National Public Radio (NPR) has put a shout out for 'Hidden Kitchen' stories. Do you know of an endangered food tradition? Is there someone silently providing good eats in your neighborhood? To try to get your New Orleans food story on Morning Edition this fall, call the Hidden Kitchens hotline at (202) 408-0300. Visit www.npr.org for more information.
Chew On This
Grocery tip: Get some of this season's crazy-good Louisiana peaches and blueberries before they lose their sweetness. The combo makes an excellent cobbler. Kudos to Whole Foods Market at Arabella Station for carrying Creole and other local tomatoes at a doable price.
Rosie Lea's Bubble Tea Cafe (7638 Maple St., 861-4450) is finally open, between the Starbucks and the PJ's on Maple Street. Stop by for a bubble tea -- iced teas, blended smoothies and milkshakes riddled with black tapioca pearls -- even if your coffee allegiance lies with one of the chains. Rosie's mango and jasmine tea bubble tea is the best I've tried in Orleans Parish. Open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
On a Roll
I haven't had great experiences with the bubble teas at Jazmine Cafe (614 S. Carrollton Ave,. 866-9301), all of which seem to be made with powders rather than brewed teas and/or fresh fruits. I did however, take out some terrific spring rolls recently. The elastic rice paper wrappers were still balmy from having been freshly moistened in warm water -- a simple but significant detail, as many spring rolls are made ahead and refrigerated, making for rubbery wrappers and fillings too cold to taste. Jazmine Cafe's spring rolls also packed a wallop of fresh herbs. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.
Vicky Bayley, the proprietor at Artesia (21516 La. Hwy. 36, Abita Springs, 985-892-1662), is promoting three new weekend getaway packages this summer that should appeal especially to food enthusiasts. Package No. 1, for example, includes Friday dinner and Sunday brunch at Artesia, a visit to the farmers' market in Covington, lunch at Ristorante del Porto, and a wine tasting and 'gourmet' picnic during Jazz'n the Vines at Pontchartrain Vineyards. All packages cost $400 per couple and include two nights in one of Artesia's guest houses.
In my review of Martinique Bistro (June 26), I inaccurately reported that the restaurant doesn't accept reservations. My apologies.