About a year ago I took a road trip through the Deep South (New Orleans to Nashville by way of Mississippi), and I ate food that was so good it shouldn’t be allowed. Remember the Sirens from the Odyssey, all that evil mermaid singing that made Odysseus want to jump off his ship to his death? Deep South food is the basic equivalent of evil mermaid singing.
So if I talked about everything I ate on that trip, this post would be five thousand words, and you’re a busy modern human, you barely have time for five hundred words! So let’s just focus on New Orleans for now, we can get to Mississippi and Tennessee down the line (and if you’ve been you know they’re WELL worth getting to).
Okay, you know the food in a city is good when the food is amazing AT THE HOLIDAY INN LOCATED RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LAME/SHITTY OUTSKIRTS OF THE CITY. We were going to go down to Frenchman Street for dinner but the scary lightning storms struck (well, scary for us Californians, shrugs and whatever for NOLA natives). I had red beans and rice, HOLIDAY INN RED BEANS AND RICE, and it was a revelation. New Orleans, you win the game. You win the whole tournament.
This was the first place we ate when we got to the French Quarter because their Po Boys had received 500 reviews on Yelp, which is a sign of SOMETHING. There was a line out the door for lunch, which is a double sign of SOMETHING The Po Boys were good. I’m not sure they were line-out-the-door-apparently-all-the-time good. But they were good. If you want a Po Boy and you’re in the neighborhood, do it to it.
You can’t leave New Orleans without going to Cafe Du Monde and eating eight beignets. No, the actually won’t let you pass the city limits, a bunch of alligators will waddle up and eat you to death if you try. This is just as well, as those beignets are powdered, fried manna from heaven. I don’t like coffee, but I guess if you do like coffee and you dip your beignets in their coffee, that tastes amazing too. Disneyland beignets in New Orleans Square are ruined for me.
God bless friend recommendations. When I posted something on Facebook about going to New Orleans, I got a message from an old college friend telling me that we had to go to Surrey’s Juice Bar for brunch. I thought this was going to be, like, a New Orleans Jamba Juice, but when we got there, I was like “Oh, this is juice AND BRUNCH.” Then-boyfriend-now-almost-husband got the bananas foster French toast, I got the shrimp and grits, we shared, and a choir of angels sang.
God bless friend recommendations, part two: Electric Boogaloo! Another former college friend recommended this place on Frenchmen Street, you have to get there RIGHT when the open to get a table in the cramped upstairs quarters. Everything on the menu is heaven made proteins and carbohydrates. Everything was good! I had bites of everyone’s everything and it was all so good! After you’re stuffed, go walk around Frenchmen Street, pop into bars, hear the best music in town, be glad that you’re alive.
So that’s me plus food plus New Orleans. We have any natives or transplants or visitors reading? What are your New Orleans food digs? Is there a single restaurant in New Orleans that sucks at making food? It seems like not!
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