So last week I headed down to the Big Easy with my boyfriend, Jimmy. It was amazing. I really did love it, the atmosphere, weather, sights, music and the partying. But you know what else was pretty damn good? The food! Their food has a lot of flavor and they looooovvveeee seafood. And guess what, so do I. The food was also pretty affordable; we never spent more than about 50 dollars on a meal for the two of us. Now of course we weren’t doing any fine dining, but the food was still pretty good. My only culinary regret was the fact that I did not try shrimp and grits! We just didn’t have the time. You eat and drink so much when you’re in N’awlins that a lot of the time you wanna try different foods, but you’re just not hungry. And they give you large portions wherever you go. I feel like they eat much heavier there. For example we went on a lunch cruise (aboard the steamboat Natchez) and for lunch they served fried chicken, mac and cheese, spinach, and cornbread. I was really confused. I was expecting a salad bar, a sandwich or something like that. But anyway I thought I’d share my experience New Orleans with you guys, because I really enjoyed it down there. So c’mon and take this literary journey with me through my culinary experience in New Orleans.
As soon as we stepped out of the cab and in to the hotel the first thing I said to the doorman was “where should we go to eat?” He replied with the directions to a place called Oceana and they even gave us a ten percent off coupon. Reflecting back maybe Oceana pays them to direct their guests there…hmmm. Anyway, we dropped our bags off and headed around the corner to the Oceana. I knew almost instantly what I wanted. I order the fried seafood platter which included fried hush puppies, catfish, shrimp, oysters and French fries. It was delicious! I put some ketchup on the fries and some hot sauce on the catfish.
The only issue I had was that it was so much food! Jimmy ordered a dish called the Taste of New Orleans. Every restaurant in the French Quarter serves a version of “The Taste of New Orleans”. At this particular spot the dish included gumbo, rice and red beans. It tasted really yummy. Trust me I ate plenty of his dish, in fact I convinced him to order that just so I could taste it (shhhh don’t tell him that).
That evening we actually kind of ate at the same place. Well sort of. We ate at The New Orleans Old Cookery (I think that was the name) but apparently it was part of the same chain of restaurants that the Oceana belonged to. None the less the food was still tasty. Jimmy ordered the Chicken Alfredo which was cool. And I ordered some type of shrimp gumbo or jambalaya…or something. I don’t know, it was some type of creole dish.
And of course we washed our meal down with Hurricanes.
The next morning we somehow made it to Johnny‘s Po’Boys for an early lunch. Not sure how we made it there after drinking hurricanes, hand grenades and few other drinks that I don’t remember all night. So it was at Johnny’s that we enjoyed this local delicacy called a po’boy. I would say Po’boys are to New Orleans what cheesesteaks are to Philly. I enjoyed a catfish po’boy and Jimmy got some kind of sausage. To be honest though, they were a little dry, they put mayo on them and the bread soaks up all the mayo. I tried dousing mine in hot sauce but it was still dry. However the catfish was pretty good and the sausage was very spicy.
For Dinner that night I don’t remember the restaurant, but I sure remember the waitress. Her name was Sunny Sunshine or something like that. She was really nice and had a lot of spunk.
Jimmy and I got their version of “The Taste of New Orleans”, which was delicious. It included crawfish etoufee, jambalaya, red beans and rice, and seafood gumbo. We also got a side of catfish and some hurricanes.
And last but not least I can’t forget the beignets and café au lait at Café Du Monde. Beignets apparently are like little French doughnuts. They basically taste like clumps of funnel cake and café au lait is half coffee half creamer. It was delicious and cheap! Trying to find seating though can be quite interesting, it’s like every man for himself. So you may have to push a few old ladies and trip a couple people to get a seat .
So this brings us to the end of our culinary journey. Hahahaha! I crack myself up. Lol J Anyway New Orleans was a wonderful place and I had a blast. I would suggest you visit there not just for the food, but for the music, history, surroundings and the spirit. These people party like nothing I have ever seen before and even after Katrina hitting New Orleans and devastating them they still continue to rebuild and celebrate. The culture is rich and is definitely something to experience.