by Ian McNulty
Pizza Delicious isn’t the only pop-up serving underground eats in the Bywater these days. In fact, it isn’t even the only one on its block.
Just a few doors up the street from Delicious, you’ll find Rosalie Alley, a driveway-sized corridor in the middle of the 3300 block of North Rampart Street, evocatively situated smack between Piety and Desire (streets).
On Sunday afternoons this month, this is also where to find chef Ian Schnoebelen and Laurie Casebonne slinging burritos and tacos from a makeshift food stand behind their Creole cottage home. They call it Rosalita’s Taqueria, and it’s open from noon to 4 p.m.
The pair are co-owners of Iris, the exceptional, upscale restaurant they created in the months after Hurricane Katrina. So while the format is a tad different here at Rosalita’s Taqueria, it’s no surprise that the food is delicious. The short menu includes fat veggie burritos, adobo pork tacos, fish tacos and beef taquitos with guacamole, each for $5. A special last week was a basket of breathtakingly spicy padrone peppers, roasted and filled with goat cheese mascarpone.
Food & Wine magazine named Schnoebelen to its list of America’s best new chefs in 2007. It’s not every day you’ll get a chef of this caliber to cook cheap Mexican food for you. And in fact, the days are numbered for Rosalita’s Taqueria. They only plan to continue the stand through the end of August, after which these diehard Saints fans say they’ll devote their Sundays to football. So get it while you can.
Rosalie Alley is a pretty interesting little detour in New Orleans in its own right. Keep walking a bit down its leafy path, past the taco stand, where it seems you’re on some country lane rather than a mere block off St. Claude Avenue, and you’ll spot the Achade Meadows Peristyle, a Vodou temple used by the local faithful.
There aren’t too many chairs around Rosalita’s Taqueria, but there is a ping-pong table out in the alley, so you can work off that burrito a bit.
And a special note for you Pizza Delicious fans: this Sunday is your last shot at their pies before the crew there takes a summer break. It’s just a short break though, Aug. 11-21.