The New Orleans Restaurant Bounce, After Katrina

August 4, 2015
By: Kim Severson, New York Times
Photo: New York Times

On a brutally humid day almost 10 years ago, Donald Link was a sweaty, desperate man in a respirator mask lugging a rotting pig’s head to the curb.

Unlike nearly 80 percent of New Orleans, his French-influenced restaurant, Herbsaint, hadn’t flooded when the levees failed during Hurricane Katrina. But the pig’s head, along with enough food to fill 50 trash bags, had been putrefying ever since the storm hit three weeks earlier.

The city still felt a lot like an armed camp then. A tour by The New York Times three weeks after Katrina found that most restaurants were closed, save for a few makeshift hotel operations and one brave little diner called Slim Goodies.