Monday, July 23, 2007


Yesterday, we went to lunch, as we do every Sunday, with my aunt Annou. This time, for the first time since it was flooded by the storm, we went to Mandina's.

Other places have their indigenous versions of the old-school restaurant, but the particular confluence of traits found in Mandina's—and other's of its ilk—is distinctly local:
  • A dark wooded interior that looks indeterminately old even though it's newly remodeled.
  • A mix of fancy and un-fancy. (The patrons' attire ranged from Sunday-finest to shorts-and-tees. The waiters wore standard black-and-whites with bow ties.)
  • Lots of kids.
  • A basketful of plastic-wrapped crackers and little packets of butter.
  • A gruffly chatty waiter with a tremendous neck-roll who asked lots of questions ("How'd you all make out in the storm?", "Are you back in your house?") but promptly forgot the answers and asked the same questions again next time he came to the table.
  • Strong-ass martinis (on the rocks, local style—it suits the climate).
  • One table over, a first-cousin-once-removed-in-law.
  • Two tables over, a family that held hands to pray, then took another sip of their Sazeracs.
  • Three tables over, a middle-aged woman with lots of cleavage having lunch with an elderly nun.
  • Iceberg lettuce, bleu cheese dressing.
  • Turtle soup.
  • Soft-shelled crab served two different ways.
  • A mix of really good and sort of old-fashioned funky. (My Italian Salad would have been better without the canned asparagus and cocktail onions.)
  • Lots of crabmeat.
  • Po-boys.
  • Strong-ass coffee and chicory.
  • Bread pudding.
It was good.


  1. Anonymous8:58 AM

    Was Mandina's the venue of your wedding rehersal dinner? Or am I remembering incorrectly?

  2. I liked this description, and I think I'd like to do a post in a similar vein when I get out of this hazing ritual, ahem, i mean bar exam, and get back home to Filthy. thank you - i liked the writing.

  3. Beth, that was Zachary's, though it shared many of the traits.

    Pargolo, thank you.