Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Orleans: A Dream Come True

Have you ever been drawn to a place and then fallen head over heels with it once you finally made it there? New Orleans was like that for me. A huge romantic, for me this city seemed to have everything that could be desired in a place: gorgeous architecture, stellar music, Southern hospitality but big-city sophistication, a fascinating history and of course, amazing food.

I headed off to explore Nawlins last week with a friend. Let's start with the food, shall we?

Favorite Appetizer: This is an Alligator Sausage and Shrimp Cheesecake from Jacque-Imo's. It's a savory cross between a cheesecake and a quiche, smothered in a creamy sauce. To die for!

Favorite Dinner: Crawfish Ettoufee, from the same place. Served alongside Cornbread, red beans and rice and corn maque choux, this was a genuine Creole experience - and soooo good!
Best Touristy Place to start your day: Cafe du Monde for some beignets topped with powdered sugar. With a tiny "large" glass of freshly squeeze orange juice, it was a wonderful (if overpriced) was to start exploring the French Quarter.
Dessert of choice in these parts: Pralines! Don't even bother looking for chocolate, cause this is Praline territory.
Biggest sandwich I have ever eaten: Muffaletta from Central Grocery. I didn't realize that "whole" meant it was served on a whole loaf of bread! We didn't finish this baby, but made a homeless guy's night.
Best "I'm in the South!" breakfast: Elizabeth's, where we ate praline bacon (I know!), fried green tomatoes, poached eggs, potatoes, and a biscuit. Swoon!

Best "I am way too underdressed to be here" lunch: Emeril's Restaurant. Despite our tennis shoes and shorts in a sea of suits, they didn't turn us away for lunch, so we got to enjoy this combination of Fried Organic Chicken, Sweet Corn-Belgian Waffle, Watermelon Slaw and Crystal Hot Sauce Syrup.

Best dessert: Emeril's Banana Cream Pie. Jacques Pepin named it "the best thing I ever ate in New Orleans", and the man has got a point there. It is one mean pie.

Best "late night dessert to eat when you're hanging out on Frenchmen Street and have a hankering for something sweet": Bread pudding in praline sauce from The Praline Connection.

Best "Dessert for Breakfast" dish: Bananas Foster French Toast from Surrey's. My stomach almost exploded by this time, but my friend finished hers. I am in awe!

Besides the food, how about some gorgeous shots of New Orleans?

Jackson Square

The French Quarter - so picturesque!

This is where we stayed: A typical house in the Bywater, with shutters, white pillars and palms.

St. Louis Cemetery #1: The first cemetery where they decided to built above-ground vaults. Before that, the bodies they buried on the river bank floated up when the city flooded. Imagine corpses floating down your street and you can see the wisdom of these vaults.
Public Art paying tribute to jazz

This mansion in the Garden District used to belong to Anne Rice. It's easy to see how the city inspired her aesthetic.

Houmas House, a real plantation. We ate lunch on green velvet chairs, strolled the gardens, 
had the best tour guide ever (a la Scarlet O'Hara) and stood under 500 year old oak trees 
draped in grey moss. 

If you ever get the chance, go to New Orleans. Filled with an indescribable positive energy, I can't imagine anyone not falling in love with it.


  1. So jealous! I have family out there... need to visit now! I love how you posted it all here, in one quick shot of deliciousness.

  2. Mmmm mmmmm! I'm planning on going "home" for Thanksgiving this year, and will have to plan in some extra time for visiting extended family, and still getting out for at least a couple of nights of good eatin' and music


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!