Friday, July 20, 2012

New Orleans - The Food, Part 1

New Orleans may be my favorite city so far in life. There's something alive about it. The history, the live jazz music echoing through the streets of the French Quarter, the colors, the FOOD, the people and their friendly laid back style...I could go on and on. Because I worked from about 7:30 am - 7 pm most days, my time and proximity were limited to the French Quarter, Garden District, and the Bywater. That said, these are ideal locations to be limited to! Because I took so many photos, I've decided to break them up into several posts. Hope you enjoy! Of course, I'm starting with my food experience...

The Adventures of Valocrat
My first evening was spent at John Besh's Borgne (please excuse the blurry iPhone pics). Chef Besh did not disappoint! We started off with the Creamy Canary Island Goat Cheese A La Plancha Sauce "Mojo Verde" -- WOW. It was so delicious. We ended up dipping the amazing Borgne bread in it! For my entree I had the 10-clove Garlic Louisiana White Shrimp (with potatoes and roasted red peppers). And yes, it tasted as good as it sounds. My friends had the Fried Soft Shell Crabs with Lemon Grits that melted in my mouth. Luckily, everyone shared a bite! It was a great start to New Orleans fare.
Sunday morning we headed to Stanley Cafe in Jackson Square in the French Quarter. For me it was all about ambiance at this place. High ceilings with cooling fans, vintage tile, and lots of mahogany (said in Ron Burgundy voice). The potatoes were fried in bacon fat so those were out for me (bummer) but they serve a mean mimosa!
Monday brought lunch at Johnny's Po-Boys. I'd seen it on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and HAD to get my hands on a shrimp po-boy. It is definitely a dive, but the po-boy was perfection. That evening we had a scrumptious dinner at the Palace Cafe...NOTHING tops their made-by-tableside bananas foster!
By Tuesday I was feeling rather "overindulged" with delicious hearty food. I discovered it's rather difficult to find healthy and vegetarian/vegan food in the French Quarter area. After some internet research, I discovered Merchant, a fabulous coffee/soup/panini cafe with delicious vegan options! A giant arugula salad with roasted tomatoes and THE BEST mushroom soup I've had since the Greenbrier Resort really hit the spot. I came back here twice to eat!
Thursday we headed for Bayona, headed by chef Susan Spicer. While dinner is quite expensive, the lunch is pretty reasonable...although be prepared for a long service, it's quite slow. For a starter we tried the Goat Cheese Crouton with Mushrooms in Madeira Cream. Wow, I wish I'd ordered this plus a salad for my meal. It was exquisite! I had Drum (fish) with Mussels and Lentils for my entree and honestly it was just OK. My friends had Scallops in a Spicy Peanut Sauce that was delicious! While this meal was good, it wasn't my favorite in New Orleans. I'm glad I didn't go for dinner!

In order from top to bottom:
(1) A new favorite wine, the Drylands Sauvignon Blanc, it's fruity, crisp, and light, the perfect summer wine!
(2) A delicious display of goodies at sweetshop Sucre in the Garden District. I had a cup of triple chocolate gelato...oh yeah. 
(3) Sobou, the new restaurant at the W Hotel French Quarter, opened the Monday we were there. It's a very trendy little spot, which I expect from the W Hotel. I had this delicious fig salad with spicy marinated yellow carrots.
(4) Last but not least, you cannot leave New Orleans without having a fresh beignet at Cafe du Monde...perfection! 

1 comment:

  1. I wish I could try all this food! It looks delicious! When is your next trip? Mom