Upside Down But Not Out
The giant, iconic root beer mug that topped its roadside sign may still be storm-tossed but TedÕs Frostop (6303 S. Claiborne Ave., 861-3615) is open again. The 12-foot-tall mug was snapped off by Hurricane KatrinaÕs winds and still stands perfectly upside down in TedÕs parking lot. The vintage burger joint was also flooded during the disaster. It reopened in late July with a somewhat abbreviated menu but its institutional sense of humor fully intact. An image of the mug, which is the restaurantÕs logo, is now printed on menus and on staff membersÕ T-shirts upside down, just like the real thing. The restaurant first opened in 1955 and retains its classic burger-joint style. Go for breakfast plates and burger combos for less than $5 and chilidogs, red beans and rice and ice cream shakes. Root beer is not yet available but expected back soon.
The taco trucks that are suddenly so prominent on New Orleans streets have nothing on taco slinger Ashley Adams, a local woman who sets up shop on the sidewalk beside PalÕs Lounge (949 N. Rendon St., 324-8899) each Tuesday evening with her dog and a grill made from a 55-gallon drum. Known as Òtaco TuesdaysÓ to the regulars at this Mid-City watering hole, the gig is helping Adams finance her beauty school tuition while also providing one of the best dinner deals in town. The tacos are $1 each and are made with barbecue chicken on soft tortillas with black beans and cheddar, plus all the tomatoes, onions, salsa and jalapenos you care to pile on. Get two and add a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer for $1 from the bar and your grand total is $3 before tipping. Tacos are generally served between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Tuesdays only.
Asian Cajun Heads Uptown
The Asian Cajun Bistro (8400 Oak St., 522-4964; www.asiancajunbistro.com) has closed its French Quarter location and moved across town to the Carrollton-area space that was formerly home to MargauxÕs and, before that, ZacharyÕs restaurants. Despite the name, the food at Asian Cajun is not even remotely Cajun. Instead, chef Philip Chan offers refreshing alternatives to standard Chinese-American restaurant fare and makes extensive use of local seafood, sausage and produce in his dishes. The fried rice is made with andouille and crawfish, for instance, while Gulf oysters are crusted in black pepper and wok-fried. There are usually several whole-fish dishes available, plenty of vegetarian options and sauces that will leave spice addicts sated. The Asian Cajun Bistro is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday. Ñ McNulty