Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where does the time go?

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm cooking a big thing of corned beef and cabbage (yum!) because I love making holiday themed food for no reason. I realized that you still haven't seen my New Orleans food pictures! And this seems to be a good a time as any, as I wait to hear from our realtor if she's made us any appointments for the day and the beef simmers away on the stove.

In case you don't already know, the food in New Orleans is a-frickin'-mazing. While we went to many fancy places, I limited my pictures to informal food, as I hate being that girl in a fancy restaurant trying to take pictures and bothering people. Here are some class New Orleans dishes that you don't want to miss.

1. Beignets at Cafe Du Monde

I'm getting the obvious out of the way. There was not a single friend, guidebook or website that did not tell me to go to Cafe Du Monde. Despite being "touristy," it delivers like nobody's business. Here's an order of beignets (fried dough with mountains of powdered sugar) and an iced cafe au lait.

Imagine amazing, warm doughnuts. Now put yourself outside where street musicians are playing, it's a warm sunny day and you're laughing at your husband futilely trying not to get covered in powdered sugar. These are a classic and not to be missed.

Zack thought we could split an order (um, NO). He's funny like that.

2. Muffletas at Central Grocery

These too are a New Orleans staple. They're in all the books. I never thought of Italians being a large presence in New Orleans, but they are for sure (if you ever have extra time and a rental car, for god's sake, go to Mosca's and get Oysters Mosca. You'll thank me later). But back to the sandwiches.

They're stuffed with Italian deli meats and cheeses and olive salad. I'm not normally an olive fan, but I'll give anything a try.

It was good - juicy and tangy. The olives aren't overpowering, they play nicely with others. It's a good time.

3. Fried Chicken Livers with Pepper Jelly at Elizabeth's

I made Zack walk all over New Orleans to get to this place. We didn't really know where we were going, we were hungry, tired, our outdoor buzz was wearing off and then finally, we turned a corner and there it was. This was the first thing we ordered and I am now obsessed with it.

These are chicken livers that have been battered and fried like fried chicken! Creamy and sharp, they just melt in your mouth, surrounded by delicious batter with a sweet/spicy kick of jelly. Amazing.

4. Boiled Crawfish and Oysters - anywhere

I am a huge fan of oysters. People are scared to eat Gulf oysters and other seafood after the oil spill, but don't be! The Gulf is clean and the economy needs you. That's right. You should eat oysters to support the local economy.

We'd never had crawfish before, but I was determined to find some and "suck de head and de tail."

These were boiled in a mixture of Zatarain's and Old Bay (from Maryland - Zack was so proud). I love "interactive" food, so I went nuts for these. Delicious.

5. Po' Boys at Domilise's

Zack saw this place on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and decided we had to go there. I'm thrilled whenever Zack shows an interest in food, so off we went. These sandwiches are a New Orleans tradition, their twist on a submarine sandwich.

We had one filled with fried oysters -

- and one "sausage" where they took breakfast sausage links and threw them in the deep fryer. It seemed unbelievable but it tasted great.

I also got a "red creme" soda which I've never seen before. Is this a Southern thing?

All in all, it was an amazing trip. We went to so many great places (and gained so much weight). I'd go back in a second. Until next time!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My new favorite city

Welcome to New Orleans! Zack and I just got back from our trip and it was amazing. The Crescent City is my new favorite place - the food, the people, everything was just great.

We lucked out on our trip. It was the first weekend of Mardi Gras! That means parades galore. We saw a few parades with really impressive floats, but my favorite thing was the Krewe of Barkus - or the dog parade.

I know, I know. You're shocked. My 17 year old self is breaking the time/space continuum to slap me in the face. But this years Mardi Gras theme was the Best of Broadway! Dogs dressed up as Broadway shows! Even I have my limits. I took about 200 pictures, but here are my favorites. See if you can identify each show! Put it in the comments.

Some of these are really obvious - there were a lot of Phantom dogs and Cats dogs (weird), but I love more obscure ones - some of my favorite shows are in there.

Like every good New Orleans parade, there were amazing bands -

- and beads everywhere. Next post will be about the food, I promise!