N’awlins Food Tour

A few weeks ago I did a quick, 72-hour stop to meet my mom in New Orleans for a mini-vacation. In this time we were able to go on a Witches Brew Tour around the French Quarter, catch an alligator on a Swamp Tour in the Bayou and learn all about the early history of New Orleans on a city tour.IMG_6729New Orleans is a beautiful city with so much culture and history and we were able to get an authentic understanding and taste of this culture through the delicious food the city has to offer. It became our mission  to spot out the best restaurants in the city and try all of the New Orleans favorites. We laughed the whole time and without fail my mom was able to relate almost every taste back to an Italian recipe.

Our food tour began at the Jazz Festival where we swayed to music and sought out the vendors with the longest lines.IMG_6434 IMG_6432 IMG_6439 I got to try my first PoBoy; pulled pork with a spicy horseradish sauce. We learned what makes a poboy is the French bread it is on, mom continued to refer to it as a hero anyway. IMG_6429

We also tried BBQ Rib TipsIMG_6431

and Corn Pudding, which was our favorite recipe and we will be looking to recreate this for Thanksgiving!IMG_6430

The afternoon led us to The Hot Sauce Bar, a very colorful and fun food store where we sampled Pralines.IMG_6447 IMG_6448

Dinner was at NOLA, Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant. Lunch really filled us up but that didn’t stop us from sampling a couple of different appetizers. Fun fact, I rode the elevator with Candice Accola, Caroline Forbes from The Vampire Diaries, one of my favorite shows!

At NOLA we sampled:

Miss Hay’s Stuffed Chicken Wings, it was almost an eggroll had been stuffed inside a chicken wing. What could be better?IMG_6545

Duck Confit and Egg Pizza, which was comparable to the egg pizza at Tarry Lodge (Tarrytown, NY) IMG_6546

Emerils Barbecue Gulf ShrimpIMG_6547

Pork Cheek Boudin BallsIMG_6544

Day two started off with an early breakfast at Cafe Du Monde to sample some Beignets and cafe au lait. I really enjoyed the beignets but mom was not as impressed, she has never been a zeppole lover and they tasted the same to her. However, we were in complete agreement that the cafe au lait had been one of the best cups of coffee we had ever had in our life, we spent the rest of our time in the city searching for another cup, no luck!IMG_6577 IMG_6575

We heard Muriel’s is the place to go to, so that is where we found ourselves for lunch. We each did the lunch special which started us off with a bowl of seafood gumboIMG_6736 IMG_6737

I tried the Mississippi CatfishIMG_6740

Mom had the stuffed Mirliton, a stuffed squash. Mom compared this to her stuffed peppers over a giambotta sauce. This is when I realize that she just cannot help herself and she is definitely her fathers’ daughter. My grandfather has the tendency to relate almost any modern day creation to something the Romans created thousands of years ago.  IMG_6739

Even though we were stuffed to the bone we were instructed not to leave without trying the Bread pudding. Woah, topped with candied pecans and a sugary glaze, it was phenominal.IMG_6742

For dinner we made our way over to Mr. B’s Bistro, another famous restaurant in the French Quarter.

We started off the evening with the Jumbo Lump Crabcake and Fried Oysters on the Half Shell.IMG_6762 IMG_6764

For our main meal we shared the Brandy and Apple Cider Braised Rabbit and the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits. I never thought I was a fan of grits, until I fell in love with them during this meal. Mom described the grits as a creamy polenta, but personally I liked them more than polenta.IMG_6765 IMG_6766

We certainly did not budge for our last two meals. For our last breakfast we went to the Ruby Slipper.

I ordered the Chicken St. Charles, crispy chicken breast over a buttermilk biscuit topped with a poached egg and a tasso cream sauce.IMG_6774

Mom ordered the Corned Beef Bennie, the homemade corned beef was over a buttermilk biscuit topped with horseradish cream, hollandaise sauce and a poached egg.IMG_6776

The last item on our list of things to try were char-broiled oysters, and man we were both happy we found the best place in the city to try them. Felix’s serves a dozen char-broiled oysters on the half-shell and they are mouth-watering and to die for. Luckily we did not find these on the first day or I probably would have begged to just eat these for every meal. SOME might say these are similar to clams oreganata, but the three sticks of butter in the recipe makes them heavenly. IMG_6825

We also had a final grilled shrimp poboy as a way of saying our farewell to New Orleans.IMG_6823

We left NOLA on a full stomach and with happy hearts. It was so great to spend the weekend with my mom and I am looking forward to bringing some of these recipes to our Thanksgiving table!

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