Tamica Lee may be most known for her role on Bravo’s “reality” TV show, Southern Charm, but locals know this Southern belle has been on the scene long before then. Lee got her start as a professional cheerleader with the Saintsations, the cheer team for the New Orleans Saints, where she became the team coordinator during her nearly 20-year stint with the team. If you’re in town, you can also see her on screen as the co-host of WGNO’s News With a Twist, an alternative news program. Somewhere in between starlight and motherhood, we caught up with Lee to find out some of her favorite spots in the city.
1. Who is your favorite New Orleanian, dead or alive, real or imagined?
My mother, Cynthia Guillaume Lee.
2. What first brought you to New Orleans?
My father, Bivian Lee, played football as a Cornerback for the New Orleans Saints. He left New Orleans for him to play for the LA Rams and Denver Broncos. In 1984, he wanted to return to New Orleans since my mother is originally from New Orleans (Pontchartrain Park). Unfortunately, my father died suddenly of a heart attack that same year, so my mother decided to stay and raise her children in New Orleans.
3. In your opinion – what’s the best neighborhood in New Orleans?
Depends. For history, Tremé/French Quarter. For food, Warehouse District. For music, Frenchmen/Marigny. To live, Garden District//Mid-city/Lakeview. For Saints…SUPERDOME!
4. If it’s a beautiful day, where are you going to spend it?
City Park or Audubon Park and snowballs and crawfish!
5. Describe the best meal you’ve eaten in New Orleans.
My mother-in-law’s cooking. That’s the beauty of New Orleans; the best meals are cooked at home with love and soul. Her gumbo, soul food, sides, and desserts are hands-down on of the main reasons why I married her son.
6. Where’s your favorite brunch spot?
Commander’s Palace is a staple (you have to experience it) or Ruby Slipper/Cafe Atchafalaya. Those are my top brunch spots.
7. What’s your favorite type of po-boy? Where do you get it?
Shrimp, butter, and pickles only on French bread! Parkway.
8. You’ve got friends visiting, and it’s their first time in New Orleans – where are you taking them?
We’re going to start with brunch, then take a walk about and go shopping in the French Quarter, then take a streetcar ride down St. Charles Avenue, grabbing a drink along the way, followed by lunch on Magazine, and maybe a stop at the WWII Museum. Dinner will depend on what they want to eat. Next we’ll take a ghost tour and carriage ride followed by drinks on Bourbon and then dinner in the Warehouse District. We’ll find someplace with live dancing music until….
9. What’s your favorite neighborhood bar?
Barrel Proof on Magazine Street.
10. What is your favorite New Orleans cocktail, and where do you go to get it?
French 75! Anywhere that makes it.
11. What’s your favorite dessert or sweet treat in the city?
12. Best spot to see live music?
Spotted Cat to see my “sister” Robin Barnes and her husband Pat Casey.
13. Favorite New Orleans musician or band?
I’m loving Tank and the Bangas right now and grew up next door to PJ Morton (I love all his music)…so both!
14. Favorite New Orleans festival?
French Quarter Fest.
15. What’s your ideal New Orleans date night?
Magazine Street. Can walk around, grab a bite, and hang out at a local lounge.
16. What are your favorite local shops?
Did I mention I love to shop! Angelique’s, Tre Blue, Maiya, Chatta Box, and Hemline. I love to shop local.
17. What is your favorite New Orleans museum?
I have a few. The New Orleans Museum of Art and The National WWII Museum are two favorites, and I just recently took my daughter to Le Musee de f.p.c. to show her history in the city. We loved it!
18. Where do you go to watch the Saints play?
The past 18 years from the sideline as a Saintsation and then coach. This year I’ll still be in the Dome not sitting in the stands but cheering and dancing! Can’t keep me away!
19. Describe New Orleans in one word.
20. When was the last time you fell in love with New Orleans, and why?
I fall in love with New Orleans every day because there is always something new and something old discover.