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For New Orleans eateries, the blows keep coming

Dan Webster

Above: Kerry Seaton (right), pictured here with her late great-grandmother Willie Mae, is just one New Orleans restaurant owner reeling from COVID-19 restrictions and destructive Hurricane Ida. (Photo/Kerry Seaton via Instagram)

When disaster strikes, as many stories unfold as there are people who live through them.

Take what Hurricane Ida has done to the Gulf and East coasts. Flooded streets in New York. Rail Service suspended in New Jersey. Power outages in New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf region.

It’s that last one that has many people most upset. It’s not like New Orleans needs any more trouble, what with the city’s tourist industry still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone who has ever visited the city knows just how much food, if not drink, plays a big role in its attractions. Muffaletta sandwiches at Central Grocery. Beignets at the Café Du Monde. Po-Boys at Domilise’s. And so on.

Leslie Kelly can tell you all about all this and more. In her latest article for, Kelly – the former Spokesman-Review, Memphis Commercial-Appeal and Seattle Post-Intelligencer food and features writer – runs down some of the individual stories that New Orleans has to tell.

Among others, she talks to Chef Alon Shaya of Saba, Miss River and the Chandelier Bar (who is offering a Sept. 5 virtual cooking event, Mary Sonnier of Gabrielle Restaurant and Kerry Seaton of Willie Mae’s Scotch House.

And she shares how we can all help when we’re allowed to.

Sonnier told her this: ““When we get back open, come in and eat.”

Just as soon as we can, some of us will. I miss those Café Du Monde café au laits – oh, and the beignets.

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