Racking Up a Boozy Booty’s Reputation

1:04 PM  September 5, 2013

In these final dog days of summer, Booty’s has been scoring boozy shout-outs left and right. 

Thrillist thrilled us with word that Booty’s makes one of New Orleans’ 8 essential cocktails

 

 

 

And the sexy supergeniuses at Esquire toasted to the end of summer with our sultriest craft daiquiri yet, the limited edition Bywater Bombshell from Booty’s Bar Director Shana Donahue.

 

Buzzfeed showed Booty’s some love on their gorgeous game plan for living it up like a Nola native while sunning your buns down South.

 

Booty's Street Food new orleans restaurants, bywater restaurants new orleans booty's, bywater booty's news orleans bars

 

Finally, Zagat put the world’s most famous unicorn skeleton on shout when they named Bywater one of the 20 Hottest Food Neighborhoods in the Country. 

 

It’s been a great end to the summer. Come on by and help us usher in another booming season of Booty’s! See you soon! 

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The Inexorable Draw of New Orleans

10:41 AM  August 19, 2013

Years ago, a few friends and I decided to move to Colorado to go snowboarding. Most of them lined up jobs, but I was a bit full of myself, and didn’t.

 

"I'm a New Orleanian, get me out of here!"

“I’m a New Orleanian, get me out of here!”

 

I had been working as a back waiter at Antoine’s as well as working in the wine cellar during the summer. Consequently, I knew a good bit about wine and was a pretty damn good waiter. Being young and naive, I figured that restaurants would be falling over each other to offer me gainful employment. After all, I was coming from New Orleans where I worked in the oldest family run restaurant in the country, in a fine dining, Creole mecca. This was Durango, Colorado, a small tourist town in the mountains in the middle of nowhere.

 

Upon my arrival, I went to the swankiest restaurant in town, which happened to be the only one that wasn’t a bar or a diner, to apply for a job. That being said, it was much nicer than I expected.

 

Unfortunately, the busy season there for the town itself had just ended. The summer season is a boom for the town proper, but winter is for the resort on the mountain. Needless to say, I did not get a job.

 

My friends who had actually done some preparation and lined up jobs for their arrival, assured me that they could get me something at the resort. I, however, needed money sooner, rather than later.

 

After looking for a job, any kind of job, I finally found work at a pewter figurine factory by convincing the poor woman that hired me that since I had done graffiti in my checkered past that airbrushing pewter fairies and dragons was the next logical step in my career as an artist. It was the most boring job I had ever had. It didn’t help that I had to walk to the factory from my apartment at some ungodly hour before the sun was even up through giant snow drifts (any snow drift would be giant, I was from New Orleans) and take my lunch breaks across the highway in the Little Caesar’s which was located in a K-Mart. To this day, I can’t stand the smell of that particular brand of “pizza” and cringe whenever I see a pewter figurine mounted on a geode invariably holding a crystal ball.

 

Durango: Place of dreams

Durango: Place of dreams

 

Weeks passed and finally my friends came through. I had a job! Dishwashing. At least it was a foot in the door and I had a free pass to snowboard. After a few days I was promoted to prep cook, and a week or two later, line cook. I had never cooked professionally before, but it came naturally. By the end of the season, I was tasked with overseeing the closing down procedures of the restaurants on the mountain, which consisted of me riding my snowboard all day and checking in with the people doing the actual closing of the restaurants and making sure they were working.

 

The season over, I decided to move to Atlanta to continue cooking. I had family there and a few friends, so it seemed like a good idea. I cooked at a few restaurants and learned a lot more about the back of the house.   

 

I was staying with a good friend at his brother’s condo in the city, couchsurfing. I was making decent money, but nothing like I had made as a waiter. I was in the process of looking for a place of my own and with the money I was making, pickings were slim. Since I was staying for free at my friend’s place, I would cook dinner as they wouldn’t accept money for my intruding presence.

 

I would try out new things that I had learned or researched on my unsuspecting hosts. More often than not, my offerings were a rousing success.

 

#memorylane

#memorylane

 

One day, on a tight budget (payday had come and gone, and a few too many nights out as well), I decided to cook red beans and rice. I figured it would be an easy, cheap, crowd pleaser. My hosts were from New Orleans, as well as most of our friends, so how could it go wrong?

 

I soaked the beans, cut the trinity, cooked rice, and started on the beans. I started to brown the sausage and the smell was intoxicating. Adding the trinity and garlic, the smell amplified along with the memories that accompanied it. All of a sudden, I was homesick. There was a hold on me that my hometown was asserting with a vengeance. I knew right then and there that I had to leave.

 

We sat down to eat and I broke the news to my friends. I was going home. The next morning I got a plane ticket, went to work and put in my notice. My boss was disappointed. I had been steadily moving up and he thought it was a bad decision. He wasn’t from New Orleans. He didn’t, couldn’t understand. Three weeks later I was home.

 

Damn, those were some good red beans.

 

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POSTED BY Greg Fonseca ON August 19, 2013 IN Culture

Dog Days = Dollar Daiqs at Booty’s

10:43 AM  July 31, 2013

Sizzle sizzle sweat and pop! The hot summer sun has been threatening to melt us all into tiny human puddles, but Booty’s is throwing down the gauntlet and fighting back! 

 

Score one of Booty’s Street Food’s craft daiquiris – the orange, pineapple and rosewater-tinged Bywater Bomber, the Hemingway-inspired Shotgun, or the guava-hibiscus Hula Hoop – for only a dollar with the purchase of $10 in food.

 

DollarDaiqPromo

 

Dollar daiqs are a Monday through Friday thang, 11AM – 6PM, through the rest of the summer. 

 

Cheers, y’all! 

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POSTED BY bootysnola ON July 31, 2013 IN DRINK

Sunday Dinners with My Dad

12:33 PM  July 29, 2013

Sunday dinner was always the one time during the week that I could count on seeing my dad. He was the beverage manager at Antoine’s and was at work when I wasn’t in school. Obviously, I didn’t get to see him that often. When I did, it was all about the food.

 

Chef Don Fonseca, in the 1989 Antoine's Restaurant cookbook

Chef Don Fonseca, in the 1978 Antoine’s Restaurant cookbook

So a typical Sunday started with church (sometimes), then going to the old A&P to get fresh baked french bread for breakfast. Before everyone gets outraged about the fact that we went to the A&P instead of some of the more famous bakeries in town, two points, one, it was all we had back in the late 70’s – early 80’s that was close to our house, and two, it was good. Not like the crusty baguettes that are seemingly available at every supermarket these days. Just good old New Orleans hot, soft, fresh bread. Which, when slathered with butter (NOT margarine!) is an almost religious experience. But I digress.

 

While at the store to get our french bread, my dad would do the shopping for whatever he felt like cooking that day. It varied depending on the time of year, the weather, and his whims as far as I could tell. The ubiquitous Sunday roast, stuffed peppers, shrimp and mirliton casserole, and oddly enough, pork fried rice, to name a few. The last was my favorite, which explains a lot about the food that I tend to gravitate towards cooking.

 

Having taken care of the shopping, we would make our way home with him chiding me for surreptitiously eating the hot bread in the car. “You’re going to be mad when you eat yours now without butter.” he would warn. That was my dad, no sympathy whatsoever. When we would arrive at home, he would take his half of the loaf and give me my “half” that looked as if a small flock of birds had attacked it sometime between the register and the dining table. It’s not that he was malicious, he was trying to teach me restraint and how to enjoy good food. A lesson I’m still trying to learn.

 

Beach bum, Don Fonseca

Beach bum, Don Fonseca

 

I, like my father before me, work in an industry where we all tend to eat when we can. Mostly standing up, with lightning speed, and not nearly enough regard for the simple enjoyment of what we’re hastily shoving in our mouths so we can get back to work.

 

French bread eaten, it was time to cook. Being too short to reach anything, he would pull a chair up to the counter for me to clamber up. As he worked, he would explain what he was doing and why. He would, without fail, assign me a task. This was undoubtedly the highpoint of my week. Everything from stabbing the roast and shoving in the garlic cloves (let’s be honest, when you’re 5 it is stabbing and shoving as opposed to the more urbane terminology that we employ for these acts), peeling shrimp, cleaning out peppers, basically anything and everything that he could give me to do without my mother going into hysterics upon coming into the kitchen and seeing her youngest child wielding a high carbon chef’s knife that he was two sizes too small to have any business around.

 

It was in these moments that I found my love of cooking and food. Aside from the obvious attraction to the danger that my mother’s overreaction implied, just the act of creating something greater than the sum of its parts was exhilarating.

 

Don't let the smile fool you. Chef Greg Fonseca is about to give photobomber JR the boot.

Don’t let the smile fool you. Chef Greg Fonseca is about to give photobomber JR the boot.

I would like to think that he would be proud of me and my chosen path in life. I just wish he was here and I could cook for him now.

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POSTED BY Greg Fonseca ON July 29, 2013 IN Culture

The Dauphine Street Trash Cleanup

3:52 PM  July 24, 2013

Cheyenne, Jamie and Kevin suited up in rubber gloves and thick, black trash bags this morning and spent two hours beautifying the Bywater.

 

From Louisa to Poland and back again, we braved the 90 degree sunshine to do our part to make our neighborhood a little nicer. 

 

Cheyenne, Jamie and Kevin: TRASHY!

Cheyenne, Jamie and Kevin: TRASHY!

 

And you know what? Along the way, our mail lady, the Fedex guy, Sewerage and Water Board workers, and about a dozen of our neighbors that live along Dauphine Street stopped to thank us, and even came out and helped pick up the litter in front of their own properties.

 

We did it! (Now let's hit the showers!)

We did it! (Now let’s hit the showers!)

 

Many, many thanks to J&J’s for the life-saving ice waters along the way! 

 

Booty’s organizes a staff volunteer opportunity about every other week or so. If you’d like to come work alongside the Booty’s crew, holler at us at ahoy@bootysnola.com! 

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Blowing Up Tales of the Cocktail with Cripple Creek

12:34 PM  July 23, 2013

Booty’s opened its doors and bar up to the dashing bartenders from Prime Meats and Amor y Amargo on Saturday for a Tales of the Cocktail pop up. Aaron Polsky, Damon Boelte and Dram Brothers, held court alongside Booty’s own Ted & Cheyenne for our first ever Clothing Optional* Cripple Creek Rock ‘n’ Roll Brunch! 

 

Cripple Creek crowd at Booty's!

Cripple Creek crowd at Booty’s!

 

And lawdy, did thirsty tales people show up en masse! 

The Cripple Creek boys spent 3 hours slinging custom cocktails like The Morning After The Night of The Vampire (Black trumpet mushrooms, Genrothes Alaba, cream, Stumptown cold brew, Abbott’s Bitters) and the Clothing Optional (No. 3 gin, King’s Ginger, Maurin Dry Vermouth, Anchor Hopehead vodka) for the brunch beauties at Booty’s. 

 

The Morning After The Night of The Vampire

The Morning After The Night of The Vampire

 

The Cripple Creek pop up was a monster success, and we’re cooking up plans to return the favor with a Booty’s pop up at their event space, RES, in Brooklyn. Stay tuned!

 

Cripple Creek at Bootys Street Food

Thanks to all the visiting Tales folks, and our Saturday brunch regulars for making the day a raging success! 

 

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POSTED BY Kevin Farrell ON July 23, 2013 IN EVENTS

A Day After Dining Out for Life

11:35 AM  July 19, 2013

A simple and sweet update today about last night’s Dining Out for Life dinner here at Booty’s Street Food: 

 

With the help of more than 200 of our neighbors and lovely patrons, Booty’s raised over a thousand dollars for the No/AIDS Task Force, as well as hundreds of additional dollars in individual donations from diners who wanted to give even more at the end of their meal. This money will be used to help prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS in Louisiana, and to provide care and assistance to those living with AIDS. 

 

Cashing checks for life!

Cashing checks for life!

We had a full house from about 6 PM straight through to closing time. Those waiting for tables sipped on Cottontails, Suckerpunches and Bywater Bombers out front, all the while dressed to the nines. 

 

It was a bustling, beautiful night. Thank you so much to all who came out and made the evening such a success. 

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POSTED BY Kevin Farrell ON July 19, 2013 IN EVENTS

Rain Garden Realness, A Booty’s-Global Green Joint

12:53 PM  July 18, 2013

Booty’s alum Brad has his toes in practically every sustainability non-profit in town. So when he asked if any of the Booty’s team wanted to spend a morning volunteering with Global Green, we were all about it. 

 

“Global Green USA has influenced more than $20 billion dollars for green building projects and educates millions of people about climate friendly solutions through its annual Red Carpet/Green Cars Oscars campaign. Global Green is also leading efforts to help rebuild a green New Orleans through its sustainable green village and green schools initiatives.”

 

Brad, Alyssa and I spent a sweaty New Orleans morning weeding and maintaining two large rain gardens in Holy Cross right along the levee of the Mississippi River. Rain gardens like these are critical cogs in the neighborhood’s water drainage system, and when they are well maintained, they can prevent flooding, as well as irrigate gardens and yards without burdening the sewerage and water system. Nice! 

 

Kevin, Brad and Alyssa flexing serious weed-pulling muscles.

Kevin, Brad and Alyssa flexing serious weed-pulling muscles.

 

Brad is helping us to build a green roof system this summer over our prep room, and we’ve been picking his brain about solar power for a future project. 

 

If you’re interested in volunteering with Global Green, or with the Booty’s crew on a future project, shoot us an email at ahoy@bootysnola.com and we’ll help make it happen. 

 

 

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POSTED BY Kevin Farrell ON July 18, 2013 IN Around Town

Bywater Boasts Biggest Bike-to-Work Population in New Orleans

2:15 PM  July 17, 2013

We’re passionate about bikes here at Booty’s. After Katrina ate my brand new Ford Escape (along with the rest of my earthly possessions) a thousand years ago, I relocated to Seattle. Thanks to the wonder of purchasing my car in Pennsylvania, but living in New Orleans, I ended up owing thousands of dollars on car that was towed off to a scrapyard after having been submerged 100% below water. Memories…

 

Bootys Street Food bike racks

The super fly bike racks at Booty’s

 

I never did end up purchasing another car, as Seattle is an incredibly walkable city. I moved back to New Orleans two years ago with my partner Nick to begin work on Booty’s, and we remain without a car to this very day. 

 

If we can’t get there on our bikes, we’re probably not going. I do the entirety of my grocery shopping at the New Orleans Food Cooperative in the Marigny, carrying as much as I can on my bicycle, and dinners with friends are usually hosted at Bywater restaurants like Mariza or Pizza Delicious. Booty’s gets our morning pastries from Shake Sugary a few blocks down the street, and many a sunny afternoon is spent poolside at The Country Club (Think less of an actual country club and more of a boozy, half-naked pool party, for those of you who have never been). 

 

And you know what? It’s not just me living this way in this fantastic, incredibly bikeable and walkable neighborhood. A new study from a BikeEasy graduate student confirms what everyone living here in Bywater sees every day; Bywater loves bikes. 

 

“Bywater, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, boasts one of the highest bike mode shares in the city per the ACS, with an estimated 7 to 11 percent of residents commuting to work by bike, depending on how the district’s boundaries are defined. In Navarre, a section of more suburban Lakeview that took off after the rise of the personal automobile, an estimated 2.5 percent of residents get to work by bike.”

 

“Bicycling tends to be most alluring in places with ample and well-connected bikeways, where the bike offers a convenient way to avoid traffic congestion and parking hassles, and where there are plenty of places to bicycle to – stores, jobs, and other destinations – within close range.”

 

“Bywater is such a neighborhood. It is characterized by a mix of commercial and residential uses. By virtue of its early origins, it has narrow, well-connected, low-speed streets and limited off-street parking. Bywater also benefits from some dedicated bicycling infrastructure.”

 

It’s true! Bikers be biking on their bikes everywhere in this neighborhood! With the help of the Young Leadership Council’s Where Ya Rack, we’ve installed five bike racks outside of Booty’s, and on any given night, they are all completely full. We once had a brunch service with nineteen bikes locked on our racks and street signs outside of the restaurant. Heck yeah! 

 

One of the concerns raised by our immediate neighbors when be began building Booty’s was that there would be a sort of parking apocalypse brought about by the proximity of Booty’s to Maurepas Foods and Satsuma Cafe, three popular destinations all within one block of each other. Except, that’s exactly how cities are meant to work. Close proximity, shared infrastructure, denser living, commercial and residential buildings existing in harmony. The parking apocalypse never did end up happening, though all three of our business regularly sport lines out the front door. 

 

We regularly count the number of empty parking spots outside of Booty’s on busy nights. Even with a completely full house, 50 people eating and drinking inside, we consistently count between ten and as high as twenty spots open on the four blocks that Booty’s sits on the corner of. It turns out that the majority of our customers are coming to Booty’s on their feet, on their bikes, and by taxi (Especially astonishing to us, as taxis literally and uniformly refused to drive to Bywater for the year we spent building Booty’s.). Pedicabs and limousines (!!!) have even become frequent fixtures here, dropping off guests, but gridlocked traffic and a dearth of parking spots? Not so much. 

 

The bike racks at Booty’s are full every night. And only four of our 26 employees drive cars to work. The rest bike (and lock their bikes up in our private employee area off the street) or walk, with the exception of one committed employee who takes two buses from Uptown before and after each shift. 

 

All of this is essentially just to say, Heck yeah, bikes! And heck yeah, Bywater! 

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POSTED BY Kevin Farrell ON July 17, 2013 IN Culture