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Channeling her inner Jack Nicholson

Ne Orleans travel writer Millie Ball

As visitors sample mudbugs and meat pies at Jazz Fest in the Big Easy today, a New Orleanian in the Big Apple discovers that condiment savvy can be selective and that “dressed” carries only fashion connotation above the Mason Dixon Line.

This missive arrives from New Orleans journalist Millie Ball, in Brooklyn for a travel writers’ meeting:

Ate lunch today at a Brooklyn deli someone recommended ….. tiny place that has received a lot of press.

First I ordered the shaved brussel sprout salad, with shaved cheese and other stuff that sounded fabulous when i read abiut it online.

They had changed the salad offering to something with fava beans.

So I ordered the smoked brisket, but asked for mayo, not mustard.

“We don’t serve mayonnaise,” said the woman behind the counter.

“So if you don’t want mustard, it comes dry?”

“Yes. But I can put the mustard on the side. Most people really like it.”

“Is this a kosher deli?”

“No, but the owner is from Montreal, and they don’t serve mayonnaise with their smoked meats there.”

“But I’m from New Orleans. We put mayonnaise on everything”

I looked at the menu.

“I see chicken salad. Isn’t there mayonnaise in that?”


“So can’t I use the mayonnaise you put in that?”

“We don’t have any mayonnaise here.”

“So you buy your chicken salad already made?”

“No. We make it, but somewhere else.”

I looked at the menu again.

“What about the potato salad? May I look at it?”

It had mayo in it — and yes, it was made somewhere else.

Finally, I ordered the brisket with a wee bit of mustard on the rye bread. With each bite of the sandwich, I speared some potato salad with mayo in it.

It worked!

A Diet Coke?

What do you think?!

Not on the menu …. tea, coffee, cream sodas.

Author Millie Ball, former Travel Editor of The Times-Picayune, covers travel for online and print publications nationwide.


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