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May 24, 201810:55 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Ramen News and Lawns

facebook.com/momoramenpoke

Ramen may be giving poke a run for its money where new restaurant openings are concerned. In recent months, Momo Ramen and Poke took over the space that was occupied for many years by O’Henry’s; the Little Tokyo folks opened an Izakaya-style restaurant on Veterans, and a lot of sushi restaurants now have the soup on their menus. Next up appears to be Union Ramen, which chef Nhat Nguyen plans to open on Magazine Street in the Garden District later this year. Nguyen was the opening chef at Kin, and I was amazed by his food there, so I’m looking forward to this one.

I have written a good deal about foraging in this space over the last several years, and one of the things that got me interested in the topic was the fact that there are edible plants all around us masquerading as “weeds.” I believe the first plant to really bring this home to me was pellitory, a delicate weed that thrives in cooler weather along walls and fences that tastes remarkably like cucumber.

Now that I’m aware, when I go into my backyard I see a half-dozen or more plants that I know are edible; whether they’re tasty enough to actually eat is another question. But despite my interest, I’m no zealot. There are folks whose advice about “wild edibles” I respect a great deal who have barely concealed contempt for an aspect of modern life so ubiquitous it goes without note to most people: grass.

It is rare that I pass a single-family house in New Orleans that does not have at least some grass growing in front, though there certainly are folks who choose landscaping instead. My point in all of this is that while I agree with some of the points raised in a recent article I read on Earther, I don’t reach the same conclusion: that grass lawns are stupid and should be banned. I know that’s a courageous position to take, but that’s what I’m here for, kids.

Lawns have an aesthetic value, they are pleasant to walk and play on, and though other plants do it better, they do have a positive impact on carbon dioxide. I haven’t looked into the numbers cited by the author of the anti-grass article, and given the general bent I’m reluctant to accept them at face value, but there are a lot of things that one can do to make “lawns” better without eliminating them. Cut your grass less frequently – this one appeals to my inherent laziness where grass cutting comes in around this time of year. Use an electric mower. Do add other plants to your yard, whether edible or decorative, both for visual interest and to attract pollinators.

 

 

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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

about

Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived in New Orleans his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.

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