I recently was honored to be interviewed about one of my favorite topics — food, in New Orleans, by a national food and travel publication. With their permission, I am printing excerpts of that interview below. I hope you enjoy. I would like your comments and feedback. Thanks, Ray Reggie
Whether you’re planning a trip to New Orleans or you’ve lived here your entire life, there’s always new and exciting restaurants you may have overlooked. In the article below, I sit down with NOLA legend Ray Reggie. Ray is a digital expert, marketing consultant, but also a self-described New Orleans foodie!
Interviewer: So let’s dig in. Let’s say someone is visiting New Orleans for the very first time and they want to have a truly authentic Louisiana experience, where would you send them?
Ray Reggie: “Easy! I’d send them to Parkway for a poor boy! A block from Bayou St. John in New Orleans. My favorite poor boys are the ones with Shrimp. (just lettuce and Tabassco and the Roast Beef, dressed! (If you don’t know what dressed is, you need to message Ray and he will explain! Oh, you MUST have a Barq’s Root Beer.” https://parkwaypoorboys.com/menu/
Interviewer: Sounds awesome, Ray! Let’s change gears — what if I’m looking for a nice night out on the town and enjoy a truly authentic NOLA steak. What’s the best steak house in town?
Ray Reggie: “This is a tough one, so I’ll have to give you two answers. First, you have to check out Ruth’s Chris Metairie (Sit at the Bar when Mark is working — he is the best Bar Manager and a super attentive service. Marcia is the most amazing server in the restaurant”
“Secondly, hit up Mr. John’s SteakHouse — EVERY server is awesome, EVERY meal is awesome, it’s definitely a “must visit” if you’re looking for a great steak in NOLA! Desi Vegas runs an amazing steak house so come hungry! https://www.mrjohnssteakhouse.com/index.html
Interviewer: You definitely know your restaurants, Ray! But — I’m going to throw you a bit of a curveball. What about Middle Eastern food? If you had to narrow it down to just one awesome restaurant in New Orleans, which would it be?
Ray Reggie: “That’s a no-brainer! Being 100% Lebanese, I’m a huge fan of Byblos in Old Metairie. I can tell you — it’s authentic and great food! It’s like going to my mom or grandmother’s house! Love it!” — https://www.byblosrestaurants.com/menu-old-metairie
Interviewer: This might sound a little ignorant of me, but ever since I landed in the Big Easy I’ve heard people mention eating Muffulettas…I had no idea what people were talking about and I wanted to wait until I sat down with you to ask what all the fuss is about?
Ray Reggie: “Haha, Don’t worry — It’s definitely a N’awlins thing. A muffuletta is basically a sandwich from heaven. The best place to get a Muffuletta in New Orleans is from Central Grocery & Deli. Located on Decatur Street in the French Quarter, Tommy and Frank Tusa (owners) have kept this awesome tradition of serving the best Muffuletta in the world out of their Central Grocery. Their Muffuletta starts with the best handmade bread, tons of sliced meats and the most amazing house made Italian Olive Salad (grab a couple jars to take home!) A whole one will feed several people! They are sooooo good! Enjoy!” https://centralgrocery.com/
Interviewer: Sounds amazing, Ray! Let’s take a drive and head to Northshore. What’s your all-time number one suggestion for someone visiting Northshore?
Ray Reggie: “This is an EASY one! NO DOUBT, THE BEST restaurant with THE BEST service on the Northshore of New Orleans is Pat Gallagher’s 527. I have known Pat for 30+ years and he is amazing chef! His Oysters Pablo are to die for! WOW they are good! They are 6 to an order for an appetizer. He bakes them with spinach, chipotle peppers and Romano cheese and a shot of tequila on top! WOW!! He also has an awesome crabmeat special some nights, it’s Pat’s remake of Warren LeRuth’s famed Crabmeat St. Francis. While his steaks are so good — after all Pat was executive chef at Ruth’s Chris for years! He learned and bettered their recipes! My all time favorite is without a doubt the Mixed Grill Combo — of lamb and quail, He serves 2 Louisiana grilled quail and 2 Colorado lamb chops of the rack on a super-hot plate with drawn butter on the plate! (I get mine without the butter on a room temperature plate). It is a ton of food and so good! NO doubt, Pat Gallagher cooks the best quail in the world! He is an amazing chef, attentive restaurateur and I am proud and honored to call him my friend. If you haven’t gone to Gallagher’s 527, or Gallagher’s Grill in Covington or Gallagher’s on Front Street in Slidell, you need to make you way to one of them soon! You will thank me! I am positive you will love it!”
Interviewer: Well Ray, it seems like we have a pretty good list of local spots to check out. Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with me and tell me about the best restaurants in New Orleans! I look forward to sitting down with you again and hearing about some of the places that didn’t make the list and new places you find that will be on the next one!
If you’d like to learn more about Ray Reggie or any of the restaurants mentioned in this article, please head over to Ray Reggie’s website (Link Below).