Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New Orleans >
Aug 10, 2012 10:29 AM

Who was the Times-Picayune restaurant critic before Brett Anderson ?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: BayouTeche

      Thanks, He was writing for the Times-Picayune for roughly a couple decades right ?

      Is he still reviewing any restaurants for any other magazines or newspapers ?


      1. re: BayouTeche

        Nope...he retired well before Anderson arrived on the scene. We had S.M. Hahn and Craig Laban in between.

      2. Craig Laban (well-regarded in Philadelphia--despite, or because o,f being sued) preceded Brett Anderson.

        1. I seem to remember another name besides Gene Bourg, S.M. Hahn or Craig Laban as restaurant critic before Brett Anderson's first stint...For some reason, the name Fitzgerald or something like that is nibbling on my brain...any ideas?

          16 Replies
          1. re: foodiesleuth

            I paid scant attention to any of them except when they either trumpeted something I preferred be kept quiet or, as was more often, they made the mistakes of auslanders when criticizing local spots. Richard Collin was the first at that.

            1. re: hazelhurst

              Thank you...this will drive me batty for a while...;-)

              1. re: hazelhurst

                What are some of the places that she should have remained quiet about but still reviewed ?


                1. re: kevin

                  Well, it was a long time ago and many of them are now gone.(Today it is impossible to keep anything off the radar. I know a spot in the country that has killer dirty rice but I am not mentioning it because it is crowded enough on the one night per week that they have a dinner. Last thing I want is for Triple D to show up.) I remember Richard Collin trying to elevate the "Underground Gourmet" series and he took a high-falutin' approach to a lot of places that he patently never understood. I don't know if he ever appreciated the twin-nature of many local places: food is the same for tourist and local alike but the experience is different and that has to do with the patron. So we didn't like it when a known place became trendy because it was descended on. it was easier in the days when places were cash only or house accounts.that kept outside demand at bay. But I recall when Uglesich first hit the Big Time..I think Sam had just died...but it weathered along fairly well without to much trouble for years. Then it suddenly became "the hole in the wall with great food" that is the Lost Atlantis on most food enthusiasts. The "hole in the wall" is an eternal fixation in the food world.
                  Some places were immune. Mandich survived good and some poor reviews(the latter by people who just couldn't understand the place), I guess because no one wanted to go down there.

                  It was also annoying if Collin found out (he rarely did) about off-menu items that were regularly available some places. After he virtually created LeRuth's he really began to take himself seriously

                  I was a point of pride in those days that Orleans Parish had the lowest infestation of McDonald's, Burger King etc per person than any major metro area. Even the little spots were good.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    Damn, I'd love to know the name of the dirty rice joint, please ?


                    Sam was the dad of the guy who operated Uggies up to it's closing in mid 04, right ?

                    1. re: kevin

                      Sam was Tony's father.

                      I'm afraid you'll have to get out on the highways f'yourself on this place but I will say it is not a daily operation. I am looking to wheedle a few recipes.

                      1. re: hazelhurst

                        what's ur email if possible to email you off board about it ?

                        no worries, if not. Thanks again and thanks for the explanation on restaurant critics and you are positively correct on "hole in the walls" being the holy grail in the restaurant world.

                        1. re: kevin

                          WEll, I am not trying to be Reilly Ace of Spies but I don't have an email that wouldn't compromise things so I gotta leave that alone. Nothing personal.

                          Sometime you should take a ride down HWY 90, though, There's all kinds of good stuff down there. And for general FYI, you can do yourself a lot of good using Lutcher as a launching pad.

              2. re: foodiesleuth

                You're not thinking of Tom Fitzmorris, are you?

                  1. re: Christine

                    Yes! that is the name!!!
                    Thank you!

                    I first became acquainted with his name when a friend of mine who lived in NOLA at the time shared an article written by him in the Times-Picayune with a group of 'cookbookers' in Yahoo Groups.

                    Thanks again...

                    1. re: foodiesleuth

                      Hey, happy to help... :) truly, i had forgotten he wrote for the times-picayune earlier in his career; Fitzmorris came to mind when you said the name was something like Fitzgerald.

                      imho, his website ( is the go-to place for "all things dining" in New Orleans. It is exhaustively comprehensive.

                      1. re: Christine

                        Thanks again...I will look up the website.

                    2. re: Christine

                      Fitzmorris is something of a joke these days. To put the best possible spin on it, I would call him a food entrepreneur rather than a reviewer.

                      1. re: Big Easy

                        Be that as it may, his website is still the most complete and comprehensive compendium of information on all 1,366 restaurants in New Orleans and its environs. Even if he "is" a paid shill these days for the restaurants he advertises, as some folks claim, New Orleans Menu is still the first place a person should look for info about NO dining (besides Chowhound, of course - grin). If there's another website out there more exhaustively researched and detailed, I'd really like to know about it.