If you want to take the community’s pulse on Mayor Kip Holden’s proposed bond issue, grab a table at Christina’s Restaurant downtown. The St. Charles Street haunt is famous for two things – Southern cooking and political gossip. Regulars drop by six days a week, where they bump into other regulars, order their standard faves and commence to puzzling over current events. “You become attached to them,” says owner Christina Bannister about her faithful patrons. “They’re more than just customers, they’re like family.” To find out more about Bannister and her downtown institution, click here.—Maggie RichardsonTo read previous Du Jour features on local chefs and other culinary experts, click here.