On her recent trip to New Orleans, Food & Wine‘s Kate Krader found rumors of the city’s waning food scene to be unwarranted. In fact, Krader says NOLA is on the cusp of some very exciting new developments, including an Emeril-supported cooking program at notable high school of the arts NOCCA, and the $35 million John McDonogh culinary high school.

While visiting with locals like Treme‘s Wendell Pierce, chef Donald King, and real-estate developer Sean Cummings, she discovers plenty of noteworthy local grub. We read about chef Susan Spicer’s “smoked duck, cashew butter and pepper jelly sandwich” and Link’s “slow-cooked lamb neck with saffron fideos (Spanish noodles).”

And we learn (more) about the culinary profile of Bywater, a New Orleans neighborhood so reminiscent of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg that it also goes by Bywater-Burg. The reference isn’t random, as Krader points out its historical connection to Jack Kerouac.

In Bywater alone, there are goat tacos and a bourbon cocktail with basil, peach bitters, and paprika at Maurepas Foods. There’s also a “groovy” brunch place that has a quinoa salad “all food people talk about.” Piety Street Sno-Balls features flavors like kaffir lime and Vietnamese coffee made from classic Café du Monde ground coffee. And perhaps appropriately given the ‘hood’s nickname, Bywater’s current hot spot is a joint that serves crispy NY-style pizza.

[via Food & Wine]