Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Delta
Sound familiar?- there might be some deja vu in the title for those who remember my roadtrip in August of last year. http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/tm.aspx?m=664082
This was my precursor to the presidents day weekend glee club event in Nashville.
Each day will be divided into a chapter and each chapter will have a sub title. Chapter 1- Back in the Big Easy Tuesday February 7
Having no weather worries, I arrived in New Orleans just after noon time after an easy flight with a quick change of planes in Baltimore.
Since I'll be carless over the next few days, I took the shuttle from the Airport to my hotel, downtown, a couple of blocks from the french quarter,
After checking in and quite hungry, I walked to my first roadfood stop for lunch. Napoleon House
Since it was around 2pm it was after the lunch rush
and as I arrived I realized perhaps I shouldn't have walked, as my chariot awaits me.
Apparently well known for their Muffalettas warmed up in the oven, I asked for mine served cold probably to compare it to my previous experience at Central Grocery
7 years ago.
I ordered half a muffaletta, more than enough for one person
The olive tapenaude adds a nice garlicky touch, although I remember the bread at Central Grocery being denser and crustier, although it's been so long, I probably forgot.
I ordered the "side with sandwich" order of Jambalaya
A little on the mild side, however adding some hot sauce really gave it a nice kick and brought it up a notch. Everything went well with unsweetened iced tea. Overall a fine filling lunch.
I spent the next several hours walking around the quarter. Realistically I could probably spend days and never get tired.
I checked out Jackson Square.
named after our 7th president (who ironically made his home- where else but in Nashville)
The Cabildo was nearby. I made mention of touring it in one of my earlier trip reports back in 2005
I finally walked inside St Louis Cathedral and was amazed at the ornate interior and stained glass
Afterwards, I headed to towards the French Market for a brief respite at Cafe Du Monde
and a Cafe Au Lait
sat back and people watched. I'm not sure if it's me, but I found the cafe au lait very pedestrian. I'm sure it will go well with those beignets, but that's for another chapter.
I continued to stroll around the french market and came across the Jackson Brewery.
No longer an viable brewery it's now an urban mall with shops and restaurants.
I finally made it inside the french market itself.
having purchased a very forgettable "homemade" peach ice cream that didn't even deserve a photo, i moved on and noticed the reminder that Mardi Gras is on its way..
Although I didn't purchase one, they were giving out samples some with pecans and even a cheesecake version. I tried one with pecans. It reminded me of a typical entemann's cake- nothing special.
I continued strolling around afterwards passing landmarks such as Central Grocery
and Court of Two Sisters
Happy hour was fast approaching and there's a German style Brewpub I've been wanting to try.
Crescent City Brew House
I ordered a refreshing malty "red stallion"
and walked back to my hotel to chill out afterwards.
After resting for an hour or so, Imagine my surprise when I realized that my hotel was right across the street from my dinner stop. The Bonton Cafe
This is going to be my first real challenge with dim lighting and my new camera.
Starting out with a loaf of french bread
and spicy shrimp and crab okra gumbo
I was torn between the Crawfish Etoufee and the Shrimp, Eggplant and Crab Etoufee. I was put at ease when my waitress said I could order half of each.
(yes this is a non -flash photo in very dim light!)
That's crawfish etoufee on the left and the shrimp-eggplant-crab etoufee on the right)
My waitress prefers the crawfish etoufee- athough both were really good, I agree.
I chose a side of tempura style onion rings.
You don't think my meal would conlude here?
I had to order dessert and I'm so glad I did.
I never knew that dessert can put someone over the limit- the blood alcohol limit that is.
This amazing hunka bread pudding, drenched in whiskey sauce, will leave anyone "sauced" . It actually gave me a really good buzz (no kidding!)
After dinner, I was already to head out on Bourbon
Street. (hell, I probably just downed a whole bunch of the stuff in my bread pudding)
Engaged in the sites and sounds..
(I'm picturing beer in a big can)- get the pun?
I headed on over to Tropical Aisle - to listen to the Zydeco Band, "The Can't Hardly Play Boys"
You cans see the washboard player to the left-although he's out of the spotlight in this photo)
They put on a great show, half zydeco/half country. The accordian player sang all the zydeco stuff, he even had the thick cajun accent although I'm not completely sure if it was "put on" . the old long haired guy playing the guitar sang all the country stuff- he even did a great rendition of Johnny Cash's "I walk the line"
After enjoying a set and a local Abita beer, I felt I was ready to head back to my hotel for a good nights sleep
much more to come.