Ray Cannata has eaten at over 750 New Orleans restaurants, so he knows a thing or two about hanging out. Margo Moss has turned Ted's Frostop from a greasy spoon into a considerably less greasy but not quite silver spoon. When the sun goes down on The NOLA Brewing Tap Room in the Irish Channel, Ray and Margo entertain members of New Orleans restaurant community. Their guests bring along a friend, a +1. Anything can happen.
Of all the TV shows, radio shows and podcasts about food – of all the years of restaurant reviews in newspapers - probably nothing has revolutionized dining out more than the smart phone app, Yelp. Yelp puts the power of approval or disapproval of a restaurant in the hands of regular people. But it also means in New Orleans that tourists have discovered every great little neighborhood restaurant that we used to consider “local.” That's just one of the daily issues that local Yelp Community Manager Morgan Ford has to deal with.
Morgan is one of only 120 Yelp Community Managers worldwide. The local community she manages is one of delighted business owners when things go right online, mightily disgruntled restaurant owners when diners post pissed-off reviews, and a wide assortment of local businesses and non-profits who partner with Yelp in all kinds of interesting ways.
If you're wondering how you get a cool job like Morgan's, meet Johnny Culpepper.
Johnny was Morgan's colleague at Old New Orleans Rum, now he's Director of Sales at DPD Distillery, makers of Rougaroux Rum and other local sugarcane field specialties. Johnny's story of how he got to do what he's doing takes an even more only-in-New-Orleans twist than Morgan's, involving Chris Owens and Bourbon Street on Mardi Gras Day.
This Midnight Menu +1 is a lively look at the intersection of app (not appetizer) dining, booze, Mardi Gras, 610 Stomping, and an examination of the bizarre claim that the best food in New Orleans comes in a plastic box at Langenstein's supermarket.