travel: new orleans, louisiana
DUDES! I just had the absolute best long weekend in New Orleans with Sir Dave. This was a trip I booked last minute (and as a surprise to the hubby) when December was just totally nuts and the gloomy Chicago weather was getting me down. Check one off the 2015 bucket list! I have always loved New Orleans – we picked Cajun food for our wedding after a trip down there, and I even got a fleur de lis tattoo last time I visited, because why not?! The music, the history, the FOOD – just the best. How could you not be happy down there?! Also just noticed the background sign in this pic…
We flew in Friday morning and out Sunday night, so we had to pack A LOT into a short time – and boy did we ever. I’m writing this Monday after work and am fighting back the urge to just go to sleep at 6:05 PM, but I must march on, viva la blog life!
Here are some of my favorite non-foodie highlights:
Shopped on Magazine Street
This was such a cute shopping area, try to hit it up if you can. Boutiques and antiques galore. And an adorable store called Trashy Diva is a must if you love vintage inspired clothing and accessories – thanks Cara for the reco!
Walked the Garden District Mansions
If you want to feel just terrible about the house or apartment you live in, go here – your place probably sucks in comparison. The houses blew my mind, from the ornate iron gates, the gardens and the beautiful old trees – stunning. This house was my favorite, if you could stalk a house, I did.
Visited St. Louis Cemetery & Lafayette Cemetery
I think these historical cemeteries are so interesting to visit. And Nic Cage’s pyramid tomb? Love it, what a fabulous weirdo he is.
Jazz on Frenchman Street at the Spotted Cat
This made for an absolutely perfect Saturday afternoon. At one point I looked at Dave and said, “I could sit here every Saturday, all day, forever.”
Alright onto the BEST part, the FOOD!
These pictures are NOT going to do this place justice, but this place is the shit. An institution that has been around since the 30’s. Dave ordered the “Ferdi” which is kind of like an Italian Beef but also had ham and delicious whole grain mustard. It’s messy, meaty and perfect.
I ordered the fried shrimp po’ boy and it was ridiculous. Fresh, plump shrimp perfectly fried served on a slightly chewy, fresh baguette. Drool.
Since we stayed at the Prince Conti hotel right next door, we thought we’d try this very little, quaint cafe. In all honesty I didn’t think it was going to blow my mind – I’m not really a breakfast person, but I’ve got to say, this was the best food we ate. We ended up going two days in a row (as did two other couples if that give you any idea how wonderful it is)!
First I ordered grits with creamed spinach, green onions, bacon, and a fried egg. DEAR LORD. The grits were the creamiest I’d ever had and all of it together…oh man. The best.
The second day I ordered their benedict special that had roasted garlic, sausage, white cheddar and poached eggs on a toasted and buttered baguette. I think the picture speaks for itself.
Next we hit up Cochon for dinner. This was recommended to us by a ton of people and I see why. I think it’s comparable to Girl and the Goat in Chicago. Really great atmosphere, cocktails and unique seasonal, local cuisine.
We ordered the fried Alligator as an app – yep, I ate it! It has a chicken-y texture and taste, and the chili garlic mayo it was tossed in was divine.
For the entree I had the oven roasted gulf fish “fisherman style” which was tender, spicy and so fresh.
Dave ordered the Louisiana cochon with turnips, cabbage & cracklins. He barely spoke, so I think it was pretty damn tasty.
And let’s not forget their mac and cheese casserole. I’ll take ten more please.
Peche Seafood Grill
We hit this place up for lunch and it was wonderful – we shared lots of small plates so we got to taste a little of everything. Of course I read my Bon Appetit magazine on the way home which raved about the spicy ground shrimp and noodles that we didn’t order, oops. But everything we had was delish.
Of course we got some Louisiana oysters as we’d never had them. I will say they’re a little big for my liking, but like everything in NOLA, go big or go home.
We also got the fish sticks – and these are not your momma’s frozen fish sticks. They were so fresh and the batter was delectable.
The shrimp and fontina croquettes were my absolute favorite. Perfectly melty and gooey cheese with fresh shrimp hugged by a crisp, flavorful batter. MMmmmmmmm…
And we did happen to eat one vegetable, draped in delicious cheese – the cauliflower gratin was superb.
Cafe Du Monde
And last, but certainly not least, no visit to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Cafe Du Monde. Those little pillows of fried dough covered in powdered sugar – there is nothing better.
And with that dear readers, I conclude my longest post ever on my shortest vacation ever. This trip taught me I need to take more time to smell the roses and inhale the fried foods. I feel recharged and slightly fatter, but it was all worth it! Cheers Y’ALL!