Friday – December 11, 2015
Willie Mae’s Restaurant
New Orleans, Louisiana
We discovered Willie Mae’s restaurant while watching a segment on the Food Network during the summer of 2015. We decided to add this interesting restaurant to our next visit to New Orleans.
Willie Mae’s Scotch House was established in 1957 as a bar in New Orleans’ Historic Treme neighborhood. After a year the bar was moved to its current location at 2401 Saint Ann Street, which consisted of a bar, a barbershop and beauty salon in the front. In the early 1970’s, the beauty saloon closed, which brought on the demand for a restaurant from Willie Mae’s bar customers. The aromas of Mississippi and Louisiana cuisine emanating from the kitchen filled the air and brought on constant demand for delicious food.
In 2005, Ms. Willie Mae Seaton was honored with the prestigious James Beard Award for "America’s Classic Restaurant for the Southern Region." This award changed everything; bringing it from a local neighborhood eatery to a nationally recognized restaurant. Unfortunately, shortly after receiving the award, Hurricane Katrina hit the area and caused severe damage to the restaurant. With assistance from the Southern Foodways Alliance and many other organizations, the restaurant was able to reopen in 2007. Thus, bringing recognition from the Food Network and the Travel Channel as "America’s Best Fried Chicken." Today, Kerry Seaton Stewart, Ms. Willie Mae’s great-granddaughter now runs the operation that’s still serving up "America’s Best Fried Chicken." The restaurant is located in New Orleans’ 6th Ward, just blocks from the historic Treme Neighborhood and the French Quarter.
We arrived at Willie Mae’s around 1:30 p.m. If it were not for the restaurants’ sign, this would be just another home in a residential neighborhood. There were a few people waiting in line outside of the restaurant.
No need to add your name to a wait list… just wait in line. As tables become available, one of the wait staff comes outside to welcome the next group in line to their table. We had a short wait of about fifteen minutes.
Parking throughout the neighborhood is free and there is a parking lot on the corner opposite from the restaurant.
Sharon and I had their famous "America’s Best Fried Chicken" with a side of Red Beans and Rice, served with a savory Corn Bread.
We followed that delicious meal with desert. Sharon had the Red Velvet Cheesecake and I had the Turtle Cheesecake.
Having now sampled their fried chicken we can see why they have received accolades for their cuisine. We will definitely be repeat visitors to this establishment!
Tomorrow another adventure begins.