership, the drink prices are now $2- single well drinks, $3 - double well drinks, $3-5 Call, $4-7 Premium. Open 24/7 365 days a year

Crowd:All ages and sizes.
Decor/Interior: Wire mattress springs hang on the ceilings with barbies and other random objects stuck in them, two pool tables, places to sit at the bar and at tables.
Good to Know:You have to be buzzed into the bar, so don't feel rejected by a locked door.

Brother's Three Lounge
Crowd: Seedy - off duty strip club managers, bartenders and other rabble
Decor/Interior: Shotgun style setup, bar and barstools in the front and a pool table in the back.
Good to Know: It's a good getaway from Magazine St's more pretentious establishments.

Milan Lounge
Crowd: Cubs fans and dart players
Decor/Interior: Nice bar and a few tables but it gets packed easily.
Good to Know: Don't order beer on tap. I don't think those pipes have been cleaned in years.

The King Pin Bar
Crowd: Local kids, lots of piercings and tats
Decor/Interior: Sweet music art, pretty nice bar, clean bathrooms for the ladies
Good to Know: It's a quieter place, so it's great for conversation/relaxed drinking

Lower Garden District/CBD:
The Saint Bar & Lounge
Crowd: Used to be a little seedier, now it's mostly kids under thirty
Decor/Interior: Patio out back, decent bar area with a few tables.
Good to Know: Great jukebox selection and a working photo booth across from the bar. Also, last time I was there I was shooting moonshine, so if you're into that kind of thing...

The Bridge Lounge
Crowd: Loyal neighbors and kids under the age of 35
Decor/Interior: Classic bar setup with a large area with plenty of seating
Good to Know: The bar is always way too packed on Tuesdays for trivia night.

The Short List: Good Shows to see for Thurs Jan 20th

Gravity A @ Blue Nile Balcony Room - 11pm

Soul Rebels @ Le Bon Temps - 11pm

The Trio with Johnny Vidacovich and friends @ The Maple Leaf - 11pm

Honey Island Swamp Trio @ Oak Wine Bar - 8pm

Alex McMurray @ Saturn Bar - 9pm

a full calendar can be found at WWOZ

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Radiators 33rd Anniversary Weekend

After 33 years of playing, the Rads are finally getting ready to close up shop. So far their final tour has been charged with fans who all want to catch the band together one last time. This weekend at Tipitina's should be a wicked party as the band rocks out in its hometown.

Honestly I'm both relieved and excited that they're playing on both Friday and Saturday. The Tipitina's 30th anniversary show last Friday was way too packed to be comfortable. Of course, there will be many repeat offenders (like me and my friends) but the general crowd will be a little less heavy than if they crammed it all into one night.

The shows will be hosted by Da Grand Pooba, who I had a chance to meet the other day. He's as nice as he is funny - definitely a Cali kind of guy. He'll be decked out in Benjammin tie-dye from head to foot. Benjammin dyes are literally are pieces of wearable artwork. All of the walls at Tip's will be covered in tie-dyed tapestries. I will also be decked out from head to foot in a tie-dyed body suit while I sell Benjammin wares at the shows (heads up to any tie-dye fans out there, bring some extra cash).

Get ready for one badass weekend.

The Short List: Good Shows to See Tonight

Khris Royal @ The Blue Nile - 8pm

The Tin Men @ Dba - 7pm

Brian Stoltz @ The Maple Leaf - 11pm

Wow, the list is actually pretty short tonight...

a full music calendar can be found at

Art Neville and George Porter at Tipitina's

Great shot from Tipitina's 30th Anniversary Show last Friday 
Photo Taken By Bob Compton