I love food. Do you guys know that? All I ever want to do is go to awesome places and eat awesome food. Or cook awesome food. Or anything else related to food. Except do the dishes. Does someone want to move into my spare bedroom and wash all of my dishes?
So, my brother moved to Baton Rouge in June and his girlfriend lives in New Orleans. So for my pre-birthday weekend, we went to New Orleans and gorged on delicious food. Because what else would we do?
Our first stop was Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar and Fish House. First, oysters. I love raw oysters. I could have easily ordered a few dozen raw oysters and called it a night. We also wanted to try their delicious looking Charbroiled Oysters. Oyster with garlic and parmesan? I’m all for that.
And did you know that Crystal is both my favorite hot sauce AND the official hot sauce of the New Orleans Saints? Because it is, in fact, both of those things.
Then we got dinner. My mom got Pic#1 – half fried oysters and half fried shrimp. Doesn’t that look good? She then stole all of my cocktail sauce to eat with her fried seafood.
I got Pic#2 – hot seafood boil. You know what my favorite part of crawfish season is? The corn and potatoes that boil in the pot with the crawfish. So I loved this – shrimp boiled in this green net bag with corn and potatoes and onions and peppers. Also, it was spicy. Really, seriously spicy.
Pic#3 – Fried seafood platter for two. My brother and his girlfriend (her name is Katie.) split this gigantic plate of fried goodness. It had fried shrimp, oysters, crab, catfish and onion rings.
Then, we went back to where we were staying and I passed out. Then, since it was New Orleans, there was really only one option for breakfast:
We trekked into the French Quarter to have Cafe Du Monde for breakfast. You’ve heard of Cafe Du Monde, right? They’ve been making these delicious pillows of goodness (aka beignets) since 1862. The saddest thing in the word is when the plate is empty.
We spent the rest of the morning walking around the French Quarter and French Market. Another delicious thing that New Orleans is known for is their pralines. I have a post about them coming very soon, but I may have tried nearly every praline shop that we passed while walking around that morning.
We looked at the art that the street vendors had in Jackson Square and walked through the St. Louis Cathedral (which still had gorgeous Christmas decorations up).
We stopped in a tie shop, then later in a spice store. Did you know that a store exists that sells, basically, nothing but hot sauces and salsas? Because it was glorious.
Once we decided that we were ready for lunch, we stopped into Central Grocery, the home of the Muffuletta. This sandwich was gigantic – seriously, larger than my head. I was full after just eating 1/4 of it. The huge sesame seed bun is topped with olive salad, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham, and provolone. We took these sandwiches up to the bank of the Mississippi River to eat them. Beautiful view, perfect day and delicious sandwich. It was the perfect New Orleans moment.
PS- the other half of my face looked really weird in the picture so I cropped it out. My picture, I do what I want.
We headed back to the car and went to a Whole Foods. Most of you probably don’t think that sounds remotely entertaining, but when the nicest grocery store around is Kroger, a special trip to Whole Foods is part of being on vacation!
That afternoon, the Saints were playing Seattle for their spot in the playoffs, so we had to get back to the house before the game started. (New Orleans is pretty serious about their Saints football, you know.)
At halftime, we headed back out and crossed the Causeway Bridge to eat dinner. Being my birthday, I requested one of John Besh’s restaurants, La Provence.
We definitely drove right past the restaurant and had to turn around. From the outside, it looked quite small and when we got there, there weren’t many cars outside. Traffic definitely picked up while we were there, though.
We had all been looking at the menu before we got there and some of us already knew what we wanted. The four of us had three appetizers: Oysters Oh La La (pictured in the middle) which had crab fat butter on top of them; Warm Chestnut ravioli (pictured right), which was absolutely delicious. The ravioli were served with crispy ham and a slice of citrus. When you put each component together, it was the perfect bite. We also had turtle soup, but I didn’t end up with a picture of it.
Entrees were (left to right) roasted lamb with kale; whole Mississippi rabbit served with rabbit sausage and some type of noodles; Mahi Mahi with lentils; and the Market special, fettucini noodles with shrimp and oysters in a cream sauce.
The desserts were my favorite part. Mine was a dark chocolate clafoutis with a browned butter hazelnut ice cream. It was divine. Mom had sweet potato beignets with coffee ice cream. The beignets didn’t seem to be anything extraordinary, but (as a coffee lover) she loved the ice cream. My brother (by my request) got the Bread Pudding. It was also really, really good.
Katie and I both fell asleep in the car ride back across the bridge. I woke up as we were pulling back into the subdivision and I didn’t even bother washing my makeup off before I was gone for the night.
Unfortunately, Sunday had arrived and it was almost time to head home. We had one more delicious stop to make before heading back north, though.
When we were in Louisiana over the summer moving my brother, we had breakfast with part of Katie’s family at a delicious brunch place called The Broken Egg. We couldn’t wait to eat there again on this trip!
As the name suggests, their speciality is eggs. My breakfast (Pic#1) was the Bacquezo Omelette – bacon and cream cheese, Monterey jack, chorizo and scallions. I’ve been on a chorizo kick for the past several months. I like it when it’s done well.
Mom’s breakfast (Pic#2) is what my brother had last time we were here. Crab Cakes Cavallo. English muffins, grilled crab cakes, poached eggs, andouille hollandaise sauce, red peppers and green onions.
Katie’s breakfast (Pic#3) was the Bacado Omelette for brunch at the Broken Egg – bacon and avocado slices topped with monterey jack cheese.
And finally, John felt like he should start getting back to eating veggies with his breakfast (Pic#4). His was the Veggie Benedict – under that hollandaise sauce, there is spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and broccoli.
Everything we put into our mouths all weekend was delicious. I am seriously looking forward to my next culinary adventure through New Orleans. What are your favorite NOLA eating places? I’ll be sure to make them part of my next trip!