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Brunch, Fried Chicken and a Trip to the Caribbean Islands


On Saturday the Crescent City Cafe (3900 St. Charles Ave., crescentcitycafe.com) will host its annual Me + 3  Brunch Fundraiser. A $20 donation will cover your brunch plus 3 meals for future Cafe guests, most of whom are homeless. All meals come with a choice beverage plus two sides. Entree choices include: The Marigny – pulled pork biscuit with hollandaise; The Ponchatoula – pancakes with fresh strawberries and topped with whipped cream and dark chocolate;  The Mid-City – bacon and egg breakfast tacos; and The Garden District – kielbasa sausage, mushroom, and egg casserole.

I have mentioned before that if I have any say so fried chicken will be on my final menu. My standards are both exceeding high and rock bottom low: I know the good stuff  (Dooky Chase, L’il Dizzy’s, Willie Mae’s Scotch House) but pretty much anything (random gas station) will do in a bind. That said, I am excited to inform that Willie Mae’s Scotch House, a James Beard award-winning restaurant deemed as “America’s Classic Restaurant for the Southern Region” and recognized as “America’s Best Fried Chicken” by the Food Network and the Travel Channel, will be joining Pythian Market (234 Loyola Ave., 481-9599, pythianmarket.com) as its newest vendor in mid-August.  Pythian is a fantastic option for dining with friends when seeking a plethora of options at value-driven prices for everything from craft cocktail to sushi, and now excellent friend chicken.

On Tuesday Chefs Alison Vega-Knoll and Drew Knoll launched their 2nd annual island-hopping tour of six Caribbean Islands at Station 6 (105 Metairie-Hammond Hwy, Metairie, station6nola.com, 345-2936) in Bucktown.  The couple spent several years living and cooking in Antigua, and each week through Sept. 1 the restaurant will fly the flag from a different island and feature special menu items served à la carte and a specialty rum cocktail. Proceeds from Island Hopping meals and merchandise will benefit The Coral Restoration Foundation. Through July 29  they visit the Bahamas with chicken souse, snapper ceviche, pineapple pork on johnny cake, curry conch, guava sorbet and coco-mocha cheesecake paired with a goombay smash. Cuba will be visited from July 30 – Aug. 4 where guests can toast the birthplace of the mojito while dining on potaje de frijoles negros y tostones (black bean soup), ensalada de pina y agucate a la plancha (grilled avocado and pineapple salad), pargo entero a la parrilla (whole grilled snapper), arroz con leche (rum raisin rice pudding). From Aug. 6 – 11, the Jamaican flag will be flying and dark & stormy cocktails and Red Stripe beer will be served alongside conch stew, shrimp roti salad, jerk pork, rum raison gelato. The next stop on the tour is Haiti from Aug. 13 – 18, where a krema (coconut milk, cream of coconut, Gosling dark rum, Bacardi light rum, lime) will be served with joumon soup (oxtail, butternut squash, acorn squash, mirliton, Yukon potatoes), lambi salad (fried conch over greens), griyo, pikliz, diri ak pwa & bannann peze (fried pork, spicy slaw, black bean rice, sweet plantains), and sweet potato cheesecake. Puerto Rico is on the tour from Aug. 20 – 25 with piña coladas, adobo chicken salad, shrimp sofrito and porkbelly mofongo (sautéed shrimp with plantain and chicharron cake) and coconut flan. The final stop on the tour is where it all began for the couple – Antigua – from Aug. 27 – Sept. 1. The old-fashion rum punch stars alongside seafood pepperpot & fungee (okra, eggplant, butternut squash, and spinach stew with conch, crab and fish), spicy mango, lobster and avocado salad, curry goat and seasoned rice, and coconut rum cake.

On Tuesday at 7 p.m., my friend and mentor, Elizabeth Williams will read from and sign copies of her new book “Unique Eats and Eateries of New Orleans,” at the East Jefferson Regional Library (4747 W Napoleon Ave., Metairie, 838-1190, jplibrary.net).  The guidebook explores a tasty tour and the fascinating stories of food in New Orleans with local insight. 

Have a great weekend, everyone. Use it to celebrate the people and the community you love.


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