What I Ate: New Orleans

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Did I mention beignets and not deliver?

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I went to New Orleans on business and spent all non-business hours eating amazing food. I didn’t take my DSLR, so here’s what I took on my iPhone.

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Abita Beer

I completely fell in love with Abita Beer in New Orleans, particularly Purple Haze and Pecan. Purple Haze is a fruit pilsner–light, wheaty, and tart with raspberries. I was hesitant about the Pecan Harvest Ale because I was worried it would be syrupy, but it’s well balanced and a little bitter rather than sweet; brewed with real pecans and caramel- and biscuit hops.

The Court of Two Sisters

I went to The Court of Two Sisters, a French-Quarter restaurant, for a work dinner, and I regret nothing. Look at this gorgeous outdoor dining:

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Gumbo
Gumbo
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Catfish 
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Chocolate mousse

The gumbo, bread, and (mountain of) chocolate mousse were excellent, but the real winner was the Corn Fried Des Allemands Catfish. I don’t eat a lot of fried foods, but man, the chefs of New Orleans sure know how to fry a fish. The tartar sauce and coleslaw (two foods I don’t typically like) were excellent with the fish, and the coleslaw was surprisingly light.

Around Town

 

Crawfish and feta pita at Magpie Street Cafe
Crawfish and feta pita at Maple Street Street Cafe

The crawfish were fried in peanut oil–crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. The feta and salad were a nice contrast to the textures of the crawfish.

Shrimp Po'Boy with sweet potato fries
Shrimp Po’Boy with sweet potato fries

Copper Monkey Grill’s shrimp po’boy with sweet potato fries: not the greatest photo, but po’boys are one of my favorite sandwiches.

Southern Breakfast at Ruby Slipper Cafe
Southern Breakfast at Ruby Slipper Cafe

Oh, my god. The coffee (French Truck) at Ruby Slipper is out of this world. The beans have a rich, earthy, chocolate scent to them. I even bought some for the road! I had the Southern Breakfast: two pieces of bacon perfection; a fluffy buttermilk biscuit; (my first) fried green tomato; creamy grits (also my first); and two sunny-side-up eggs. New Orleans was a lot of firsts for me food-wise, and I was not disappointed. The staff is so friendly, and the food was like the platonic ideal of breakfast, especially the bacon and fried green tomato.

A little bit of New Orleans at home! French Truck coffee beans.
A little bit of New Orleans at home! French Truck coffee beans.

Beignets

Beignets at Cafe Du Monde
Beignets at Cafe Du Monde

The cafe au lait is huge, and the place was packed! As I’ve said before, I’m not big on fried foods, and New Orleans really changed my mind about how good fried food can be. Beignets are fritters covered in powdered sugar. I like doughnuts well enough, but I was in heaven at Cafe Du Monde, touristy or no. These have that サクサク crispness to them on the outside; puffed up with soft dough on the inside; and the powdered sugar, though messy, is the perfect complement.

I might have needed a week for my poor arteries to recover, but New Orleans was fascinating–the architecture is like nothing I’ve ever seen before; the food was an absolute joy; and the beer to go? Right up my alley. Like I said, I didn’t take a lot of photos, but just look at this place:

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There are geeks EVERYWHERE. Brilliant use of that door.

 

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I can’t wait to go back! I feel like one post isn’t nearly long enough to discuss the foodways of New Orleans, but I’ve only just scratched the surface myself. For now, I’ll be hunting down New Orleans eateries in Seattle, and apparently we have several good ones.

Readers, do you have any suggestions for New Orleans cookbooks? There’s no dearth of them, but I didn’t even know where to begin when I was there. I suppose the starting point is learning to make roux….

 

 

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh my gawd that catfish looks amazing.

    I have no other comment. Just that.

    1. Leah says:

      I didn’t even know what to write in this post–I seriously just considered EVERYTHING IS DELICIOUS AND AMAZING AND FRIED (“Nothing here is vegetarian”?) Thanks for reading ^^

  2. Rara says:

    Hi, thanks for your posts. I found your recipes are interesting, I can’t wait to try it myself!
    It looks like you’re living in Kanazawa too. I’m a newly moved foreigner in Kanazawa and really into foods and baking(esp. Cakes). I hope we can be friends, please drop an email to my email address.

    Thank you and have a nice day!

    1. Leah says:

      Hi, Rara,

      I left Kanazawa in 2013, actually, but thank you!

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