Thursday, July 05, 2007

New Orleans: Brocato's, darlin'!

While visiting New Orleans this past weekend, of course I had to stop in at Angelo Brocato's, where I used to make cappuchinos and dish ice cream when I was in college. They claimed you'd get used to the food and stop eating it, but that never happened for me. I gained 30 lbs while working there!

Here's a review of the place from Frommer's, before the shop's reopening. Brocato's reopening was a big deal for the city, because of it's longevity, style, and the fact that it is locally owned, not some national franchise. When I worked there, the entire family worked there also and was supported by it. The cannoli shells and cookies are all baked on-site.

Frommer's Review

A genuine ice-cream parlor, small but sweet, and that's even before you get to the goods. Run by the same family since 1905, in a replica of the establishments found in the founder's hometown of Palermo, they make rich Italian ice cream (made fresh daily on the premises, and tasting not quite like gelato, which they also make, but similar), cookies and candy in the kind of atmosphere that is slowly being lost in this age of strip malls and superstores. Their area of Mid-City was severely flooded, damaging both the store and the factory out back. Fortunately for all of us, the family is committed to returning to New Orleans, and has begun serious renovations, with an eye toward reopening at some point in 2006 and finishing up that aborted centennial celebration. Thank goodness: The chocolate ice cream is one of our all-time favorites, but the fresh lemon ice, and pana cotta custard have brought us to our knees. The fresh cannolis are also inspired. Right on the Canal streetcar line, it's not just nostalgia -- it's still vibrant, a local tradition worthy of continuing another 100 years. And on hot days, it's vital! Come back soon!

below: view of the counter from my window seat.

below: brass plate above the door handle shows the Katrina water line.

below: this photo gives perspective on where the water line was.

below: house near Brocato's.

below: former shopping center across from Brocato's, almost two years after the storm. This is a neighborhood my family once lived in. Many places in New Orleans have people living in them again, but stores and shops still boarded up. The huge mall in New Orleans East on Read Blvd. is being totally bulldozed.

1 comment:

Stan said...

Wow. Looks like you had a lovely time in New Orleans. I really should go visit some time. I'm sure I would love it. Perhaps that is a good place to go in February when it is cold here. The pictures of the devastation from Katrina still astound me.