This was one of them.
I've been struggling to capture the right words to explain my dining experience at Willie Mae's. There's a reason why notable individuals such as Anthony Bourdain and President Barack Obama have visited this iconic restaurant on Saint Ann. You can expect a short wait in the line outside, but it's beyond worth it.
The food at Willie Mae's Scotch House is legendary. The fried chicken recipe is a well-guarded secret and the chicken is insanely delectable. I truly cannot think of enough adjectives to describe how wonderful it is. I'll let this video convince you in the meantime.
Are you convinced yet?
Don't get me started on how good the desserts are. This Red Velvet Cheesecake...
Willie Mae's isn't just about food. It's a powerful example of the city of New Orlean's resilience. The restaurant was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The restaurant's founder Willie Mae Seaton, evacuated to Houston during Hurricane Katrina. She later made her way back to the devastated restaurant. Surprisingly, she was found by the police standing in front of the destroyed restaurant clutching her James Beard Award medals. I can only imagine the overwhelming feelings she felt from seeing her restaurant and home in complete devastation.
Fortunately, the police were able to make contact with the Southern Foodways Alliance who assisted with rebuilding efforts. Numerous volunteers also assisted in the rebuild. Willie Mae Seaton passed away in 2015 and was hailed as the "Goddess of Fried Chicken."
Today, her great grand daughter Kerry Seaton continues to preserve the restaurants lineage and resilient legacy. I encourage you to not only dine at Willie Mae's, but also take a moment to dwell on the restaurant's rich history. Dining isn't always about the food, but much can be gained from the experience.
*** Willie Mae's has two locations. I visited the original location at 2401 St. Ann Street New Orleans, LA 70119
There is a newer second location, Willie Mae's Grocery and Deli in Uptown located at 7457 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118. This location also serves their legendary fried chicken and has longer hours than the St. Ann location.