Buy this book:
Read it. Then eat it. Need I say more?
Yes, I probably do. There are very few accurate depictions of New Orleans. Most just deal out a standard set of ragged clichés: the French Quarter, steamy nights, jazz, voodoo, gumbo, and intrigue. Even locals frequently revert to the same bag of tricks when talking about their city. The real, everyday New Orleans (with all of its own entirely genuine funk and appeal) simply never enters the picture.
Rob Walker is not from here, but he lived here for several years, and his affection for the city is obvious. He writes with interest and intelligence about the little details of life in this New Orleans. I might sometimes quibble with this or that particular assertion (and I passionately disagree with the claim that John Sinclair may be the coolest white man in New Orleans), but the city he describes is fundamentally the city I know and love.
If you're from elsewhere and are curious for a peek behind the facade or you're from here and just enjoy hearing your hometown smartly described, read it.
Then eat it.