Being Bad in New Orleans

Vanessa is, to put it bluntly, a pig.  Now in her defense, how can you not be a pig when you are in New Orleans? The cuisine is so amazing — there is no other place in the world where you can have such delicious food.   Within walking distance in the French Quarter, there are thirteen combined restaurants by four nationally known, award-winning chefs: Emeril Lagasse, John Besh, Donald Link and Paul Prudhomme.  There is a restaurant dynasty by the Brennan family and countless other fabulous, lesser known eateries.  How food fortunate can one city below the sea be?  Where does one start eating and when do you call it quits?

Well, if you are Vanessa, you don’t really break down the meals into breakfast, lunch and dinner…it is one continuous meal.  She truly made me sick when I heard about all of her eating! Follow her journey and book your airline tickets today.

And so it begins like this:

The anticipation was peeking — the timing was perfect.  We had an at dawn morning flight from Charlottesville and had just landed in New Orleans with enough time to drive to R&O’s Restaurant (old school – no website) to arrive just as it opened.  Without hesitation, I began to order my favorites. I always begin with a crawfish pie appetizer (with lots of lemon squeezed all over it) and fried onion rings.  Then since it’s crawfish season, I ate 2 lbs. of boiled crawfish followed by a WHOLE roast beef po-boy and a few glasses of Abita beer to wash it all down.  And, since I was no longer hungry but still craving the taste of my po-boy, I ordered a mayonnaise and gravy sandwich.  Yes, mayo and gravy on french bread! It sounds odd but tastes so good!

Crawfish Pie

The next few days of visiting the family took me to the North Shore and back to the French Quarter. I couldn’t resist a stop at the Abita Brew Pub  where shrimp, crawfish and real french bread seemed to be my theme.  I had Crawfish Pasta at the Abita Restaurant and a fried shrimp po-boy in Slidell.  There was one place that made a crawfish and cheese soup that was so good  I had a second serving of it.  Of course for dessert my mom and I shared the bread pudding.  That would be the only dish I shared.

Real French Bread

No meal in New Orleans would be complete without an evening at NOLA.  It’s Emeril’s second restaurant and my favorite.  Fred and I have eaten there so often I’ve grown to accept it as a sort of investment.  I’m not really sure how it all happened that night but by the time we were finished being “fed” freelance style, I had eaten EIGHT courses and it took 2.5 hours! I started with Hogs Head Cheese and then Duck Cracklings and Duck Confit Pizza with a fried egg, arugula, and truffle oil. Next I ate Asparagus and Baby Carrot Top Salad, BBQ Shrimp and Rosemary Biscuits, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Petite Filet Mignon with Bordelaise Sauce and yes, dessert.  Dessert is always a game of guessing the “sorbets du jour” flavors.  I only got the strawberry part correct.  It is after all, Ponchatoula strawberry season.

The next day Fred and I paid a visit to Josh Besh’s newest restaurant Domenica.  I think by this point I had drunk and eaten myself into a state of delirium, so I decided to take a break from seafood and went for an Italian meal…Dominica is a favorite of the locals. Often overlooked, as New Orleans is known for seafood, but New Orleans has some of the finest Italian eateries in the world.

So, how does it all end? With a whimper and a pout. It has become my tradition to eat my final meal at the Gumbo Shop for Boudin and a Crawfish Remoulade Salad and to board the plane with a delicate Angel Food smoothie from the King of New Orleans smoothies, Smoothie King. I sipped slowly on my smoothie, taking in my last taste of New Orleans while peering out of the window and smiling, because I know I’ll be back…you can never really take a New Orleans girl out of New Orleans…it’s home!

Now that is what the Cajun Voodoo Mamas call being bad in The Big Easy!

Voodoo Dat-

Laura & Vanessa

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