Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Orleans: Willie Mae's Scotch House

New Orleans is known for its indigenous cuisine and unique Louisiana flavor. You can't resist local favorites like beignets, muffulettas, po'boys, gumbo and pralines. A trip to NOLA is a must for any bonafide foodie.

Instead of making elaborate plans and reservations to the more notable restaurants in NOLA, I decided to wing it and paruse the city on my own by foot. I consider these my 'no reservations' outings. A no holds barred, eat as you please sort of adventure.

The first stop on my list was the fried chicken at Willie Mae's Scotch House. I've heard so much about this place that I had to go. It was fortunte that Willie Mae's reopened in 2007 after an extensive repair overhaul post-Katrina.

I arrived by cab a few minutes before the restaurant opened at 11am. I took a few moments to look around the neighberhood and I have to say, it's not a pretty site. It didn't deter me though. Willie Mae's was a recipient of a James Beard Award.

While I was waiting outside, I met two other diners from Boston excited to get their hands on the infamous fried chicken. Since I was on my own, they invited me to dine with them. At 11am sharp, we were allowed into the dining room. The decor was simple with a hand full of wooden tables and chairs. A picture of Willie Mae herself stood on a shelf above our table.

Next, the menu. It was fairly simple. You can't go wrong with a menu item that says "America's Best Fried Chicken" for $10. The entree comes with 3 pieces of chicken and a side item of your choice. I selected the butter beans as a side and added on corn bread.

First, we started off with fresh lemonade. I liked how their version had a good ratio of lemon citrus and sugar. I hate how most lemonades are sour and filled with pulp. Ack!

Homemade Corn Bread
The size of a tea cake, the corn bread was fluffy but it still had a slight grainy texture. Very good.

Butter Beans with White Rice
I dunno how to describe this dish but it reminded me of a Filipino dish called Balatong which is a mung bean soup. The beans used here are essentially lima beans. The texture is similar to Balatong but with larger beans and without the vegetables (like I mentioned before I'm a Filipino that doesn't like to eat vegetables).

It didn't take long for the chicken to arrive and boy did it make a lasting impression. Three people, nine pieces of chicken. Does that look like nine pieces of chicken? I think not.

Fried Chicken
Holy cow! Pretty darn good fried chicken. The chicken pieces were lightly drudged in a wet batter which made the chicken very juicy. It seems the chicken was made to order because when it came to our table, it was still steaming hot. I had to wait a minute or two to dive in because the pieces were still HOT.

Afterthoughts, believe the hype. The chicken was absolutely delicious. We had a great time so did other diners in the room that afternoon. You know you're embarking on some good eats when everyone at their table is quietly eating. I saw one gentleman stop and look at his food. I know that look. It's the look of a satisfied customer.

Things to know:
  • No reservations accepted. Try to arrive as close to 11am as possible. The restaurant closes at 3pm.
  • Price Range: $, cash only.
  • Willie Mae's is located in between Bayou St John and the Seventh Ward, must take a car or cab into this area. It's ok to walk back to the French Quarter during the afternoon. Just don't walk alone.
  • Willie Mae's doesn't have a website so you have to rely on reviews from Yelp.
  • What to order: Fried Chicken, Butter beans, corn bread and bread pudding.
Willie Mae's Scotch House
2401 Saint Ann Street
New Orleans, LA 70119


Post a Comment