Monday, October 14, 2013

new orleans rewind

Did I mention that my husband is from Louisiana? Lucky me! I can't get enough of the cuisine - I'm constantly impressed by the blend of innovation and longstanding culinary tradition.  Also, my guilty food show indulgence is Top Chef and I'm freaking out that it's in New Orleans this year! I love seeing restaurants and chefs that I recognize.

Actually, I lied. My guilty food show indulgence is MasterChef Junior. THOSE KIDS ARE FREAKS!

Anyway, in honor of the new Top Chef season, I figured I'd show you some pics from my most recent trip to New Orleans. Unfortunately, I was only there for two days, so we had to make the most of it by squeezing in two dinners each day. Anything is possible, people.  

Because I'm a weirdo, I'm going to tell you about my trip in reverse, starting from my epic last supper and ending with Friday afternoon drinks.  On Saturday, I had an amazing dinner with two girlfriends at La Petite Grocery. It was, in fact, so amazing that I'm all in for the chef, Justin Devillier, to win Top Chef. If he doesn't I WILL BE ENRAGED. (All right, all right, I'll probably live.) But I'm telling you, this dinner was really good. 

It was a very dark and classy place, so excuse my terribly dim photos, but hellooooo lamb shank:

It was on top of a pile of dreamy polenta… which, since living in the South, I have learned is just a classy way of saying "grits". 

My favorite part of the meal was actually dessert (obvi), which was a butterscotch pudding with a little palmier on the side., but perfect - especially after that giant hunk of meat!

Lest ye think my stomach is becoming weak, I must show you photos of my FIRST dinner from that night. 

Domenica in the Roosevelt Hotel, serves half priced pizzas during happy hour every. single. day.  It actually looked like you could get those pizzas to go. I would pick up a pizza every day after work and become totally fat.

Look at that amazing dough bubble.  We resisted the urge to get four pizzas, and instead got two pizzas with four different toppings.

  • Gorgonzola with apples, pecans, and speck
  • Spicy lamb meatball with ricotta and mint
  • Pork shoulder, fennel, bacon, and onion
  • And white pizza (best way to judge a crust, I say!)
You see, this four PM dinner was necessary because we spent a suuuuper exhausting day at the zoo.  I mean, I fed the giraffes, so I was basically doing the work of a zookeeper in addition to my sightseeing.
Never mind that the baby is also feeding the giraffe - he must be some sort of prodigy. He'll probably end up on Masterchef Junior. 

The open container rule in New Orleans is still weird to me. Strolling around the zoo drinking a daiquiri with a monkey straw just seems wrong. (and yet… so right). Also, for the record, New Orleans daiquiris are slurpees with rum in them.

The early morning meal on Saturday was at one of my favorite brunch spots, Atchafalaya. This place has the most amazing bloody mary bar. They just bring you a little glass of vodka and then you fill it with the bloody mary mix of your choice and MILLIONS OF TOPPINGS. Pickled everything! Olives! Celery! You can refill the toppings as much as you want. It's like a cocktail salad bar (AKA my dream). 

I ate this most impressive take on eggs benedict.  It had a cornbread pudding on the bottom, pulled pork, and pickled slaw on top.  Oh, it was so good.

So that was our first day of eating from dinner 2 to brunch.  Hey, now that I look at it, it's only three meals, technically! Gotta love the balanced vacation diet. Stay tuned for part two of the trip!


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