The Best of New Orleans This Week

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EAT — It’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” gem of the Lower Garden District! Maya’s is a Latin fusion joint that will satisfy every part of your taste buds. From the delicious yucca fritas on the appetizer list, to the amazing fish, chicken and veggies on the dinner menu, this tiny place has something for everyone. Their specialty mojitos are famous in the neighborhood and some of the most authentic in the city. They offer an affordable 3-course lunch special Tuesday-Friday for $12.99. Dinner is Tuesday-Thursday 5:30PM -10:00PM, Friday-Saturday 5:30PM – 11:00PM. Sunday Brunch 11:00AM – 3:00PM. 2027 Magazine Street.

SEE — Miss Sophie Lee is one of those Frenchmen Street gems that tourists would thank their lucky stars to stumble upon, and who locals adore for her syrup-smooth crooning. The Chicago native migrated to New Orleans in 2001 armed with a killer set of vocal chords and a hunger for the city’s exceptional music scene. She has since released an album with members of the Jazz Vipers and holds a regular set at the Spotted Cat (not to mention a special place in our hearts). Get a taste of her lovely, understated standards this Thursday at 6:00PM – 10:00PM. 623 Frenchmen Street. FREE.

EAT — Any restaurant that gives back to up and coming chefs is cool in our book. Recently, The Emeril Lagasse Foundation and NOCCA partnered with three kids from their culinary arts program to create original dishes inspired by Louisiana cuisine. We were on board for the judging and can say without a doubt you are going to be in for a treat! All three dishes will be featured in every Emeril’s restaurants around the country during the entire month of October. The Emeril Foundation also donated a $100,000 grant to NOCCA to finalize their culinary arts program. Please support these local kids by eating at any Emeril restaurant helping develop NOLA’s next great chef!

DO — It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived here your entire life or just a few months, you can always find out something new about NOLA every time you leave the house! Sign up for DAT NOLA RACE 2010 and use your wit to solve clues, your charm to get help from the locals, and your speed to overcome your competition and conquer the course in the least amount of time. After being briefed, teams of two or more will receive the first of a series of challenging clues leading them to the next location/activity. This will continue for the next few hours until you have arrived at the finish line. Saturday October 23rd. Begins at 2:00PM in Washington Artillery Park.

LAGNIAPPE — John Thompson and Norris Henderson were innocent all along, but the broken criminal justice system of Louisiana landed them behind bars for a collective 45 years. Now they are fighting back through the powerful stage performance Voices of Innocence, during which they recount the harrowing, sickening experience of life in Angola prison as innocent men. Their upcoming appearance at Loyola University comes on the heels of Thompson’s October 6th Supreme Court battle to hold accountable the district attorney whose misconduct cost him 18 years of his life. Be sure to come out to hear these incredible men tell their stories, and learn more about Voices and wrongful incarceration through Resurrection After ExonerationLoyola University’s Nunemaker Hall. October 25th, 7:30PM. Open to the public, FREE.

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