Welcome to Sound Cheque, where we sit down with one of our favorite bands to get the scoop on their city-by-city dining picks.
This year, Louisiana rapper Big Freedia has gone from local celebrity to champion of a new music movement. Freedia is an icon in New Orleans' gay/transgender rap scene, known as "sissy bounce," and over the past few months, she has caught the attention of promoters and journalists around the country. Big Freedia has played her raunchy dance hits like "Azz Everywhere" on bills like JellyNYC's pool parties and LA's F Yeah Fest, and has even been the subject of a recent seven-page story in the New York Times Magazine. We caught up with her to talk New Orleans food and her favorite finds from a year on the road.
You've been playing around the country a bit this year, where have you had your best meal/dining experience on tour?
In Los Angeles, definitely Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles. Roscoe's reminded me of a home-cooked meal. The chicken tasted good and I loved the waffles! It just reminded me of home.
New Orleans has such a rich history when it comes to food, what are your favorite local spots you miss when you're on tour?
Oh yeah definitely! Manchu Kitchen, Cajun's Restaurant, Gene's Po Boy. Yeah, I miss a whole lot when I'm on tour. And I definitely miss my momma's food.
Does your mom have a particular specialty?
Well my favorite is cabbage, so she will do that for me. But she makes it all.
Do you have any dining requirements on tour?
I'm not a vegetarian or anything like that, but I try not to do too much fast food because I eat a lot of fast food at home. When I am on tour I want to do something different, I'm experimental when I'm on tour. I try new foods.
What are your guilty pleasure foods on the road?
No guilt from me, I eat everything. Whatever it is, I eat it and I'm not scared to say it!
A lot of folks we've talked to have a pretty strong hometown pride when it comes to their food. Have you ever encountered authentic New Orleans or Cajun cuisine outside of Louisiana?
Oh no! There's just no comparison!
When you're in New Orleans, you're usually performing at clubs six nights of the week until about 4 a.m. As a night-owl, what are your favorite late-night spots? What do you usually order?
Yeah, that's why I love Gene's Po Boy, they're open 24 hours — I'll order a hot sausage po-boy, or a cheeseburger, or a roast beef on french, everything is so great there. Or I might go to Deja Vu off the (French) Quarter.
Do you have a late-night meal of choice?
It just depends on what I'm feelin'. It might be breakfast — it might be a burger or pizza — just depends on the night. There are a few spots in the Quarter that I usually go to like Vieux Carre, this pizza spot in the Quarters, or I'd get a burger at Port of Call if it's not too late.
Do you have a favorite burger in the city?
Oh yeah, the Port of Call burger! They have these huge burgers that come with potatoes fully loaded and they are just to die for.
Do you have a favorite fine-dining experience on tour or locally in New Orleans?
I'm really not too hard to please, I like simple stuff. I'd rather go to an Applebee's than a nice restaurant. But above all: Mama's kitchen baby, I'll drop any of those meals for Mama's kitchen.
And finally.....the LIGHTNING ROUND!
Best pizza: Vieux Carre Pizza
Best burrito or taco: Taco Cabana
Best diner: Houston's
Best coffee shop: Starbucks
Video: The New York Times Magazine's look at Big Freedia and New Orleans' "Sissy Bounce":
Music Video for Big Freedia's single "Ass Everywhere" (slightly NSFW):
Or check out Big Freedia's album, "Big Freedia Hitz Vol. 1," available on iTunes.
· Big Freedia [Official Site]
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