02 December 2005

Photo du Jour: The Post-Katrina Casamento's

Casamento's is one of those true New Orleans places. Its located on Magazine Street near Napoleon Avenue and its claim to fame is its oysters, its all-tile interior, and its wacky hours of operation. I was 0 for 9 in my first nine attempts starting in the mid-1990's to eat at the place because of the funky hours and days of operation. When close time arrives each day and night (there is an afternoon close time and an evening close time), they lock the door and no one else gets in--end of story. Finally on my tenth attempt I got in--and it happened to be the last night they were open during spring (it was in May a few years back) as they close completely for the summer, not to reopen again until September when oyster season is back on. Of course thats the pre-KTMB schedule. The Casamento family reopened the restaurant in mid-November--despite the owner dying while evacuating the weekend before the storm . . .

We got there early (6pm) and still had to wait to be seated as the place has maybe fifteen tables. When we sat down we were handed the "Post-Katrina" menus which is funny because part of thing about normal world Casamento's is their simplistic menu. I looked over the new menu and asked what was different about it as it looked the same. The two things not currently on the menu making it the post-Katrina version: the fried calamari and the spaghetti.

The gumbo was good, the seafood combo platter we split was good, and the beer was cold. By the time we finished, the line stretched the entire distance of the front part of the restaurant to the front door. Following Casamento's we went to The Creole Creamery on Prytania Street to get some ice cream. One of the things that has been said about New Orleans post-KTMB is that there are no children around. Well, on this Friday night at the TCC, the children of New Orleans were well represented. They were everywhere. The new Uptown Felix's (in the former Vaquero's location) on that same block also was jamming as was Crepe Nanou across the street on Robert.


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