Fill Your Weekend With Fried Chicken


Happy Independence Day, Everyone!

If I had to plan my final menu fried chicken would be the entree. In the past few years I have made a concerted effort to limit my intake of meat but I cannot resist the charms of perfectly crisp friend chicken or even just friend chicken from under a heat lamp at a gas station. With this in mind I will be spending Saturday afternoon (2-7 p.m.) at the 4th Annual Al Copeland Foundation (ACF) Chicken Jam at the UNO Lakefront Arena (6801 Franklin Ave.) in recognition of National Fried Chicken Day.

This family-fun event features Copeland’s fried chicken, as well as entertainment by local bands, including Me & My Friends, Bag of Donuts and Superstar, and face painting, inflatables, a photo booth and more for children. Copeland’s fried chicken, red beans & rice, macaroni and cheese, and biscuits will be available for purchase. Port Orleans Brewing Company will be on site with a special Chicken Jam beer, and Tito’s Vodka will serve a specialty cocktail. Wine and soft drinks will be available as well. General Admission tickets are just $15, ($5 for ages 6–12, 5 and under free), a couple of levels of VIP tickets cost a bit more.

Proceeds from the annual Chicken Jam support the Al Copeland Foundation to end cancer. To date, ACF has provided more than $1.9 million in critical funding to LSU Health Foundation in support of cancer research. Tickets are available at

Seeking some summer dining bargains? Here are few to try:

On Tuesday (July 2) Ralph’s on the Park (900 City Park Ave., 488-1000, launched a summer special running into September. For $33 guests can enjoy three appetizers and a glass of wine. Appetizer selections include Jumbo Lump Crab & Creole Tomato Salad, Oysters Skully (fried Oysters, Skully’s Crystal & pepper jelly reduction, smoked almonds, and scallions) and Blackened Shrimp Tartine with smoked fish rillettes, spicy mayo, cilantro, cucumber, and radish). There are five wines to choose from.

Now through Labor Day, Tableau (616 St Peter St., 934-3463, is offering a two-course lunch Monday through Fridays based on the temperature the day before. If the temperature was 100 degrees, you are shelling out $10. A crisp, cool 65 degrees (yeah, right) and you pay $6.50. Choose from a soup or salad starter and a selection of daily entrees. A recent selection included soy glazed smoked pork belly, fried soaked eggplant, dashi broth, pork cracklin and sticky rice

Chef Neal Swidler recently took over the kitchen at Public Service (311 Baronne St., 962-6527, This summer he makes his mark at Henry’s Gin Bar in the lobby with a three-course summer menu of the daily gumbo or salad, an entree and dessert for $35 through August 30. The chef also offers a Business Lunch Special every weekday in the main restaurant for $14. Tomorrow’s entree is Shrimp Creole made with Gulf shrimp and crispy farro.

Another week, another food day. The team that will bring us the third annual NOLA Mac n’ Cheese Fest later this year is priming the pump with a National Mac n’ Cheese Day Celebration on Sunday, July 14 at the Civic Theatre (150 O’Keefe)  from 2-4 p.m. The event will feature plenty of macaroni and cheese from a variety of vendors, drag queen bingo, a “Game Alley”, on-site raffles featuring fun prizes, and Bloody Marys, beer, and mimosas included with admission. Tickets are $30 advance and $40 at the door.

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


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