NEW ORLEANS-- The big week is here and for many our city's choice eateries, the 4th of July weekend takes on special meaning.
Wayne Baquet of Lil Dizzy's said, "Essence weekend brings people here from all over the country who want to partake in the great music of New Orleans and the great food of New Orleans."
Lil Dizzy's has become one of the go to spots this weekend and they're not shy about what they deliver.
"Some of the best creole soul food in the world, and you can only find this kind of food in New Orleans and that's what this is about," said Baquet.
The food choices for Essence visitors are many and for those that don't venture too far from the French Quarter, there's Bennachin's Restaurant. Their owner Fanta Tambajang dishes up delights from her native Gambia, West Africa.
According to Tambajang, "The most popular dish is we've got is called sisay singho. That's baked leg quarters with sauteed spinach, fried plantains and coconut rice on the side, and the vegetarians they love the jama jama ni makondo that's sauteed spinach, fried plantains and coconut rice too."
Of course if you manage to make it to any of these spots be prepared for a bit of a wait. In fact, one of the newest offerings quickly became one of the favorites and that's Morrow's in the Bywater neighborhood.
Last year they were only open a few months when Essence Fest arrived, but they played host to a number of celebrities and hundreds of patrons hoping to get a taste of something unique.
Lenora Hingle of Morrow's explains, "We're a bit eclectic I would say, because we do a little creole, I have a little Korean mixed in there from my Korean heritage. It's not fusion. It's not blended but it's eclectic"
The Essence 25 series on WGNO-TV is brought to you by Rouses Markets.