So everyone with half a brain knows that New Orleans is famous for it's food. Throw a rock in any direction and I guarantee you'll hit at least six places worth eating at, so I'm gonna give you my top three picks for good eats. (Trust- this was HARD to narrow it down to only three).
1) The first stop once we landed and checked into the hotel was to Red Fish Grill (thank you airport shuttle man for the recommendation). The restaurant itself is gorgeous from the decor, to it's prime location on Bourbon Street, this place has more than just good food, it has great ambiance.
Now, I know I'm a Southern Girl from the Carolinas and all but I have never been a big grits eater (I'll tear up some cream of wheat though). Despite my lack of love for the grit family, I always like to try new dishes (especially when traveling) so I thought "when in Rome!" and ordered the shrimp and grits. Take a look at this divine concoction:
These Parmesan cheese grits were like puffs of clouds from the heavens, so light and airy. And as if they weren't good enough on their own, they were topped with roasted tomatoes, fried okra, jalapeno buttermilk ranch, prosciutto cracklin', and of course, shrimp. Everything was cooked to perfection, and the unique combination of flavors and ingredients was like sensation overload in my mouth.
This was hands down my favorite meal of the trip (and I don't even like grits!)
2) We found this gem really by accident because the place we had intended to eat at had a line out the door and we were hungry. The menu looked tasty so in we went. Remoulade is also on Bourborn Street and has a sort of classic diner, soda shop feel. Checkered floors and retro -looking bar really cemented the look. The menu had some pretty cool items, which being foodies and all, we had to try (duh). Crawfish pies and turtle soup for me, and classic jambalaya for Mia. So check out this crawfish pie:
Louisiana crawfish tails, jasmine rice, veggies, herbs and seasonings all fried in a delectable little pie. (Reminds me of an empanada or mini shepherds pie). They came out nice and hot, flaky pastry outside and steaming goodness inside. These are definitely worth a taste if you are in the area.
The turtle soup was awesome, great combination of flavors. Even you non adventurous eaters would enjoy this, no weird textures or flavors.
Mia tried the jambalaya (which means of course I sampled hers too- that's how we do). And in our opinions, this was the best jamablya we sampled during the whole trip.
3) The third and finale must eat stop on our trip was at the New Orleans School of Cooking (check out our blog post about the cooking demonstrations offered here). Not only was it awesome to watch our food being prepared and cooked right in front of us, but we were given the recipe to duplicate at home! (Maybe I will share in a future installment of Fatten Me Up Friday wink wink). This gumbo was the BEST we encountered on our five day trip.
It was so light and airy. Great combination of spices and flavors. Each table had an array of hot sauces which could be added depending on each persons personal hottness preference (sidenote: I like it HOT). But even if you don't add any additional kick- it was by far the best gumbo I ate.
I know I said I was narrowing down my list to top THREE spots to eat but c'mon, can you really visit New Orleans and not stop by Cafe du Monde for beignets? Established in 1862 in the French Market it is world famous for their beignets. Be prepared for standing room only, this 24 hour coffee shop is ALWAYS packed. We got super lucky and snagged a table on a Thursday afternoon and man were they worth it. They came out hot, piled with powered sugar. We left with powdery hands and shirts, but with happy stomachs.
Have you visited New Orleans? What is your favorite spot to eat?
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