Here’s how I ended my day: with a dozen raw oysters at Lüke, one of the happiest places in New Orleans. I’d gone down with a couple of friends, including a fellow Walker Percy Weekend organizer, for a meeting about getting Louisiana places onto the Southern Literary Trail. You would have thought that finishing lunch at Antoine’s with baked Alaska and a flute of Champagne would have been enough, and for most people, it would have been. But not Your Working Boy and his traveling companions. We just had time to go by Lüke for the 50-cent raw oyster happy hour. Those are my dozen, and my ice-cold glass of Lüke’s house amber; one of my pals, she had more Champagne, and my other pal had the house lager.
If it were up to me, we’d still be there. Man, I love eating at Lüke. Fifty-cent raw oysters during happy hour — can’t beat that. At the restaurant, I picked up a bottle of something really interesting that our former commenter Thursday left for me on his trip earlier this year to New Orleans: a bottle of chokecherry champagne from Canada. Thank you, Thursday! And thanks to Lüke for holding it for me till I could get back.
More VFYTs from the past few days. Here’s an iconic shot from the Fourth of July. I would have posted it the other day, when the reader sent it, but he forgot to put the city and state. I wrote him back to ask: St. Louis, Missouri. He said that he met my cousin Amy at a block party there the other day. Sure enough, they were in St. Louis, visiting Amy’s folks for the Fourth. He overheard her say she was from St. Francisville, and he struck up a conversation with her. What a small world. Here’s his shot. Does this look like America on the Fourth of July, or what?:
A reader in Tucson (OK, Darth Thulhu, if you must know) sent this shot from his Netherlands-Costa Rica World Cup viewing party on Saturday:
The room in the distance is the staging kitchen for our World Cup potluck. The plates and platters on the walls above the cabinets are each decoratively patterned by a different restaurant somewhere along the border region.
The white platter holds pineapple-bacon chicken sausage. The nearest green plate holds smoked venison to the left of the fork, smoked tri-tip to the right. The dessert is an American flag whitecake (there will also be Thin Mints ice cream), and the distant green plate is cinnamon-cumin-cayenne yams; jalapeño cornbread; and a quartered portobello mushroom cap with onion, garlic, pork shoulder, spinach, and smoked gouda.
On the drive back home, my traveling companions and I played the bucket list travel game. I found it impossible to imagine wanting to go anywhere in the world where I didn’t think I could get a good meal. Shocking, I know.