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Food Monday

Food Monday

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News with a Twist

Good Eats at the 9th Ward’s Only Restaurant

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - The dish cooking up is succulent creole pepper shrimp. It’s but one of the many great menu items you’ll find on the Lower 9th Ward corner of Dauphine and Egania Street at Cafe Dauphine.

They’ve just celebrated a birthday, but their reputation for great food has brought diners from far and wide.

Tia Moore-Henry, co-owner of Cafe Dauphine says, “Most of our clientele travel from outside of the Lower 9th Ward to come here, so we’ve had a really good 2 years.”

While the Lower 9th has been the slowest area to recover since the storm, the warm welcome from the locals has been heartwarming.

According to Moore-Henry, “while the neighborhood is growing, evolving, the demographic has changed. There’s a lot of new things that’s happening, development that’s happening.

“We were pioneers in the area to start a new business here and being a restaurant because the 9th Ward has never had something like this before.”

For Chef Shawn Smith, the success of Cafe Dauphine makes him very happy. “It does because I grew up here, and I wanted to see something vital here, ya know.”

It doesn’t get any better than this, a 2-year anniversary, a great menu, in a really nice place in the 9th Ward, and big welcome from the neighbors.

Hostess Tricia Patton says, “I think they’re just, like I said, they’re happy something’s open in the area, and they respect us for opening something like a restaurant in this area. They didn’t have anything.”

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Living in New Orleans, you’ve probably eaten hundreds or thousands of pralines in your lifetime, but believe it or not, pralines didn’t start here.

“A lot of people mistake it for a cookie.  It’s not a cookie, it’s a candy.”

Jean Stickney at Pralines by Jean knows how the popular praline candy made it’s way to New Orleans over 200 years ago.

“When the French settled in New Orleans, they brought the praline with them.  At the time, it was just an almond coated in sugar, so when the King’s cook decided to prepare them here, they had to use pecans.  Pecans are native to New Orleans and almonds aren’t, so they replaced the almonds with pecans,”  Stickney said.

Later, cream and butter were added to make the pralines thicker.  Now they’re known as the southern praline.  They’re rich in both taste and history.

“Women would make them in the kitchen and then sell them on the streets to make extra money to pay for things,”  she said.

She also wanted to set the record straight about how to pronounce pralines.

“If you look in the dictionary, both “praleen” or “prawline” are correct, but here in New Orleans we pronounce it “prawline”.  In Cajun country, a lot of people say “plarine” and even some in New Orleans call it “pecan candy”.

There’s a few ways to say it, but only way if you want to sound like a true New Orleanian.

June 24th is National Praline Day.

Pralines by Jean will be selling special coconut and almond pralines to celebrate.

Pralines by Jean is located at 1728 St. Charles Avenue between Polymnia and Euterpe Streets.

For more information:


NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Bacon’s had a lot of partners, but when bacon met booze it was love at first sight. So the Orleans Grapevine created Bacon Happy Hour. Its heart-stopping heaven on earth! Patrons love it. “Wine and bacon, I think it’s a pretty good little combination.”

“I think it’s a good match and I wouldn’t have thought so but I think it’s great. We’re really enjoying it.”

“Everybody’s super excited the whole time. Everybody’s in a fantastic mood during bacon happy hour. It makes it really fun to be at work,” says Sunshine, Bartender at Orleans Grapevine.

Bacon is the bar snack you’ve dreamed about until now and the salty flavor actually perfectly complements a sweet cocktail!

“I mean obviously it goes with Bloody Mary’s and martinis but it goes really well with chocolate martinis, it goes really well with Old-Fashioneds and I love making special drinks for people so when people come in and they say that they just want something that has a certain flavor component, I like to make creations for them and name it after them and give them their own bacon drink,” says Sunshine.

Of course, Bacon Mania is nothing new, last year Americans spent four billion dollars on bacon. The unique flavor is said to have no true taste substitute.

“You know, other places give you cocktail peanuts, we give you bacon. There’s no better thing in the world to put on the bar then bacon because everybody loves it.”

Happy Hour is 4-6 p.m. and 10-midnight, Monday through Friday. The Orleans Grapevine is located at 720 Orleans Ave. in the French Quarter.

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Each Monday for the next month, we’ll feature a different local chef sharing tips you can’t get anywhere else. This week we’re in the kitchen with Frank Brigtsen, of Brigtsen’s restaurant in the Riverbend.

For more information about Brigtsen’s click HERE.

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - It’s the one day a year you get to celebrate you!

A New Orleans woman loves birthdays so much, she’s started “The Birthday Cake Project” to spread some birthday cheer with FREE cakes.

23-year old, Louise Neal is taking on the task of baking 30 cakes for 30 random strangers celebrating birthdays each day in the month of June.

Neal is an artist and decided she wanted to do the “Birthday Cake Project” because while growing up she always had a homemade birthday cake.  She wanted to spread the same kind of cheer to others.

“There’s definitely a need for homemade cakes in people’s lives.  I was struck by the fact that everyday could be a holiday when you’re celebrating someone’s birthday,”  Neal said.

Through Kick starter she raised enough money to buy all the cake supplies.  She asked people to put in their cake requests online and she was overwhelmed with hundreds of random strangers wanting a free cake to celebrate getting older.

“I got requests from a 6 year old, an 84 year old, twins, people of all ages.  I established it was first come, first serve,”  she said.

All birthday cakes are custom made, either vanilla or chocolate, with a choice out of 3 frostings.  She even makes gluten-free cakes for those with special dietary needs.

“There’s an option of sprinkles or not.  I’m really excited by my sprinkle collection,”  she said.

The number one ingredient in all her cakes is a just a pinch of love.

“They look like they came from my kitchen.  I’m not a professional baker.  They are charming, but can look a little awkward at times.  I just try to make the best cake I can,”  she said.

Baking 30 cakes is a lot of work, but for her making someone’s birthday feel a little more special, makes it totally worth it.

Her “Birthday Cake Project” means much more to Louise than just delivering cakes.  She’s documenting each delivery with interviews and photos.

“The people I give the cakes to are revealing their family backgrounds, they talk about aging, and they reveal how they celebrate themselves.  It’s interesting,”  she added.

One cake at at time, she’s making birthday wishes come true!  Now, that really takes the cake!

Later this year, she’s planning on throwing a big city-wide birthday party, so she can share portraits of her “Birthday Cake Project” with everyone.

For more information on Louise Neal and “The Birthday Cake Project”:



NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - No matter how you mash ‘em, bake ‘em, or fry ‘em – we, here in New Orleans, love potatoes!

So we asked four New Orleans chefs to give us their spin — on spuds.

In the above video hear from Juan Carlos Gonzalez of SoBou, Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen’s, Matt Murphy of Irish House, and Duke Locicero of Cafe Giovanni.

Root shows us Liver Parfait

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Temperatures not the only thing sizzling at one local restaurant, so are the lunch specials at Palace Cafe. The 20 plus year tradition of the temperature lunch specials is back for the summer.

The owners got the idea from a similar promotion. Instead of temperatures a Texas restaurant used oils prices on its lunch specials.

“You know that heat can be a negative thing, so we said, ‘let’s monitor the heat, and well turn it into something positive and give people a special,’” Dickie Brennan Managing partner said.

If the high is 92 degree then the price for lunch the next day will be $9.20, Brennan explains.

The high temperature from the day before is the price customers pay for lunch the next day — a promotion to increase lunch traffic and turn the rise in mercury to profit for local business and growers.

“Its economic development, we’ve created opportunities for individuals to live in this state. Produce their own products that are going in the restraints right here in their own communities that didn’t exist 10, 20, even 30 years ago because so many small farmers got wiped out so it’s great,” Brennan said. “It’s creating jobs and good economic development for Louisiana.”

The lunch special is the chef’s choice, Monday’s special mouth-watering biscuits and gravy, and a side of duck liver.

“First I start off with cheddar biscuits we make in-house… I soaked some duck livers overnight in butter milk. Tossed in some season flour… We’re going to deep fry the livers. Then were going to toast off the biscuits,” Chef Alejandro Ventura said.

GRETNA, La. (WGNO) - The Gretna Depot has a 32 ounce GIANT burger… We sent our intern to try to eat it. It’s a challenge that only 1 out of 5 finish.

The Big John Challenge also comes with 5 slices of cheese. Good Luck!

Learn more about Gretna Depot Cafe & Spirits HERE