Police, Cajun, Falstaff

Re: “Police and Katrina – in Retrospect,” Speaking Out column. May 2012 issue.

My husband and I have fallen in love with the Big Easy. We will fly in from Tampa, Fla., whenever we have a chance. I always check out the New Orleans Magazine as soon as I get into town. I love the history features, and of course, the recipes.

The last “Speaking Out” feature was right on point regarding the police and Hurricane Katrina in retrospect. I have a feeling it took a lot of courage to print that article.

Food is always a main event for us when we go to New Orleans, but we have found ourselves going to the same places over and over again.

My question for you is: What are your top five favorite restaurants that serve authentic Cajun that are within a 20-minute cab ride from the Riverfront?

We prefer more of a casual atmosphere than upscale since we only bring casual wear with us on our trips. But, if you suggest a more upscale restaurant that is a “must do,” we can pack appropriately if necessary. We have limited our dining experience mostly to the French Quarter since that’s what we are familiar with, but I know there are places in the area we are overlooking.

We are looking forward to your suggestions. Another question I have is: What is the history of the Falstaff factory that we see each time we go to and from the airport? I have an interesting memory of Falstaff beer growing up in Illinois – it was the first beer that I actually got drunk on.

Patty (and Garry) Adams
St. Petersburg, Fla.

Ed. Reply: You have certainly covered the range with this letter. First, thank you for your thoughts about the police and Katrina. We continue to think that there are former cops sitting in jail right now who were victims of what was, at the time, a rudderless police department. As for Cajun food, it sounds like a cliché, but K-Paul’s in the French Quarter is the most important Cajun restaurant of all because it has created a new era of Cajun cooking. Two nearby seafood restaurants, both Louisiana-based chains, Landry’s and Mike Anderson’s, also offer Cajun-style dishes, In fact, there’s a bit of Cajun in most of the city’s menus. Finally, Falstaff was once a nationwide brewery headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., that had a regional brewery here. The former brewery, featuring its famous sign with the order of blinking lights coded to forecast the weather, has been converted into an apartment complex.

The contact information listed for Dr. Jayne S. Weiss in our August feature was incorrect; her correct information is: LSU Department of Ophthalmology, LSU Health Sciences Center, 3700 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, 412-1200.