'Remaking Mandina’s' Ian Mcnulty, Gambit Magazine article (February, 2007)
“Mandina’s was one of those New Orleans institutions in which major change seemed impossible. But change came all at once, courtesy of Katrina . . . Everything from the drywall to the light fixtures is new. There is a better flow to the place. . . But to sit at a table and look out the neon-laced windows feels just like the old days.
The kitchen also is entirely new, but the food is unchanged and most regulars can order without looking at a menu. There’s the turtle soup spiked at the table with a shot of sherry, crab claws in wine sauce, roast beef po-boys and onion rings dusted with parsley flakes. Grilled shrimp come with the garlic-parsley-olive oil sauce known only in New Orleans as bordelaise. The fried trout amandine is served with French fries soaking in lemon butter sauce — a big, blue collar version of the dish served downtown at Galatoire’s or Arnaud’s. There’s daube — that braised antique of the beef world. Stewed chicken looks like it arrived straight from a country kitchen. . . .The scene at Mandina’s on reopening night was one of jubilation because the return of each of the city’s distinctive restaurants is another victory over Katrina.”
FROMMER’S PORTABLE NEW ORLEANS
Mandina’s 7th edition Edition, Mary Herczog (July 12, ‘06)
“In a city renowned for its small, funky, local joints as well as its fine-dining establishments, dis is da ultimate neighbahood N’Awlins restaurant. . . Go for the wonderful red beans and rice with Italian sausage, the trout meuniere, the grilled trout, or our favorite comfort food, the sweet Italian sausage and spaghetti combo. Finish up with rum-soaked Creole bread pudding, and you’ll have such a taste of New Orleans you’ll feel like a native from da old neighbahood.”
NEW ORLEANS MENU
'Mandina’s Reopens On Canal Street,' Tom Fitzmorris
“The restaurant looks terrific. They went beyond making it look as it had before the storm; and took it all the way back to the 1930s, when Mandina’s first opened. The dining areas have been reconfigured a bit. The bar is now where the rear dining room used to be, and the front room is more spacious. Not that the place could ever have enough room for all the people who want to eat lunch there on the average day . . . All the classic daily specials are back . . . Now Mid-City can really be said to be whole again.”
'Mandina’s Will Keep Its Old Building, Reopen This Fall,' Tom Fitzmorris
“New Orleans’s most cherished neighborhood cafe, Mandina’s, stood in as much as six feet of water for two weeks after the hurricane—as did many other Mid-City restaurants. I found it hard to believe that they would try to renovate their building, which was old and tilty and worn out to begin with. But, says Cindy Mandina, the old place will be saved. It already has a new roof and other construction is proceeding.”
CITYSEARCH WEB RESOURCE
'Mandina’s' by Staff Writer
Mandina’s attracts legions of locals and more adventurous tourists. Suits, older folks, and regulars. . . . Veteran waitstaff negotiates the narrow aisles with an old-school mix of grace and authority. The Food is simple, but extensive. Go with the seafood selections—hugely portioned fried shrimp po’ boys and buttery trout amandine are prepared perfectly. Variations on “red gravy and pasta” are also remarkably strong. Start off with a steaming bowl of peppery turtle soup spiked with a splash of sherry, or oyster and artichoke or seafood gumbo. Fried soft-shell crabs are also top-notch. Daily specials cover the home-style bases (smothered chicken on Monday, shrimp etouffee on Friday, corned beef and cabbage on Saturday.) Check with the bartender for table availability. He’s the keeper of the list and provider of good, stiff drinks—and this Mid-City standby usually requires a 30-minute wait.
•Prompt Seating: Yes
•Good for Kids: Yes
•Good for Groups: Yes
•Overall User Rating: Highly Recommended
Mandina’s: Canal Tradition by Pepe Citron July 18th, 1973
“ . . . Red haired, pert, and smiling Miss Hilda handles the bar chores deftly from 2 until 5 p.m., then it’s ‘into the kitchen’ . . . where she insists, ‘I’m just a salad girl.’ . . . Anthony, when he isn’t behind the bar or in the kitchen, is strolling through the restaurant area, a small, red-faced, slightly balding and curly-headed fellow with a hoarse deceptively gruff manner. He and Miss Hilda still live upstairs. Their son, Tommy was born there.
Mandina’s is loud, it’s friendly, and it’s fun. It’s draft beer and fragrant oyster loafs and spaghetti; it’s business and play and a little bull thrown in for good measure . . .all that . . . and that wonderful brass footrail, too.”