Thursday, January 17, 2013

So - enough with the soup.  Mardi Gras is coming up, plus I'm really, really hungry, so I thought what better time to do a list of my top places to eat in New Orleans, my favorite city EVER?  (Dublin, Ireland or Hong Kong are tied for second place, but considering that NOLA is one short Southwest Airlines flight away and Dublin is 8 hours, Hong Kong 18, you do the math and figure the odds I'll ever return to either of those places in this lifetime.  Yeah, that's what I thought).

Without further ado, I present The Getaway Girls Guide to New Orleans Eats - enjoy, all you lucky folks en route to the Crescent City. And don't mind me, I'll be sitting here at home in Texas eating more . . . soup.  Rock on.

Lucky Dogs - any cart, any place.  What - you think Ignatius Reilly is the only one who appreciates a good foot long?  I once averaged two lucky dogs with mustard NIGHTLY on a girls' trip.  Granted, this was because we skipped dinner in order to save money and not waste our dining dollars during prime drinking hours, but still.  It was a two-dog night every night.  'Cause that's how I roll.

Clover Grill - Best. Burger. Ever.  (FYI: second best is the Texas burger at Del's Charburger right here in Richardson, Texas).  Seriously, it's cooked under a hub cap, how could it not be good?

Praline Connection - kickass pork chops.  I don't know if they still serve them or not, but I grew up in Kentucky; I know pork chops.  My dad makes the best.  But second best was definitely Praline Connection.  And turnip greens.   I could cook mine all day and they wouldn't turn out that good.  Because every time I ask anyone who makes good greens (see: my dad) I just know THEY ARE HOLDING OUT ON ME and failing to give me some top secret ingredient that makes them super-awesome.  Just like my mom and her "oh, I just put salt and pepper in the fried chicken."  Right, mom. Sorry, getting distracted by thoughts of food.  Moving on . . .

Palace Cafe - I have two words for you: crabmeat cheesecake.  I'm serious, people.  My husband ate so much of this appetizer he went into food coma mode immediately after dinner and returned to the hotel, claiming he was "too full" to go out any more.  I've never been "too full" for wine, so I don't really get that.

Bayona - their bread basket was so good I ate the entire thing.  Everyone was like, "don't eat all the bread, you'll be too full for dinner."  So what?  The bread is fantastic, it's worth every gluteny calorie.  In other words, don't go there on Atkins.  (But, really, why would you go to NOLA on Atkins?  Bad move.  Just saying.)

I'm not even mentioning Cafe du Monde because you know you're gonna go there anyway, you don't need me to tell you.  I will say that I like the iced cafe au lait to go, more so than the hot version.  Which does you no good, because it's cold right now.  So never mind.

Emeril's - peaches and cream for dessert.  So simple and so yum.  Also when I was there a million years ago, the waiters were hot.  

Napoleon House - my absolute favorite place to eat a hot muffaletta.  They will be turning up again when I do my top places to drink in New Orleans, but for now I repeat: muffaletta, hot.  Olive salad, cheese, meat . . . I am so hungry right now I could eat my foot.

Igor's Garlic Clove - caveat: when I ate there it was just called The Garlic Clove, so I don't know if they still have this, but I had the most insanely delicious caesar salad dressing .  And you're probably thinking why waste space on salad dressing?  Because it was so tasty, I have spent YEARS trying to recreate it and never succeeded.  Maybe you'll have better luck . . . and if so, may I please have the recipe? 

Johnny's Po Boys - because any place that puts french fries on a sandwich is all right by me.  They used to have one with spaghetti and meat balls, which I found quite refreshing.  Maybe if you ask nicely, they will make you one.

Someplace off or near Frenchman Street that had these cool sofa-ish seats and sort of Indian fusion tapas thingies.  Unfortunately, I can't remember the name or locate it online.  So it has probably closed and therefore this is completely useless information.  Sorry.  It's just that I'm so damn hungry, I had to include it because I can still taste the samosas . . .

Finally - of course I had to include it - Commander's Palace.  If you're going to do one fancy place, I'd do this or Palace Cafe. Honestly, I liked the food slightly better at Palace Cafe, but Commander's is beautiful.  And a short taxi ride to the Columns Hotel, where my book commences.  Nice segue, Gage. 

So . . . if you'd like to read about four fabulous women enjoying cocktails on the porch of the Columns Hotel, click this link:

Thanks for listening to a hungry girl and Bon Appetit!