The Politics of Food

Eating Our Words Exclusive: What New Mayor Annise Parker Likes to Eat

We know President Obama likes hamburgers. The national press made sure to tell us both times he went out to buy some.

But what about Annise Parker?

Our history-making new mayor is famous, too, darn it. She's been all over TV. But the media has been too distracted by piddly little things like "budget shortfalls" and "police reforms" to ask her what she likes to eat.

So we took it upon ourselves to visit her new office this week and ask.

Do you have a favorite restaurant? Because I live in Montrose I happen to believe the best restaurants in the city are in Montrose. My favorites, it's mostly because they're in the 'hood. I eat breakfast at Harry's and The Breakfast Klub, both close to home. I love Niko Niko's, and Riva's is where I go for quiet comfort cooking from Michael over there. My very first victory party 12 years ago was at Riva's -- they had just opened and that's still one of my favorite places. I love Sorrento for the white-tablecloth experience. And I understand the old Café Montrose has morphed into Jeannine's Bistro -- the restaurant that taught me to love Brussels sprouts! (Laughs). Mexicana, another favorite breakfast spot. That's where my in-laws went for lunch after the inauguration. Going a little farther afield, I'm a huge Spanish Flower, Mexican food person.

How about snacks -- what's in your desk at work? I keep a jar of peanut butter -- organic peanut butter, sugar-free. It's just peanuts and, I guess, a little salt. That's my pick-me-up. I just get a big spoon and eat it out of the jar. And I keep cans of tuna and chicken in the desk, sort of the hurricane food, my quick protein fix.

Do you pack your lunch? Is it the same every day or do you vary it? I used to bring leftovers from home. In fact, in my executive staff in the controller's office, whoever had the big party the weekend before would bring leftovers in (laughs), but in the heat of the campaign that got away. I don't know what we'll be doing here.

Let's say it was a stressful council meeting. Do you reach for a drink when you get home? I do not drink in public at all, and I rarely drink at home. Neither Kathy [Hubbard, her partner] nor I are wine drinkers, and I don't drink beer. We have an excellent selection of Scotch at the house, and we have an excellent selection of port. Kathy's the Scotch drinker; I'm the port drinker.

Do you have a top dish at a restaurant? Other favorite foods? See, we do not eat out very much, and I'm not going to be eating out a whole lot, I'm afraid, because the public scrutiny is a little intimidating. But I'm a carnivore, I'll just say. I drink various formulations of black tea. I'm a big fan of the chicken Caesar from La Madeleine.

Lastly -- what's for dessert? I'm a pie person, but my absolute favorite cake is Italian Cream from Acadian Bakery, again in Montrose. It's like, probably 3,000 calories a slice, but it's good stuff.

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Mike Morris
Contact: Mike Morris