Friday, November 28, 2008

Food Pt 1

Now that we have spent a day gourging on turkey and stuffing our stomachs, let's talk about the food in New Orleans. Going into this trip I had only one rule about the establishments that we would be eating in. The menu must have options that weren't seafood. I am not a big fan of seafood. Not sure if it is the smell, taste, or textures, but I don't care for it too much. Or it could be that I haven't been exposed to enough of it. As I said, I am not sure why but I usually opt for beef, chicken, or pork when dining. My preconceived notion was that New Orleans was basically all seafood and deep fried items. Maybe I have seen the wrong cooking shows on TV. I wasn't against trying some seafood but I wasn't going to be the one ordering the catfish or crab.

On our first night in New Orleans I had pork spidini at the Italian restaurant. It was fantastic. Thin slices of pork rolled around some bread stuffing and cheese. A nice way to kick off the trip.

On Friday, we started out the day with a trip to Cafe Du Mond. Everyone said you must go have the beignets and the chicory coffee. Who am I to pass on coffee and donuts? The beignets were good even though messy with all the powdered sugar. Coffee was ok. The chicory wasn't a big deal to me.

For lunch we had to hop a streetcar to go check out my buddy's favorite Po boy joint. He has raved about this place for years and the po boy that they have called the Bomb, a catfish and shrimp sandwich that only those in the know are familiar with. One of those off the menu items. But to get to this place we had to walk about a quarter mile from the streetcar stop. Walking down the road was interesting. The concept of a sidewalk may be foreign to some people in New Orleans. Apparently the city doesn't maintain them nor do most of the property owners. One minute you were walking on concrete, then dirt, then brick, then grass. There was not a single continuous sidewalk. Anyways, I had a grilled chicken po boy that was good. I did try the Bomb even though the shrimp looked kinda nasty as it wasn't de-veined. The sandwich was pretty good. I thought it tasted like a McDonalds filet o fish but wouldn't say it in the po boy shop. Last thing I needed was to have the cook come at me with a machete.

Our dinner on Friday was probably the worst meal of the weekend. We had no plans on where to eat. We figured we could wander the French Quarter and find a place. That was easier said than done. Up one street and down another. The restaurants we came across either were high end or not of interest. We finally went down a street and found a little hole in the wall called Petunias. They had a shrimp pasta dish that people found appealing so we went in. The first sign to tell us to leave should have been the fact the place was empty. The second was when the waiter dropped the water glasses. The third when he kept sniffling. The fourth was when they didn't have any of the meat items on the menu. I ended up eating a ham, spinach and cheese crepe that was just ok. Nothing I would brag about.

Saturday find us eating at a sports bar by the Harrahs casino. As we were getting ready for the day, I was watching a show on barbecue on TV and found myself wanting some. The concierge recommended this cafe called Refs. When we got there we noticed they had 30 cent wings as well. So much for barbecue as we ended up getting a bunch of wings. The wings themselves were kinda small and the sauces average. I asked the waitress which was the hottest sauce on the menu and how hot she thought it was. She dared me to try the peach habanero saying she couldn't get past two of them. In the end they weren't all that hot. A bit spicy- they did leave a tingle on the lips- but not overpowering. The extreme hot was anything to worry about either though the honey bbq was good.

For dinner, the girls was to take on a 5 course meal at a place they found in the French Quarter, Tujacques. Though there would be seafood, I was willing to go with the flow and give it a try. I believe in trying both new and old. You don't know if you like something until you try it. You also may discover your tastes have changed as you get older. First course was a shrimp cocktail. I did like it. You could taste the freshness of the shrimp. The flavor was not overpowering and went well with the sauce that had a bite. Second course was a sweet potato soup with crab. I enjoyed this dish as well. The crab was quite mellow and blended well with the sweet potato. Third course was a small beef brisket that was very tender. It was cooked just right. So right that I snagged most of the brisket off a friend's plate when she decided she didn't want it. The fourth course was the main dish. We were given a choice of a couple different items. I opted for the chicken with the creole sauce on rice passing on the fillet. The dish came with some creamed spinach as well. The chicken was very good. A breast served on bone. The meat was very tender and easily came off that bone. This chicken appeared to have spent the better part of the day slowly cooking and it paid off. I even found the spinach to be tasty too. The final course was dessert, a vanilla mousse with a strawberry and some chocolate drizzled over. I found this to be rather disappointing finish to the meal. As some of women wondered how to make it I told them it was very simple. Take out the Kool Whip container and place a scoop in a dish. Add Hershey's syrup and you are done. But overall the meal was worth it. It ended up being a great idea.


AletaR said...

See, I knew your job was a food critic

Dr. Pauly said...

closet foodie?