Just back from a week in New Orleans. I was attending a training session for my job at the VA. To say I ate too much would be an understatement. The food options are so numerous I think you could eat at a new place every day and never eat at the same place twice. With that in mind I'll hit some highlights.
1st up is Brother's Fried Chicken. I ate there last night. It's literally in a convenienc store on Common Ave. At first I was a bit apprehensive but alas when in Rome! The chicken put anything to shame I have eaten in the past. Juicy can't describe it and the coating was crispy and not greasy at all. It came with a generous portion of steak fries and on the recommendation from one of the employees at the hotel I was staying I tried one of the meat pies. HOLY NOM! That little sucker had more flavor than I expected. Nice and spicy! If I would have had a fridge in my room I would have bought a dozen!! Pie was only a couple of bucks chicken was $4.00 for 2 thighs and 2 legs. This was also good since food in the city is OUTRAGEOUSLY high priced.
2nd was The American Sector at the National WW2 Museum. I had a corned beef on rye with hand cut chips, slaw and cheese grits. The restaurant is owned by John Besh. Not only a great chef but a Marine too! Semper Fi! There are some great reasons for the food to be so wonderful. First all meats are smoked and prepared in house. Second they believe in sustainable local products and third it just tastes great.
Now I'm not a born and bred Southerner but I do enjoy my grits. The grits at the American Sector taste so good it'll make you wanna slap yo mama! They were spicy, creamy and cheesy. I wanted to lick the bowl!! I found the recipe and will be posting pics and the recipe later.
Although I didn't get to Cafe DuMonde I did have opportunity to eat some traditional New Orleans foods. Red Beans and rice at Mother's Cafe and a muffaletta at Cafe Maspero. Mother's is crazy busy but the food was wonderful and service good an obvious favorite with the locals.
Masperos got mixed reviews on Yahoo and I couldn't tell you why. The sandwich was a beast!! The darn thing wouldn't fit in my mouth! Luckily I had a prybar. This was a classic. Tons of meat and olive salad dripping everywhere!
Unfortunately the prices in the city have risen sharply from what I remember. It wasn't uncommon for a meal to run $30.00 or more WITHOUT drinks. There is a Harrah's Casino so lunch isn't too bad at $10.00 a head. Keep in mind it is a casino buffet so the seasoning levels aren't typical of the local restaurants.
Overall great food experience was had. I would recommend you try to go where the locals go and roll with the flow as each place has it's own personality and style.
Helpful hint!!!!! Take cash. A lot of places don't take plastic or give seperate checks. If you go with a group, which just increases the fun, let them know, ATMs abound but at an average of $3.00 a transaction it's not worth it.
Next week long trip will be to Jackson MS in April. I wonder what culinary adventures I will find!
Until next time!!
"Chow for Now"