YouTube fame is fleeting, but a discerning palette? Now that'll take you places. First stop: New Orleans, home to James Beard Award-winning fried chicken, otherworldly oysters and a one-stop shop for po'boys and doughnuts that some say put Krispy Kreme to shame.
They're served up at three Louisiana eateries that Daymon Patterson, takeout food reviewer and host of the Travel Channel's upcoming series "Best Daym Takeout," believes are essential to any trip to New Orleans.
Patterson, who began his career of delivering hilarious and insightful commentary on YouTube from the driver’s seat of his car, credits social media with helping him uncover America's local gems. But it's his unique perspective that's helped millions determine which menu items are worth a try.
"I really need to find out what the people love. Let me know what the best takeout is, because it’s going to represent you –- I don’t live here, you live here," Patterson says. "Let me know what’s great to you and I’m going to do my review and find out if it’s great to me. Sometimes I love it, sometimes it just doesn’t sit that well with me, but all the same, I’m able to share that with the rest of the world."
It's that candor that not only landed Patterson his own Travel Channel show, but also a spot on 2012's viral video list. The subject of his YouTube piece: Five Guys burger and fries, a meal Patterson said is practically impossible to mess up.
"I’m big on cheeseburgers; I call it my base meal. If a particular establishment can’t do a cheeseburger right, I don’t want to know what else is on the menu, because you messed up a base meal. That’s like messing up a glass of water."
Kudos to Five Guys, but how did the establishments featured on the show's "Super Official New Orleans" episode do? Check out Patterson's reviews below and take a sneak peek of the "Best Daym Takeout," above.
"You never want to tell your mama that somebody else’s food is better than hers ... but that [Willie Mae's] batter, that’s not what mama uses. That chicken was smooth, it was golden brown, crispy, it was juicy when I took a bite. Not to say my mama’s chicken is bad –- never, ever that –- but if given a choice between the two, I may touch Willie Mae’s first. Willie Mae’s would fall right below mom’s on the mac-and-cheese flavor level, but the chicken you have to have." 2401 St. Ann Street New Orleans, La. 70119
"I don’t love oysters, but this is actually the first time that I would eat an oyster again. On the show, however, I was there for the crawfish. When you take that first bite, you taste the freshness and then it gets spicy, like a second layer of flavor. Your nose opens up and you’re smelling tomorrow." 724 Iberville Street New Orleans, LA 70130
"Po'boys for New Orleans is something that you're going to find pretty much at every corner, but at Freret's there's history with everything they've been through with Katrina and rebuilding the area. I went with the roast beef po boy. When you see that meat being broken up, the hours it takes to baste in all of those juices, it puts a smile in your face. Now that glazed donut, that's what going to set it over top. If you've ever had a Krispy Kreme, this is Krispy Kreme times five." 4701 Freret Street New Orleans, LA 70115