New Orleans Food Explosion

New Orleans has been on my list of places to visit for a while and this year, my friend and I got the chance to visit the city (there was a seat sale and it was my birthday, not that I needed an excuse). Upon arriving at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, it was hot – even at the end of February, it was easily 25C plus humidity. From the designated Uber and Lyft pickup area at the airport, we hopped into an Uber and headed to our hotel, The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The 35 minute drive to the hotel was quick because I kept on asking our Uber driver questions mainly related to where we should eat and places to visit. Drivers are a wealth of information 🙂

We had chosen to stay at The Roosevelt New Orleans because I fell in love with the pictures I saw online. It had old-world charm with beautiful ceiling tiles and gilded walls and a rooftop pool. The location was fantastic; right by the French Quarter but not within it, walking distance to most attractions, and near the streetcar lines.

Our main goal for this trip was to try as many foods as possible. We kept on adding to our list because we’d talk to people and they’d make suggestions and we’d add it to the list. Below are the places we ended up eating at.

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Top left: Wahlburger at the airport. Top right: Fried chicken from Krispy Krunchy Chicken (inside Chevron gas station). Bottom row: Butternut squash pizza and Italian cream cake at Domenica (at Roosevelt Hotel)

  • To kick off our trip to the USA, we ate at the Walhburgers at the airport. Burger government cheese (cheddar) with tater tots.
  • Domenica (123 Baronne Street, located in the Roosevelt Hotel): ordered the butternut squash pizza and Italian cream cake for dessert. Both were delicious but I couldn’t finish the pizza, it was huge! I loved the combination of sweet and savoury of marscapone cheese and the dates/butternut squash.
  • Krisy Krunchy Chicken (447 N Rampart St): The one we went to was located inside the Chevron gas station on N. Rampart St. It was recommended to us by Jack, the bartender at the Good Friends Bar. The fried chicken was surprising crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. I’m going to have to try more gas station fried chicken.
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Top row and bottom left: Charboiled oysters, drum amandine, pecan bread pudding from Antoine’s. Bottom left: Fried chicken, mac ‘n cheese from Willie Mae’s Scotch House

  • Antoine’s (713 Saint Louis St): This was a recommended place from my friend’s friend. It truly is an NOLA establishment with 14 dining rooms and we spoke with the current owner who seated us at the table next to the picture of his mom as a little girl. We tried the winter special: charboiled oysters, drum amandine and pecan bread pudding, which were all very yummy, well portioned for a three course meal. Plus they have $0.25 drink special everyday, we had the lemon drop! You can also ask a waiter to walk you through the other dining rooms or just explore on your own. It is a must – the private dining rooms upstairs will make you want to hold your next party there.
  • Willie Mae’s Scotch House (2401 St. Ann St): won the James Beard Award for “America’s Classic Restaurant for the Southern Region.” Ordered the fried chicken and mac ‘n cheese. I DREAM about this fried chicken. The chicken is covered in a layer of hot sauce and then battered and fried – it’s so juicy and flavourful and the crispy outside was to die for. Definitely worth the wait in line!
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Top left: Fritai from Fritai (St. Roch Market). Top right: PB, B and J Wings from Faubourg Bistro (inside 700 Club). Bottom left: Louisiana cochon with cabbage, cracklins and pickled turnips from Cochon Restaurant. Bottom right: Braised pork from Green Goddess

  • Fritai (2381 St. Claude Ave, inside the St. Roch Market): Fritai consists of two fried plantains with pork shoulder in between, avocado, mango sauce, and pickliz. Served with plantain chips. This was a cool atmosphere since it was more of a food hall with other food stalls.
  • Faubourg Bistro (700 Burgundy St, located inside 700 Club): The PB, B(acon) & J wings were recommended to us while in line waiting for a table at Willie Mae’s. This I would say was the least favourite meal we ate because it was very one note. The wings were cooked perfectly but the PB & J on top of it wasn’t anything special and there wasn’t a crunch to it (would have preferred wings on its own). Would definitely go back to try some of their other menu items – it looks good.
  • Cochon Restaurant (930 Tchoupitoulas St, not to be confused with Cochon Butcher, though they have the same owner): We stumbled upon this place thinking it was the butcher (which is actually next door, down the side street) and so glad we found it. This was one of my favourite meals: Louisiana cochon with cabbage, cracklins and pickled turnips. The pork melted in my mouth and when combined with the other elements, it was a very happy marriage of flavours and textures.
  • Green Goddess (307 Exchange Place): This restaurant is on a cute pedestrian only street in the French Quarter and we wanted to give it a try. I was super excited to try the Duck Off! only to be disappointed that their online menu is old. I can’t find a current version of it online and can only remember that I got a braised pork dish with fresh salsa, pumpkin seeds and a delicious sauce. I only wish they had updated their menu or kept the duck on the menu.
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Top row: Drinks and crawfish quartet at Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant. Bottom left: Breakfast sandwich and daily iced tea from The Daily Beet. Bottom right: Glazed Pork Belly PoBoy from Killer PoBoys

  • Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant (841 Iberville St): This was our first taste of crawfish in NOLA and we were in love. We shared the crawfish quartet: Louisiana  crawfish étouffée, crawfish bisque, fried crawfish tails and crawfish balls, served with fries and coleslaw. Portions were huge! My friend also got the Coconut Custard Bread Pudding that was creamy and straight from the oven.
  • The Daily Beet (1000 Girod St): Perfect breakfast place (kinda too hipster for me but food was good). The breakfast sandwich is made of avocado mash, fried pastured egg, white cheddar, tomato jam, arugula on toast (though the menu says ciabatta). I also got the daily iced tea (a hibiscus berry blend). It was a good meal to start the day.
  • Killer PoBoys (219 Dauphine St): Instead of the traditional oyster or shrimp PoBoy, we tried the glazed pork belly PoBoy with NOLA rum & ginger cane syrup, lime slaw, garlic aioli. It was piled high with pork belly and the slaw was a perfect combination of acid to cut the fat of the pork belly. Make sure to have lots of napkins on had, it’s a messy one!
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Top left: Birthday Champagne from the Good Friends Bar. Top right: Seafood omelette from Daisy Dukes. Bottom row: Muffuletta and Zapp’s chips from Central Grocery & Deli

  • Good Friends Bar (740 Dauphine Street): Though we didn’t eat here, the drinks were great and I got a bottle of free champagne for my birthday!! Our bartender, Jack was awesome – we got a couple rounds of drinks and even watched an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. A very fun atmosphere!
  • Daisy Dukes (121 Chartres St): It was recommended that we try the seafood omelette and it didn’t disappoint! Full of crawfish, shrimp, tomato, mushrooms & cheese and the homemade biscuit was soft and flaky. I also tried the sweet tea – which is made in house and sweetened with tons of cane sugar. It was different from what we have at home but quenched my thirst.
  • Central Grocery & Deli (923 Decatur St): Home of the Muffuletta. “Each sandwich is made on a 10″ round Sicilian sesame loaf that stays crusty despite all it’s messy fillings. It’s stuffed with ham, salami, Provolone and a signature briny marinated olive salad filled with Kalamata and green olives and other tasty pickled veggies.” I wasn’t sure about it since there were things in the sandwich that I don’t normally like but once again, it was delicious (have I used this word too much??). The ingredients were fresh and it held together. The chips are a local brand and the Spicy Cajun Crawtators flavour was a slow spicy build up in your mouth. At first it seemed okay to eat lots but as you ate more, it got spicier and spicier. I had to stop.
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Top left: Croque Madame, waffle fries and Cola from District. Top right: Oyster PoBoy from Cajun Mike’s Pub n’ Grub. Bottom row: Eggplant Napoleon from Joey K’s

  • District Donuts (2209 Magazine St): Another great breakfast and lunch spot. We stopped by here before heading to the Lafayette Cemetery for a walking tour. I saw the croque madame on the menu and knew I needed it inside me. Nueske’s applewood smoked ham, havarti cheese, dijon, bechamel sandwiched on a griddled donut, topped with a fried egg. We also shared a keylime donut and waffle fries. I was in heaven! Thank goodness we did the walking tour afterwards because it was a lot of food.
  • Cajun Mike’s Pub n’ Grub (116 Baronne St, across the street from the Roosevelt Hotel): We had passed by this local bar enough times that we needed to try it before we left. The oysters were massive in this PoBoy and perfectly fried. I wish we ate there before our last day so we could eat there again. The bread was soft and when topped with mayo and lettuce, it was perfect.
  • Joey K’s (3001 Magazine St): After the cemetery walking tour, we were hungry again. Walked down the road and saw this place – they also had outdoor seating. Original plan was to just grab a drink but once I saw the food going to other tables, I knew I needed to try it. The eggplant napolean had breaded & fried eggplant medallions stacked with fried shrimp, topped with crawfish cream sauce and I got it with angel hair pasta. They were perfectly fried with a nice crunch to it. After this, it was truly time to head back to the hotel and pass out.

Needless to say, by the end of our trip, I was craving some veggies and got a salad at the airport. Can’t wait to come back!

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these places or your favourite places in NOLA 🙂

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