How to get your eating on in New Orleans

Now I get to talk about my favourite!  We certainly didn't starve ourselves during my recent stay in New Orleans.   I have to tell you a sad little story here.  On my first trip to New Orleans in 2004 I was experiencing the beginning effects of gall stones (not that I knew that at the time) and was not feeling well (in fact I got out of my sick bed to fly there).  So needless to say I could not enjoy the food...can you imagine going to New Orleans and not being able to eat. (much).  It was tragic. I more than made up for it in 2010 and 2014 however!

Some of the "must haves" in Nawlins....beignets.  Beignets are fresh and warm donut type pastries covered with icing sugar.  YUM!  And of course that HAS to be accompanied by a cafe au lait. It is impossible (for me at least) to look the least bit dignified while eating these delicious little bits of heaven.  Icing sugar all over the face and clothes!  Cafe du Monde is the favoured place to go - this trip was the first time I have been there and while it was good I prefer the more intimate courtyard of Cafe Beignet on Royal St. 

Then of course there is Gumbo...a thick soup that contains meat, seafood, vegetables with strong seasonings....

It's alive!!!  Gumbo with half a shrimp poboy...
Poboys as pictured above are basically submarine sandwiches but the key ingredient to make them special is the french baguette used.  Shrimp (breaded & fried) poboys are probably the most popular...roast beef is another popular choice.

Then there is Jambalaya as pictured above.  I think everyone has heard of this spicy delicious dish. It usually consists of spicy sausage, shrimp, chicken, celery, rice and lots of spices.  

Below behold the famous Muffuletta....Central Grocery created this masterpiece and really, while it's sold other places this is the place to get it.  Beautifully fresh flat bread filled with Salami, mozzarella, ham, provolone, mortadella and the piece de resistance...olive salad.  Now you are talking to someone who hates olives..but somehow this works... The sandwich below was HUGE and no normal human being can eat one by themselves.  My friend and I shared one and struggled to finish our halves - it was a tough job but we were up to it!

Red beans and rice is another popular dish but sadly I have no photo to show you - guess I was too busy hoovering it down.  Just trust me when I say you should try it!!

We were usually too full to try dessert but one lunch time we decided to just order a dessert to share.  Bananas Foster and Bread Pudding are two signature New Orleans dessert...what happens if you combine them to make one dessert?  This!!!

Gooey ooey yummy delciousness!!!  Trust me on this!

While Pralines aren't exclusive to New Orleans as they are a typical southern treat.  I call them a cross between candy and a cookie....oh yeah.... We  got ourselves three each as a treat....I didn't think to take photos of mine as I covertly gobbled one each evening in my room in New York a few days later.  The reason? My airbnb host was a strict vegan who did not allow ANYTHING stolen from animals in her house - and these babies have a lot of cream in them!!!  So please excuse the poor photograph.

King cake!!!  King cake is a typical Mardi Gras treat.  Above was a mini king cake that we shared.  The little baby is on top.  Typically the baby is baked inside the cake and the person who discovers it in their share has to host the next Mardi Gras party.  It was fun to have a sample of a typical New Orleans tradition.

Last but definitely not least...the famous "Hurricane".  This one was from Pat O'Brien's where it was first "invented". Apparently the story goes that Pat O'Brien put it together to use up a huge supply of rum his Southern suppliers forced him to purchase.  And a legend was born!  Hurricanes are all over the place though - poured  into plastic cups so you can wander around the French Quarter popping into different bars to listen to the music. (been there, done that!) However why not have it in the place it was "born" - enjoying the awesome dueling piano bar.  You will get to know "Sweet Caroline" quite well!! What fun we had!   Hurricanes are a mix of light and dark rum, tropical fruit punch, orange, grenadine and syrup.  I guess you could try a virgin version of it...but really...why bother? 

And those are the culinary highlights of New Orleans...for me anyway.  I ate in ordinary restaurants - nothing fancy...and enjoyed all of the food immensely.  I don't think I've ever had a bad meal in New Orleans.....I have said this before and I will say it again.  Forget Las Vegas for a getaway..go to New Orleans...not only can you party hard if you so desire, they have awesome food, awesome music, so many sights to see, history....well can you tell I am in love with the place?   JUST GO!!!!  


Sammi Egan said…
Yum! Sounds delicious :)