Monday, February 3, 2014

Tujague's Restaurant Celebrates 158 Years of New Orleans History

The world famous Tujague's Restaurant, the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans.  From the Tujague's website:

"In existence before "New Orleans" even bore its name, and having served as a Spanish armory, Tujague’s restaurant has survived decades of war, depression, fire and plague to bring you a tradition of culinary excellence undiminished today.

Guillaume and Marie Abadie Tujague took this advantage in 1852 when they married and set sail for America from Bordeaux France. Guillaume Tujague became a butcher in the French Market for three years before they established Tujague’s Restaurant in 1856. They began by serving breakfast and lunch to the dock workers, market laborers and seamen who crowded that part of the riverfront. The South was still recovering from the Civil War, but Tujague’s never missed serving a meal!

The lunches were seven course affairs, but tradition says the reputation of Tujague’s from the beginning was built on two dishes – a piquant remoulade sauce flavoring spicy cold shrimp, and succulent chunks of beef brisket boiled with aromatic vegetables and served with a horseradish sauce

Tujague’s closest competition always had been Begue’s, a few doors up Decatur at the corner of Madison. The proprietor-chef there was the legendary Elizabeth Kettenring Dutreuil Begue, a Bavarian emigrant who had been cooking for the French Market crowd since 1863.

In 1906, Madame Begue, died and her restaurant was taken over by her daughter and son-in-law, the Anouilles. One of the employees at Madame Begue’s was Jean-Dominic Castet, who had come to New Orleans from France in 1905. Castet and Philibert Buichet decided to join forces, and in 1914 they bought Elizabeth Begue’s restaurant from her now-widowed daughter and hung out a new sign reading 'Tujague’s'."

Exterior view of Tujague's Restaurant as a looks today, still a favorite with locals and visitors alike, nearly 158 years later.