Side Dish

The BEST Places to Celebrate with ME This Weekend

A dream of five years comes true for me this evening. For the past five years I have served as the Director of Culinary Programming for the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFab) in Central City. In this capacity I…

The Best Reasons to Visit Historic Gretna

  I recently spent some time exploring historic Gretna, a fascinating, somewhat mysterious city on the West Bank (technically east of New Orleans but that's another story).  Like Uptown New Orleans, where I live, Old Gretna is loaded with historic…

The Best Freebies and Fun On-the-Cheap

  It's still hot outside. Take shelter on Saturday in one of our city's many fantastic, often world-class museums when you and a guest can get in for free compliments of Smithsonian magazine and its annual Museum Day. Participating museums…

Saturday In The Quarter

  The seventh annual Downriver Festival kicks off at 10 a.m. at the New Orleans Jazz Museum (400 Esplanade Ave., 568.2564, nolajazzmuseum.org). Celebrating the cultural, economic, environmental and inspirational impacts and contributions of the Mississippi River to our fair city…

Of Drag Queens and the New Orleans Saints

  Remember the drag queen moment I mentioned last week? Well, that moment is definitely continuing as we close in on Labor Day and Southern Decadence weekend in our fair city. On Saturday from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. the…

Something For Everyone

  On Friday the NOLA Downtown Music and Arts Festival kicks off its end-of-summer treat that will run through Saturday. The FREE event features pop-up shops, food trucks, musicals performances and more. Head to Duncan Plaza, 343 Loyola Ave., to…

A Few Hot Dining Deals to Beat The Damned Heat

  An enthusiastic cook at heart, as August rolls around I want nothing to do with the heat boiling in my kitchen. These days I am prone to skipping meals altogether or I might just pick them up at Made…

Get 'Cool' This Month with Coolinary

  Today kicks off the doldrums of August, the heat sucks and, yes, we are collectively sick to death of it. That said, a slew of dining and cultural deals also kick off today and run through the rest of…

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.…

Cheap Eats and Drinks, Five Events This Weekend

  Happy Birthday to me! By the time you read this I will be celebrating is Asheville, North Carolina with my best bud, Cyndi. If  I were here to celebrate a few cool things are on my radar. Last week…

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…

Best Place To Take Your Dog This Weekend

  The Best Place to be with your dog this weekend? A taco pop-up. Avo Taco, with roots in Miami and New York will take over the kitchen at Port of Orleans Brewing Company (4124 Tchoupitoulas St.,) this weekend (Friday-Sunday).…

Free and Final: Drink Sales and Events This Weekend

  We all make mistakes and sometimes we benefit from others' mishaps. Such is the case with a Big Easy Bucha (4040 Euphrosine St., bigeasybucha.com) sale ending today at 4 p.m. when shoppers can grab up overruns and mislabeled (OOPS)…

New Orleans Pride, And Other Culinary Events This Weekend

  This year’s New Orleans Pride celebration (togetherwenola.com) takes place Friday through Sunday with activities around the French Quarter. Voted the second most welcoming city in the U.S, and the number one festival destination for LGBT travelers, New Orleans Pride…

Embrace the Heat

  That bliss-inducing extended spring is over and the heat is definitely on. With the departure of cool temperatures comes the departure of most tourists leaving those of us who do not leave for the summer with a bit more…

Passing A Good Time From The West Bank To The Treme

  We were starving. It was late on a Saturday afternoon and the two of us were the only people in Hong Minh (Hong Minh, 2101 8th St., Harvey, 592.7316, hongminhharvey.com) save for three generations of the extended Vietnamese-Chinese family…

Tacos, Bread, BBQ and more!

  After having been postponed earlier this spring due to inclement weather, New Orleans’ third annual Top Taco (toptaconola.com) festival kicks off this evening at 6 p.m., at Woldenberg Park with chefs and bartenders from over 50 restaurants competing for…

Time with Ya'Mama

  Each year on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, members of the Magazine Street Merchants' Association (magazinestreet.com) join together to host a free champagne stroll whereby participating merchants remain open until 9 p.m. Many merchants use the opportunity to provide…

All Things Good On the Cheap

This being the week between Jazz Fest weekends my taste buds are heightened, making the same-old pretty undesirable, I am ready to party, and while my wallet is thinned, resulting in the Champagne Taste Beer Wallet Syndrome we all dread.…

Side Dish

about

Perhaps the only child in Louisiana history to be born to a mother with absolutely no culinary skills at all, Jyl Benson began cooking in self defense at the age of six. She is 13 years younger than her closest sibling so her parents were tired and paid little attention as she use the household kitchen as per personal laboratory, sometimes with disastrous outcomes. Her skills have improved greatly over the years and kitchen fires are a thing of the past.

She began her editorial career in 1990 with The Times Picayune and served as a regional reporter covering the southeastern United States for both The New York Times and Time magazine. She wrote "Galatoire's Cookbook: Recipes & Family History from the Time-Honored New Orleans Restaurant" (Random House 2005) as well as several cultural, historical, and architectural guides to New Orleans. She served as editor-in-chief of Louisiana Cookin’ magazine from 2009 to 2011 and founded Louisiana Kitchen & Culture magazine in 2012.  In addition to serving as the Director of Culinary Programming for the Southern Food & Beverage Museum/National Food & Beverage Foundation she is a dining columnist for St. Charles Avenue, Acadiana Profile and Louisiana Life magazines, a frequent contributor to New Orleans Magazine, and the author of "Fun Funky, Fabulous: New Orleans Casual Restaurant Recipes" (2015, Pelican Publishing andLouisiana's Tables (2017, Savory House Press).