My favorite kind of trip to New Orleans

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

My favorite kind of trip to New Orleans is to go by myself, leave the house at the time I want to leave, go to the places I want to go and take my sweet old time at those places.

I’ve done this hundreds of times since I was in my late teens and my latest trip started at 2:20 p.m. from my home in Gulfport on  Saturday for the Magazine Street Champagne Stroll and Independent Bookstore Day, but I had other reasons to make the trip.

First stop:  The new Shipley Do-Nuts on Old Metairie Road in Old Metairie for vanilla cream- and chocolate-filled doughnuts that were as delicious as the ones I remember from the 1970s when I would go to the Shipley at Hewes Avenue and Pass Road in Gulfport, and I miss those visits because that Shipley has been history for a long time.

Second stop: Stein’s in the Lower Garden District on Magazine Street for the best challah around, as good as what my dad made at home, though I had to park two blocks from the deli and market because the lease for the Stein’s parking lot, above, was terminated April 30.

Third stop: Octavia Books on Octavia Street off Magazine to buy a signed copy of Ann Patchett’s little gem titled “The Care and Feeding of an Independent Bookstore,” and I saw so much more I wanted to buy, including Simon Griffin’s punctuation guide with a dirty word in the hilarious title.

Fourth stop: Antieau Gallery on Magazine, which features the work of artist Chris Roberts-Antieau, with beer for the Stroll.

Fifth stop: Young classical musicians were playing in front of a store just 350 feet down the street from the gallery. Never found out if they took requests, though I think they accepted tips. One possible request for next time: “How about a little ‘Eleanor Rigby’ for the all Catholic drinkers?”

Sixth stop: I completed my trifecta of daily dough with a bag of bagels at  La Boulangerie, a Magazine Street bakery, so I put it in my car with the doughnuts and challah.

Seventh stop: I think this pretty horse on Oak Street wanted to talk. We could have had a conversation.  I know drunks on Bourbon Street have had horse hallucinations, but I was sober and so was this creature.

Eighth stop: Surfin’ and turfin’ at Parkway Bakery and Tavern on Hagan Avenue with the best po-boy anywhere: Roast beef and fried shrimp.

I didn’t mean to offend my family and friends when I wrote the lead to this fine piece of quality journalism. They are always welcome to make a New Orleans trip with me, but just remember we will go to my places first and we might not have to go to your places.

Like Kramer said on “Seinfeld”:

I’m doin‘ what I do, the way I’ve always done it, and the way I’ll always do it.

Editor’s note: All the photos are mine and all were taken Saturday except for the featured image, which is from 2017.

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Coast doughnut shops grow to more than 2 dozen

The new Ana's Donuts is at the corner of Pass Road and Washington Avenue in Gulfport. JOHN E. BIALAS

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

The list of doughnut shops on the Mississippi Coast has grown to 30 and one of the newest is the soon-to-open Dunkin’ on Highway 49 in Gulfport.

But I don’t care about Dunkin’. I prefer Ana’s Donuts, the new place at the corner of Pass Road and Washington Avenue in Gulfport.

I like Ana’s, whose neighbors are Domino’s and Cajun’s, even though I’ve made just one visit so far.

Ana’s is in an old building that has been the home of numerous businesses, and one of the most forgettable was Liberty Pizza many years ago. The doughnuts at Ana’s are far superior to the pizza that Liberty served in its brief time at one of the city’s busiest corners.

When I went to Ana’s, I got apple fritter bites, which are bigger than your regular bites. I got three and the third one was free. All were very good and I would like to get more.

I also picked up a menu and part of it is reproduced right here just for you.

The menu at Ana's Donuts includes Bavarian cream-filled doughnuts, Boston cream doughnuts and Bavarian cream doughnut holes. JOHN E. BIALAS
The menu at Ana’s Donuts includes Bavarian cream-filled doughnuts, Boston cream doughnuts and Bavarian cream doughnut holes. JOHN E. BIALAS

I think Ana’s could become my second go-to doughnut place right behind Daylight Donuts on Pass Road near 25th Avenue in Gulfport. Daylight is a family favorite, so much so that we stopped at a Daylight in the downtown of a small Colorado town last summer while we were on vacation. It reminded us of home as we ate our share of glazed twists and drank chocolate milk.

I’ve come up with a list of other Coast doughnut shops, and if I have made an omission, left me know ASAP.

BILOXI

Dunkin’ at the corner of Pass Road and Eisenhower Drive.

Dunkin’ at Cedar Lake Road.

Dunkin’ at Hard Rock Hotel.

Fantasy Donuts on Pass Road.

Angkor Donuts on Shriners Boulevard.

Electrik Maid on Pass Road.

D’IBERVILLE

Glazed Donuts on Sangani Boulevard (the Boulevard of Dreams).

GULFPORT

Krispy Kreme on Highway 49.

Kreamy Donuts on Broad Avenue.

Jelly Donuts and Kolaches on Highway 49.

Quality Bakery on 25th Avenue.

LONG BEACH

Long Beach Donuts on Beatline Road.

King Donuts on Klondyke Road.

OCEAN SPRINGS

Tato-Nut on Government Street.

Ocean Springs Donuts on Government.

Krispy Kreme on Bienville Boulevard.

Simply Donuts on Old Spanish Trail.

GAUTIER

Luxury Donuts on Highway 90.

Jelly Donuts and Kolaches on Highway 90.

PASCAGOULA

Delicious Donuts on 14th Street.

Anderson’s Bakery on Market Street.

MOSS POINT

Doughboy Donuts on Highway 63.

Sunshine Donuts on Highway 613.

VANCLEAVE

Lou-Joe’s on Highway 57.

BAY ST. LOUIS

Grammys Donuts and More on Highway 90.

DIAMONDHEAD

D.H. Donuts on East Aloha Drive.

KILN

Daylight Donuts on Highway 63.

ON THE MAP

I also have a Bing locator map showing the names of 10 doughnut shops that I mentioned.

If you are a dough nut like me, eat them if you got them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

This is not your father’s Hugo’s pizza

Hugo's Pizzeria in St. Louis posted this photo on its Facebook page in March. The restaurant will be opening soon, but it has no relation to the old Biloxi Hugo's except in name and the love for making pizza.

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

This is not your father’s Hugo’s pizza.

That was the message Paul Hampton sent me  last week with a link to a story about a new St. Louis restaurant that is opening soon in Midtown.

Hugo’s Pizzeria is the name and the story from Feast Magazine said “the debut menu features a variety of specialty pies including a pizza with garlic oil, mushrooms, Fontina and rosemary. Twists on traditional toppings include a variety of housemade pepperoni options including French duck, Buffalo chicken, vegan, spicy beef and a house version made with grass-fed beef.”

Paul is correct. This is not your father’s Hugo’s. In fact, it’s not your mother’s Hugo’s and it’s not your Hugo’s.

The Hugo’s that Paul and I are referencing is the old Biloxi restaurant that served straightforward Italian food and the best pizza south of Chicago. It’s one of my all-time favorite restaurants.

This was the place that began the tradition of French dressing on pizza, and the wildest toppings, if you want to call them wild, would be shrimp and anchovies. I usually went for the large sausage or meatball along with a cheeseburger po-boy, a plate of onion rings and two Barq’s.

Grass-fed was never a concept when I was introduced to the Biloxi Hugo’s during my Catholic elementary school days in the 1960s. Had it been a concept, I probably would have spit out grass-fed food. What 12-year-old in their right mind would have wanted grass in their food?

At 65, I grasp grass-fed and I’m sure the grass-fed and not grass-fed food at the St. Louis Hugo’s will be very, very good. I hope to go there someday and erase the memories of my worst pizza experience, which was in St. Louis more than 20 years ago.

Patty, Kristin and I went to a restaurant on a Saturday evening in the classic Italian neighborhood of The Hill. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant, but the place was so packed we had to wait 90 minutes for a table.

I had no doubts the pizza would be great because this appeared to be a popular restaurant, but things started going downhill on The Hill when we had a very mediocre salad before our large pizza arrived.

I wish the pizza had never arrived. It was terrible. Cheap American cheese. Cheap white cheese. Wafer-thin crust. Cheap pepperoni. Pupperoni would have been preferable.

This was easily the worst pizza experience in my life. It was shockingly bad, and Patty and Kristin felt the same way.

All these years later, we’re still dealing with a form of PTSD  called Pizza Traumatic Stress Disorder. Maybe the St. Louis Hugo’s will be the cure. I know the Biloxi Hugo’s would be.

Editor’s note:  The image with this post is a photo that Hugo’s Pizzeria in St. Louis published on its Facebook page in March. The restaurant will be opening soon, but it has no relation to the old Biloxi Hugo’s except in name and the love for making pizza.

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us: