The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

Visit to Mother's Restaurant and Lafayette Cemetary

Here we are on our way down Canal Street on the way to Mother's Restaurant for breakfast.

Unfortunately, I somehow missed getting a photo either inside or outside of Mother's.  It certainly isn't fancy.  You stand in line, order your food, then sit down at an available table where the waitress picks up your ticket and later delivers your food.  But watching the crowd is interesting and the food is good.  We somehow lucked out, got a spot in a parking lot right behind Mother's, and only had 3 people ahead of us in line.  By the time we were at our table and our food was being delivered, the line of people waiting was out the door.

A Few Facts About Mother's:
"Mother's Restaurant specializes in authentic New Orleans home cooking.  For almost 70 years, Mother's has maintained its position as serving the highly rated po'boy sandwich in the Crescent City.  Historically, the po'boy refers to the sandwiches made from hot gravy and scraps of roast beef ladled onto French bread and sold to "poor boys" from the back doors of restaurants.  Mother's is well known for producing "the world's best baked ham."  The time honored family recipe produces a ham which is tender and sweet; the glaze results in crispy, caramelized black ham - the most sought after item on the menu.  

Established in 1938, Mother's originally catered to the employees of surrounding businesses which included coffee warehouses, meat packing plants and wharfs.  As the neighborhood changed, so did Mother's clientele.

Hurricane Katrina entered the Gulf of Mexico August 24, 2005.  The morning of August 28, a mandatory evacuation of the city was ordered.  We secured the restaurant, inside and out, to the best of our ability.  Katrina actually missed New Orleans, turning and crossing the Mississippi River at Buras, LA in the early hours of August 29.  While spared a direct hit, the damage from its enormous tidal surge was tremendous. Levees along the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, the Industrial Canal and the Intracoastal Waterway were over topped and/or breached, causing widespread flooding to 80% of the city.

Returning to Mother's in mid-September, primary damage was to the roof and resultant rain damage inside as well as the inevitable spoiled food due to lack of electricity.  Roof was easy to repair and a disaster relief company was hired to bring the restaurant to hospital grade.  Employees from the early days of ownership were located and brought back to live in 9 FEMA trailers located in the parking lot behind Mother's.  15 October, Mother's reopened with the first customer being Vice Admiral Thad Allen, the head of the disaster relief effort in New Orleans.  The menu was limited and hours were short but everyone was glad to be back and to have us back."

So, give Mother's a try if you want a simple good meal in New Orleans.

Next, we headed out Magazine Street towards the Garden District.  Magazine Street is an interesting collection of eclectic shops.


Our destination was Lafayette Cemetery No 1, the oldest cemetery in NOLA.  Burials in NOLA are above ground in most cases due to the water levels and there are some really old crypts in here.


These very old stones were on cubbyholes in the wall surrounding the cemetery so they obviously must hold cremated remains due to the size.  We also came to the conclusion that many of the crypts must hold cremated remains since a small structure listed 20 to 25 people who died over a long period of time.  Just as we arrive at the cemetery, a female guide was telling a couple some of the history.  She said they just started and did we want to join her tour which would last about 2 1/2 hours.  We didn't have that kind of time so declined.



Twenty minutes later, city workers came along and told us the cemetery was closing immediately, later saw the 12 pm on an entrance sign.  Professional 2 1/2 hour tour started 20 minutes before closing---hmmmm????  Glad we didn't get taken in by the "professional".

This tree has obviously been around for a long, long time.

Right across from the cemetery is the Commander's Palace, a famous New Orleans restaurant.

There was also an old rink converted to shops, bookstore, and coffee house on another corner.


 We traveled down St Charles Street on our way back.  I highly recommend a trolley bus ride down St Charles to take in the Garden District and the neat houses there.  You can also take a city bus down Magazine St, walk up a few blocks to St Charles and take the trolley back or vice versa.  The streets in New Orleans are atrocious, not only crowded but in really terrible shape.  We were glad to be in the F250 instead of a smaller car based on the road surfaces in this area.


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