Making Groceries (Downtown Edition)

Some days you just don’t quite get it together in time to make it to the Tuesday Crescent City Farmer’s Market. That’s okay. You’ll figure out something for dinner tonight. Oh, but wait, you forgot that you invited a couple of friends over for this evening, and promised them the most moist and delicious roast chicken they’ve ever had.

The Robert’s Market that used to be at the corner of Elysian Fields and St. Claude Avenue serviced a very large and diverse population of New Orleans. It was seriously damaged and looted (understandably) during Hurricane Katrina, but unlike every other grocery store in town, it never reopened. What I’ve been able to glean is that there is a serious dispute between Robert’s, the Schwegmann’s (who still own the building) and their insurers. Blahbity. Blah.

Oh Robert’s <wistful sigh>. How we bitched about you and your spoiled meat, and your questionable expiration dates. We never knew how much we’d miss you when you were gone. So, it’s been four years and some change since we’ve had a grocery store. Of course, necessity breeds invention, so some interesting things have sprung up to fill the void. Let’s take walk.

Hmm. What’s this? I’m looking for a chicken, not records. But, I’m curious.

What’s that sign say?

Sweet! I think I’ve stumbled upon a hipster farmer’s market.

What on earth do they have in there?

Cool. There’s some produce. Obscure stuff even, like daikon and lemon grass. I’ll pick that up for tomorrow.

And family friendly…

The stunned look on baby’s face says it all. The Desire Market rocks. But, no chicken. So, we gotta keep walking.

About five blocks up the road is Mardi Gras Zone. The place is exorbitantly expensive, like any ghetto convenience store, [SIDE NOTE: Have you noticed how the poorer people get, the more expensive things get (e.g. pay-day loans), and the wealthier people get, the more cheap everything is (e.g. frequent flier miles)? Just saying.], but, if you need Seventh Generation dish soap, some Mardi Gras beads, and all the makings for a kosher dinner, they’ve got you covered. People love to hate MGZ, but they go there. It is, quite possibly the weirdest place in town. And, this is New Orleans.

But, no chickens.

Let’s keep walking.

Wait. Do you see what I see?

I found a chicken farm in the Bywater! Not exactly free-range, though…

Hmm. Maybe this isn’t a chicken farm, afterall. I’ve gotta a weird feeling. Let’s get out of here before something bad happens.

Well, screw it. Let’s just drive to Whole Foods. Because, I’m lucky enough to have a car, unlike many of my neighbors. And since we’re there and they’ve got fancy stuff, let’s buy some Belgian endive to make this delicious salad:

We don’t have a proper grocery store. It’s true. It can be very inconvenient to live over here. But, I still love it.



Filed under groceries, recipes

3 responses to “Making Groceries (Downtown Edition)

  1. Church

    Hey Meghann.

    Liking the blog. This is good reportage that flows naturally and, dare I say it, “organically”.

    So many times, I get put off by the whole “what to see and do” thing that usually gets tossed off by people with an agenda, marketing, and so on.

    This info is given like an old friend taking you on a tour of the city where the journey is what’s most important, and not necessarily the destination.

    Keep up the good, etc etc.

  2. Pingback: Who You Calling a Drunken Shrimp? «

  3. Pingback: How I Learned to Shop Locally « good liver NOLA

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