Oysters and Poboys and Beignets, Oh My!

Or, how I ate New Orleans in two short months.

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As you’ve undoubtedly gathered from my posts, New Orleans is a place you come to eat. In fact it’s tradition here to discuss your plans for your next meal as you are eating the food in front of you.

If you couldn’t get excited about what to eat next you’d never get to that future meal because you are constantly full. Mind over matter baby — it’s the only way.

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(Lina demonstrating great discipline as she starts in on beignets at Cafe du Monde immediately following our muffuletta at Central Grocery.)

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I think of the food here as being divided into Traditional New Orleans Cuisine which includes Italian, Creole, and Southern Fried Seafood; International — lots of Vietnamese, but also Argentine, Mexican, Indian, Middle Eastern, Japanese, and Chinese; and Local Neighborhood which is often a fusion of the Traditional New Orleans with the International. It’s all good.

(Lina and me at Rebecca Rebouche’s crawfish boil for her birthday. Oh, the crustaceans!)
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Here’s an idea of what, and where, we’ve eaten on this trip:

Traditional New Orleans Cuisine…

Casamento’s

Oysters of all kinds. Raw, char grilled, or Oyster loaf.
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All of the above are also wonderful at Katie’s where among other things we had the caramelized onion, arugula and brie flatbread:

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Katie’s is just down the street from Liuzza’s

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which is our favorite for fried pickles, red beans and rice, hot sausage poboys, or shrimp remoulade salad.

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Traditional New Orleans cuisine can be very casual like at Parkway Bakery and Tavern

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Or it can be fancy, like at Pascal’s Manale

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which serves the original New Orleans’ style BBQ Shrimp.

International Cuisine…

We ate delicious spicey beef pho at Pho Cam Ly, washed down with Vietnamese ice coffee of course:

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Terrific asado tacos with cebollitas at Taqueria Corona:

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Amazing garlic shrimp, lamb stew, and flan

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at Lola’s, a Spanish restaurant on Esplanade.

And terrific Middle Eastern food like the chicken shwarma and gyro platter

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at Babylon Cafe.

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Local Neighborhood Cuisine…

Probably my very favorite place to eat on this trip has been Butcher.

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I’ve been four times, and have taken, or sent all our out of town friends who’ve visited to eat there too.

I could live on the “Carolina” BBQ pulled pork topped with coleslaw with a side of their marinated roasted brussels sprouts. @#$@%&*@#$ it’s good!

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The Mint Modern Bistro is another place we just ate at recently which I’m already looking forward to returning to for their Kim Chi Burger and seasoned sweet potato fries.

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For breakfast our favorite Local Neighborhood place to go with our friends is Surrey’s. There are two locations, both on Magazine, one in the Lower Garden District and the other Uptown. This trip we’ve eaten three times at the Surrey’s Uptown location.

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It’s hard to beat their corned beef hash with two eggs over medium and a side of fruit.

And finally I guess I’ll have to add another segment for Coffee and Sweets which fit into every one of the larger categories above, like Cafe du Monde, and Morning Call which are both Traditional New Orleans Cuisine, for Cafe au Lait with Chicory, and beignets, 24 hours a day.

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Or Brocato’s

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and Sucre
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(that’s my Coconut Basil Gelato next to my Cafe au Lait).

And Croissant d’Or, (which is always closed on Tuesdays, and after 3:00 so plan accordingly), which all fit into the International category.

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Which leaves us with the Local Neighborhood Coffee and Sweets places which are legion.

I’d have to say the Cake Cafe in the Bywater is really, really good if you like cupcakes.

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And District Donuts on Magazine is no slouch when it comes to coffee and donuts.

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Honestly, I could go on and on. Since we’ve been in town we have gone to 51 different restaurants, 18 of them more than once! They’re all wonderful. I think I’ve had one “meh” meal the whole time we’ve been here and I’m not saying what it was because the next time we go it’ll probably be great.

Well, this post has taken me all day to compose. It’s worn me out, and you guessed it — really worked up my appetite! So until we eat again, remember what Luciano Pavarotti said: “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”

You heard the man.