Not only are those ‘49ers and Ravens fans coming into NOLA during the most festive time of the year in New Orleans, they are stepping into a town where great food is as sacred as Mardi Gras.
Since I’m not attending the game, I’ll be doing the next best thing by preparing some of my favorite Cajun recipes. Maybe some chicken and sausage jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, muffalettas, and a little BBQ shrimp…
But, for those of you who are looking to eat out in New Orleans this weekend, here’s links to some of SXNE favs in NOLA:
Lüke (333 St. Charles St.) was voted best raw bar in New Orleans last year but I have it on good authority that John Besh serves up one of the best burgers in town, too. Anything that has Allan Benton bacon piled up on top has to be good. (Reserve a table here.)
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.