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Sep 5, 201309:59 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Thoughts on Habana Outpost and More Reflections

A Habana Outpost location in New York.


There are a lot of things I think about when I'm deciding what to cook, but usually texture isn't the primary concern. That changed recently when my wife had emergency root canal surgery and could only eat soft foods.


Cooking for someone who's just had serious dental surgery is less fun than it sounds. When Eve called me to tell me she was going to have surgery, I was pretty excited about the possibilities where soft food were concerned, but what I'd forgotten from my own recent experience is that really bad pain tends to take the edge off of one's appetite.


So I've cooked some soups, some pastas and some stews. I've cooked mashed potatoes and used the pressure cooker. I've done what I could, I think, but to paraphrase a silly expression, I can't cook the pain away.


In restaurant news, it appears that the Habana Outpost at the edge of the Quarter is, at least temporarily, going forward. WWL reports that the Vieux Carre commission approved the development's plans.


I admit: Until a few days ago I'd never heard of Habana Outpost or the controversy surrounding the plans for the corner of Esplanade and North Rampart. I have to admit as well that I find some of the videos I've seen at Habana Outpost's website amusing in ways that, I think, the folks behind them did not intend. I also have to admit that I find the guy behind the development, Sean Meenan, pretty interesting. I've never met the guy, and it's not likely I will, but I like the fact that he's come here and put down roots, and I like the fact that he's able to articulate his position, and I like the idea that he's planning on putting some use to that particular corner.


I've lived in this city all of my life, and I don't recall that corner being anything but derelict. I guess I don't really deserve to take a position, having never lived at that intersection, but I'm having a hard time understanding why, assuming Meenan is willing to be reasonable, a restaurant is worse than a vacant lot. Is it a fedora thing?


If you feel differently, I'd really love to hear your thoughts. I mean, I'd probably love to hear your thoughts; I guess it depends on your thoughts? I don't really want to hear your thoughts if your thoughts involve skinning me alive and using my skin to make a handbag. Or, you know, if you want to skin me for any other reason. Let's leave “skinning Robert” off the table for thoughts generally, okay?


Pretty much anything else is on the table, though.

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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene


Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived here his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.




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