Having been here three times previously, there are no big surprises in store on the food horizon. No doubt, New Orleans has a rather unique and tasty cuisine. And generally, most of their regional specialties are dishes that I really enjoy. Here is a rather brief description of my gallop through the great food here.
Starting with oysters, my first night will be spent at Acme Oyster House, since they are closed Tuesday and Wednesday. I once asked the “head shucker” how many oysters he thought we has opened in his career. It was upwards of half a million, as I recall. I only need a dozen!
Perhaps the most famous place in New Orleans is Cafe du Monde, known worldwide for their beignets and chicory coffee. I plan to stop by every morning! If you have never had one, make sure you plan a trip here, and place Cafe du Monde at the top of your list! In reality, just one visit, as the biegnets have become too doughy!
So, after a “light” breakfast, and lots of walking through the French Quarter and French Marketplace, the choice for lunch narrows to which Po’ Boy joint to stop for lunch. My personal favorite is Johnny’s, but the “experts” seem to prefer Domilise’s Po’ Boys. Maybe I will do a taste test, and go on successive days?
If you are not sure exactly what a Po’ Boy is, let me tell you. It is a traditional sandwich of meat, usually roast beef, and fried seafood, usually shrimp crawfish, fish, oysters, or crab. And it is served on New Orleans French bread, with a fluffy center, and a crispy crust. Typically, it has less flour and more water than a traditional baguette. A fully dressed (as opposed to naked) Po’ Boy has mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and optional Louisiana hot sauce. Not optional (the hot sauce) in my Po’ Boy. But cheese is optional.
I ended up at Felix’s Oyster for oysters and jambalaya. And two cold beers.
Creole (often called Cajun) cuisine is rather unique to New Orleans. My dinner on Tuesday is the Bourbon House, a place I visited on my Super Bowl trip. Among the many Creole dishes, my favorites are seafood gumbo, jambalaya, Creole red beans and rice, crawfish etouffee, redfish Pontchartrain, and duckling Toulouse. Dessert turned out to be a mini King cake ice cream sandwich. Only two bites, it was just too sweet.
Having been to the famous (read that as expensive) places, I am opting for a popular bistro known as Mister B’s. With perhaps more of a modern look, Mr. B’s follows a more updated version of local cuisine. And I like the atmosphere. I plan to start with some sparkling wine and eggplant sticks. I opted for the pepper crusted duck breast for dinner. If I have some room for dessert, I vote for the bread pudding and a Mr. B’s coffee.
In between each meal, I plan on a heavy dose of walking. Along with eating and drinking, music will also be a priority. And maybe hit the exercycle in my hotel gym? BTW, Elton is here for a concert tonight. Lots of people dining and drinking!
I walked over to Mother’s Restaurant on Poydras for a typical southern breakfast of eggs, Cajun sausage, grits, and biscuit. Grits are just not my thing, but the coffee and biscuit were outstanding.
But I had a better breakfast on Thursday at Ruby Slipper, just a 7 iron from my hotel. I had biscuits and gravy, with two eggs, and bacon. But the topper was the fried green tomato. It was so tasty and crunchy, I had to ask. They use the crumbs from the biscuits to bread to tomatoes before frying. Brilliant!
Today, I look forward to Emeril’s at the airport. But a word of caution. Do not eat red beans and rice, particularly the spicy variety before the 5 hour flights home.
Best of all, I lost 0.2 pounds, fed several homeless people, and enjoyed it all. Now I just need to erase the memory of our Super Bowl loss to the Ravens (and the Dirty Pat gang) in 2013.