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My NOLA: 20 Questions with Sam & Cody Carroll

Sac-a-Lait Chargrilled Oysters (Photo courtesy of Brustman Carrino PR)

New Orleans chefs Sam and Cody Carroll make an iconic duo. You might recognize the Louisiana locals as the owners of the award-winning Sac-a- Lait restaurant in New Orleans’ Warehouse District, or Hot Tails in nearby New Roads, Louisiana.

Soon you’ll find them on the Food Network with their debut show “Cajun Aces” premiering on December 2. The Carrolls will tackle everything from crawfish po-boys to wild boar jambalaya. They’ll take classic Cajun dishes and put a twist on them all while trying to juggle customers at their two Louisiana restaurants. Tune into the “Cajun Aces” this Saturday, December 2 at 7 p.m. Central.

We caught up with Sam and Cody to find out what they love most about New Orleans. It involves lots of eating, drinking, and enjoying some of the best spots the city has to offer. 

1. Who is your favorite New Orleanian, dead or alive, real or imagined?

Britt McPhail, Chef Tory McPhail’s Wife. She is awesome.

2. What first brought you to New Orleans?

We have always “been” here, but we made it official when we opened Sac-a-lait.

3. In your opinion – what’s the best neighborhood in New Orleans?

The Warehouse District. We are a little biased.

4. If it’s a beautiful day, where are you going to spend it?

We will head out to our secret spot in City Park and bring our daughter, Malley, fishing.

5. Describe the best meal you’ve eaten in New Orleans.

The Chef’s Table at Commander’s Palace. It blew our faces off.

Sac-a-Lait Oysters et Frites (Photo courtesy of Brustman Carrino PR)

6. Where’s your favorite brunch spot?

It depends. If it’s during the week, we go to Willa Jean for breakfast/brunch/cocktails. On Sundays we always go to Arnaud’s.

7. What’s your favorite type of po-boy? Where do you get it?

Cody’s favorite is the fried oyster po-boy from Domilise’s. Sam’s is the “Off Menu Special Po-boy” from Domilise’s. It has fried shrimp, roast beef gravy, cheese, mayo, hot sauce, and lettuce. Then we each drink 3 goblets of Miller High Life on draft. Keep it fancy.

8. You’ve got friends visiting, and it’s their first time in New Orleans – where are you taking them?

Since we are chefs, our friends expect us to take them to the best restaurants and bars in town. Our tour typically consists of the following: Patois, Compère Lapin, Napoleon House, Cochon Butcher, Carousel Bar, The Sazerac Bar, Rusty Nail, Breakfast at Brennan’s, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar, and Pirate Bar in Pirate Alley.

9. What’s your favorite neighborhood bar?

Dino’s Bar & Grill in the Warehouse District. We go there at least once a day.

10. What is your favorite New Orleans cocktail, and where do you go to get it?

Cody’s is the Sazerac from The Sazerac Bar or any bartender he trusts. Sam’s is the Pimm’s Cup from the Carousel Bar at the Monteleone.

The Carrolls’ “Thyme is on My Side” holiday cocktail (Photo courtesy of Brustman Carrino PR)

11. What’s your favorite dessert or sweet treat in the city?

King Cake. Mardi Gras is the only time of year Cody will eat an actual dessert. Normally he just eats crawfish étouffée or gumbo for dessert.

12. Best spot to see live music?

Gasa Gasa.

13. Favorite New Orleans musician or band?

Mutemath and Harry Connick Jr. They should collaborate.

14. Favorite New Orleans festival?

Jazz Fest.

15. What’s your ideal New Orleans date night?

Sam: My husband telling me to get dressed and that he has a babysitter for the night. Then he always tries to act like he isn’t driving me to Brigtsen’s (because he tries to take alternate routes) but I figure it out. We go to Brigtsen’s. It’s amazing.

Sac-a-Lait Aged Banana Pudding (Photo courtesy of Brustman Carrino PR)

16. What are your favorite local shops?

Fleur De Paris (it’s the most amazing hat shop), Fleurty Girl, and Roux Royale.

17. What is your favorite New Orleans museum?

The National WWII Museum.

18. Where do you go to watch The Saints play?

Le Booze bar (on Bourbon St. in the Royal Sonesta Hotel) after Arnaud’s brunch every time.

19. Describe New Orleans in one word.


20. When was the last time you fell in love with New Orleans, and why?

This morning. Cody was drinking a Bloody Mary at 9:30 a.m. at Willa Jean, looked around at the room full of people with drinks in their hands and said, “Damn, everyone in New Orleans drinks for breakfast!”

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