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New Orleans Is Getting Matzo Ball Soup and Bubbe’s Stuffed Cabbage Just in Time for Passover

New York native Jaryd Kase is opening Bodega New Orleans in Uptown next month

Bodega’s coffee and red wine brisket, on the Passover menu.
Jaryd Kase/Bodega

A soon-to-open restaurant and gourmet market from a New York native is launching its family-meal-focused menu with chopped liver, matzo ball soup, brisket, and Bubbe-approved stuffed cabbage, just in time for Passover.

Jaryd Kase is preparing to open Bodega New Orleans at 3633 Annunciation Street in early April, the final step for the family meal pickup and delivery business he launched last year, Kase tells Eater. Kase began experimenting with weekly dinner menus designed for families of four in Fall 2022, offering up to five nights of dinners that actually seem to warrant the “global” moniker: Dishes like moqueca (Brazilian seafood stew) and yassa (Senegalese braised chicken) appear alongside chana masala, eggplant parmesan, meatloaf, and more.

Kase started the business with his sights set on acquiring a physical space to sell family meals to-go. When it opens on Annunciation Street, Bodega will offer dine-in lunch (also available to-go) with items like a seared tuna BLT, chimichurri steak sandwich, cobb salad, and grilled cheese. Dinnertime is focused on to-go meals, with six to seven mains like moqueca and a similar number of sides like ratatouille available in quarts and pounds, no preorder required. While the dinner menu will stay mostly set instead of changing every week, Bodega will offer special holiday menus for Passover, Hanukkah, and more. Currently, there are very few places to pick up traditional food to celebrate Jewish holidays — Metairie’s Kosher Cajun Deli historically stocks seder for Greater New Orleans — so it’s a notable element. Kase also says if there is a special customer request for something, he will try his best to fulfill it: “We want to be a good, helpful resource in the community,” says Kase.

Kase is a New York native, hence the name “Bodega” — New York’s version of the New Orleans corner store. Fittingly, and perhaps a bit dismally, Bodega is replacing an old-school New Orleans corner store: Barcia’s Grocery, a family-run po’ boy shop with red-and-white checkered tablecloths and a single wall of shelved goods that closed a few years back after nearly four decades. Kase says the restaurant’s decor will include tributes to the previous “po’ boy landmark” as well as its neighborhood, technically zoned as East Riverside but just a few blocks outside of the Irish Channel.

Bodega’s Passover menu, which includes dirty rice matzo, cola-braised lamb shanks, coffee and red wine brisket, and stuffed cabbage made with Bubbe’s recipe (Bubbe is the Yiddish word for grandmother) in addition to chopped liver and gefilte fish by the pound can be preordered online by March 31 for pickup on April 5. From there, Bodega will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, with plans to expand weekend hours in the near future and eventually add breakfast.