Wine Dine and Play: October 2015

Willie Mae’s Scotch House

Best Fried Chicken Ever
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Cuisine Style: Southern, Soul Food
Average Price: $
Overall Rating: 3/5
Dined in March 2015
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

Willie Mae's Scotch House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Executive Chef and Matriarch:
Chef Willie Mae Seaton

Proprietor / Manager:
Kerry Seaton-Stewart

The sign outside the main entrance
Willie Mae’s Scotch House was established in 1957 as a bar and barbershop and was not turned into a restaurant Willie Mae Seaton until 1970s, not knowing that she had created an American classic. But she never would have imagined that her little restaurant in New Orleans would be honored with the James Beard Award for “America’s Classic Restaurant for the Southern Region,” in 2005, and added to the list of the best-fried chicken restaurants in the world. It was a story that nearly did not happen when on August 29, of the same year Hurricane Katrina flooded her beloved restaurant and home next door. With the help of the Southern Foodway’s Alliance and New Orleans-born chef John Currence, they rebuilt and opened once again two years later. Unfortunately, Ms. Mae passed away at the age of 99 in 2015 a short time after my daughter and I’s visit to the restaurant. I would have loved to meet her, but now she rests in peace. 

    • Salads
    • Entrees
    • Sides
    • Kids menu
    • Desserts

My Daughter and I were driving towards Mississippi, after two wonderful days enjoying the cuisine and sights of New Orleans. Before leaving town, there was one very important step that had to be made for lunch. Several months before I took this trip, I was researching best restaurant categories, when I ran across an article on the best places to eat fried chicken in the world before you die. A bucket list, that I decided to add to my other bucket list of restaurants that I had already visited or wanted to go to. So knowing that I would be traveling through New Orleans, I had to make sure I stopped here.

Dining room
The Fifth and Seventh Ward neighborhoods were badly hit by Katrina and ten years later was still in the process of being rebuilt. Near to the restaurant and all around it were old homes with little or no upkeep, trash on the streets, sidewalks, and open grassy areas, as well as lots of graffiti on the buildings. As I parked my car near to the restaurant and waited outside with several other people for a table, looking around at the impression of the neighborhood not being what one would consider the idea of safe. A couple behind me that had heard about the restaurant and wanted to try it out had the same reservations, especially after a group of three women walking down the middle of the street and began screaming at one another, yelling profanities, then started laughing. I am not profiling or stereotyping, but this was the type of area that is always talked about in most large inner cities on the local news channels of events that happen daily. 

Once inside the building, the decor was very 60s in style and fit the restaurant personality of being a neighborhood gem with comfort foods. Though known for their fried chicken, the restaurant had an extensive list of items beyond that to include pork, veal, Fried Catfish, Chicken Nuggets and many other southern and Creole favorites. 

My daughter and I both ordered the fried chicken, and once delivered, the first bight and every bight after was pure bliss and heaven. It was by far the best-fried chicken I had ever had. As I took pictures of the restaurant, the kitchen was in view, but as I raised the camera for a shot every cook gave me the evil eye and bluntly made sure that no pictures of the kitchen were to be taken. I can understand why. When you have chicken and other classics as good as this, you don’t want to run the risk of the secrets being stolen and used elsewhere. 
Famous Fried Chicken
Classic American restaurants in their basic forms can be better and sometimes are better than your five-star rated top one hundred world restaurants. Willie Mae’s Scotch House fits that list. Yes, the neighborhood around it is not the best, but it is holes-in-the-wall and Mom & Pops like this that the food and the atmosphere are just fantastic. If the former President of the United States comes in for a visit, then maybe this is a place you might want to try when you visit this wonderful city. 
POTUS Visit August 2015

Though we did not have room for desserts they did have a large list with items such as bread pudding with chocolate and rum sauce, a selection of either a turtle, strawberry, red velvet, or white chocolate cheesecake, and more

Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.

Other Noteworthy Southern / Soul Food Articles and Restaurants:
Food 101 Farm-to-table eatery offering Southern classics in Sandy Springs, Georgia
Hyman’s Seafood Enduring southern seafood eatery in Charleston, South Carolina
Lobby at Twelve Boutique hotel bistro, New American, and Southern favorites at Atlantic Station, Atlanta
Mojo Old City BBQ Vibrant Southern cuisine & BBQ in St. Augustine, Florida
Slightly North of Broad (S.N.O.B) Bistro w/Southern & Lowcountry cuisine in Charleston, S. Carolina
Stella’s Restaurant Southern-inspired comfort eats and diner in Gulfport, Florida
The Floridian Restaurant Modern and locally sourced café for southern grub in St. Augustine, Florida 
The Mill Restaurant New American fare with a southern spin in St. Petersburg, Florida

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

Other New Orleans restaurants and articles on Wine Dine and Play:

Iconic café & coffeehouse serving beignets since 1862 
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Refined and elegant creole fare since 1880
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA 
Acclaimed gumbo and Creole staples in the French Quarter
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

Final notes, review basics, observations and more pictures:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambiance, food quality, and wow factor. To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

Overall from this experience, and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Willie Mae’s a 3 out of 5 stars, meaning that they exceeded my expectations and were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants. 
Scores are detailed in the chart below

Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings
Max Points Possible:
Total Points Awarded:
Total Points deducted:
Food quality
Plate presentation
Customer service
Alcohol and other beverages
Total regular points awarded
Total percentage — less the Bonus


“Wow” factor BONUS
Total bonus percentage


Total percentage and bonus for a final star rating


Stars Awarded (see chart below)
             0 - 5

**A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**


Overall Star Rating:
3 of 5 Stars: 
83% Rating with a 0 point “wow” bonus
An Extraordinary Dining Experience
Restaurant style:
Casual dining
Cuisine Style:
American, Soul Food, Southern Cuisine
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Local, Vegetarian
Not Required
Dress code:
Casual attire
Child policy:

The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
If not then:
Hire a Babysitter! 
Place for foodies, Hotspot, Rustic, Hole-in-the-wall, Tourist grabber, and a Neighborhood Gem.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Street meter parking
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Nonsmoking restaurant
Patio or terrace:

Food Prices 
(excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricy)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)

**Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

United States Dollar (USD)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
European Union (EUR)

Willie Mae’s:

2401 St Ann St 
New Orleans, Louisiana 70119

5th Ward

Cross streets:
 N. Tonti Street & N. Rocheblave Street

GPS Coordinates: 

Latitude: 29.969198
Longetude: -90.078921

Contact Information: 
Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+1 504 822-9503
Website Contact:
Serving hours:
Central Standard Time 
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC - 6:00)

10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Social Media 
Facebook Link          

The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

A few to tease you with…
Southwestern-inspired New American fare
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Contemporary & elegant eclectic eatery
Johannesburg, South Africa
upscale locally sourced seafood eatery with ocean views
Vero Beach, Florida, USA

Other Pictures:

My Chicken order
City Council award 
Picture courtesy of Willie Mae's

“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)

Who is John Galt?


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