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August 13, 2010

Eating Our Way Through NOLA

My dad, sister, husband and I just got back from New Orleans, where we mostly ate (a lot), drank (more moderately) and sweat a lot (it was over 100 degrees with full humidity all week.)

You are going to be disgusted by how much we ate. Here goes:

We got in super late Friday night, so Saturday was our first day of food. We started with breakfast at Cafe du Monde with beignets and cafe au laits:

These are covered with about a pound of powdered sugar, to the extent that all the guide books warn tourists not to wear black clothing there in danger of being covered with white specks all day. Still, once you knock off the majority of the sugar, these are simply delightful.

From there we killed a few hours walking around the French Quarter until lunch time -- muffulettas at Central Grocery.

You can't really tell from the picture, but this sandwich is HUGE. Matt, my dad and I split it and had leftovers. It was also DELICIOUS. I've never had a muffuletta before, but they're a wonderful blend of meat, cheese, olives, and flavors I couldn't even decipher. If you go to New Orleans, you must eat here.

Saturday's dinner was pretty fancy -- Commander's Palace, which is a kind of old-school New Orleans restaurant still trying to recover their business after Katrina.

As appetizers, Matt had the gumbo, which was incredible:

And my dad and I had their soup du jour, a crab bisque:

Which was also incredible, though probably had more cream and butter in it than I've eaten in the last six months.

We also got an appetizer for the table, Shrimp and Tasso Henican.

It's a Louisiana wild white shrimp with Crystal hot sauce, pickled ocra, and five pepper jelly. It's amazing. Also amazing is how every meal in New Orleans contains something pickled. Yum.

We're not even at entrees yet. Soft-shelled crabs are the bomb.

And then dessert, an incredible pecan pie with vanilla ice cream on top.

And so ended our first day of overeating.

On Sunday morning we had a reservation for a Jazz brunch at Arnaud's, which was not only delicious but featured great live jazz throughout the meal. I started with oysters on the half shell, because I felt like I should have oysters while in New Orleans.

Next up was an amazing eggs benedict.

And, since dessert is apparently a requirement with a New Orleans brunch, Matt and I split bananas foster, which was made table side.


Later on Sunday we had drinks at American Sector, the new restaurant that is part of the D-Day museum (and yes, we saw that too, I'm just not blogging about it.) The drinks were lovely, as were the pickles they made in house.

Our second happy hour of the day was at Pat O'Briens, where we had the city's famous Hurricanes.

And then dinner at Mr. B's, which was our favorite meal of the whole trip (perhaps because of the Hurricanes before, but I don't think so.) We split a few appetizers to get a sample of all the tasty tastes: we tried their panko crusted jumbo shrimp, fried oyster on the half shell, duck springroll, and crabcake.

Next up was barbecued shrimp, which was beyond messy since the shrimp were still in their shell, but still amazing.

I actually had to wear a bib while eating that.

For dessert, I had the profiteroles.

Hello, deliciousness.

On Monday we started our day early and walked all around the garden district. On Magazine Street, we walked to Sucre, which is an incredible little shop of sweets. Despite the fact that it was about 10:00 a.m. I had gelato (have I mentioned how hot it was outside?)

Back in the French Quarter for lunch, we went to Johnny's Po-boys for lunch on the recommendation of a friend of mine. Matt got the French Fry Po-boy, which is basically french fries stuffed in a baguette. Heart attack on a bun? Yes. But Matt loved it.

I went with the classic Shrimp Po-boy, and was not disappointed.

Dinner was at Emeril's Delmonico, a steakhouse, and one of Emeril's three restaurants in town. They also have their own covers for their butter. When I start cooking with butter again, I want some of these printed up with my last name. Classy, no?

We all ordered steaks, and they were all ridiculously good.

Throw in a side of dirty rice, and you're ready to go.

And for dessert, a blueberry fruit cobbler with house made ice cream. Divine.

Tuesday we were mostly on the road -- we went to visit the plantation homes and got lunch at one of them. Mine was only ehhh and I didn't bother to take a picture. For dinner, though, we went to Mosca's, which is basically an Italian-style road-house with sweet feral kitties outside and tremendous portions inside.

We shared some tremendous spaghetti and meatballs followed by a (also shared) dessert of cheesecake hot out of the oven and "pineapple fluff" (neither had time to be photographed before being inhaled) and called it a night.

And thus ended our eating tour of New Orleans. I hope you enjoyed it half as much as we did.

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Thanks for dropping by! Love, Katrina.