A trip to the big easy is not complete without a stroll down the gastronomy lane. Of everything NOLA has to offer, from architecture to smooth jazz, I was most excited to try some authentic southern cuisine.
Before the trip, i only had a vague understanding of Louisiana cuisine as everything hearty and deep fried. Although this still holds true post trip, there were plenty of fresh seafood options as well. Staying in the French quarter though, the lens which I peaked through for local cuisine is hardly tint free. Most of the restaurants we visited are upscale with waiters dressed in tux and dinner guests wearing jackets. End of the day though, I miss the internationally influenced contemporary dishes featuring local produce back home. Despite being in a food paradise, I’m embarrassed to say that what I craved for the most were my local fresh Chinatown fruits.
No stroll around Jackson square is complete without a stop at cafe du monde. The place is filled with the aroma of fresh donuts. The beignets are served fresh, warm and with a pile of powdered sugar on top.
There were plenty of oyster bars near our hotel and all serve very similar items. The chargrilled oysters were my favorite with intense charred flavour and rich garlic sauce. Alligator tasted like chewy poultry.
We went for NOLA classics on the first night and they did not disappoint. I learned that Bbq shrimp has nothing to do with bbq. Will likely try to reproduce this dish with lighter substitutions.
Commanders palace at the garden district is an institution. We were grossly under dressed among the ladies in fancy day dresses and gents in jackets. The famous turtle soup was a bit too salty.
Our third day was American thanksgiving. After reading some menus posted outside in the quarter among the restaurants that are open, we went to Arnaulds. I was determined to try some banana foster that I’ve heard so much about. The dish is completed table did with bananas cooked in melted butter, sugar and rum served on vanilla ice cream. I was hoping for more cameralization. The pale bananas looked a bit sad… 🙁
- Acme, and Felix oyster bars for chargrilled oysters, French quarter
- Mr. B’s bistro for BBQ shrimp and shrimp and grits, French quarter
- Irvin Mayfield’s jazz playhouse, French quarter
- Commender’s palace for seasonal menu and 25 cent martinis!, Garden district