While I would be the last person to hail the virtues of subversive eating, this time of year can often bring out the worst in people. On New Year’s Day you spout off bombastic resolutions that include lofty goals like exercising daily, giving up sweets and fitting into those jeans you haven’t donned since high school. Then, only days later, you begin to regret every grandiose promise you made as your family, friends and co-workers relentlessly question and criticize every morsel that passes your lips. Remonstrations abound from “Diet soda is actually terrible for you” to “You should really take the stairs instead of the elevator” and the classic “Are you really going to eat that?”
In these desperate times I feel compelled to share my snacking wisdom, so that you too will be able to indulge now and then with no one the wiser. Before we begin, you should always remember that there are three important rules to subversive snacking. First, always keep your snacks small. Not only will they be easier to cram into your face in record time, but you also won't feel quite as guilty as if you, say, polish off a large pepperoni pizza. Secondly, keep a well-stocked supply of wet naps and paper towels in your car for the occasional mishap, along with an additional skirt or blouse just to be on the safe side. Remember, if you are forced to change clothes, your reason is, say it with me now, “I spilled coffee on myself in the car.” Coffee spills are always the safest excuse for two valuable reasons: everyone does it and it's calorie-free. Finally, it's important to always keep breath mints on hand. Almost anyone, especially co-workers and children, can smell cake frosting from a mile away.
Now that we've covered the preliminaries, there are several, delicious small-bite suggestions that are easy to eat on the go, delightfully sinful and definitely not on your diet. Before heading home where your mother-in-law has graciously whipped up a sensible meal of tofu and raw carrots, stop by Toups' Meatery on North Carrollton Avenue in Mid City. Although you may be tempted to order some of their Confit Chicken Thighs or Duck Choucroute with Pork Belly, it would be better if you played it safe with a small, side order of Fried Boudin Balls. Each of the three, delectable bits can be consumed in two bites or less, a dish easily consumed before you even reach I-10. Tread carefully with the Creole mustard served alongside, though, and don't forget that after-snack mint!
Another savory can be inhaled at Pizza Delicious in Bywater. Call and order before you do a drive-by, jump out of the car on Piety Street and hop back in with your hot, fresh Broccoli Cheese Rolls in hand. This dainty will require a little more preparation and you might want to play it old-school with a large napkin tucked into the neck of your shirt. After all, these rolls (two for $5) are flaky, tender, cheesy creations that are guaranteed to melt in your mouth and leave lots of little crumbs behind. As an added precaution, you should also lay a few napkins in your lap and don't forget to wipe down your steering wheel!
Finally, for a little something on the sweet side, pop into Bittersweet Confections on Magazine Street in the Warehouse District for some “coffee.” If you have religiously practiced my rules and have perfected the art of “eating on the sly,” you'll have no difficulty with covertly slipping a decadent Pecan Tart into your order. Made with a buttery crust, creamy pecan filling, local, Bergeron pecans and drizzled with dark chocolate, it will be difficult to resist gobbling the tart at the counter. But you must keep your cool! With collected poise and decorum, calmly complete your transaction, stroll languidly back to your car and then feel free to scarf your way to sweetness in relative privacy.