RYAN ANDERSON BLOG
November 29, 2013
For the second straight season, Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson is providing periodic blog updates on Pelicans.com, delving into many of his experiences as a resident of New Orleans and other topics. In his first update of 2013-14, the self-described “foodie” discusses some of the cuisine of the city’s world-famous restaurants.
I moved to Metairie this year, after I had lived in the Warehouse District before and gotten to know a lot of the great restaurants down there. Lately I’ve been exploring some of the restaurants in Metairie and have really enjoyed it. Here are some of the spots – both in Metairie and New Orleans – that I’ve visited lately:
Café B (2700 Metairie Road, Metairie)
This is a new restaurant that I really like. It’s a Brennan’s restaurant. It’s really good, with a barbecue shrimp appetizer that’s crazy good. It’s very convenient for people in Metairie. I love it.
Zea’s (various locations in the New Orleans area)
It’s a great local chain restaurant, with great rotisserie chicken. They have this sweet and spicy glaze on the chicken, which is my favorite thing there to eat. They also have sweet and spicy Thai ribs that are excellent. Zea’s is my dad’s favorite restaurant – when he comes into town, we’ve got to go to Zea’s. There is one on St. Charles Avenue and one in Metairie I’ve been to. It’s a great place.
Borgne (601 Loyola Ave., New Orleans)
Borgne is becoming one of my new favorites. It’s a restaurant that’s open a little later, until 11 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s attached to the Hyatt hotel downtown. I like being able to go there after games or on the weekends, because it’s open later. They have amazing food and I’ve actually gotten to meet the chef there a few times – he’s a great guy. My favorite dish – and everyone has to try this – is called “Fish in a Bag.” It sounds really weird, but that does not in any way represent what it tastes like. It’s really good. They cook it in a parchment paper bag.
Peche Seafood Grill (800 Magazine St., New Orleans)
This is a restaurant that I think everyone’s talking about around town. There’s an oyster bar and they have amazing fried bread. Jason Smith got three orders of it the last time he was there. Also their crab claws are incredibly good. I like to get the whole fish. A lot of people get creeped out by the head on it, but it’s super-fresh fish. One of Lance Thomas’ buddies actually works there and occasionally brings in his own catch and serves it, which is pretty awesome. One day we went in and they told us we were probably going to eat the fish that they just caught. It’s a unique experience, for the fish to go right from the boat to the plate.
August (301 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans)
I went last year. It’s a fun dining experience, very fancy and elegant. I’m a big Zagat restaurant guy, and I think August is the highest-rated restaurant by Zagat in the city of New Orleans. So it’s pretty cool to be able to say that you’ve eaten there. It’s a John Besh restaurant, like Borgne. It’s very fancy plating. They have their own pig farm, where they have these special pigs that they bring in. I had a salad with bacon in it, and normally with bacon there is more of a meat-to-fat ratio, but they have this specific pig where it’s more of a fat-to-meat ratio. So this salad I had was amazing, with this buttery pork fat. It’s a very creative restaurant that also has great desserts.
Domenica (123 Baronne St., New Orleans)
I actually first heard about this Italian restaurant from watching the Food Network. They have an amazing pizza. I forget exactly what’s on it, but when you go, ask them for their best pizza, and they’ll know what you mean. (Editor’s note: Domenica was Italy native Marco Belinelli’s favorite New Orleans restaurant when he played here). I’m sure Marco probably liked the authentic Italian food. They have great, fresh-made pastas and an amazing pizza oven.
Bourbon House (144 Bourbon St., New Orleans)
A fun restaurant that is right off Bourbon Street, but a little bit on the outskirts of the crazy part of that area. They have great, authentic New Orleans cuisine. It’s a fun place to go if you’re out in the French Quarter and decide to stop by after walking around. It’s open pretty late, too. They have great stuffed oysters, Oysters Rockefeller. That’s what I remember most, the oysters with bacon, crawfish and cheese. Even if you don’t like oysters, you’ll enjoy it.
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse (716 Iberville St., New Orleans)
We went there as a team earlier in the season. It has great, amazing steaks. I’d say it’s the best steakhouse in town, like a lot of people do.
Editor’s note: Do you have a New Orleans restaurant recommendation for Ryan? Perhaps a movie you think he should see… or avoid? Want to ask him a question? Send in your thoughts on Twitter to @Jim_Eichenhoferusing the hashtag of #rynoblog and we’ll help Ryan become even more acclimated to the Crescent City.