Chefs at Randazzo’s Family Restaurant drizzle marinara and alfredo sauces on classic Italian pastas and stack fillings such as oyster and soft-shell crab on seafood platters and po' boy buns. Amorous foam fingers slow dance in the glow of several big-screen TVs as waiters plate omelets and other breakfast fare on weekends, and Pac-Man eternally munches his lunch in an attached game room. Randazzo’s catering can also serve up hearty trays of golden appetizers or large pasta pans each capable of serving up to 20 people or five hungry barbershop quartets.
With teal-and-white checkered tiles lining the floor and tablecloths resembling spread out newspaper pages, Mr. Roo's Deli and Catering exudes cozy, homespun charm from the front door to the back counter. The menu echoes this spirit, tempting diners with a selection of classic comfort foods such as seafood gumbo, red beans and rice with smoked sausage, and po' boy sandwiches loaded with everything from roast beef and gravy to fried catfish. A handful of Italian dishes manage to appear on the menu as well, including veal parmesan and grilled shrimp with pasta. However, the dessert selection once again draws inspiration from a bit closer to home by featuring bread pudding with rum sauce as well as pecan pie cut into perfectly hexagonal slices.
Though she grew up in New Orleans, Cara Benson cultivated her pastry skills at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. Homesickness soon kicked in, however, and after a year of working in Lower East Side kitchens, Cara moved back home to take the title of pastry chef at Muriel's Jackson Square. Three years later, Cara can be found in the kitchen of her own eatery, Tartine, where she draws on French culinary influences and her extensive pastry training to bake bread in-house. Ingredients such as onion marmalade, pickled carrots, and steak pistou grace these grains in the form of sandwiches and open-faced tartines, while daily-made bagels and quiche grace plates at breakfast. Meals unfold inside Tartine’s cozy dining room or on the back patio, which doubles as a teatime party locale capable of accommodating 30–45 people.
The Food Drunk trucks roll along the streets of New Orleans as mobile fusions of creativity and cuisine. Their chefs put a New Orleans spin on classic dishes, such as making mac and cheese with crab and crawfish, or turning black angus brisket into a King Cake Burger. The latter?which was profiled by Serious Eats?blends sweet and savory flavors with a brioche bun covered with icing and coat of colorful sprinkles. The team has also garnered ample press attention from outlets such as Thrillist, along with honors such as being named the People's Choice 2014 Vendy Award winner. Food Drunk also takes part in television and motion picture catering, which means the food truck has served plenty of celebrity customers including famous comedians and even more famous key grips.
Long hailed for a mastery of ham far beyond the skills of mere mortal meat cookers, the meat mavens at HoneyBaked Ham have discovered the secret to cooking succulent, flavorful breasts of turkey (2.5 lbs. each). This juicy bird-based breakthrough is 90% fat-free and serves six to eight ravenous guests, making it a scrumptious centerpiece for family gatherings and game day parties. HoneyBaked Ham's suggested recipes increase turkey cooker IQs, helping stymied chefs explore new dishes such as smoked-turkey pizza and turkey tetrazzini, and saying sayonara to default entrees such as squashing the turkey meat into the shape of a racecar.
Crawfish, crabs, and sweet potato fries better watch out at Orlando's Seafood Restaurant, where the cooks transform such gems into sky-high heaps of homestyle meals. Savored on a pile of fettuccine, between the buns of a po' boy, or plain on a plate with a squeeze of lemon, the fish and shellfish at Orlando's routinely inspires the licking of fingers and the throwing of bottled thank-you notes into the sea. While fried catfish, oysters on the half-shell, and boiled Dungeness crabs keep seafood-spearing eaters content, juicy steaks seared to order cater to land-based palates. And on Thursday nights, ears indulge in live jam sessions as local bluegrass musicians strum, drum, and pick.