BBQ Bash

It’s Hogs for the Cause week! The two-day outdoor festival returns to UNO’s campus this Friday and Saturday with 85 teams of BBQ fanatics smoking, roasting and cooking up all manner of meat. The festival is all in good fun, raising funds for families with children battling brain cancer. Music performances this year include Galactic, New Orleans Suspects, Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers and Shakey Graves. What better way to kick off festival season than to wander around outside, go-cup in hand, eating and soaking in the music with your friends and neighbors, all while raising funds for a great cause?

Community Spirit

Speaking of great causes, there has been an upswell of activity and efforts to raise money and resources for those impacted by last week’s devastating tornado. Organizations such as Imagine Water Works, Mutual Aid Louisiana and GNO Caring Collective, just to name a few, have been working tirelessly to get support to those that need it. Local businesses have come up with plenty of ways to give and receive as well, from donating supplies via PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans’ corporate office in exchange for a cup of hot coffee to snagging a cool tee from Dirty Coast, with proceeds of sales going to relief efforts.

Chic Boutique Hotel

The new Canopy by Hilton New Orleans Downtown hotel opened last week and I was lucky enough to get a tour of this chic new addition to the boutique hotel community in New Orleans. It’s located at 1100 Tulane Ave. on the edge of the French Quarter and is prime for walking, catching the streetcar or biking (the hotel will soon have a fleet of bright orange bicycles ready to borrow) to downtown events and happenings. It also features The Herbalist bar, with drinks that emphasize fresh infusions of flavor made in-house. Definitely get the mandarin orange margarita this summer for a refreshing spin on a classic.

On Assignment March 28: New Hotel and BBQ Bash
Photo Credit: Robert Benson, provided by Canopy by Hilton New Orleans Downtown

Creole Cantonese

Your new go-to downtown dinner (and soon lunch) spot is Ginger Roux, the in-house restaurant also located at the Canopy. Tucked into a corner spot of what was once the historic Chinatown district of New Orleans, the Creole Cantonese-inspired menu brings big flavor. Gumbo dumplings anyone? Yes, please. Executive Chef Jonathan Hostetler and his crew treated us (full disclosure) to a line-up of old favorites with an innovative new twist, from lemongrass BBQ shrimp to General Tso’s alligator (an overwhelming crowd favorite.) We can’t wait to see what amazing flavor combinations they come up with next.

Coffee Coffee Coffee

The weather is the best it may be the entire year, so take advantage of it while you can. If you have the option of working remotely, check out any of the great local cafes and coffee shops around town with amazing indoor and outdoor seating plus the freshest brews. The Station Coffee Shop and Bakery in Midcity (our edit team had an impromptu work meeting here recently), Broad Street’s Coffee Science, the petite Flagpole on Esplanade and the iconic Backatown Coffee Parlor are a few great places around town work while grabbing a cup of joe, and possibly a pastry (or two). New Orleans is definitely a coffee town with so many great options in every neighborhood. What’s your favorite place to refuel and remote work?