The big guy surprised me with this visit for my birthday this past week and people who follow me on Facebook definitely saw it was a foodie vacation. My goal was to find the best, authentic creole and cajun food I could find, and find I did. Even though we could have ventured into the tried and true fancy, well known establishments with white tablecloths and great service, I chose to find down home restaurants with some of the best food in the city. I think I was successful. At least my tastebuds thought so...
Our first stop was to Cafe Du Monde on Decatur Street. Of course it was. We sat outside drinking coffee with chicory, eating their famous beignets and listening to traditional jazz music played out on the street. I know it's silly, but it brought tears to my eyes I was so happy.
To get a feel for this wonderful city of food, I scheduled a food tour with Tastebud of New Orleans on our first full day. The mistake I made was heading to Cafe Du Monde before the tour! We ventured into five establishments and tasted and learned about the traditional food of the city. The best part was our guide and his expertise on the history of food culture in New Orleans. I was surprised to learn Italians played a part in its food culture as they have the traditional muffuletta with its olive salad. The food went on and on and actually included another beignet and coffee on Bourbon Street! We walked the city streets and I asked plenty of questions along the way. I think New Orleans is the only city to have a three hour talk show every day on the radio just to talk food! They do take their food serious in Nawlins. I highly recommend a Tastebud tour if you make the trip. Our guide Dave Thomas was an expert on all things New Orleans and he definitely knows his food.
With my exhausting online searching and feedback from everyone we met, I chose the places we would try and would go back to every one of them in a heart beat. First night was Mother's Restaurant which the big guy was surprised I found as you stood in a line to order your food and sat at small tables with paper napkins. But yes, it was all about the food. Oh, I also had one of their famous bloody Mary's.
I also wanted to try one of Chef John Besh's restaurants and had multiple people tell us Luke was their favorite place to eat and they just so happened to have a great happy hour with all drinks half price and oysters .50 each/ $1.00 for fried. Hello? In we went, but at the end it was our most expensive meal of the trip, well worth it.
Our breakfast places were so wonderful all on their own, I need to write a separate blog entry. Btw, I also attended a cooking class that I loved so get ready, a fall cooking class on all things New Orleans is in the works!
Have a great day everyone. I am headed out into the sunshine to exercise (as I need it after all that food)
Laissez les bons temps rouler