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NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden (5:00 PM)
The NOLA Project presents this festive comedy that pits two of Shakespeare's most beloved characters, Benedick and Beatrice, in a war of words and wits
1445 Pauger Street (6:00 PM)
Cultural philanthropists Dorian and Kel Bennett have opened their historic Marigny home for this inaugural event with music, theater and dance performances
Circle Bar (10:00 PM)
Punk rock on Lee Circle
Walter Wolfman Washington
d.b.a. (10:00 PM)
Fiery blues on Frenchmen - every week
Curren$y's Jet Lounge
Blue Nile (10:00 PM)
The NOLA rapper's weekly party
Banks Street Bar (10:00 PM)
Blues rock and BLTs!
Country Club (All Day)
Weekly Wed Gig- $3 martinis and free admission for the service industry folks.
Tom McDermott and Meschiya Lake
Chickie Wah Wah (8:00PM)
Weekly Wed Gig- Piano man meets a golden voice.
Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses
Weekly Wed Gig- Gypsy jazz upstairs in the Marigny
Hi-Ho Lounge (8:00PM)
Weekly Wed Gig- from the street to the stage. Midnight Snax throwdown follows at 10pm.
dba (7:00 PM)
Weekly Wed Gig- The world's premiere washboard-sousaphone-guitar trio.
Treme Brass Band
Candlelight Lounge (9:00 PM)
Weekly Wed Gig- Pass on by and see the 6th Ward’s home band
NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden (5:00 PM)
The NOLA Project presents this festive comedy that pits two of Shakespeare's most beloved characters in a war of words and wits
City Park’s Botanical Garden (5:00 PM)
New Orleanian songwriter performs at the weekly outdoor concert series
The Ogden Museum (6:00 PM)
Singer/ songwriter who has recently performed at Austin City Limits Music Festival and provided tour support for Raul Malo and the Wood Brothers
The Foundation Gallery (6:00 PM)
A screening of Maya's award-winning animation "Pareidolia" followed by a Q &A with the artist
Snug Harbor (8:00 & 10:00 PM)
The third evening of a chamber music festival that has something for classical aficionados and dilettantes alike
Hi Ho Lounge (9:00 PM)
Hip hop artist raps on St. Claude with his album Trap Hop
Circle Bar (10:00 PM)
Performing tracks from the new album 'What a World'
Big Easy Bites: The Aliments of Alligator Season
September is alligator hunting season in Louisiana, and although New Orleans isn’t necessarily affected by an influx of fresh alligator meat clawing onto its menus, it’s still a great time of year to add a little ‘gator to your diet.
For those who hunt and live on the bayous, alligator is at the very least a seasonal food source.
In the New Orleans area, there’s one place I know of that sells freshly caught alligator, and that’s Reno’s Seafood, off Highway 12, at Akers, Louisiana. If you’ve ever been to or driven past Middendorf’s, the giant, popular seafood restaurant on Bayou Manchac, then you know exactly where Reno’s is--about twenty yards up the street. Its neighboring seafood shack, Fatboy’s Seafood Kitchen, which is decorated with dozens of photos of family members with their freshly killed alligators, sells gator fried in a perfectly light, lemony batter to folks who aren’t attracted by Middendorf’s giant sign or lengthy wait. Both Reno’s and Fatboy’s flooded during Hurricane Isaac and have just reopened this week, selling fresh gator as fast as they can clean it. Though it also flooded, Middendorf’s has been back in business since a week after the storm, serving throngs a menu featuring plenty of fried seafood, but not a single gator ball. Pity.
For city dwellers, gator is usually more of a curiosity. Offering alligator in New Orleans restaurants might be considered a tourist gimmick, but sometimes the opposite is true: The place with the long line of tourists (and no alligator on the menu) overshadows the joint across the street with food that’s just as good and includes more reptilian choices.
For instance, Buffa’s (1001 Esplanade Ave.) offers one of the tastiest alligator dishes I’ve ever had: alligator balls topped with crawfish cream sauce. Unlike some stringy, tough alligator dishes I’ve tried in my day, including a regrettable alligator gyro at a music festival in Van Buren, Arkansas, Buffa’s gator balls are tender and juicy. No, they’re not testicles, but meatballs made of rich and spicy alligator sausage, fried (of course), and served up as an appetizer, though you could certainly make a meal of them. Buffa’s is located a stone’s throw away from Port of Call, which is always going to have a line going out the door. If you’re hosting out-of-town guests, and you find your group gravitating towards that line, remember that you could be snacking on some alligator balls by the time you ordered a second Monsoon at Port of Call.
Or this scene: 50 people are queued up for Acme Oyster House in the Quarter, while Felix’s Oyster House (739 Iberville Street), directly across the street, has at most a 15-minute wait, as well as some of the best oysters, turtle soup, and blackened alligator in town. Like most places that venture into gator territory, Felix’s offers theirs simply--cut into small nuggets and blackened or fried, yielding a meaty, slightly chewy bite. Both versions are unintimidating and easy to eat, especially if it’s your first time. And you won’t have to wait all day to do it.
Mulate’s (201 Julia St.) famous for their Cajun band, dance floor, and pricey Cajun food, also offers the blackened-or-fried option, but there are still more ways around town to get your gator on. Parkway Bakery and Tavern (538 Hagan Ave.), famous for shrimp and roast beef po-boys and gravy fries, offers a garlicky gumbo made with turkey and alligator sausage. Jacques-Imo’s (8324 Oak St.) is well known around town for their shrimp and alligator cheesecake appetizer, also made with alligator sausage, and Cochon (930 Tchoupitoulas St.) serves gator fried with a chili-garlic aioli for the fancy set. These are all great ways to try alligator, but you can also make a go of it at home.
Frozen alligator is available by mail order from sources like Allen’s Bayou, which offers frozen, farmed alligator cuts as well as alligator boudin. Alligator legs, also known as “gator wings,” can be prepared similarly to chicken wings, and meat from parts of the body other than the tail or jaw, which are naturally the most tender, are useful in soups and stews. Packaged, frozen tail meat is easy to find in most supermarkets here; it won’t be cheap (about $13 for a 16-ounce bag packaged by Wall to Wall Alligator Meat out of Springfield, Louisiana), but it’s a great purchase for supporting the local industry. You can take it home and fry it up like you would catfish, à la Hushpuppy’s mom in Beasts of the Southern Wild, or you can “put it in a sauce piquant,” which is exactly what a Rouse’s stockperson told my boyfriend to do as he sorted through the frosty bags one day. Her verbal recipe made one of the tastiest, most soulful stews ever, and taught me that it’s okay--it’s great, in fact--to eat both potatoes and rice at the same meal.
Sauce piquant is like a Cajun-Creole version of red gravy; it’s not full of Italian herbs or sausage, but it’s a rich, tomatoey simmering sauce for chicken, shrimp, frogs, or anything that can be pulled out of a bayou. The same alligator tail meat that remains chewy when fried will turn meltingly soft after it’s stewed for hours in a sauce piquant. To make your own, dice and saute an onion, a green bell pepper, a few stalks of celery and a few cloves of garlic in several tablespoons of oil in a soup pot until soft. Sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of flour and stir for about a minute, then whisk in about a quart of chicken stock and two large cans of diced tomatoes. Heat it to a simmer, add diced potatoes and defrosted alligator tail meat, and let it cook until the beer runs out or the gator is fork tender. Serve it over rice, watch some Justin Wilson on YouTube, and call it a night.
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