It’s website says it’s a butcher shop, a sandwich shop, and a wine bar. Sold. On our way out of town we decided that trying the little outpost under the same roof of Chef Donald Link’s fabulous Cochon, Cochon Butcher in the CBD, was just the eatery to help us bid farewell to the city and is the second restaurant that made in onto our MUST EAT list. No disappointments here, what with house-cured meats done in small batches, delicious ingredients, fantastic service (though not much room and very small tables), we couldn’t see a reason to leave this little gem off of one of favorite places we’ve been so far.
The creative menu included the like pimento sliders and a homemade mac and cheese that made you want to slap somebody, and bacon pralines for goodness sake! I have to admit that our meal was nothing if not SILENT. All we could do was utter noises and look at each other with wide eyes glances that definitely should never be photographed as we inhaled our last meal. We tried the enormous Cuban, the to-die-for muffaletta, and the INSANE pork belly sandwich which all tasted great with the sweet potato hot sauce that they leave on the smallish bar size round tables and the homemade chips.
We left with andouille, a souvenier gifted to us by a very engaging employee. He wasn’t the only friend we made though, there was this guy who was more the strong and silent type…
At first glance, it doesn’t appear that Mother’s, on the corner of Poydras and Tchoupitoulas, (pronounced Chop-a-too-less. Ok, then!) is worth giving a chance. You’d have to stop by and see the line for dinner or have heard the good rumors. Naturally, as luck would have it, we did just that and were pleasantly and abundantly surprised at how delicious our meal was, given the typical cafe style where you order and pay at the cashier, sit down, and wait for a server to bring the food to you. It’s definitely a dive, but it has remained a place where, almost any time of the day you can get a fabulous meal, sober or hung over. It’s a valid point, being in the French Quarter and all. From what I understand, it’s a place to be after a night out on Bourbon St.
Ever heard of the term “debris?” Well, let me clue you in on a little secret. There is a new meaning to debris that I was not privy to before eating at Mothers and it is their term for the pan-bottom scraps of roast beef that have cooked in the drippings during the roasting process, and are put on everything from their biscuits to their grits to the crawfish etouffee omelet to the famous Ferdi Special. I will never, in my lifetime, be able to think about eating grits or biscuits without dreaming about them covered in debris. Ever. If only there had been more stomachs to feed at our table, so we could try everything on the menu! I think we rounded house, however, with just the two of us trying more than our fair share of the offerings at this family owned cafe that has been around since the 30’s.
After spending a night in The Big Easy getting acquainted with the interesting cajun concoction that is boudin, and basking in the glory of the historical and iconic Roosevelt Hotel, Susan and I were ready to get out and explore the visual and culinary richness on the banks of the mighty Mississippi.
I’m not really sure if there are enough words to describe this city in the fall….the fabulous food, introducing Susan to her first “Second Line” experience, the colorful architecture that seems to hold so many untold stories, and the joie de vivre attitude mixed with the cooler weather that lured me in, hook, line, and sinker!
Many a paragraph could be written about our 48 hours in the French Quarter, but suffice it to say we left feeling full in more than one way and refreshed beyond belief. The discussion on the way home, as you can imagine, surrounded talk about the next NOLA/South Louisiana escapade. Lucky for me, I’ll never run out of reasons to pass up a trip to this southern city, or run out of restaurants and festivals to write about.