We know that Molly Kimball was in while we were gone and the subject of that show was eating fit at MSY. I’m going to have to go back and hear that one, because eating fit at MSY seems to be a challenge. And why would you want to? You’re in New Orleans, either coming or going, and the food here is our identity, so why not partake?
First, the new airport does not look like New Orleans. Its entrance is pure Gallactica, something European. It is sterile and severely offputting. It was only open a week when we first entered, so hopefully before long this part will have greenery or something to put it on Mother Earth, at least. To be fair, baggage claim and the downstairs is a little better.
But behind the one-stop security point, humanity sets in. And New Orleans comes through. In merchandise for purchase, but especially in the food. We had to stop at the very appealing Leah’s Kitchen, and a week in, the food was there. Shockingly expensive, as airport food can be, this was at least really good. We got the fried chicken, which comes with (no substitutions) a mere smattering of frightfully ordinary frozen fries, but that chicken...I got the white meat combo, for an extra 2 plus dollars, kicking it up to nearly $19. It was one wing and two enormous chicken breasts, absolutely cooked to perfection, with crispy skin. It was greaseless with a spice level that couldn’t be improved upon. That sweet spot between really flavorful but not over-the-top.
Tom got the 2019 version of Oysters Rockefeller, which was a half-dozen fried oysters (also greaseless), each on a puddle of spinach stuff, topped with a jalapeno and pickled onion. He liked this rather well. These two things, and a Manhattan, (yes, there was a song) and the bill was nearly $50.
I was surprised to see Midway Pizza there, but it was a neighbor of Leah’s And Ye Olde College Inn made the move from the old place, looking like the jazzed-up version of the old one. It seems smaller than the one on the old Delta concourse. The new Delta concourse has a Cure outpost for craft cocktails, and at the end is the Folse Market, which looks uninteresting from the first steps in, but upon closer inspection shows a lot of promise. We didn’t eat there, but will on another trip.
Walking around the other concourse we found Mopho in some spiffy new digs, Mondo doing its Mondo thing, and a beautiful space for Lucky Dogs, with swell neon lighting. The lighting was also very retro at the Angelo Brocato counter in the middle of the B concourse. Tom got a spumoni there and it was up to its usual standards. It was served in a New Orleans Roast to-go cup, so maybe that needs rethinking, but it was open only a week. Also, there was no seating for this, which was disappointing. A lack of general seating around all these pick-up places seems to be problematic. In other dessert world, Cafe Du Monde has a beautiful storefront and window, with a single table for eating standing up. And there is a Dylan’s Candy Shop, which was an unexpected but pleasant surprise. I did not check to see if they are doing shakes, but those are good there.
Another great bar option at the new MSY is the Sazerac Bar. We didn’t do any bars, but the ones that are there are very appealing. There wasn’t a lot of time for extensive “research”, but I can see why the food at the airport is garnering national and international press. It’s a great place for anyone passing through to have a last, or first, taste of what we do.