The restaurant’s second cookbook is an invitation into a family experience. Anthony and Gail’s son, John, shares his parents’ lives through recipes, anecdotes, photos, and letters of support they received after Hurricane Katrina.
In business for more than eighty years, Uglesich’s began as a po-boy shop in 1924. The lunch counter was handed down to a second generation, Anthony Uglesich, son of the Yugoslavian founder. Anthony added a new chef, his wife Gail, and new recipes, excluding the luxuries of coffee and dessert. Their devoted patrons enjoyed a menu consisting mostly of seafood dishes.
Beginning with an egg sandwich for five cents, the restaurant has since taken on a life of its own. It closed on weekends and for summer vacation while the owners experimented at home or took a break. It didn’t accept reservations or credit cards. Far from being the typical sleepy, small-time mom-and-pop, the restaurant and everyone in it moved nonstop from open to close, and it gained a national reputation.
The restaurant belonged to the family that shares its name, but it also belonged to the customers, consisting mostly of regulars and some frequent tourists who formed lines around the block to get in. Other guests have included Emeril Lagasse and Martha Stewart, who both featured the restaurant on their respective television programs. Newcomers may have been put off by the small size (only ten tables), or the exterior, desperately in need of new paint, but that didn’t stop the limos from pulling up outside.