Monday, August 4, 2014

Big Easy Eating (AM)

We are in New Orleans! It's hot and sweaty and swampy and just like the movies have led us all to expect.
In New Orleans, no one says 'hello', they all say 'How y'all doin?'. You would think it would get annoying but it's really very charming. People are very friendly and people in cars always, I mean always, usher you across the street in front of them if you're waiting to cross the road. I think it might be that famous southern hospitality thing. They ALL do it ALL the time. It's lovely. 
Part of the reason we chose New Orleans for our summer holiday is because of the good eating, which we've pursued with abandon. We adopted a 'let every meal count' policy. It means we're not going to eat anything that isn't worth it. So no matter how hungry and tired and irritable we are from wandering around all day like one does when one is traveling, we have agreed to never just duck in to some crappy place and get a quick sandwich or something. Every meal has to be worth it. So far we have not needed to even mention the agreement, let alone invoke it. The sandwiches at the crappy places are better than the sandwiches at the good places. New Orleans food rules. 

We've had a shedload of top shelf food experiences but I thought I'd narrow it down to two for the purposes of this post.

The first one was at a place called Bacchanal which is in the Bywater, by the Mississippi.
This place is a wine shop and and a restaurant. It's totally bourgeois, but the restaurant is outside in a garden and in this hot steamy nights, it's a pretty lovely place to be. 

We ate grilled baby octopus, peppers stuffed with crab, and and a hanger steak with chilli and parsley dressing. The best thing, however, were dates stuffed with chorizo and wrapped in bacon. Good god. They were out of this world.
None of this stuff is unique to New Orleans, it is the kind of thing you can get at any number of places in any number of cities. It was just such an excellent version of that kind of food, and in such an incredibly lovely setting, that I think it's going to stand out.

The other top food experience so far is pretty dang New Orleans. Or Louisiana. Or just American South. It was fried chicken at Willie Mae's Scotch House.

This place is kind of a dive from the outside. But the smell of fried chicken was to our noses like the song of sirens to the ears of the sailors. 

This is what we found inside.

Three pieces of fried chicken and a side of chips. And a giant coke. Also, a cornbread muffin which is not pictured, but was actually quite  delicious. But who the eff cares about cornbread, it's the fried chicken I'm here to talk about. It was juicy and succulent and though fried within an inch of it's (after) life, surprising non-greasy. The coating had just the right amount of spice to create a little heat-buzz in the mouth, while not taking away from the chickeny flavour. It was completely and utterly delicious and I can see why America has such a serious obesity problem. This is a completely unjustifiable meal from the point of view of nutrition and calories and all that jazz, but I have no doubt, absolutely no doubt we will go back for more before we leave. 

The greatness of the food here in New Orleans made the fact that I missed out on Sleepover Chutney Club easier to take. Blizzie hosted everyone at their beach house and if there's one thing I like more than 30 degree heat it's being at the beach when it's cold. There's something so beautiful about it. Anyway, I am really hoping J can use this afternoon's post to give us a run down on everything that was swapped and everything that was consumed. Also, there's been talk of something called Danish Bowl. Please provide some advice on this. 

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