Mother Nature has unravelled my plans in majestic fashion a few times.
Set to tick off a bunch of NOLA dishes on Saturday night, alas we were flooded in… The 6 inches in less than an hour downpour saw us wade through raw sewerage to get back to the hotel… turns out restaurants can’t be open when they are a foot deep in poop, who knew!?!
With literally the only open option being a Walgreens on slightly higher ground across the street, we braved the flood to stock up on the essentials. Queso, corn chips, salsa, jerky, string cheese and booze.
What was meant to be a night of hunting down delicacies, turned into watching TV and an MSG hangover. C’est la vie!
We had a lot of time to make up on Sunday!
The plan was to head to the French Market district for some top grub, after a pit stop at Cafe Du Monde for chickory coffee and beignets. After having some at Cafe Beignet the prior morning we were keen to try the “best in New Orleans.”
They did not disappoint, Cafe Du Monde is by far the best. A beignet (to me) is kind of like a donut crossed with a croissant. It’s deep fried choux pastry smothered in powdered sugar. They are delicious and fluffy but doughy and amazingly sweet.
Pro Tip: It’s worth the wait in line, go round the back for the take-away line if you can’t wait for a table.
My tastebuds thank NOLA, my waistline does not.
After a proper breakfast (yep that’s two brekkys), of Bloody Mary’s, shrimp omelet, biscuits and gravy and a huge plate of fruit, we headed over to the French Market*.
I love a market, especially one with food!
We hit the jackpot in the French Markets. Gator on a stick (from a cart serves only gator snags), pork boudin and frogs legs!
The gator sausage is a house made snag with gator tail (which means it’s juicy and fatty), and cajun spices. It tasted a bit like the best chicken sausage you’ve ever had, with a velvety finish and deeper meaty flavour. Honestly the best sausage I’ve ever had.
The boudin is a blood sausage without the blood. Therefore it contains the offal (mainly heart and liver) and is filled with oats or barley. To be honest, I think we got a bit of a shit one, cos the casing of intestine was super chewy and the sausage rather bland. Such a shame as I was told they are meant to be amazing… might have to go up-market rather than food market for a good one.
Frog has been a fave of mine for a while now, but I’m pretty sure this guy was either a souped up froggy or a toady. Either way, isn’t everything deep fried better? There was so much meat on those thighs. I like to describe frog as Chicken-Squid… kinda taste like chicken, with a slight fishy taste and the consistency of a squid. There was no skin and the meat fell off the bone, all those tasty little knee joints. Fiddly and YUM.
Have you ever heard of a muffaletta sandwich?
A muffaletta, is practically a wheel of sandwich**, 25 centimetres in diameter, containing layers of marinated olive salad, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham, and provolone… and it is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten.
Considering we had already practically eaten New Orleans out of food by 3pm, a quarter of a sandwich each was more than enough!
I swear they must put something magical (or crack) in the olive salad cos that shit is freaking good! So “olivey” and tart and omg take me back to the Central Grocer, I’ll order two!
You can imagine we were fairly well stuffed by the time dinner came around, and had a quest for one dish only.
You can get turtle soup at a bunch of places in NOLA, I’ve heard the best is at Commanders Palace as they serve it with sherry and equal the turtle with the veal.
In true unorganised style, it was too late. By the time we had digested (and watched the latest Game of Thrones … JAMIE YOU IDIOT!!!), it was past 9.30pm and being a Sunday all the restaurants serving the infamous soup had closed their kitchens for new service.
Literally trekking to about 8 restaurants with no luck at all, I settled on some blackened catfish at Antoine’s. It was delicious … but not turtle.
There’s no choice but to come back!
Thanks New Orleans, I may not have accomplished all on the list but I gave it a red hot go and certainly did not go hungry. Next up… Iceland, where I hope I can shift some of this jumbalaya I’ve deposited on my butt.
* We did walk around a tonne of Voodoo Shops, checked out the LaLaurie Mansion and soaked up some more of the French Quarter prior to consuming the world. We aren’t complete gobble guts … much.
** I’m not meant to eat wheat. My stomach has been in active rebellion since New Orleans. Totally worth it.