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Jan 15, 2012 02:57 PM

Saffron, Vietnamese Farmer's Mkt, Brocato's Eat Dat, St Patrick's and St Joseph's Days

Returning home in March and thinking of trying some new places.

Any recent visits to Saffron? Indian-New Orleans cuisine sounds tantalizing, but the fact that they are only open on Friday's makes it a little challenging this trip.

Is it worth getting up early on Sat. to visit the Vietnamese Farmer's Mkt. in Michaud? Are outsiders welcome?

How about Brocato's Eat Dat? Maybe after the Market. But then we might be a little late for the Irish Channel St Patrick's Day Parade. We're staying close enough to walk. Is it necessary to get to the parade early? Maybe a special trip for Brocato's Eat Dat. Worth it?

Any St. Joseph's Day Bread Alter or food opportunity tips?


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  1. My husband and I go to that farmer's market nearly every Saturday. The only problem you may have is finding someone to translate with one or two of the older women, but everyone has been very helpful in that regard. We always eat at Pho Bang, then hit Duoc Phong bakery just past that for amazing bread and pastries. Make sure you get an early start. Farmer's start leaving by 8:30 am.

    5 Replies
    1. re: natchez

      Thanks for the tips, natchez. Do you think the experience of visiting the market is worth a one time trip and early wake up? We won't have a kitchen, so other than what we can eat there, we'll not be shopping. We'll be traveling from uptown.

      1. re: gumbolox

        The farmer's market generally has only about 15 vendors. One or two will have sticky rice bundles and some kind of rice "plate" (boiled egg, meat, veg over rice). It's not a place I would go for charm, it's in a rather trash-strewn parking lot across from a river front plant of some kind (poss. refinery). So....hipsters with baby strollers it ain't.

        1. re: natchez

          That "plant" is certainly NOT a refinery, it's the Folger's coffee roasting plant. It underwent a $60mm upgrade as part of an expansion last year. The wonderful smell of roasting coffee often floats over the whole area.

          Read more about the Folger's plant here:

          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            OK, so maybe we'll play it by ear, depending on weather and what kind of Friday night we've had. And hey Celeste, did you ever get that Tartine Loaf on your SF trip? Would love your feedback on my other queries. Ever been to Saffron Nola or Brocato's Eat Dat? Any St. Joseph's Day tips or tips on the Mardi Gras Indian's Super Sunday?

            1. re: gumbolox

              I didn't get a loaf, but I did get a generous sampling in the form of sandwiches, as well as a tart and a croissant (all were superb).

              The St. Joseph's altars are usually listed in the Times-Pic (online too), and the St. Joseph's church in Gretna has an especially elaborate altar. Haven't been to Saffron NOLA, due to very limited hours.

              The NO East market isn't very large, and it has non-food merchandise mixed in with the food. Still, a trip out to the east for Dong Phuong's offerings or a sandwich at Sao Mai is worth the drive, IMHO.

    2. I went to Saffron once and enjoyed the meal. I love Indian food and this food is sometimes resembling Indian, but more fusion food. Not as spiced as classical Indian if I remember correctly but all elegantly done.

      I went to the Vietnamese farmer's market about 30 years ago and then it's not that outsiders weren't welcome, it was just a Vietnamese thing for Vietnamese. Interesting cultural experience that I didn't feel unwelcome at.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lenwood

        The fusion part is what interests me. Plenty of good Indian food in the Bay Area where I live. Did it seem like a uniquely New Orleans kind of fusion? Anybody try the curried gumbo?