Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Big Easy, Pt. 2

Oh my goodness. I survived the DNC. Barely. Charlotte turned into a madhouse for the past week or so… I had to go through several different security clearances even to get into the restaurant. After six days in a row of that, I needed a little break. I spent the weekend vegging out in sweatpants, watching football, and making lazy lounging around foods like risotto and chili. Oh, and registering for a crapload of expensive pots and pans at Williams and Sonoma. I think I may have gotten out of control with that little scanner thingy. It might be time to go online and trim up that list a bit. 

Anyway, I'm glad to take another look at my New Orleans trip because it's like reliving the fun all over again!  Hopefully you caught Part 1 of recap already. On to part 2! 

I'm from New Jersey. When people say Sno-Ball, I'm envisioning a pink, round, high-fructose bomb covered in fake coconut.  Apparently this is not the case in New Orleans. I was skeptical that the Snowball would pale in comparison to my beloved Italian Ice, but I have to say that it was pretty amazing! We went to Hansen's Snow Bliz and I had a cherry snowball. It was actually exactly like snow with slurpee flavoring on top. Wonderful! It sort of inspired me to buy some slurpee syrup and dump it on real snow.

We also ate one of the most amazing inventions on the planet: TATER TOT-CHOS.  Yes, tater tot nachos.  They were at this little bar called 13 and they may have changed my life.  I actually may have scared a group of eligible bachelors away from my friend with my enthusiasm about tater tot-chos (sorry about that, btw). It was like "Game over, jokers. Two of the best foods on the planet have become one and I'm about to dive face first into this plate".

Tater tot > tortilla chip. I will use a potato as a vehicle to eat almost anything. Also, please excuse this crappy iPhone photo. I was trying to be stealth… and my hands were shaking with excitement. 


We also went to a really cool brunch spot called Atchafalaya.  I know, it's a silly name. Half of the words in New Orleans sound made up to me. A few years ago, during one of my first trips down there,  my friend texted me to meet him on Tchoupitoulas street and I was all like "Whoa… look at this crazy drunk text Daniel just sent me!". Silly me. Incidentally, it's one of the main roads in the city. 

Anyway, I had a really interesting and delicious dish -- duck confit with blackberries and mangoes tossed in a bacon vinaigrette. The whole thing was topped with a poached egg and hollandaise.  It sounds like an incredibly random combination of ingredients, but it worked so well together!  The menu was full of unique combinations like this - this place definitely put a creative spin on brunch classics.  A nice little light breakfast before an afternoon of shopping. Ha. Ha.

Impressively, three animals on one plate - duck, pig, and chicken. Oh my. 


Finally, I can't wrap up a New Orleans trip without visiting the place where i had my very first cup of coffee when I was 11 years old, Cafe du Monde. If you've ever spent more than 2 hours with me, you know how much coffee I drink, so clearly this establishment has played a pivotal role in my life. Though super touristy, it's still fun to visit and get a cafe au lait and a famous beignet buried under a pound of powdered sugar.

My nearly all-black wardrobe is not beignet compatible.

I think those are all of the culinary high points from my New Orleans trip.  It was great to catch up with my girlfriends and it was certainly a nice break before the craziness of the DNC.  I'm already excited for my next Sno-Bliz. 




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