Black Cafe logo

This neighborhood breakfast joint and coffee shop opened today at 518 S. Pierce in Lafayette, adjacent to downtown in a neighborhood calling Fightinville*. Gonna be amazing — with beignets and coffee? I’ll report back soon on it!

The Facebook page. Like ‘em!

*Lafayette’s neighborhoods and its boundaries are always up for debate, but I’ve always heard of that area as such.

Black Cafe logo

This neighborhood breakfast joint and coffee shop opened today at 518 S. Pierce in Lafayette, adjacent to downtown in a neighborhood calling Fightinville*. Gonna be amazing — with beignets and coffee? I’ll report back soon on it!

The Facebook page. Like ‘em!

*Lafayette’s neighborhoods and its boundaries are always up for debate, but I’ve always heard of that area as such.

Before there was the Food Network there was the first: Julia Child. 

Just watch it once. She was the first. Food Network quite literally would not exist without her — she was the first, mistakes and all.

So this is pretty accurately depicting me at home. “HEEEEE-LOOOOOOW?”

London’s Broiling and I Don’t Wanna Shout (But I Was Clueless)


A Tale of Meeting New Meat and Clashing

A grocery store had this 3lbs. London broil half-off, so about 4 bucks. I bought two! I was so excited, I felt like the thriftiest shopper EVER.


I realized I had no idea how to cook one. This is what happens when someone who cooks a lot cooks something new — we get super excited at purchase then feel like a moron come cooking time. The label said “to marinate” in big marquee letters so I made up a marinade, placed it in a ZipLoc bag, squished out all air, and put it in the fridge with a Scarlett O’Hara air of “tomorrow is another day, I’ll deal with it then!” I maybe even fanned myself or made dinner napkins out of curtains. In my world that translated into: “I’ll just call Dad tomorrow and he’ll tell me how to do it.”

When the going gets tough in the kitchen, the tough call in the cavalry, which in my case is my father. Dad is an Irish Protestant Baltimorean lad who married a Cajun woman, so what was already a real love and curiosity for cooking pre-1967 was enhanced by traveling to St. Martinville, Louisiana in the fall of that year to meet and eat with her family where he prompted joined her, her parents, and four siblings in an event known in the family as “the day we all almost killed one another with boomerangs.” (My grandfather liked learning new things and once mastering them, sharing them. Who wouldn’t marry in after a near-death experience like that?)


This Australian boomerang is the exact one my mom still has. She also has slingshots hanging by the backdoor. I win a lot of “my mom is cooler” informal contests at bars.

Growing up, my father did almost all of the cooking for us with my mother acting as de facto sous chef, then joined by my siblings and me. They also kept a garden, partly out of love but greatly out of poverty. An early memory is being sent with kitchen shears to the garden to cut chives for potato salad. My first memory of domestic kitchen work is kneading bread when I was about 6. Around 7 or so I got to the stove the first time. Dad used to say, “Chefs get cut and burned. Expect it.”

Dad wanted us cooking because he loved it and it is a life necessity. He learned from his mother whose specialties were those deliciously ever-WASPy dishes like fish poached in vermouth. Then he learned from my maternal grandmother how to cook Cajun dishes. (“I had to keep your mother married to me somehow,” he likes to say.)

So when I called Dad a few days ago to ask about how to cook this sucker and, like any kid, expected a pat parental answer to be immediate I got, “Oh, my! I haven’t cooked one of those in a LONG time.”


“Dad,” I said, “I have no idea what I’m doing.”

“Well, did it suggest any instructions?”

“No, and I probably wouldn’t listen anyway.”

“Well, that’s true. Tell me — what kind is it?”

As I went to say, “London Broil, DUH!” I remember that the term actually means a way to cook it, not the cut itself. I had much to learn and retain.

“Lemme go look!” I said, running to the fridge like the beef would reanimate and run away. “It is ‘beef top round’.”

“Tell me, did it say if it was already tenderized?”

My heart sunk into my hungry guts. “No…..” If I meant to cook it in an hour or so and I didn’t tenderize it, am I screwed?

“Did you marinate it?” Dad asked.

Ah-ha! I finally win one! “YES. Yes, I did!”


From here we discussed broiling it but many directions said “8 inches from flame” and this broiler didn’t seem to make that mark. We chatted until he had to go cook his own dinner and said, “Call me tomorrow and I’ll have an answer.”

I hung up the phone and immediately tenderized that sucker like a 1970’s schlock horror film madman on a co-ed’s soon-to-be corpse. Did it with a fork and not something like this but by god, it was done!

The next day, without a phone call back to Dad and with the adventurous culinary spirit he taught me coupled with research (“I dunno, this article looks pretty okey-doke…”) here is how I did it:

London’s Broiling Recipe, by Kiss Me, I’m Cooking

  1. Turn broiler on. Wait 10 minutes or until someone says, “I think my ankles are on fire.”

  2. Place marinated and tenderized London broil onto hot broiler pan. DO NOT use a non-broiler pan as it is too hot in there for anything else.

  3. After four minutes, open the broiler and baste the meat in the marinade and flip it over. Marinate BOTH sides.

  4. In another four minutes take it out.

  5. Let it rest 5-10 minutes, tenting it in aluminum foil (I just slapped a big mixing bowl over this sucker.)


    Wait. This needs something…..


    Irish eyes are smilin’, indeed!

  6. Cut it across the grain and serve. I did with mashed potatoes. I didn’t make those, however, because I kinda suck at making them.




**All photos are untouched, nothing was plated, and I did not clean a damn thing before taking the photos — this is how it really looked

This method cooks the London broil to rare. If you want it done further look to another blog because this type of meat does NOT taste good cooked further than medium rare. Besides……


….with apologies to The Clash for this blog title.

Foodie Culture: It’s Stupid

"My idea of preparing food is skewering olives for my martinis."

So-called “foodie culture" has, I believe, really screwed people who don’t know how to cook. It makes cooking seem like a consistently big production. You do not need to gather locally-sourced organically-grown sea elk with sal-de-mer from this one French island harvested by a one-legged blind man named Francois Bourgeois and spend a paycheck on one bottle of wine to cook, to enjoy it, or to learn it.

"An accident chopped my leg off just like my father before me and his father before him. We’re clumsy people. Probably need to quit riding the threshing machine drunk."

Nor must it be plated in the manner of the Fibonacci Sequence as inspired by a chef made famous courtesy of a reality show called “Gorgeous Gourmand” that functions as a cooking show/beauty pageant where contestant teeter in high heels and Speedos over open flames.



Do you like mac ‘n’ cheese? Learn to make that. Like steak? You can (and easily) make it as wonderful as New York steakhouse. Learn to make what you like and if you only learn a few dishes and choose to go no further, well, then all restaurants say thank you.

Everyone should learn a few at least to stay alive and save money but don’t keep doing something you despise because you won’t care enough to make good food anyway.

If you cook for someone in your home and they critique it as if they are Ruth Reichl, guess what? Their opinion automatically becomes irrelevant; they lack the most fundamental of tastes, which is to shut up and enjoy the experience of someone liking or loving you enough to make a meal and share it.

This “foodie culture” bullshit. You don’t need to add a suffix to denote one who eats and cooks since ALL HUMANS MUST CONSUME FOOD. It’s silly and it’s redundant. It’s not unique enough to require a modifier. Quit buying into this manufactured term intended to cause friction and isolation from “regular cooking” to “special cooking.” Neither exist. (Of course, neither does “reality television.” It’s all conscripted and edited.)

Wanna cook? All you need is a wooden spoon and a cast iron pot to make great grub. No magic schtick required.

P.S. When some upstart producer tries to make reality (hah!) my fake cooking show above remember you heard it here first. Gorgeous Gourmand™ - Where You Have to Be Someone People Want to Sex Up to Be in a Kitchen!

 "And now I’d like to show the judges how this pot doubles as a hat!"

Carpetbaggers & the Go-Cup — A New Orleans Tale of Murdering New Orleans

First they came for the closing of certain music venues, and I said nothing because I no longer run a music venue.

Then they came for the second lines, and I said almost nothing because I don’t live in New Orleans and don’t second line often.

Now they’ve come for the go-cups, and there is no one left to speak for the go-cups because NOLA natives are fed up and are moving away.

If you haven’t kept up with the situation in one of America’s oldest cities that is doubtless the first music capitol in the nation, after Hurricane Katrina the area was flooded with a second scourge: nouveau riche and whinnying outsiders wanting to turn the city into an amalgam of every boring city they themselves have ever called home, taking advantage of wrecked properties to turn into cash cows.

New Orleans Mardi Gras in 1938. [Original image here.]

New Orleans’ War on Music — Neither Big Nor Easy by my friend Michael Patrick Welch should get you up to speed.

In this Where Y’at column by Anne Berry she gives you a taste of the cold truth about daiquiris and other go-cup drinks in the Bywater — now banned. The whole schtick New Orleans has going for it is the Big Easy & Keep It Sleazy thing and frankly being able to take a walk (notice: WALK, not drive) from venue to bar, establishment to restaurant is an indelible part of it. It is part of the city’s charm and caché. 

Go on with it, go-cup! Sometimes called a “traveler” in other parts of the world. If it’s plastic it is all right. Right? Not anymore! 

Now people who’ve moved to New Orleans after Katrina, ostensibly with some pitiable notions of helping the city out, are trying to homogenize it. Shame, shame on the city’s lawmakers and policy-shakers for letting this happen. Instead of absorbing the culture and climate, new residents are trying to make New Orleans like themselves.

Let New Orleans be New Orleans. For the love of all things boozy, they banned SECOND LINES without a permit? 

This beautiful image is of a second line in New Orleans around 1950. It is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years, an impulsive celebration for anyone to join or watch. [Original image here.]

Just know that Lafayette is on your side, big sister NOLA. That go-cup banned happened in our downtown — funny enough, it did NOT stop fights nor any other sort of crime and even funnier, the ban was only in certain areas where rich people do NOT live! Ain’t that just a coincidence!

Archer Sterling’s Dream Come True — Car Mini-bar!

Not only did they not campaign against drinking and driving in the 1950’s but it seems some car manufacturers expected it as a matter of course.

Behold the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham! It was state-of-the-art for 1957 and reflected all the values of a post-war America: luxuriating and basking in a war well won and a financially prosperous era. 

      Scope out those fins!

Cadillacs have always been known for being a smooth ride. Heck, I once drove a Caddy from Lake Charles, LA to Galveston, TX, onto its car ferry and back again and you’d never know we were on so many choppy roads (it’s a long way to Galveston, man).

I admit I don’t know why they are called “suicide doors” but they look cool as all hell.

This bouncing American beauty was only in production for three years. Maybe it’s because it’s name sounds like a Mexican movie star married an old world English lord? Regardless the world is poorer for it, because as so well stated at Jalopnik:

Here’s where things get crazy. The designers also saw fit to throw in a stainless steel drinking set for the glove box, a cigarette dispenser, various vanity elements for the ladies, and a perfume dispenser filled with Arpege Extrait de Lanvin perfume. Say what?!

Say what INDEED, Ben Wojdyla, writer of source article and keeper of the unpronounceable name! Let’s go big jpeg and get a closeup, shall we?

"Honey, could you pour me a neat bourbon and pass the perfume? I want to get good and liquored up before we hit your mother’s house."

Those glasses are magnetically stationed to the glove box to prevent spilling. And we still have those crap cup-holder in the center console that DO NOT have magnets? Dammit, America! Get it together!

The car so cool Hot Wheels made one! Now with more lightning!

Not only are these hard to come by but they’ll set you back a bit. Sold for around $13k in 1957 that would be worth around $105k these days.

 I feel as though Archer here could buy one. Seeing as he’s, ya know, fictional and all.

[No images are my property - if they were I would be rich and out driving my Caddy so ya know.]