Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Foodie Alert: New Orleans Restaurants Pt. 1

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to eat, glad I have a high metabolism.  I spent a week in New Orleans and had the chance to sample what The Big Easy is known for, no not their Hurricanes and Hand Grenade drinks, but their food. 

Three of my trusted favorites are Mothers, NOLA and Cafe du Monde.  All three restaurants / cafes are uniquely different but are the epitome of New Orleans and its rich culture.  I also had a chance to try two other places Two Sisters and The Gumbo Shop.  If you'll be going to New Orleans anytime soon, I'd suggest you try out all of these places, you will not be disappointed.

Mother's Restaurant is located on Poydras Street near the W Hotel.  You'll know it when you see it because of the long lines that lead up to the door.  It doesn't matter what time of the year or time of the day, you're sure to find long lines and it's worth the wait.  Mother's caters to both locals and visitors.  They serve authentic New Orleans specialities like Crawfish Etouffe, Seafood Gumbo, Red Beans & Rice and bread pudding (all of those dishes are to die for). 

Once you make it in side, you will order your food cafeteria style then within 5 minutes it's delivered to your table.  They serve large portions and most meals range from $10-$15.  You will definitely leave feeling satisfied.  Advice: You'll notice they have signs posted saying "No Tipping Allowed".  I always disregard this policy and you'll notice most of the other patrons will too because the servers are amazing and extremely hospitable.  I couldn't imagine leaving them empty-handed, just be discrete when you hand them their tip. Learn more about Mother's

NOLA Oh how I love NOLA which is short for New Orleans, Louisiana of course.  It was the second restaurant opened by Chef Emeril Lagasse in 1992 and located on St. Charles Street in the French Quarter.  If you aren't familiar with Emeril, he's known for his love of New Orleans and also by his favorite saying "BAM". 

NOLA offers all of the tastes of New Orleans but with a higher-end price tag.  You definitely get what you pay for at this place.  The service is impeccable and you'll have not one but two or even three servers to attend to your every need.  This was my third time going and everything I had was absolutely delicious as it always is.  I highly recommend the barbecue shrimp, lobster salad, shrimp and grits, creole redfish, and the pork chop (see the picture I took to the right, I'm not a huge pork fan but it was the best pork chop I've ever had). Advice: Save room for dessert.  My favorite is the trio of creme brulee but all of their desserts are decadent and worth every last calorie. Learn more about NOLA

Cafe du Monde is another must visit cafe located in the French Quarter.  They are known for their beignets, which are delectable French doughnuts that melt in your mouth.  In each order just get 3 beignets covered, I mean seriously covered, in powdered sugar.  You can order several kinds of coffee with your beignets or wash them down with a cold glass of milk (I don't drink either, water works for me). 

They have a two locations in New Orleans proper the actual cafe, also known as the French Market,  is located on Decatur Street and open 24 hours(pictured to the left) and another mini-location at The Riverwalk, near the convention center.  For the total experience check out the French Market cafe. Advice: Sit on the outside, it's great for people watching.  Don't wear anything dark because you will have powdered sugar all over you by the time you finish. Learn more about Cafe du Monde

Since this post is longer than I anticipated, I'll write about my new finds, Two Sisters and The Gumbo Shop, in my next post.

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