Fire at Mona's??
Scanning the NOLA food forum, I saw that one of the Mona's locations has recently suffered a fire. I couldn't find any info on the worthless Times Picayune website. Which location?
There were suggestions of hate crime or insurance fraud on the NOLA site (which Sarah G points out is a little less, um, refined than our own).
Anybody got the skinny?
The print edition of the T-P said it was the Mid City location on Banks, which houses the bakery as well. The fire apparently started in a trash can on the patio. The article quoted the owner as saying that he thought the fire had been deliberately set.
All quite true, unfortunately. We ate last night at Mona's Marigny location, and the server told us that the owners were able to salvage the baking equipment from the main restaurant, and are looking for a location where they can set it up and get back to baking. For now they are buying pita bread from some commercial source to serve at the other restaurants. They plan to rebuild on the original site. She did not have any additional information about the source or cause of the fire. Of course we are all suspicious that it could have been a hate crime (apparently they'd received some bomb threats after 9/11) but it's too soon to jump to conclusions.
Personally, I will miss the fresh pita bread sorely until they are back in operation, and hope that doesn't take long. As far as I know, Mona's is the only locally baked source of pita bread. The burned location also had a wonderful small, but well-stocked Middle Eastern grocery.