Category Archives: food

The People I Know: Christopher and Ruben

Christopher Lorio

 

I’m kicking off the first “People I Know” post of 2016 with the fam. Thomas and I started a new tradition of visiting my brother and his partner in Louisville for Thanksgiving every year. My brother is a professional cook, so this is one tradition we are highly motivated to keep alive. This year we brought the dogs with us to met their cousins for the first time. Four dogs and four humans in a two bedroom apartment could have been a disaster, but the long weekend was fun and everyone — humans and dogs alike– got along. We feasted on a six course T-Day meal, drank entirely too much wine, caught Ben De la Creme perform at Play the following night, and ate at some of the best restaurants and bars in town.

 

HOW WE MET:

Well, Chris is my brother. He’s two years younger than me. Ruben is Chris’s partner. He’s originally from Texas. We all met when we worked as waiters at a fine dining restaurant in the French Quarter circa 2000-2003. I got the job first, then Chris got hired shortly after I did. Thomas came next, then Ruben. Everyone hated working in that restaurant, yet any time we get together we can’t help but reminisce about how much fun we had.

 

WHAT THEY DO:

Chris and Ruben hold the positions of kitchen manager and dining room manager, respectively, at Decca, arguably the best restaurant in Louisville. Chris has wanted to cook professionally for years, so I’m really that he went after his dream. Prior to Decca he worked at an organic bakery in Louisville and prepared steak and stew dinners for weary hikers at Phantom Ranch. Ruben is the consummate industry professional; he’s worked as a manager at some of the best restaurants in New Orleans, the Grand Canyon, and now Louisville.

 

WHO THEY ARE TO ME:

I never fully understood the concept of “family is everything” until after Hurricane Katrina. Up until August 2005 my entire family lived in New Orleans, so I saw everyone on a fairly regular basis. After the storm Chris and Ruben moved to the Grand Canyon (Ruben worked for years at the Grand Canyon prior to moving to New Orleans) and Thomas and I decided to move to Phoenix, Arizona, a relatively short four hour drive away. The rest of my family stayed in New Orleans, so I only saw my “mom ‘n dem” once a year at the most. Currently my sister lives in Texas, so we don’t get a chance to be in the same room together more than once every two years or so. It wasn’t until we were scattered across the country that I realized how precious family time truly is.

 

 

Photo: That’s Chris on the left and Ruben on the right with Hambone and Spartacus, their beagles.

January, where did you go?

Oh. My. Goodness. January whipped past me. The fall semester started, I blinked, and now we’re in the middle of Mardi Gras.

Celebrated my birthday last week at Balise. 

Good finds at my friends Rebecca and Charlé’s pop up at Miette.

Zag, you’re it. 

A book that I got hired to work on just got published. Pick up a copy at Octavia Books.

Zulu display at Lakeside Mall.

My girls were hippos in a past life. 

Vintage ride on Napoleon Avenue.

My view from Knights of Sparta this past Saturday night. 

All photos via my Instagram account. 
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Last moments of freedom

Lake Pontchartrain’s shallow waters resemble ocean waves on windy days. 

First King Cake of the season and my personal favorite:
Traditional from Haydel’s Bakery thanks to my Driftwood Features Editor. 

Chandelier at the Roosevelt Hotel. I’ve got a lot more on my Tumblr. 

I don’t always straighten my hair but when I do, it looks nice for about twenty minutes. 

I’m enjoying my last few days of freedom before going back to school on Monday. My winter break has been all extra long dog walks, sleeping in, sewing, spending time with family over Christmas, and catching up on Netflix and reading. I’m definitely in for a jarring first day back.

Lately I’ve been reflecting on the progress I’ve made since I returned to school in 2013. At first I was self conscious; being a 30 something college student can invoke a tail between the legs feeling at times. It wasn’t until last semester, when I became Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, that I said to myself, “You know what, #$%! it” and decided to embrace where I am at this moment in my life.
I’m hard on myself. I don’t sit back and revel in the small victories. As Jay Z put it, I’m always “On to the next one.” In 2015 I’m making a concerted effort to enjoy my remaining semesters as an undergrad. I might not drive a luxury vehicle, pop bottles in a hot tub every night, or have written a best selling book, but my work continues to be published in respectable magazines, I’ve got a Honda that just won’t quit (most writers probably drive sensible cars anyway), and damn it, the kiddie pool I bought this summer was the best purchase I’ve made in recent memory. 

At El Camino in Louisville, KY. If you go keep your menu away from the fire pit!

Copper & Kings brandy distillery in Louisville. I went on a tour when I visited my brother over Thanksgiving.

One of my favorite art installations at Exhibit Be. I found this one particularly lovely and haunting. 
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Splendid Pig Is Poppin’ Up All Over

By now you’ve probably heard that pop up restaurants have infiltrated New Orleans. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, I’ll sum it up: an already established business allows a chef to utilize their space during times that the kitchen is closed. Why dine at a pop up when we already have so many options? For starters, the chefs are usually restaurant veterans that are attempting to break out on their own. Many of them do it to flex their creative muscles, often serving underrepresented food in a city that frequently caters to tourists’ palate more than locals. You’ll also be supporting up and coming restaurant owners, winning bragging rights of discovering them first when they (hopefully) open a more permanent eatery. Think of it as being a satiated early adopter. 


     My friends at Splendid Pig, husband and wife team Brandon Blackwell and Jennifer Sherrod,  have been running their pop up restaurant out of Carrollton Station every Monday night since November of last year. Even though Splendid Pig has only been in operation for seven months, the duo brings years of experience to the operation.  Brandon was sous chef at Upperline, as well as a butcher at Cleaver & Co., while Jennifer filled the general manager position at Martinique Bistro for fifteen years. In other words, you’re in capable hands in terms of food and service.  Splendid Pig’s menu is comprised of small plates, ranging in price from $6-$9. As the name indicates, pork is the standout, but their offerings are surprisingly diverse. The focus is Southern, utilizing locally grown and raised produce and meats. Inglewood Farms pecans graces the seared Louisiana drum this week, accompanied by a roasted summer squash polenta, charred tomato vinaigrette and mint. Covey Rise Farms supplied the corn for this week’s chilled corn soup with pickled squash, marinated crab claws and chili oil. For those of you with a sweet tooth, two desserts are always up for grabs. The boozy brownie, the mainstay option, is based on a different cocktail recipe each week. My advice? Bring a friend or two and sample the entire menu. 
 
Last month Splendid Pig expanded, taking over Milk Fish in Mid-City once a month. Starting in July, they will be in Coulis every Tuesday night.  I took these photos for them six weeks ago; keep in mind the menu changes weekly. For the entire month of June, Splendid Pig is participating in the Locavore Challenge, which challenges diners to eat 100% locally sourced ingredients. Several dishes adhere to the local stipulation, even down to the pecan oil.
 
Check out this week’s menu here, and make sure to get on their weekly mailing list. Catch them tonight at Carrollton Station, or this Wednesday at MilkFish in Mid-City. Pssst! Yours truly will be working Wednesday’s dinner service, so pop in (see what I did there?) and say hi. 
 
 
 
Splendid Pig Schedule:
 
Every Monday 6:00-9:30pm (ages 21 and up):
Carrollton Station, 8140 Willow St. 
Liquor: Carrollton Station is a bar.
 
Every Tuesday 6:00-9:30pm (starting July 1st):
Coulis, 3625 Prytania St.
Liquor: BYOB, mocktails and mixers available for purchase. 
 
Wednesdays 6:00-9:30pm (once a month, date changes):
Milkfish, 125 N. Carrollton Ave. 
Liquor: BYOB
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Keep You Posted

I’ve been luxuriating in a less stressful schedule as of late, which has afforded me a better work/life balance. I’ve been off on little adventures, both in town jaunts and trips out of town. Research projects, twice weekly dates with the swimming pool, and long dog walks have been great for helping me refocus. See y’all soon.

old dry cleaners on freret & cadiz. i live for old buildings.

pimento cheese grits and a hearty pancake brunch from high hat cafe
Cute as a button bursts of rhinestone earrings from Armoire
F21 chambray sundress, American Apparel belt, Minnetonka moccasins, and a lavender mani
surrealist art from jason rodriguez. read my piece for propaganda to learn more about his work.
keepin’ it classy with the bathoom selfie. vintage scarf, 21 sleeveless button down, joe’s jean shorts via buffalo exchange, everlane tote bag that i take everywhere.
scoping out the wildlife in gulf shores, alabama
not pictured- two grey fluffy boys
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Instagram Slam

Fat Tuesday is dangerously close, which means late night sewing sessions, last minute supply scrambles, and trial runs with the costumes. I’m an anything goes at Mardi Gras time kind of gal, except for one thing- absolutely no applying glitter in the house. Shiny dust bunnies just aren’t my thing.

Speaking of glittery goodness, our second episode of Propaganda New Orleans is now live! Featuring Domenica’s king cake and a whisky tasting at Avenue Pub, it’s just the right amount of decadence for carnival season.  Click here to watch it on our site, or you can always subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Bad hair days command a silk headscarf and peppy pink Dolce Vita loafers add a distraction. (similar style here)

Trying out Little Korea on S. Claiborne
J. Crew desert boots for him
Work outfit- Obsessed with my expanding collection of Everlane t-shirts. Bracelet from Sabai, one of my favorite local jewelry stores.
Post- Satsuma Cafe lunch pose with the sis
Yummy noshes at Little Gem Saloon
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Winner of the NOLA Eats King Cake Tasting Tickets

By a purely random stroke of luck, the winner of two NOLA Eats king cake tasting tickets is Christina McKay! If you didn’t win, you can still receive $3 off your ticket price by using coupon code SSS. Click here to purchase your ticket.

Like the short video I made? I jumped on the Vine bandwagon- follow me at @ChristyLorio. If you haven’t heard about this new iPhone app, it’s like Instagram but with 6 second videos.

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Giveaway: NOLA Eats King Cake Tasting Party

My NO Prop wifey Leslie Almeida is at it again. Celebrating 5 years of sugary bliss, her annual king cake party is the largest public tasting in the New Orleans area. In fact, I’m just now coming down from last year’s sugar high. With over 20 king cakes, including a home baked category, you might want to start your Lenten fast a little early to prepare for the doughy gluttony that will ensue. My personal favorites from last year ranged from Haydel Bakery’s classic cake, Domenica’s “so good it’s not even fair” concoction of bananas, mascarpone, and salted caramel, and Cake Cafe’s goat cheese stuffed variety. In addition to all of the cake cake cake cake cake,  there will be live entertainment and raffle prizes, all wrapped up in the beautifully renovated Little Gem Saloon.

Slow Southern Style is giving away two free tickets to one lucky random winner. Contest runs through January 31st, winner announced on February 1st.

 All you have to do to enter is:
1. Comment below what’s your favorite place to buy king cake and
2. Like Propaganda New Orleans on Facebook.

 Can’t wait to find out if you’ve won? Buy tickets online here and receive $3 off with discount code SSS.

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Road Trip: A Mississippi Getaway

Make no mistake, I’m sort of a country girl at heart. Growing up with a swamp for a backyard, I prefer to spend a little time in the woods vs. visiting big cities when I go on vacation. So January 1st we packed up the truck and headed to our little hideaway in the Homochitto National Forest.  A Mississippi getaway definitely isn’t a shabby way to ring in 2013. You can catch up with my woodsy adventures in the archives here.

Hitting up the apps hard- no shame.

Needlenose and a tranquil pond
Udon noodles, goat cheese pear crustini, liquid bread
Reading material+ a good fire= heaven
Princess prissy pants aka love of my life aka Nadia
Other love of my life, besides the cats and the ball python
Performance wear is the hottest trend, not really.
Merrell jacket, Hardtail skirt, Celine sunnies via Buffalo Exchange
Ralph Lauren over the knee socks via TJ Maxx
Lululemon leggings c/o Life Boutique (last year)
Keen boots via REI
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What I Wore: Post Christmas Festivities

I’ve been enjoying three days off thanks to Christmas, and spending time with my sister while she’s in town. From watching bad reality shows at mom’s house on Xmas day, to introducing our dogs, a Greyhound and a French Bulldog, to each other and watching them fight over toys, it’s been a fun holiday break.
Our to do list also included supping at Matt & Naddies, a quaint bistro “where Freret meets the river.” With no hype or pretense, it’s certainly an underrated spot where only locals or in the know tourists go. I’ve been to Matt & Naddies a handful of times, and it never disappoints. Any excuse for a stellar meal- awww hell we don’t need an excuse, just good company and a reservation.

Filters and layouts result in album cover worthy iPhone pictures of my cats & neighborhood graveyard. 

Oversized hoop earrings: c/o Rue Belle Maui Paris
Grey sweater: Cynthia Rowley via TJ Maxx
Celine sunglasses, silk headscarf, F21 skirt, NWT Lucky Brand leggings, and Big Buddha bow shoes via Buffalo Exchange
Local art & the shrimp bowl at Sarita’s on Freret Street.

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