The food heritage of New Orleans and the American South is just incredible. I knew that the only real issue we would encounter on this trip was the painful reality that we have one stomach each. Sadly, this is an issue we have encountered repeatedly throughout our travels.
Our food itinerary was pretty much fueled by family and friend recommendations. It is always so fun to hear what people have loved (and despised) and what they wish they could chow down on just one more time.
Cafe Du Monde
We (obviously) were going to eat beignets because who doesn’t want to eat pillowy bites of powdered sugar-covered joy? Prior to this trip, the only time I have eaten beignets is when Michael and I made them from a box mix that Mom brought home as a souvenir from her trip. It was a filthy undertaking and they were delicious that time as well.
I don’t want to say that Billy was a significant contributor to the food portion of our trip, but he was a significant contributor to the food portion of our trip. He did not make it to Cochon on his trip to New Orleans and cited it as his largest regret, so I knew we had to go. It is a popular spot (a number of walk-ins were still waiting to be seated at 9:00 PM on a Wednesday night) so you need to make reservations ahead of time. It’s also a more expensive meal, so we planned this as a part of our big night out. I would do it again in a heartbeat! The food was truly phenomenal.
Wood Fired Oysters with Chili Garlic Butter
Roasted Gulf Shrimp with Artichokes and Mushrooms
Smoked Pork Ribs with Watermelon Pickle
Caraway Sausage with Celery Root Mash & Caramelized Onions
Macaroni & Cheese Casserole
This restaurant is right off of Jackson Square, really. While you’re waiting for a table, know that there is a spectacular chandelier store just up the block and around the corner that you should take the time to wander through. With that in mind, the food was great and the service was terrible. We could also subtitle this meal: The One Where Everything Looked Sort Of The Same But Different.
Truffled Crab Fingers
Cajun Mike’s Pub and Grub
Billy to me: You are going to walk past this place and wonder, should I be here? His observation was not incorrect. This is absolutely a hole-in-the-wall dive bar that we never would have thought twice about! The food was so cheap and so incredibly good, plus the low-key atmosphere was a nice break from the rest of the city. Just how good was it? We stopped for lunch on Wednesday and dinner on Thursday. You must (must!) visit this place if you are in the city.
We had the Cochon du Lait sandwich. Twice.
The Fried Shrimp basket. Twice.
And Crab Claws. Once.
Willie Mae’s Scotch House
Allegedly this is the best fried chicken in America. I would have to say it is. This restaurant is in the Treme neighborhood so we did take taxis to and from. This seems to be the way that most all of the out-of-towners manage to make it over here.
We both ordered the fried chicken. Marcus chose the red beans and rice as a side. I went with the butter beans at the advice of our server. I also grabbed a corn muffin because it just seemed to “go” with the meal.
J’s Seafood Dock
This spot is located in the French Market which is a great outdoor market in the French Quarter. Half of the market is dedicated to vendors selling crafts and local items, the other half is dedicated to food stalls with local dishes and fresh seafood.
This was my first stop in the city and I was so excited to sit down in the 75 degree weather and tuck-in to this basket of fried oysters.
I would have to say that based on the evidence presented, this trip was a successful one, feasting-wise. We got to eat fancy things and not-so-fancy things. Inside and outside. And most certainly some things that we could not easily find up North!