Hundreds of banh mi. Dozens of king cakes. Countless coconut rolls.

We’ve lost count of how many times we’ve eaten Dong Phuong’s goods. But we can no longer patronize Dong Phuong.

The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered Dong Phuong bakery to pay more than $127,000 in back wages to employees they were screwing over earned-but-not-paid wages. 43 workers will be divvying up $127,128 to set things straight with the government.

De and Huong Tran recently won a James Beard Lifetime achievement award but now their company will just be an inglorious footnote in New Orleans restaurant lore.

Amsterdam Daily Photo via rl reeves jr

Esther van der Vaart stands outside her coffee shop slash boutique in Amsterdam Oost. Hartje Oost Koffieboetiek does not traffic in cannabis leaving that to nearby The Stud. Instead, the tiny cafe moves in the world of coffee, sweet treats, snacks and clothing. It’s a lovely oasis in bustling Amsterdam Oost.

Mildred “Mama Dip” Council has passed away at the age of 89. The legendary North Carolina soul food cook, and restaurant owner sat down with Professor Florence Soltys in 2003 for this 30 minute interview. RIP Mama.

There is a new vegan “soul food” restaurant in New Orleans. We’re certain the vegans have plenty fine food but we’d happily kick the pins out from underneath somebody that tried to feed us vegan gumbo or jambalaya. Continue Reading

Amsterdam Daily Photo via rl reeves jr

In the suddenly hip Amsterdam Oost neighborhood, Bar Basquiat acts as neo-Bohemian anchor on Javastraat. The bar is an homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Brooklyn born artist who’s been dead for 20 years now.

Housed in a former supermarket, Bar Basquiat would be right at home in Austin or Portland. Sonic Youth is on the hi fi and the staff are appropriately tattooed and disheveled.

Joe’s Bakery in Austin, Texas

A few times a year I clamber aboard a big jet airplane and fly over to Austin to gorge on tacos and barbecue. New Orleans is the best eating city in the US but New Orleans does not do tacos or barbecue. That’s ok, Austin couldn’t make a proper kettle of gumbo or red beans and rice if life itself hung in the balance.

On The Road With RL Reeves Jr: Joe’s Bakery In Austin Texas

Joe’s Bakery does things the old-fashioned way. Their flour tortillas are the stuff of fever dreams and they’ve elevated the humble bean and cheese taco to a high level form of art.