• Toast of the Nation: Donna's Bar & Grill

    January 1, 2009. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Donna’s Sign

    Here's where we are tonight in New Orleans.  Donna's Bar & Grill is just on the edge of the French Quarter.
    More after the jump.Chef Charlie Sims
    Our chef and chief raconteur is Charlie Sims.  He's cooking black-eyed peas for good luck and cabbage for good fortunes.  Charlie is a retired cook who worked for Amtrak for 35 years.  Prior to that, he graduated from submarine school in Connecticut in 1952, the only African-American in his class.  He grew up on the South Side of Chicago, has eleven kids (6 boys, 5 girls).  He's 73 now, and happily married to Donna.  They opened the club 16 years ago.  And here we are tonight.

    Here is the corner of North Rampart Street and St. Ann.
    Corner Sign
    The trees you see are just across Rampart Street.  Congo Square is just behind them.
    All part of Louis Armstrong Park.  The park is still closed post-Katrina, but the lights on the gate have been restored.  They were finally turned on again earlier this month.  Pretty nice.
    Armstrong Park Sign
    All this to say we had a great rehearsal earlier today, and we are delighted to present the Evan Christopher / Tom McDermott Danza Quartet for Toast of the Nation.  See you on the radio.
    Soundcheck at Donna’s

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