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THE

Defender Picks

 

MARDI

May 23rd

Joe Goldburg Jazz Trio

Bamboula’s, 3PM

Jam out to some clarinet and saxophone

 

Alexandra Marzano-Lesnevich

Garden District Books, 6PM

The author will read and discuss her new memoir, The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir

 

Dine For The Animals

Vessel NOLA, 6PM

Dine for a great cause benefitting the SPCA

 

Concert Series Encore

Paradigm Gardens, 7PM

Food, drinks, music in a lovely garden

 

LOGAN NOIR

Prytania Theater, 730PM

One night only, Q+A to follow

 

Le Cinema et Les Mots

Français à la carte, 8:30PM

Discover the 1969 cult French film Trafic, by director Jacques Tati

 

Brass Lightning

Sidney Saloon, 10PM

Support by the BoomDocs

 

Steve Mignano Band

Apple Barrel, 10:30PM

Get down with some funky electric feels

MERCREDI

May 24th

Jazz Pilates

New Orleans Jazz Museum, 12PM

Led by renowned jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan

 

Happy Hour Sessions

The Foundation Room, 5PM

Featuring the raw blues and smokey femininity of Hedijo

 

Shake It Break It Band

21st Amendment, 5PM

Step back in time and enjoy some tunes

 

Lighting from a Theatrical Perspective

NOLA Community Printshop, 6PM

Hosted by veteran Lighting Designer, Andrew J. Merkel

 

Free Spirited Yoga

The Tchoup Yard, 6:30PM

Free yoga, optional beer and food

 

Big Easy Playboys

Bank Street Bar, 7PM

Mixing roots, rock, and blues

 

Think Less, Hear More

Hi-Ho Lounge, 9PM

Spontaneous compositions to projected movies

 

 


King Cake Walk

Best of the Annual King Cake Tasting at the Ogden



The results of NoDef's King Cake Walk are in! For the third consecutive year, Bittersweet Confections has landed the win for their vibrantly sugared cake filled with rich chocolate. But, Bittersweet was only one of the local bakeries represented in the competition, all of whom brought their best game to the challenge. Within 90 minutes, there was not even a crumb or wayward baby left reminding us that all king cakes are winners. Our favorites follow below.

 

For the the third year, Cake Café's Apple and Goat Cheese filling propelled the bakery to a strong second place finish.

 

The annual event takes place during Ogden After Hours. Guests walk through a semicircle of tables, each with cakes representing different bakeries. NoDef's unscientific voting process asks tasters to drop toothpicks into corresponding cups, to be counted once the confections are mere crumbs.  

 

Bittersweet Confections (725 Magazine Street)

For the third year in a row, Bitterswet's king cake blew out the competition. There is something about chocolate, especailly high quality chocolate that appeals to the people. Unlike previous

The oval has a consistency of a chocolate croissant, flaky with a rich, super sweet chocolate filling and outer layer. 

 

Cake Cafe (2440 Chartres Street)

In 2013, the Marigny eatery's signature cake caused some controversy for beating out traditional styles for the win. While Cake Café fell a dozen votes short of Bittwersweet this year, the showing was still strong. Numerous tasters compared the confection to the best danish they ever had.

 

Emeril's (800 Tchoupitoulas)

Emeril's blew the competition away on style points and took home an overall bronze in the process. Although, the famed restaurant does not regualrly bake king cakes, Pastry Chef Jeremy Fogg serves up a delicous king cake monkey bread accompanied by a different sauce every week. For the King Cake Walk, Fogg offered massive loaves of the cake, perfectly shaped to pull off a chunk. Initially, a couple tasters remarked that they cake was onthe drier side--then they applied the sauce. Choices including praline and banana foster elevated the pastry to a divine level.

The maestro's presentation wowed the audience.

 

Cochon (930 Tchoupitoulas)

Bacon, peanut butter, and banana. These are the three main ingredients in Cochon’s cake they’ve named after the King of Rock ‘N Roll. “The Elvis” is topped with bacon and marshmallow cream. The Elvis is gooey and impossible to eat without a mess, but the cleanup is well worth the joy. You won’t find a baby in this cake. The porcine focused establishment includes a tiny pig in lieu of a king cake baby. 

 

Haydel's (4037 Jefferson Highway) 

It seems the crowd was too busy praising Haydel's Bakery with their words to show love at the voting cup. Once again, they only pulled 20 votes, the Jefferson Parish bakery still made it in the top tier for favorite cakes. Sometimes all you want is a simple cake. Haydel’s offers just that. This year, the iconic bakery honored Nyx with porcelin clutches in addition to the baby.

 

Mister Gregory's (806 North Rampart Street)

The Rampart St. bakery had the competition's only savory entry. Their mix of flaky crust with artichokes and sun-dried tomatos was nothing short of divine. Only, Mr. G's only had one cake to try (as oposed to five from the other bakeries), they still garnered an impressive 14 votes. Guests could not stop raving about the entry

 

Fresh Market

Even though Fresh Market toothpick count was on the lower end, several attendees commented that it was their favorite pick. The local grocery’s signature cake comes dazzled with doubloons, Mardi Gras beads and the common cinnamon pizzazz inside. The chain has locations in Uptown, Lakeview, and Metairie. 

 

La Boulangerie (4600 Magazine Street)

La Boulangerie's cake also came with a pig shaped baby. That's because Donald Link now owns the popular Uptown establishment. So, repeat tasters were concerned about the quality. La Boulangerie once again presented an old-school, French style king cake. That means no frosting or colors, just buttery confection. As for the big question? Yes! Boulangerie's cake is as good as ever!

 

Rouse's 

The Louisiana supermarket provided a classic style king cake. Many guests nominated the market for a "Most Improved" award. There was nothing fancy about this entry, just a nice, fluffy cake with the proper dose of cinamon.

Correction: Fresh Market was initially referred to as "Robert's Fresh Market." The two stores are unrelated.



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Erin Rose
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Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor

Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily