New Orleans, Louisiana

I’ve recently had the opportunity to try some good restaurants in New Orleans.  In general, food seems to be good there, probably because of the richness of the food and strong flavors.  I think E would have loved it here.  I also loved the architecture of some of the homes, but being that I was busy with work, I only had time to be out at night.

The most famous food in New Orleans must be the beignets at Cafe Du Monde.  The line out of the store is typically hours long, though I hear locals know how to go through back ways into the store.  I was at the Convention Center and was told that the Riverwalk Outlets right next store actually had a Cafe Du Monde chain store, which tastes supposedly the same, though I’m sure the experience is different.  However, in the interest of time and for the sake of convenience, that’s all I could get.

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I’m actually not that big of a pastry person.  I’m an ice person who’s been known to have ice cream three times a day with every meal.  No longer, but back in younger days.  So, the only beignets I’ve ever tried was in Disneyland in the “New Orleans” area – Princess and the Frog.  They were nothing like what I had at Cafe Du Monde.  I can’t even remember what the Disneyland ones tasted like, they were so forgettable.  These beignets were perfectly fried pieces of heaven doused with powdered sugar which I nearly choked on from eating too quickly.

One order of three was like $5, I believe, and I so wished that E and the kids were there to enjoy them with me.  Powdered sugar is not that sweet and the beignet itself had a little bit of saltiness to it, which made the whole flavor just the right amount of sweetness.  It was a bit crunchy on the outside, with a little bit of soft dough underneath and then the inside being completely hollow.  It was so good I called my sister mid bite to tell her about it and ask if she would make some for me if I bought the mix.

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Well, little sis immediately knew it would have to be deep fried (I never make pastries so I didn’t even think about that) and would be too cumbersome to make at home.  So, too bad, no more beignets, only when we go to New Orleans.

Their Cafe Au Lait was also very good.  It tasted creamy and not too bitter ( I drank it w/out any sugar) because of the chicory added in.  I learned that chicory is the root of the endive plant which gets roasted and grounded and then added to the coffee to soften the bitter edge of the dark roast.  I did taste a bit of chocolate flavor, which I read is what the chicory adds to the coffee.

My most favorite meal in New Orleans was in the Garden District on St. Charles Ave (along the St. Charles street car),  Superior Seafood and Oyster Bar.  I don’t have a single picture because I didn’t want to be the weird person among my coworkers taking pictures of all our food.  All of the appetizers we ordered were amazing and there were several things I tried for the first time.  I would definitely take E here if we’re ever in New Orleans.  Below is what we had:

  • raw oysters:  these were very good.  Not slimy or fishy tasting.  Just smooth and yummy, eaten straight up with a squeeze of lemon.
  • char grilled oysters:  these were grilled with butter, garlic, herbs and cheese.
  • fried green tomatoes:  a first for me and one of my favorite dishes of the night. Anything fried is good, I suppose but I don’t really even like tomatoes, but this dish was a hit.
  • escargot de bourgogne: also a first for me.  I was a little hesitant about eating snails, but these were soaks in a garlic butter and tasted delicious spread over french bread (that soaked up the oil nicely.)
  • fried alligator:  another first for me, never tried alligator meat before and honestly, it sort of tasted like fried chicken and fried squid.  It was good and dipped in a aoli type sauce.
  • crab cake:  always a favorite but I found the crab cakes I had in New Orleans especially good

My main dish was a seafood pasta, which wasn’t that great, actually but I was already pretty stuffed from all the appetizers.

Lastly, before I left New Orleans, I picked up a print of Bourbon St. to add to my travel wall.  IMG_4174.JPG

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