I have a confession - ever since running the runDisney Dopey challenge last week, I have been an endless pit of consuming any unhealthy foods I can put in my body. While I am by no means a person who follows a strict diet, I do tend to eat healthy 75% of the time, allowing myself cheat meals when I want them. Yet last week was a total debauchery. I craved and ate everything from fried chicken, cheeseburgers, whole pizzas, ice cream sundaes, brownies, cheese fries - you name it, I probably consumed it last week.
Willie Mae's copycat recipe I found online. The skin was very familiar but not the same. Also my chicken was under cooked and didn't have the same flavor.
If you find yourself in New Orleans, do yourself a favor and make sure you visit Willie Mae's. It is only open for lunch and is very busy with both locals and tourists so plan your day accordingly. I know in our household, Willie Mae's will make be an establishment we visit on every trip to the Big Easy....well maybe not our wedding weekend :)
Here's a bit of history on this historic establishment.
Willie Mae Seaton, the restaurant’s namesake and proprietress for most of its long history, originally opened the famous business in 1956 as a bar on Treme St. A year later, however, the young business moved to the corner of St. Ann and North Tonti St., where it has been ever since. For several years, this space held not only Willie Mae’s, but also a barbershop and beauty salon. When the latter businesses closed in 1972, Willie Mae’s expanded in to their former space. This expansion allowed Willie Mae’s to begin offering restaurant service, and the modern incarnation of Willie Mae’s was born.
By 2005, Willie Mae’s was locally and nationally famous for its exquisite fried chicken, smothered pork chops, butter beans and other southern specialties. In May of the same year, the small, family owned restaurant achieved what most other eateries can only dream about—it was honored by the James Beard Foundation, dubbed the ‘Oscars of the Food World’ by Time magazine, with the American Icon award for the Southern Region. Willie Mae Seaton was also honored at city hall for her contributions to the city of New Orleans. Yet, only 3 months later, Hurricane Katrina flooded the restaurant, kitchen and bar with 4 feet of water, throwing the institution’s future into doubt. Help came in the form of the Southern Foodways Alliance, which assisted in raising $200,000 and mobilized volunteers from all over the country to help the Seaton family rebuild. Due in a large part to their efforts, Willie Mae’s Scotch House reopened in April of 2007.