A Word From The Founder

Written by Tom Fitzmorris March 17, 2020 19:35 in About

For 45 years, I have been covering the dining scene in my beloved home town with a passion that remains unabated. The simple pleasure derived from sitting in a nice restaurant and being served gourmet food is unmatched in my experience. When Hurricane Katrina took that away from us, I was lost, as I know many of you who share my passion were. But Katrina proved one thing above all else to me: it is impossible to separate New Orleanians from their favorite pastime. Immediately after the storm, Drago’s was out with their mobile units feeding first responders and anyone else who needed a meal,  and August was the first dining experience I had upon my return to the city. My book, Hungry Town goes into detail about this wonderful night - the sights, the smells, the familiar faces. I had been away for six weeks, worried the whole time that life as I knew it was over. That one meal at August filled me with such hope and comfort that I left the restaurant completely renewed, secure in the feeling that it would all be okay again.

And here we are barely 15 years later, a remarkably short time if you ask me. The circumstances are completely different but the end result the same. There will be no eating out for us for a while. It makes what we do here difficult to continue as is. But like the restaurants that begin serving takeout or curbside meals today,  we must adapt. What we do here is important, just as it was back then. Nomenu.com will be updating all day. Keep checking the site for promotions and opportunities to get great food in this "situation." The newsletter will be out once a day  And the radio show is a distraction from the bad news that surrounds us. It is a little flicker of light in a dark world at the moment.

Like so many times before us in history, things will change. The strong will survive. The adaptable will adapt. And everyone will come out stronger, wiser, or weaker in the end. We will not be covering restaurants as we did, with the dining diary. The focus of the website will become an update-to-update resource, but also some distraction. Today we have a list of restaurants that are adapting to the new guidelines and ones who are not. There is a recipe for Shepherd’s Pie. It is St. Patrick’s Day after all, and we must hold on to the things we know to be true. This is what will keep us grounded and get us through this.

There is a silver lining to everything. We can get reacquainted with our loved ones now that our days are less busy. We can cluster around our home and hearth and make delicious comforting food ourselves. But please remember to get takeout or curbside food from your favorite places. Many livelihoods depend on it.

The radio show on HD2 is suspended for now. Everyone at the station is on remote and only essential personnel like board ops are in, and all are funneled to WWL. This gives us a chance to adapt and do the independent podcast we have long talked about. It will debut this afternoon on the website.

My role is less than it was even 15 years ago. Our family business is passing to the next generation. This gives them the opportunity to roll out the archived version of the website we have been promising, but is lagging behind deadlines because of daily commitments. There are thousands of pages of information and history about New Orleans restaurants that will make for interesting and informative reading in this period. It will keep you entertained, and will hopefully keep the passion alive for when life returns to normal, which we expect will be soon.

Tastefully yours,

Tom Fitzmorris