Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Eating Our Way Through NOLA

We just got back from a really glorious trip to New Orleans. I used to go every summer for work but hadn't been back since the year before the hurricane, Matt on the other hand has never been. It was a little more humid & hotter then we had hoped for in early May but that didn't stop us from eating & drinking our days away.
Matt's Diet LunchSaints Special
It was lunchtime when we arrived on Sunday so we wandered the French Quarter & ended up at The Alpine where we split a Shrimp Po' Boy for lunch. Your very typical po'boy with the nice soft roll & mayo. Our waiter was very nice & actually bought us two Abita's to go to say sorry for the Saints beating the Vikings during the championship game.
Sazerac BarSazerac
We stayed at the historic Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans. The hotel is the home to the Sazerac Bar where the Sazerac cocktail was created. Matt couldn't resist trying one before dinner. After a sip I decided rye is not my thing & I was happy with my pear vodka cocktail.
NOLA's KitchenDuck Breast over Sweet Potato SpetzleShrimp & Grits#122 - Banana Pudding Layer CakeChocolate Bourbon Pecan Tart
For dinner that night I had chosen Emeril's NOLA in the French Quarter. My boss used to take us there for dinner every year & I knew Matt would enjoy the contemporary Creole cuisine. We started dinner by sharing & amazing crab cake then I had duck breast over sweet potato spaetzle while Matt had shrimp & grits. Dessert was so good! I had a Banana Pudding Layer Cake but Matt had the star of the show the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie with Sweet Potato Ice Cream. I think he would have been happy with just the ice cream & we'll be trying to copy it this summer for sure.
Pimm's Cup at Napoleon House#123 - Matt tackles a muffalettaMuffaletta
Lunch on was supposed to be a muffuletta at the Central Grocery but they were closed on Monday so we ended up getting one at the Napoleon House instead. That was fine with me because it was a perfect excuse to also have a Pimm's cup...or two.

#123 - Charcuterie PlatterIMG_3216IMG_3217IMG_3218
For Monday night's dinner Matt chose John Besh's Lüke, a Franco-German brasserie. We couldn't resist the charcuterie patter for a starter, it was really wonderful & I highly recommend it. I had the pasta with crispy pork belly & clams for my main dish. The pork belly was wonderful, I just wish there had been more of it & less of the pulled pork. Matt had the crab ravioli. We were disappointed to hear our waiter tell the next table not to order it because it wasn't very good after he'd just served it to us! Luckily Matt liked it though we both thought the pasta, which was obviously homemade, was a little too thick & chewy. For dessert we shared a classic bread pudding.
Oyster ShuckersCrawfish & Charbroiled Oysters#124 - Crawfish
Tuesday night we ended up at the Acme Oyster House for dinner. We waited in the line that snakes out front every night for a table but were able to get seated quickly by agreeing to sit at the bar. We started with boiled crawfish & charbroiled oysters. The crawfish were spicy & juicy (perfect for sucking out the heads) though I was disappointed by how many were missing their meaty tails. Matt loved the oysters calling them creamy & delicious. We followed that up with a bowl of crawfish etouffee and shrimp gumbo. Both were good but overshadowed by the starters.
#124 - Café du MondeBeignets
For dessert we went for a New Orleans classic, beignets at Cafe du Monde. I love going there in the evening when you have less crowds fighting for a table & you can just sit & enjoy your coffee with chicory & those hot sugary donuts.

Southern Baked Apple in Double CreamEggs PortugueseEggs Owen#125 - Banana's Foster#125 - FlambéCrepes Fitzgerald
For our last morning we splurged with breakfast at Brennan's & I mean splurge, if you eat here plan to spend as much on breakfast as you would on a fancy dinner out with wine. We went for the three course breakfasts & mimosas. Matt started with onion soup & I had the Southern baked apple in double cream (it was like dessert for a starter!). For the main course Matt had Eggs Owen which were poached eggs over roasted beef hash, though it was more like pulled beef than a hash. I had the Eggs Portuguese, which was eggs & a sweet tomato sauce in puffed pastry with hollandaise, wonderful! Brennan's is known for Banana's Foster so that is what I had for dessert & Matt had the Crepes Fitzgerald. Both are flambéed for you to watch. It was so good but hard to finish after the other two courses. The Food Network was there filming while we were there eating for a special about the ten best dessert so it'll be fun to see that when it airs.

We really had a great trip. The people of New Orleans were just so welcoming & friendly everywhere we went from waiters to shopkeepers to the New Orleans police.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at OR at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski


Carrie said...

I have always wanted to do just that - go to New Orleans and eat my way through the city. I love that cuisine and would love to have it nice and authentic. Everything that you tried looks so wonderful!

Lori said...

Wow everything looks totally amazing Kat. That is my kind of trip. I have always wanted to go there.

Recipe for Delicious said...

A three course breakfast? I think I just found the meaning of life.

Carrie said...

Thank you for the vicarious and perfectly documented tour. You're reminding me that I haven't been and need to go!

TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

Oooh, wow, a lot of good eatin'!

Thistlemoon said...

This is a great post Kat! I went to Nawlins with my mom many years ago - when the drinking age was 18 - and I was 18, so it was perfect! LOL!
You went to so many of the places we did - we actually went to NOLA's too, before we even knew who Emeril was. We ate at the counter back by the cooks (cause we didn't have a reservation, and didn't realize it was such a place to be) and it turned out being perfect, because they kept putting little plates with bites of this and that on it while we waited for our dinners! Ah, the memories!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Wow! That is some really good food. Glad you had a nice time.

Fresh Local and Best said...

WOW! WOW! WOW! All of that food is just enticing! I've always wanted to visit Cafe du Monde and try their beignets with their wonderful chicory coffee. I'll have to keep my eye out for the Food Network's feature on Brennan.

grace said...

looks like you covered all the bases! sweet potato ice cream? i'm definitely intrigued. also, i have an odd, odd crush on john besh. odd, right? :)
thanks for sharing!

HungryinSW said...

Kat - You gotta give me a heads up next time you head down! I do NOLA every year. Add these to your list - Ignatius on Magazine for lunch. Boucherie for Dinner and Cochon (I had 11 different preparations of pork in one sitting) is an absolute for dinner. Cochon Butcher is a great small plate/wine bar too. Both are under Donald Link who won the Beard for the South. I've got his Real Cajun cookbook on the way. I was just there like 3 weeks ago!

kat said...

Hungry - We thought of going to a Donald Link restaurant our last night...maybe next time.

HungryinSW said...

Next time for sure! Glad you had such a great time and hope you're feeling better!

Kris said...

I've only been to New Orleans once, for work, but I'll always remember Acme because that was the first time I had raw oysters. I was a bit worried I'd have a problem with the texture and embarass myself in front of collegues. But no, they were wonderful! I've never missed an opportunity to have them since.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Three courses for breakfast? Holy snakes! That looks like such a wonderful break. So much good food!

Lauren said...

You were right by me! I hope you guys had an amazing trip! Luckily the weather hasn't been too bad- in fact it's been unusually mild. My best friend works at Brennan's...I wonder if she was your server?! :) I'm really craving Cafe Du Monde now!

Kitty said...

i wish i had known you would be here!
my family is from minneapolis, but i was born and raised in NOLA. i've been working for the brennans for nearly 4 years now and would have been glad to get you a reservation at a number of the restaurants. i could have gotten you some kind of hook up, lol.
with school, i haven't been checking the internet much and did not catch it, but next time, if i'm still around, you should hit me up.

Tangled Noodle said...

I have never been to NOLA but you've confirmed everything I've heard and read about the food! Thank you for sharing these gastro-adventures. 8-)

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