“Famous” restaurants are one of my favorite places to visit when I travel. This time, Mother’s Restaurant was one of the top recommendations I got from NOLA CVB.
Why Mother’s New Orleans is Worth a Visit
The thing that truly caught my attention was that they are known for having the best baked ham in the world. That is a pretty big statement to make. I’m no baked ham connoisseur so I can’t honestly tell you if it’s the best but I had to try it! And it was really good.
But to me the presentation was the most fun. After they bake the ham, they take it to the service counter so everyone can see it. This was a huge hit. My boys were really excited and I wasn’t the only one taking photos of it.
What I can say is that, after visiting plenty of restaurants and trying the different New Orleans cuisine, they have the absolute best Crawfish Etouffee and Rice and Beans in all of New Orleans (to my taste). And I’m sticking to that statement.
Another thing I learned from visiting so many restaurants is that some times when you walk into one you want to taste everything. That’s why I keep saying that they should all offer combo taster platters. You can’t imagine how happy I was when I learned that Mother’s does just that.
Fun Facts About Mother’s Restaurant
• Mother’s Restaurant opened its doors in 1938 on Poydras Street’s “Restaurant Row”.
• The owners, Simon and Mary Landry, cooked po’ boys for lines of longshoremen and laborers, newspapermen and attorneys.
• During and after World War II, Mother’s became a local hang-out for the U.S. Marine Corps.
• Five of the seven Landry children (five sons and two daughters) joined the Marine Corps.
• Francis Landry was the first woman in Louisiana to be accepted into the Corps.
• This special association with the Marines earned Mother’s the title of “TUN Tavern New Orleans” in the late ’60s.
• In 1986, the Jerry and John Amato bought Mother’s from the Landrys’ sons.
• Jerry Amato, chef and proprietor, doubled the size of the menu.
• Traditional New Orleans dishes like jambalaya and Shrimp Creole were added.
• For over 22 years Oda Mae Peters ran the roost in the kitchen at Mother’s. Through three sets of owners she endured as the heart and soul of Mother’s cooking missing only one day of work in 22 years. Her nieces still work in the restaurant.
What is Crawfish Etouffee
• This dish is found in both Cajun and Creole cuisine.
• It is typically served with shellfish over rice.
• In French, the word “étouffée” (borrowed into English as “stuffed” or “stifled”) means, literally, “smothered” or “suffocated”.
• Étouffée is most popular in New Orleans and in the Acadiana area of the southernmost half of Louisiana.
• Étouffée can be made with any shellfish such as crab or shrimp, though the most popular version of the dish is made with crawfish.
• Approximately in the 1950s crawfish etouffée was introduced to restaurant goers in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.
• The date of invention of this dish has been shown as early as the late 1920.
What is Jambalaya
• It is a Louisiana Creole dish of Spanish and French influence.
• Jambalaya is traditionally made in three parts, with meat and vegetables, and is completed by adding stock and rice.
• Creole jambalaya originates from the French Quarter of New Orleans.
• It was born as an attempt by the Spanish to make paella in the New World, using local ingredients.
• Jambalaya experienced a brief jump in popularity during the 1920s and 1930s because of its flexible recipe.
• In 1968, Louisiana Governor John J. McKeithen proclaimed Gonzales, Louisiana, the Jambalaya Capital of the World.
• There is an annual Jambalaya Festival held in Gonzales every spring.
Information about Visiting Mother’s Restaurant
Address: 401 Poydras, New Orleans, LA
Phone (504) 523-9656
Hours: 7:00am – 10pm Mon-Sun