The American bar community is lucky to call Ashtin Berry one of its own. An industry veteran whose résumé includes the Ace Hotel New Orleans and Tokyo Record Bar and Air’s Champagne Parlor in NYC, Berry is also an in-demand speaker and unstoppable activist. Her most recent project is Radical XChange, a platform promoting equality in hospitality through events and forums like Resistance Served, a February 2019 symposium dedicated to Black Americans’ contributions to hospitality.
Berry is leading a movement, one venture, conference, and glass at a time. In April 2018, she spoke about intersectional feminism — the multidimensional experiences of those with layered minority identities — at Bacardi’s Spirit Forward Conference in New York City. As she lectured, an entire room of fellow bar folk sat quietly and listened intently. The same thing happened when she spoke at drinks conference Chicago Style in May 2018.
An industry authority, Berry is, of course, someone who knows exactly where and how to get a great drink. And so there is no one better than Berry to show us how to dine, drink, and play through her current stomping grounds, The Big Easy. After all, even activists gotta eat. Let’s take a look at how Ashtin Berry lets les bons temps rouler.
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“Get the cheese arepa and their house frozen Daiquiri! They put coffee beans in it.” Location.
“Mouthfeelz is owned by two women and is on the back patio of Sneaky Pickle. They have an amazing wine list that’s approachable, affordable, and fun.” Location.
“Junction is a great beer bar. There aren’t a ton of beer-specific bars in NOLA that curate the list like this place does… It’s laid back, unobtrusive, and comes without the bro culture. Plus, the wings and fries are really good.” Location.
“Go for Mag Mondays — all magnums are half off! If wine isn’t your thing, they have tons of fun cocktails. And stay for the food. I love the fried pig tails. If that’s a little too adventurous for you, then get the smoked cabbage.” Location.
Parkway Bakery & Tavern
“This is the best po’ boy in town! I love the catfish and shrimp or the roast beef po’ boy with gravy.” Location.
“The chicken salad sandwich here is soooo good (and worth the travel, I promise). Go in the afternoon, order your food at 1000, and then go next door to eat it with a bottle of wine from the women at Swirl Wine Bar.” Location.
“The Catahoula Hotel is awesome. The rooms are minimalist, but nice. The bar has an amazing Pisco selection, and… serves vegetarian, Southeast Asian-inspired cuisine.” Location.
The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery
“This hotel is definitely more posh, but has a beautiful restaurant and bar called Compère Lapin.” Location.
“NOLA isn’t that big, but I enjoy going to the Westbank area, where there are a lot of hidden gems. Visit the food stores in Hong Kong Market — the frogs’ legs at Tan Dinh are not to be missed.” Location.