New Orleans has some of the best Cajun and Creole food on the planet.
“Lagniappe” Is a Little Something Special
I would be remiss if I failed to discuss the various eateries in New Orleans. All you ghost hunting fans indulge me for one post. There is good eating in New Orleans. There are also some overhyped restaurants out there. The best meal I had was at Drago’s Seafood Restaurant in our hotel the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, 2 Poydras Street. The Chicken Grillades with Grits was amazing! The Creole sauce made this dish savory with a slight kick of heat. Next time I’ll try the charbroiled oysters, the dish they are most known for.
New Orleans is synonymous with Muffuletta, the round sandwich piled with Italian deli meats and an olive relish. Although many have attempted to imitate, the original is in the French Quarter at Café Maspero, 601 Decatur Street. In the past I’ve stood in line at Central Grocery to purchase, but I prefer sit-down dining.
Beignets are not on the diet! The square deep fried doughnut heavily dusted with powdered sugar is worth the cheat though. Café du Monde is where to go for a plate of 3 and fresh coffee. Buy the prepackaged mixes to recreate back at home.
The Gumbo Shop, 630 Saint Peter Street, seems to always have a line. Plan your day around a late lunch or early dinner to avoid it. Head around the corner and shop at the Burguieres Gallery to kill some time (See earlier post). Originally made with seafood, gumbo can have seafood or chicken. Usually served over rice, this thick soup is made with a hearty roux and fills your tummy. The restaurant serves other Creole specialties, but you come here for the gumbo. And maybe the bread pudding. First the gumbo though.
The most disappointing restaurant was Mother’s. Don’t sit in the back room with the bar. That seems to be reserved for locals who get table service. Although the line moved swiftly, we waited over 45—yes, you read correctly—minutes for our food. The hold up? According to the staff it takes 45 minutes to deep fry the chicken for the po’ boy sandwich. Yep. Blamed it on the chicken. In addition, it was nearly impossible to get a refill during that 45 minute wait. The Famous Ferdi Special was underwhelming with lots of juice but little flavor. And served cold.
Before you visit New Orleans read up on the restaurants. Diana K. Schwan pens candid reviews in the Frommer’s New Orleans series. Some of the reviews will have you in stiches!
The food and drinks are not on the diet. So don’t even try.