Johnny Sanchez- CBD (New Orleans)

When you have two celebrity chefs and one restaurant opening the expectations tend to be high. Aarón Sánchez and John Besh’s collaboration brings traditional Mexican cuisine to the heart of New Orleans. If you are going in expecting burritos and enchiladas then you are in for a disappointment. The menu features items such as the ‘coba triadic’ a raw fish ceviche, crispy Brussel sprouts and kale salad (See Menu) alongside several typical mexican dishes such as tacos and enchiladas.

The restaurant is located on Poydras street in the CBD. The decor is cool and hip: Giant graffiti art covers one wall and beautiful chandeliers hang from the high ceilings. The bar is the perfect spot for happy hour drinks and tacos.


We went early Saturday evening at around 6.30 p.m. Besides a few other patrons the restaurant was still empty. The menu was one page with a handful of small plates, tacos and large plates. We decided to order several small plates in order to try as many dishes on the menu as possible. First up was the Cobia Tiradito, a ceviche consisting of leche de tigre fish, cucumbers, avocado and other vegetables ($16). The flavors were great but it was drenched in rock salt which took away from the overall flavor.


Next up was the Queso dip ($10) which was good for the first 5 minutes but turned into hard cheese within minutes. As far as queso dips go, this dish was not anything extraordinary. For a healthier dish to counter-balance the quest dip, we ordered the Kale salad ($12). It was the best thing about our meal even though it too was too salty.


The beef flautas ($12) were an epic failure and we left the dish untouched. It was dry, salty and just not what you would expect at a place like Jonny Sanchez.


Overall, we were left unsatisfied and decided to stop ordering before we were disappointed further. The best part of the meal was the plantain chips and salsa dip although after having the top layers of the chips suddenly the chips became stale leading one to assume that they reuse their chips!


There is nothing I hate more than trying a new restaurant and being so utterly disappointed. Needless to say, Johnny Sanchez will not be added to our list of ‘must-dine’ spots in New Orleans. With so many amazing places to eat in New Orleans, the competition is tough and restauranteurs need to be on top of their game. The celebrity name can only take you so far when the food is just not good. I hope that this place improves because it is a beautiful restaurant in a spot that lacks other similar options.


Johnny Sánchez Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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My New Favorite Girl, Willa Jean (New Orleans)

A whole lot has changed since we moved away from New Orleans in 2012. New neighborhoods are popping up all over the city along with so many new businesses. It makes my heart smile to see the city doing so well and my stomach even happier to experience so many new restaurant openings. One of the ‘newer’ places that have recently opened that I am just in love with is John Besh’s Willa Jean in the CBD. It is the mastermind of BRG Executive Pastry Chef Kelly Fields and Pastry Chef Lisa White (of Domenica and PIZZA Domenica)  which is named after Fields’ grandmother.

I love the space which is designed by Curtis Herring. It adds a modern and elegant touch to iconic southern food. Brick walls, Edison bulbs and the restaurant’s “Uneeda Biscuit” mural add a stylish touch to traditional southern classics.

The bakery serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, allowing the two chefs to show off their savory sides. The lunch and dinner menus are organized by “snacks,” “tartines/sandwiches,” “salads and soups,” “hot plates,” and “extra stuff,”. The Intelligentsia Coffee program is delicious but  Willa Jean also serves boozy slushies as well as tea- and coffee-inspired craft cocktails.

If you need to find me on any given morning in New Orleans, chances are I’ll be here sipping on my coffee and enjoying the space.

Open Sunday through Thursday- 7am-9pm; Friday and Saturday- 7am to 10pm

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Salon by Sucre- French Quarter (New Orleans)

Sucre’s Joel Dondis and chef Tariq Hanna have finally opened their French Quarter masterpiece Salon by Sucre. Sucre is one of my favorite spots for dessert in New Orleans and it seemed like the only logical next step to expand to the French Quarter. In fact, I am not sure what took them so long to make the move. It definitely fills a void in the quarter for great dessert shops. The new Salon is nestled in on Conti street across from the state Supreme Court building. While sipping wine on the second floor balcony looking at the historical building across the street, we could hear the horse carriages go by giving one a feeling of stepping back in time. That is why I love the French Quarter so much.  Salon by Sucre features a dessert store on the first floor along with a new coffee bar along with seating upstairs for lunch, dinner and afternoon tea service. While sweets are the primary reason for my trips to Sucre, on this occasion we opted to try out their menu. A bottle of wine along with a cheese and charcuterie plate were ordered and thoroughly enjoyed. Their selection of wines is endless and the options for cheese and charcuterie were perfect.


Salon By Sucré on Urbanspoon

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Wood Pizza Bistro and Taphouse- Warehouse District (New Orleans, LA)

The newest restaurant addition to the Warehouse District is Wood Pizza Bistro & Taphouse located just across the street from Cochon. We were in town for Mardi Gras and as expected all restaurants were packed before the parades began. Initially, we wanted to have a sandwich at Cochon Butcher but with a line up around the corner we thought twice. Looking around I noticed this unassuming new restaurant with a large outdoor seating along an old brick wall. It reminded me of many places in New York and I was immediately attracted. It turns out that head chef, Will Salisbury, grew up in Long Island (no wonder) and spent months eating his way through Italy (as I have). So it was a win-win.

IMG_6673 The restaurant as the name gives away serves pizza and salads. Not any kind of pizza but the real wood-burning oven kind.  Inside, the restaurant is cozy and small with a small pizza assembly open-concept kitchen tucked in the corner and a larger bar serving awesome regional beers (40 beer taps with lots of craft brews from Louisiana and the South).
The pepperoni and mushroom pizza was delicious with a perfectly baked crust, generous amounts of fresh mozzarella cheese, mushrooms and pepperoni. The large salad was generous enough to feed our party of 3 all washed down by our pitcher of beer. Wood has definitely raised to the top of my go-to places in Nola for good eats on a patio. If you are craving pizza, you know the real Italian kind then definitely head to Wood. You won’t regret it!



Wood Pizza Bistro & Taproom on Urbanspoon

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Breakfast at Toast- Uptown (New Orleans, LA)

One of our favorite places to have a cozy breakfast in New Orleans is Tartine. You could imagine our excitement when we found out that the owners behind Tartine had opened up a new breakfast joint in uptown. Toast is located in the former home of Laurel Street Bakery in a once again extremely cozy and inviting space.


The menu not surprisingly, features many various options on large generous pieces of toast. A particular favorite was the toast with prosciutto,honey and ricotta cheese and the smoked salmon, egg and cheese. Also on the menu are the much talked about Danish pancakes, aebelskivers, biscuits, crepes and sandwiches.


The concept is original and like no other in New Orleans and the result is delicious. Don’t take it from me but from the crowds that line up every weekend to dine at Toast.



What: Toast
Where: 5433 Laurel Street
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 6:30 a.m. — 2:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. — 2:00 p.m.
Contact: (504) 267-3260,

Toast on Urbanspoon

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Sushi at Origami (New Orleans)

Our latest trip to New Orleans had us staying in close proximity to Freret street- which was perfect for my tastebuds. A lot has changed, or rather, opened up on Freret since we last lived in Nola in 2012. So many new restaurants and new developments in the area are popping up making it a perfect place to spend a day exploring…or eating.


Post-pregnancy and in dire need of sushi we headed to Origami on Freret street based on some great reviews online. The restaurant can easily be missed as it is set in a white house which used to be a dive bar with limited signage. Inside presents quite differently as a sleek and modern minimalist Japanese bistro. Beautiful white paper chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and modern furniture give the restaurant a clean and trendy appeal- quite different from every other sushi joint in the city.


The menu is consistent with other sushi restaurants. Japanese appetizers, sushi, rolls and the likes. We ordered several specialty sushi rolls including the burning man- which all proved to be delicious and fresh. The miso soup and seaweed salad was consistent and good.

image_3 image_5 For dessert we had the fried banana tempura served beautifully with a serving of vanilla ice-cream and mango mochi. image_11


Overall I was very happy with our dining experience at Origami and will definitely be going back for more sushi!

Origami on Urbanspoon

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New Orleans Wine and Food Experience 2014, NOWFE

The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience takes place every year over the Memorial Day long weekend. In it’s 22nd year, the festival has become one of most incredible culinary events in the nation, attracting over 10,000 gourmands and connoisseurs as well as art and music lovers. Each year, hundreds of wineries and restaurants participate. Menus feature local flavor and innovative new creations inspired by diverse cuisines. Top chefs from around the city create culinary experiences like no other. Over two dozen restaurants feature special dining evenings throughout the New Orleans festival. The weekend also features over 1,000 wines from around the world, with special tasting events from wineries. The events this year included the Grand Tasting events at the Convention Center, the Royal Street stroll in the French Quarter, the Big Gateaux show and seminar series to hone your palate. It ended with a grand finale gala. The NOWFE is the perfect way to experience New Orleans Cuisine at it’s best. Chef’s from all the best and greatest NOLA restaurants showcase their talent on the plate.

The Hungry Nomad team was there in full force this year to experience NOWFE at its fullest and share with our readers. Hope you enjoy the photos!

The Royal Street Stroll: 


The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience - Royal Street Stroll


Big Gateaux Show:

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience Grand Tasting


The Grand Tasting: 

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience Grand Tasting






















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Breakfast at Tartine- Audubon Park (New Orleans)

Deep inside the green and lush neighborhood of Audubon Park lies a tiny little restaurant which locals flock to: Tartine. It’s a place where quality, substance and good wholesome cooking are the main ingredients to success. Ever since discovering this gem a few months ago we have been back every time we visit New Orleans (which tends to be a lot since we lack good food in Lafayette).


Tartine serves delicious home made breads and sweets, sandwiches, salads and of course tartines. In France, a tartine is a piece of toasted bread smothered with different ingredients. Simple but so satisfying.


Simplicity and freshness is what makes Tartine so special. For example, the baguette served with a side of strawberry jam, butter and a big slice of brie cheese is one of the most amazing things I’ve tasted. The Croque Madame was large and very filling and did not fail to impress our guest.


The salmon tartine is the Count’s favorite, featuring generous amounts of salmon, eggs, capers and what I believe to be pickled cabbage. We always order an extra loaf of bread because once you start eating you just can’t get enough.


The salads and sandwiches are also to die for. On our last trip, one of the chefs was busy grilling flank steak covered in chimichurri sauce for their special of the day, steak salad and steak sandwich.



Tartine on Urbanspoon

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Dinner at Peche- Warehouse District (New Orleans, USA)

Another great restaurant by the Donald Link restaurant group has opened on the corner of Magazine and Julia streets in the warehouse district. This time, it is called Peche and focuses on simple coastal seafood with a unique, modern approach.


The restaurant showcases an open kitchen where diners can see the fire and seafood grilling in the back, an oyster bar serving fresh gulf seafood including oysters, crab meat, and fresh gulf fish and a large bar. The result is a very fresh seafood-oriented menu (although if you really want red meat there are a few options there as well). The decor is rustic seaside with exposed wooden beams throughout the open plan restaurant. One thing I noted while we were dining was the noise level. It was extremely loud. Too loud. We had to shout to hear each other at dinner.


Our meal included many various dishes from the menu including oysters (both Connecticut and Gulf), frog legs, smoked tuna dip, shrimp toast, and tuna tartare and salmon. For the main entrees our table shared two whole fish: red fish and mangrove snapper.

2-_DSC0400Almost everything we ordered tasted perfect but I did find the fresh oysters to be extremely salty. Too salty to eat. I was told that that is how oysters from the East Coast taste. But I’ve had enough oysters to know that that is not the case, especially not with gulf oysters. I heard others complain of the same. But other dishes were quite perfect. The smoked tuna dip served in a bowl with a side of crackers was so good, I may have finished one completely on my own.

The Whole grilled fishes were served on a large plate smothered in delicious sauce. The red fish was sizzled to perfection and covered in a citrusy herb topping which made it extremely tasty. The snapper was prepared in a different sauce but was just as good. In the end there was nothing left except two fish skeletons staring up at us in shame.

And while completely full at this point, stuffed with enough seafood for a month, we ordered dessert. My favorite was the chocolate, peanut butter and banana pie and citrusy key lime pie.


Overall, dinner at peche was a great experience. The food, decor, service and ambiance make for a great night out. I guess the New Orleans Saint’s feel the same as I do, throughout the evening we saw some of the players including one of my favorites, Jimmy Graham. Donald Link has done it again. I’m wondering what will come next, Boeuf the steakhouse?

Peche on Urbanspoon

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Lunch at SoBou- French Quarter (New Orleans, USA)

While staying in the French Quarter we decided to check out some of the new restaurants that have opened in New Orleans since we moved away to Philadelphia last summer. Our list included SoBou, the new contemporary restaurant located in the W Hotel by the same family as Commander’s Palace (a personal favorite).


This ‘South of Bourbon‘ restaurant focuses on tapas style small plates and modern twists on Southern classics. Led by chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez the food proved to be fresh, innovative and exciting. The decor is modern, elegant and trendy. Many tables have beer taps built in for easy access.


We went for lunch around 1 pm and the restaurant was winding down with less than 3 tables. However, it took a very long time to get anything on our table. And while our server was knowledgeable and attentive, it did not take away from the fact that we waited for what seemed like 30 minutes to get our first order served.


 The Yellowfin tuna cones were served in a small tomato infused cone filled with a pineapple ceviche, tuna, topped with basil and avocado ice cream. It was small enough to eat in one bite. However, I was not a big fan of the ice-cream/fish combination. I’m a firm believer that fish and dairy should not be mixed at a meal let alone in one dish.


Next came the Butternut Squach Beignets, large deep fried balls of dough mixed with duck debris and squash drizzled with a sweet foie gras fondue sauce and chicory coffee ganache. The Count loved the mix of sweet and savory flavors of this dish but for me it was too much fried dough.

08-_DSC0427 For our main entrees we had the SoBou Burger and Rosemary Crusted Oyster Salad. The burger was plain and simply delicious. Grilled to perfection giving it that smokey grilled flavor that many burgers these days lack.



The oyster salad was a great light lunch option. The oysters were lightly crusted in a rosemary breading cooked just right, set on top of a bed of tossed greens in a light sauce.



We also ordered a side of fries and were surprised to note that we were charged that extra dollar for ketchup. It threw us off a bit given that you really don’t expect to be charged for ketchup in an upscale restaurant such as SoBou. And while we may be spoiled up east in Philadelphia and New York with the special attention we’ve been given by chefs and wait staff, small details such as this really do take away from the experience.

SoBou on Urbanspoon

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