In New Orleans, Pere Antoine Has a Restaurant and Alley Named After Him, But Who Is He?
You guys, this might be my last New Orleans post? Can you believe it? Are you sad? Or are you like, girl, finally, give it up.
Either way, our last supper in New Orleans, we decided to actually plan ahead after the fiasco the night prior. Click here for that story.
Anyway, we decided to try Pere Antoine Restaurant. It is in the French Quarter, right on the corner of Royal and St. Ann. The restaurant specializes in traditional Creole and Cajun food.
But, I got to thinking, who is Pere Antoine?
Well, according to nola.com, he was born in Spain and came to New Orleans where he became a friar and a big influence on the Catholic community, "...he earned a reputation for shepherding to everyone, including slaves, the poor and even prisoners. Then, one day in 1805, when he failed to show up to say Mass, his congregants -- fearing him ill -- rushed to the little cabin in which he lived. There, they learned he had been suspended over his latest dispute with the vicar-general of Louisiana. Taking matters into their own hands, the Catholics of the city -- Americans for all of three years -- held a meeting in which they set about electing Pere Antoine their parish priest."
However, his legacy seems tarnished by some, the article goes on, "...opinions of him range from Catholic historian John G. Shea's declaration of him as "the scourge of religion in Louisiana" to C.W. Bispham's view that Antoine "did more for New Orleans, morally and spiritually, than any other known person." In their own way, both are probably right, underscoring the complexity of Pere Antoine's often contradictory legacy -- which made him a perfect fit for New Orleans."
They also say that the alley named after him, on the Northside of St. Louis Cathedral, is where his old cottage was, and there have been sightings of his ghost there!
He seems like a pretty interesting guy. And, I think he would be proud to know the restaurant that bears his name was pretty good!
I had the Creole Chicken and Tim had the blackened catfish. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals!
Also, I appreciated their enthusiasm for Halloween décor! There was a really pretty courtyard in the back too!
Also, I would like to note that New Orleans was hit by Hurricane Zeta about a week after we were there. It is very humbling to know that we just missed the storm and it is great to see that the places we patronized seem to be bouncing back and doing fine!