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Sticks N Bones Barbecue.

Mary Ann and I move, at her suggestion, into the second half of the year with a lunch of barbecue. The vendor is a rather new operation in the small strip mall on LA 59. It’s a familiar spot, having been the original space where Tony Bosco’s opened his Italian restaurant in the years right after Katrina. Bosco’s has since then moved to a much larger restaurant further up the highway. As I turn over that history in my mind, I wonder why the Marys and I don’t go to Bosco’s very often. Probably has something to do with MA’s feelings about the atmosphere of the place. She goes for bright dining rooms filled with young diners.

Getting back to Sticks N Bones. . . we barely make it on time before it closes after lunch. The next customer through the door does not make the cut. Too bad for him, because we like what we get. It has the mysterious name “Pimiento Skins,” which describes smoked brisket that has been coated with a thin layer of beef brisket and some pimiento cheese. The latter is one of MA’s favorite flavorings. Indeed, in a few days she will make a batch of pimiento cheese to bring to a small Fourth of July party. Come to think of it, the latter may have been leftovers from the former.

Whatever else can be said, we agree that the brisket is excellent, and that we now have a favorite North Shore barbecue vendor.

We return to the general vicinity of Sticks N Bones the next day. Not for more barbecue, but for lunch at N’Tini’s. We haven’t been to lunch at that restaurant since its chef Duke Locicero moved from the French Quarter to Mandeville some six months ago. Indeed, I wasn’t sure they were open in midday. But they are, even though Duke works his shift in the evening. His best-known dishes are here, including Duke’s amazing (prize-winning!) fried oysters, surrounded by what looks to me like a black hole inside a rainbow.

That’s what I had, while MA did in a salad with some shrimp inside. And then it was time for me to get on the air at my usual afternoon time. I am also testing a piece of equipment that allows me to keep track of who is on hold during the Food Show. I don’t quite get the thing rolling, but I will find that it will work by this time tomorrow. Even though I will not be on the air tomorrow. That’s the way things go.

Sticks & Bones. Mandeville: 1770 Hwy. 59. 985-951-2277.
N’Tini’s. Mandeville: 2891 US 190. 985-626-5566.