Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mother's Restaurant Knows Best!

Hey there! Well, let me first start off by saying how hot it is down in New Orleans for the Essence Music Festival. OMG! I was out very late/early and the temperature according to the car I was in was 90 degrees ... at 2AM! I remember this heat from when I lived in the neighboring city of Kenner, LA. I lived right next to a lake so the humidity from the gulf and the lake were killer. It just doesn't even make sense to take a shower, it's all over 10 minutes after you go outside. Given that context, as sooooon as I checked into my hotel room I turned right back around and went a block away to stand in line at Mother's Restaurant. I didn't pass go or collect 200 bucks, I just dropped my bags and left for the food. It was 10AM and the line was already pretty deep ...take a look.This is the view from my room ... very annoying for someone trying to watch their intake. My best buddy lives down here and when he saw my view, knowing how much I like Mother's, he said it's the worst room I could get. Lol. I'm doing my best to watch my portions and stuff because I had a full-on eating vacation a few weeks back and didn't say 'no' to a thing! Happily so. I don't mind shape of any kind, but I do mind having to buy new jeans, ladies ... you know the feeling. So, here I am trying to get back into my skinnier jeans (teeheehee, note I didn't type 'skinny') and I have to check into a hotel room with a view of my favorite restaurant from my Loyola days. My finger is about where I stood in line and from that point it was about a 40 minute wait. Not bad, actually ... but it was soooooooo hot and here I was wearing NYC clothes because I'd just landed. So, jeans, sneakers and all, I stood in line and chatted with a girl I was so envious of because she had on a sundress, boy did I want to change outfits. Turns out her and her man were both from NYC! So, if you guys catch this blog, it was so nice to meet you two and chat! Only towards the end of our conversation did they say ... hey are you ... Sunny? I used to get that for radio when people heard my voice and now it's for television. I gotta tell you, the hair and make up and lights make me look all cleaned up, so I'm always very puzzled when someone recognizes me. Ok, so the line outside is just the start, we go inside to stand in another line that moved much faster. It's cafeteria-style ordering and then at the end of the line you order your drink and wait for the food to come. It looked just as I remembered, full of people eating or ready to eat and pictures of people that have eaten there in the past.
I ordered the Mae's File Gumbo and Bread Pudding, but my mind ordered the entire menu. I wanted some fried catfish and grits so bad! I took it all to go, because I knew that the massacre I was about to put down on the food shouldn't be viewed in public. Here's my hotel room set up...
Ahem, I only ate one slice of the bread and ditched the rest because, really ... the bread pudding was bread enough and I was strong on that and only ate half. The rest is in my fridge waiting on a bottle of water. May handle it for a snack. Boy was it good! I now make my bread pudding using fruit cocktail because of Mother's ... don't knock it 'til you try it ... fruit cocktail is soooo good in bread pudding! The gumbo was just as I remembered not spicy, but not bland. I really like riding the thin line of too spicy when I cook, so when I eat out I really like to find dishes that make your tongue tingle a bit and your forehead sweat.

After that, I got settled and headed over to the SuperDome for the first night of the Essence Festival Concert. It was sooooo packed. They sold out for the very first time!
Packed right?! I saw so many people I knew from different cities. It happens like that when you move around plenty, you just run in to people in the craziest ways, if you are military or a mover ... you know what I mean. Small world and all. The show was pretty neat, and walking around I saw so many people, but was really psyched to see Real Housewives of Atl cast member Ne Ne ... she is funny on the show and taaaaaall in person! Here are some flicks from the show ...
That's John Legend closing out his performance atop his piano. Mary at My New 30, commented in a previous blog that The View's Sherri Shepherd was tweeting about how John Legend was crazy for wearing leather in this heat. His outfit was definitely leather, but it was freeeeeeezing inside the SuperDome! Freezing, I say. Salt n Pepa opened up the show, but I saw them earlier at sound check, good to see them back on stage. Neyo also performed, but I caught most of his show while walking around trying to find people and an elusive cafe. There was a tribute to Michael Jackson done in the local tradition of a Second Line and then the headliner ...
Yup, that's Sasha Fierce, aka Beyonce. Lemme tell ya, I've liked her music and even jammed to many of her songs, but never felt a connection if that makes any sense. Things are different now. I'm buying all her cds and I'm a huge fan. Her performance was amazing. Such a clear voice and sound, the outfit changes, the dancing. She's a true entertainer and she is much more aggressive during performances than I knew. She's an obvious Michael Jackson fan and had some pretty neat video of her when she was younger and getting ready to go see him in concert, she was so excited to go and you could see a younger version of her mom all put together and ready to see him as well. She peppered the show with videos from her childhood and at one point mirrored herself and danced on stage as an adult as she did as a child in the video ... made my skin tingle. She really is in the right place and I'm really happy she made it. I really like her. Here are some more blurry flicks ...
That's her and a bootylicious bow as part of her outfit. And really this is soooo blurry, but I said why not. I still have a picture from the first concert I ever went to and it is super blurry, but also super important to such a memorable moment.
Beyonce closed the show and afterward I headed home through a maze of traffic, that's when I got that 90 degree temperature reading I told you about. I turned in for the night knowing I was just hours away from using the hotel gym the next morning, which is today. I got up, put on my workout clothes and headed to the gym to get in some treadmill time. I got on ... started walking and turned my head to the right ... you won't believe what I saw as I was trying to work off the meals from the day before ... Mother's!!!
It isn't very apparent in this picture, but if you look between the treadmill handle and it's mainframe ... you can just make out the people standing in line. I don't know if seeing my fave restaurant while in the gym is good or bad, but after I saw it I added time on to my workout.

17 comments:

Margaret said...

I was up most of last night reading what folks were tweeting about at the concert. Next year I WILL be at Essence. I never wanted to go before, but reading the real time tweets makes me want to be there. Teena Marie is performing tomorrow, and she will be awesome, as usual! Have fun and stay hydrated!

downwithabsolutes said...

I'm with you on that treadmill! I've been a "big boy" my whole life and only in the past six months have I really been working out. You've got the same idea as me: I eat, really, whatever I want. But I work it off at the gym almost every day. Results have been fantastic: Down 80 pounds since February! I'm thinking I should stay faaarrr away from Mother's, though!!!

Mary at My New 30 said...

Oh LOL I love it .. Mother's seemed to follow you all over the hotel didn't it??! I thought you did very well on your choice though - you were much stronger than I would have been!! Well, at least you did get on the treadmill.

I love the idea of a "full on eating vacation" that's my kinda deal gal, and you know what, I don't much trust anybody who cooks if they don't have a little shape to their body ya know?

I'm sure people recognize you no matter what - you're a beautiful gal, inside and out, and that my friend will always shine through, makeup/hair/nails or not!

Thanks for sharing all the pics - looks like it was a fantastic time! I haven't been to New Orleans in several years, since pre-Katrina.

Schottzie03 said...

You didn't go for a po-boy? I don't want to inspire you to be bad but the roast beef....the oyster....

Sunny Anderson said...

IsisRaen, glad you got my msg. recipes ;-) are all done for the next run and i'm excited to shoot again in aug.

margaret, it is truly plenty of fun. after looking at sherri's tweets i looked around at some more and agree with you it is almost as if people make you feel like you are there, very exciting. if you do come, make sure to get in as much food as possible, it's all so good down here. i'm on portion control patrol and still lovin' it!

downwithabsolutes, well, my grandma and i often discuss how we love the way her genetic code was passed down the line. i come from a proud line of fully-shaped women and best part is maintenance aka, eating! and i do the same as you when it gets crazy, i do only water and plenty of it and i step up my daily activity. it's a nice way to settle on my natural size. i don't think i want to work so hard on it. there are so many other things that occupy my thoughts. you know? congrats on dropping the lbs!!

mary at my new 30, mother's is calling my name right now as i type this! i keep checking the line from my window! now, about the eating vacation, it's a must! just decide to not say no and eat everything you haven't before lol, it's really the only reason i travel. i like to eat and then secondary to that i love to experience more than just my immediate surroundings. sights, people watching, history and all of the world is just out there to explore! thanks so much for the compliment too. i'm glad you like the flicks even in their most blurred state teeheehee. loud speakers and the adrenaline of the show combined to give those results! i don't know how anyone gets a good shot with the low shutter speed of a cell phone camera in those situations ... hope you like the next pics, you won't believe what happened! the last time i was here is before katrina as well and i feel it's been long overdue. i miss this city and i'm having a great time.

schottie03, i didn't do the po boy because i knew the bread was just too much and excessive. and if i did do a po boy i'd want more than one lol, an oyster and a shrimp one! maybe tomorrow i'll decide between the two and have one. i think the lines will slow down then. if i have one, i'll take a flick of it so you can visually eat it!

Nikki said...

I like how your mind ordered everything on the menu @ Mother's. My mother's people are from Nawlins; next time I'm down, I'll make a beeline. Good for you for having restraint! And double good for you for getting on that treadmill & working it off. Beyonce was in Greensboro just a little over a week ago & her shows are amazing. Always amazing.

Lana said...

http://omg.yahoo.com/news/en-vogue-marks-20-years-with-essence-fest-concert/24822

I thought Dawn Robinson had a most interesting quote, "The industry has changed. It's not just about getting a record deal anymore. It's about exposure."

Truer words ..., eh?
:-)

Chrystal & said...

Mother's is like that?! *added to must eat restaurants* You had a blast! John Legend and India Arie will be in LA in Sept. Can't wait.

Lana said...

p.s. "Sunny's Summer Eats" this Saturday night? Did you tell us that was coming up ... and I missed it? :-)

Sunny Anderson said...

nikki, yeah mother's was great and just like i remembered. and omg beyonce, i think i would totally buy tickets to see her again and that is so not me ... i'm cheap, i'm normally like been there, done it, don't need to do it again when it comes to live shows, but i'd see her again.

lana, yeah very true in some instances

chrystal, yeah mother's is pretty darn good eatin'. john is always pretty good, i saw him so much during my radio career hosting shows and stuff. nice dude.

lana, i'm posting 2moro! i think i mentioned it in comments, but duh ... that's not actually an announcement huh? thanks for the reminder!

Marcella said...

Since you brought up your cute 'full-figuredness' I thought this might be a good time to ask if you could please please pretty please do a blog(or just comment) about your wardrobe!!! Your clothes are so flattering on the show, and I think you are wonderful role model on how women can be healthy and happy, yet still maintain their REAL shape! I have a figure much like yours, and have a similar style. I would love to know what brands you like, especially in jeans and those adorable hoodies, etc. Thanks, Sunny!

Sunny Anderson said...

marcella, no prob and welcome to the blog! i think it's a great idea, but i am fashionably challenged. I know what I like, but often not where to find it lol. maybe when i go back and tape i can have my wardrobe stylist do a guest blog. in the meantime, i wear joe's jeans because they fit. i have a few ruehl brand jeans. but only on my skinnier days. they only go to 34 and i'm a big 34 not a small 34 so it depends on the cut of the jeans. I also wear akademiks jeans, but have to sew the front pockets on all of them because they pucker from my thighs lol. only costs 5 bucks. the hoodies are mostly lucky brand, akademiks and believe it or not, non-brands. i also do arden b online for personal events and new york and company usually has my size. try banana republic for slacks that fit, i at first didn't believe i'd fit that brand, but i do ... so you may too. most of my tanks are american apparel and my shoes are always adidas. :-)

Lys said...

Fashionably challegend - I think not :) C'mon now Sunny.

As for the shows at Essence, Salt N Pepa and En Vogue - hot damn! I would have gone nuts to see either - speaking of En Vogue, I'm hearing that there are dates on the horizon with one of my clients from back in the day - will shoot you an email when I get confirmation (and other scoop.) Hope all is well!

Sunny Anderson said...

lys, girl ... i am. i will wear the same jean everyday for a week and not care. i also love t-shirts. this dressing like a grown up thing is new to me. all praise to the wardrobe dept. i asked marni, my stylist, to do a guest post when we tape in august and she can hopefully answer all clothing queries. and i missed en vogue!! the shows were so off schedule!

Marcella said...

Thanks for your answers! I told my husband (who watches FN religiously) how impressed I am with you... answering all your own questions, writing this blog, etc. You're the best! :)

I'd love to hear what your wardrobe stylist has to say! In the meantime, I'm going to check out those brands ASAP! I never thought about Banana Republic either and that's good to know. I'm a size 12, but with 'generous' hips and a booty! ;) Hard to find pants that are flattering. And I hear you on the pocket buckle. So annoying! I will have to get mine sewn down. Great idea. I like the back pockets anyway.

Take Care!

Sunny Anderson said...

marcella, stick around and i'll surely have the wardrobe stylist do a guest blog at the most and an interview at the least ... i'm slow, but i'll get it done!

Katie said...

My mom watched an episode of your show this week or last where you made the bread pudding with fruit cocktail. She asked me to try and find the recipe for her... I tried the Food Network website but haven't been able to find it. Any chance you can direct me to the recipe?!