Thursday, October 19, 2006

Because It’s 3am, and You Need to Eat

Dress to Impress and Suggest One Of These Gems....

Greetings food lovers.

I write this email only 24 hours away from a quick blast to South Louisiana for a much needed 72 hour escape.

For me, it’s a trip home… but compared to the rest of you who have made this pilgrimage, it’s usually about the same thing… food.

Silly to think that I’ve already pegged most of my meals, calling ahead to confirm that my favorites are still there. But when you have soooo little time and so many things to gobble, I see nothing wrong with a little planning.


I’ll start my afternoon at Georges, the legendary lounge under the Perkins Road overpass in Baton Rouge. I’ll order the best fried shrimp poboy known to man, with a loaf of onion rings and an ice cold Miller Lite (The State Beer of Louisiana).

Two hours later, I’ll stop by Fleur De Leis for a Round The World pizza (maybe the best pizza in the US?) and another Miller Lite, served in a tiny chilled glass. Note: I am now pacing myself.

By 5:30, I’ll be at the bar at Mansuers, ordering a dozen Grilled Oysters, freshly shucked, swimming in butter, garlic, herbs and cheese, bubbling over an open grill until fully cooked, served with a hot loaf of French bread. Life is good.

By this time, I’m having a draft Abita.

Dinner at this point is a mystery, although I’m sure I’ll wind up at Coffee Call for beignets and café au lait.

Uh, that’s just Friday.

Anyway, my blog this week is in response to a NY Times piece that ran this week, joyously highlighting all night eateries in the city. As good as the piece was, it didn’t include reviews of these spots… so I thought I’d review their list, and fill you in on the places that would be worth staying up for.

Here we go.

Open Until 2am

Andre’s Pick

La Esquina (serving tacos until 5am)

The dining room may close at 2am, but the tacos are worth getting out of bed for. Try the biztec or the Cochinita (pulled pork)… and be amazed. The tortillas are homemade corn, and this may be the most authentic taco this side of Mexico City.

Second Choice:

Sure, it’s pretentious. And sure, you may wait for a table. But that said, there is nothing wrong with noshing on a Croque-Monsieur after midnight, especially if you can wash it down with a flute of Veuve-Clicquot.

Open Until 3 am

Andre’s Pick


Those who know me know that this is one of my favorite haunts in NYC. The fact that its on the Lower East makes it uber cool. The wines are terrific, the panini perfect and the polpette just like mama use to make. But lets be honest… is there a better dish on the Lower east than the Truffle Egg Toast with Bottarga? I think not.

Second Choice:
None… unless you need to spy on the beautiful people across the street at THOR.

Open Until 4 am

Andre’s Pick

Employees Only
My first trip here was in fact at 3:30 am, and it warmed my heart to see a joint packed from wall to wall… with people munching on crepes, sushi, fried oysters and fish tacos. Yup, its that kinda of place… few rules and a lot of fun. The fact that nearly every table featured a chain smoker who was using a salad plate as an ashtray should tell you of the kind of tension release that happens on a nightly basis.

Second Choice:

Blue Ribbon
Why? Because, Andre needs his collard greens at 4am. He also needs his salt and pepper shrimp, fried chicken, spicy catfish and roasted duck club sandwich. Leave room for a banana split... and be prepared to call in sick tomorrow, you’re gonna need to sleep this one off.

Have fun. Stay up late. Eat out. It’s New York.