Wednesday, May 6, 2009

NOLA Foodie Time Warp (Part 2): McKenzie's

Blogger's Note - This is Part 2 of our series on the recent return of two iconoclastic New Orleans eateries. For Part 1 on the reopening of the original Bud's Broiler click here.

I have a confession to make. I grew up exactly one block from the McKenzie's Ice Cream and Donut Shoppe in the 900 block of Harrison Avenue in Lakeview. From time to time, unbeknownst to my parents, in the mid-afternoon I would slyly walk down the garbage alley to McKenzie's, trade three quarters for two buttermilk drops, and eat them on the walk back home.

Phew. I have been holding that one in for a long time. I feel much better now.

I swear. The rumor of the reopening of the McKenzie's on Harrison has been part of Lakeview folklore since the store closed in 2001. Yes, I know that there are several Tastee locations in the GNO area that serve the McKenzie's specialties. But the closing of the McKenzie's on Harrison was a huge blow to Lakeview. And the reopening was an even much more needed pick-me-up - especially post-K. Last week, that day finally came.

As I waited in a long line (just like I did at Bud's), the above sign taunted me so much that I almost knocked over the dozen or so St. Dominic girls standing in front of me. I stopped just short of telling myself, "OK, I think I can take on all of them at once in the case that they get the last of the turtles." (if Buttermilkdrop Norris wants turtles, he gets turtles.) Finally I made it to the counter, placed my order, and hurried home like a crack addict that wanted to hide his latest score from his fellow junkies. And there it was:

Behold in all it's glory: the buttermilk drop. The Folk Singer - a newbie to these treats - described it as "a donut stick on steroids." Works for me.

Marve at the turtle. I don't know what evil genius figured out how to fit so much chocolate on top of such a tiny cookie, but I would like to thank him.

The new Tastee/McKenzie's also serves basic grits and eggs breakfasts and "Krystal" (or "White Castle") style burgers at lunch. I hope they stay around for a long, long time.


St. James Girl said...

Does this mean that you can't go there again until next year, or have you devised a cunning lawyerly loophole?

Anonymous said...

P6- I love it! I can totally picture you sneaking down the alley!!! The turtles are the bomb- they are not quite the o.g.'s but they are as close as you are going to get.

-I cant remember my dubbed name so we will go with Megan

Rene said...

I loved those McKenzie's brownies. The little brown one with the gooey, plastic topping and the 2-3 sprinklings of chopped walnuts. They would always get stuck on the roof of your mouth. Do they have those?

Peter said...

Yes, Rene. The brownies are back too.

Triple B said...

you should have given me a shout-out for passing on the info on the grand opening i received from my mother, the LV gossip queen. i'll forgive you...this time. i can't wait to go get a buttermilk drop, mmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

More importantly, what the hell were Dominican girls doing in Lakeview. Thats Mount Carmel turf, they are lucky they escaped alive.

Anonymous said...

I spoke with the proprietor and she said they have all of the McKenzie's recipes. However McKenzie's used to make all their delightful mana at one central location, then ship it to all the stores. So the recipes all make such massive quantities that it has taken her father 2 years of tinkering to get them tasting correct in small batches.

P.S. - Supposedly the McKenzie's blackout cake will return soon if interested.

BlackenedOut said...

Blackened Out Cake?

morgan said...

I had the turtles from there and also have made the ones from the "official" recipe thats all over the internet. My whole family agrees that they are not the same - the chocolate is too jelly like - the originals had a stiffer, more buttercream chocolate. A lady I talked to who worked at McK told me that the chocolate on the turtles was the same buttercream used on the chocolate buttercream iced cakes, not the darker, gooey chocolate that Tastees is using. I was disappointed.

Wendy said...

Does anyone know if they have the McKenzie King Cakes during carnival time? That's what I miss the most!

Peter said...


I know that they sell the McKenzie's king cake with only sugar (it tasted sort of like a big donut - no cinnamon swirl or anything in the dough).

As for the iced and filled king cakes, I am not sure.