Written by Pippin (10-year-old shih-tzu, lifetime lover of treats) who is stepping in for his person, Kim Ranjbar, in the effort to offer his expertise and insight to benefit humans and their owners.
As a distinguished, experienced canine with over 50 (dog) years spent in the heavily-perfumed, scrap-rich city of New Orleans, I feel it my duty, nay my obligation, to share my knowledge of where to find the finest baked goods for myself, all of my four-legged friends and (naturally) my human. Though many fellow tail-waggers would bark that “all treats are equal,” I think that we should offer a couple of specific locations of note to be found in the Crescent City.
Sniff your way into the French Quarter and you’ll discover Nola Dog Treats & Boutique at 813 Royal Street, only a short trot from Jackson Square. Along with a nice selection of ceramic bowls, Saint’s jerseys, squeakers, chewers and bones, this sweet boutique offers a tasty selection of baked goodies made especially for me…er…well, they are made for all dogs really, but mostly they are mine. Made from all-natural, organic ingredients these drool-worthy treats are free of artificial flavors and colors, free of unnecessary sugars and salts, and are hand made in small batches to ensure deliciousness and enhancing the flavors of ingredients like peanut butter, rolled oats, eggs and yogurt.
Another great spot I’ve found is in the Garden District on Magazine Street called Petcetera. This eclectic shop has been open and serving the canine populace for over a decade participating in all kinds of community events from creating satirical, “Dancin’ Dogfighter” treats as throws for the 2008 Krewe D’Etat parade to involvement in the more recent “Bad to the Bone” rescue benefit at the Eiffel Society. Their bakery touts homemade delights like Pupcakes, Pet Me Fours, Lady Paws and even custom cakes for birthdays and holidays like the upcoming LASPCA Dog Day Afternoon coming up at the end of this month. Let me tell you, these treats will give your tail something to wag about!
Now we wouldn’t want to forget our two-legged companions who excel at behind-the-ear scratching and long, afternoon walks and deserve to be appreciated from time to time. One spot my human really loves is located all the way downtown in the warehouse district in an area that smells distinctly like bacon called Cochon Butcher. Though the shop specializes in mouthwatering sandwiches and a deli case filled with house-cured meats, this little restaurant also features some creative cookies from time to time like the Rocky Road, a crisp loaded with chocolate, caramel and marshmallow. More recently my human tried their PB&J cookie that was as savory as it sounds, seeing as I managed to score a few crumbs she dropped on the floor while stuffing it into her face…ah animals, what do you expect?
Within walking distance of home, there’s another bakery that my human frequents over on Maple Street in the Riverbend called, appropriately enough, Maple Street Patisserie. Though Kim has often brought home flaky, delicate pastries and breads from the patisserie before, just recently she discovered Chef Ziggy’s signature treat which strangely enough (coming from a Czech baker) is the Chinese Almond Cookie. These large, crumbly, crunchy rounds yield the perfect amount of almond-rich sweetness making the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of strong tea…or so my human goes on about seeing as I prefer lukewarm bowl water with my biscuits. She also showed a great deal of passion for his Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookie that rapidly disappears into a cloud of cocoa dust followed by an ice-cold glass of milk.
In case you were wondering, there is a way to please both canine and human in one fell swoop with a delivery order placed with The Bikery. Local baker Kelly Jacques braves the pot-holed streets and errant drivers of New Orleans equipped only with her bicycle bringing freshly-baked goods to a fairly large chunk of the city. For humans she offers all kinds of cookies from chocolate chip to chewy ginger snaps and her Grandmother’s special Rice Cookies. For dogs, she features Peanut Butter Biscuits, Molasses Almond Cookies, Homemade Milkbones, Snickerpoodles and even something she calls “Dog Breath Banishers.” Made with fresh parsley and mint, these unique biscuits apparently work wonders on bad doggy breath…not that I would ever know, of course.
*Article originally published in the March 2012 issue of Where Y’at Magazine
**Nola Dog Treats & Boutique and The Bikery are closed