Yeah, I know—it’s supposed to be Six-Sentence Sunday, but sometimes you have to step outside the box, right? Today, I’d like to introduce you to Sid-Mar’s of Bucktown, one of my favorite New Orleans restaurants. I spent many evenings downing oysters either in their screened-in porch or the back patio overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. (Sid-Mar's is named for owners Sid and Mary, by the way.)
Here’s Sid-Mar’s as it looked when the following ten-sentence excerpt takes place, from Chapter 2 of Royal Street:
Two hours later, Gerry and I relaxed on the wooden deck behind Sid-Mar’s, reviewing the Lafitte job and gorging on stuffed artichokes and fried oysters. The restaurant filled a small wooden house in Bucktown, which had been an isolated fishing village on the south short of Lake Pontchartrain before the railway line connected it to New Orleans and jerked it into the nineteenth century. Now it was a suburb clinging to its colorful history.
A hot breeze blew off the lake as we crunched spicy oysters and used our teeth to scrape savory stuffing off the artichoke leaves. The food took the edge off my post-magic malaise. Until recently, we’d done these recaps after every job—a way, Gerry said, of helping me learn the mysterious ins and outs of sentinel work. Lately, he’d been putting off the reviews of his jobs, and mine weren’t worth talking about. Well, until today.
I plucked a French fry off his plate and sprinkled it with Louisiana Hot Sauce. “Lafitte made it sound like he’s tried talking you into a business deal before.” I left out the part about him calling Gerry arrogant.
And here’s what Sid-Mar’s looked like a week later:
After the storm, the federal government took the land Sid-Mar’s sat on and used it to build better flood protection for the nearby Seventeenth Street Canal. Last I heard, Uncle Sam still hadn't paid the owners for the land as promised. I’m happy to say the restaurant did reopen, but in a different location, and a piece of local history is gone.
And, yeah, that was eleven sentences. Had to stick that last one in!