by Chris Jay
Made possible by supporters of the Stuffed & Busted Patreon
Has it really been two months since the most recent edition of Tasting Notes? In that time, I’ve assisted my dad through a major surgery, enrolled in graduate school (I’ll be pursuing my M.A. in Louisiana Folklife and Southern Studies online via Northwestern State University), and filed my first story for a national publication (look for a reflection on Shreveport’s Lucky Liquor in an upcoming issue of Gravy, the quarterly magazine produced by the Southern Foodways Alliance).
As I write this post in early August of 2021, Louisiana is among the places hardest-hit by a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Nevertheless, there are a half-dozen major food events on the horizon, many of which have made no mention of any plans they may or may not have to produce a safe event. You won’t read about any of those events in Stuffed & Busted until they’ve shared their plan for keeping their guests, participating chefs, and employees safe.
Having said that, there is so much great stuff happening in North Louisiana’s restaurant community. Here’s a quick list of nine new North Louisiana restaurants that I’m looking forward to visiting.
Please get vaccinated, y’all. Here’s a list of upcoming vaccination clinics in North Louisiana.
1. Pham’s Sandwich Shop
Pham’s Sandwich Shop is now open at 3544 Youree Dr. If you’d told me two years ago that there would be two Vietnamese bánh mì sandwich shops located within blocks of one another on Youree Drive, I would never have believed you.
Pham’s doesn’t have their hours listed anywhere, so I called—they’re open 10:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily.
2. Up For Brunch Café
Up For Brunch Café at 1520 Texas Ave. looks incredible: a local brunch-themed café at a historic address decked-out with Instagram-ready murals created by local artist Kalandra Jones of Ka.Lan.DRAW. There’s no opening date that I can find, but their menu is online—and it lists Friday, Aug. 6 as the next available pickup date. ?
Jones will host a live painting event at the restaurant on Friday, Sept. 3—here’s the Facebook event.
3. Cypress by The Revenir
Cypress by The Revenir is re-imagining the space that was formerly home to Bistro Byronz on Line Avenue, and it looks really special. To me, it seems like it’ll be the kind of place that the former Wine Country Bistro crowd can settle right into. There’s a website up, filled with gorgeous photos of food by chefs and co-owners Brad Jones and Allison Gras. Can’t wait.
4. Mariner’s (Natchitoches)
Mariner’s Restaurant in Natchitoches recently got new owners as well as a completely new interior and menu, promptly followed by a Wine Spectator Restaurant Award. I’m all for re-envisioning North Louisiana icons and can’t wait to check this place out.
5. The Potato Lady
The Potato Lady at 2508 Hollywood Ave. looks brain-meltingly decadent. Not only do they offer Rotel as a meat option for their stuffed potatoes (does anyone know if this is in the style of Nokey Rotel?), they have all of these outrageous combos. The #1 Combo is two chili cheese dogs, loaded fries, and four chicken wings. Sign me up!
6. Indigo Indian Bistro
Indigo Indian Bistro closed at their original location back in June and have recently launched a scavenger hunt to announce their new address on Facebook. They’re giving away $250 worth of gift certificates. If you’d like to join in the hunt, here’s the first post.
7. Williams Mobile Market
Williams Mobile Market is a new Shreveport food truck. The menu is “soul food and Southern comfort food,” and includes beef tips, fried catfish, mac n’ cheese, and more. You’ve got to love their catchphrase: “We got dat ooweee.” I would like some oowee, please. I think all of us could use some ooweee.
8. Standard Coffee Co. (Monroe)
Chef Cory Bahr of Monroe’s Parish Restaurant has built a beautiful-looking new place called Standard Coffee Co. It’s a fancy coffee place, but the lunch menu is what caught my eye. Noteworthy: vegetarian and vegan-friendly ramen!
9. Staple Sandwich Co. (Ruston)
Staple Sandwich Co. is a new food truck from Ruston’s farm-to-table entrepreneur Desi Bourgeois of Grown and Grazed. There’s a lot of trust required between the consumer and the restaurant owner in farm-to-table dining. I trust Bourgeois to do what he says and locally source the overwhelming majority of the truck’s menu. The sandwiches look fantastic, to boot.Become a Patron!