Monday, June 02, 2008

Eating the Big Easy

A few of the things I ate during the past week in New Orleans:

A fried seafood platter from Deanie's, a touristy restaurant in the French Quarter. It was a heaping mound of fried stuff - you couldn't tell what was what by looking, or even by tasting it. It was all fried in the same oil so it came out tasting the same. Not recommended.

Barbecued shrimp from Emeril's place in the Warehouse District. In New Orleans, this dish consists of shrimp cooked stovetop with cajun spices and lots of pepper and then coated with a spicy brown sauce. No barbecue enters the picture. These were served with a small rosemary biscuit, which to me was tastier than the shrimp.

Crawfish cheesecake, an intriguing and delicious appetizer at an Uptown restaurant called Dick & Jenny's, which serves upscale versions of creole classics. We were worried at first by the menu, which seemed a bit too ambitious, but we were not disappointed by what we were served, including a yummy gumbo and a fantastic lemon meringue pie.

Red beans and rice, at the Dillard University dining hall. This was NOT what they served me when I was in school! Considering the location, it was not half bad! And the server was a gem... a real Southern charmer who announced "Order in the window" as she passed your styrofoam plate to you across the heat lamps.

Ribs, brisket and a pulled pork sandwich at The Joint in the Bywater. This little place was amazing. You could smell the smoke for blocks. Inside there was nothing but an old Wurlitzer and some picnic tables, which was essentially all you needed. The barbecue was awesome and was served with optional vinegar-based or tomato-based sauce.

A muffaletta sandwich from Central Grocery on Decatur Street. Salty and yummy and stuffed with huge cerignolas. You have to have one of these when you're in New Orleans. I bet a better, less hyped version, exists but you still have to have one from here.

Eggs and grits with black ham from Mother's Restaurant on the corner of Poydras and Tchoupitoulas. This place is packed on weekend mornings and is famous for its baked ham. The restaurant has created its own vocabulary - Black Ham = the crisp, caramelized crust from the baked ham. Debris = the roast beef that falls into the gravy while baking in the oven.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:12 PM

    If you can't tell the difference between the fried shrimp, oysters and soft-shell crab at Deanie's then you have a very weak palette.