A Tasty Trip to New Orleans

 中文:新奥尔良法国区FRENCH QUARTER觅食记

My husband and I traveled to New Orleans last week.  I planned ahead to make it a tasty trip.  We stayed in Sheraton on Canal Street so that we can sample local food in French Quarter area.

We got to New Orleans on Friday night, just in time to see the Mardi gras parade.  The streets were crowded with cheerful people everywhere.  What a wonderful scene! 

There was a Polish hot dog food truck around the corner.  

Well, it was kind of blank.  And the sausage was too salty for me. 

I got some souvenirs from the parade too.

I always have trouble sleeping in unfamiliar place, so I got up quite early next day.

The morning of French Quarter was quiet and beautiful.  The streets had been cleaned up.  

We took a morning walk around French Quarter and saw there was a long line in front of this restaurant.  What do I learn from watching all those Andrew Zimmer shows from Travel Channel?  When it comes to food, you got to follow the longest line! 

About 20 minutes later, we got in.  

I had black coffee.  My husband asked for orange juice.

My Bananas Foster Pain Perdu .  It was French toast with sliced banana, raisins, syrup and sprinkled with powder sugar.   The texture and taste was good, but way too sweet for me.  I left about half on the plate uneaten. 

My husband ordered Corned Beef Bennie.  The bottom was a buttermilk biscuit, with corned beef and a pouched egg on the top.  I had a couple bites. The hollandaise was too sour that other flavors did’t really stand out. 

We went for a swamp tour after breakfast.  It was on my schedule on previous trip to New Orleans but we didn’t have time to do it.  We finally made it this time.

Can you believe Brad Pitt, Liv Tyler and some other celebrities had been here? 

Winter swamp is beautiful. 

We had companies!

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It was a nice warm sunny day.  A few alligators came out to enjoy the sunshine.

I was planning to try alligator meat for lunch, but we were too hungry to drive that far.  So we had lunch in a Panera Bread restaurant nearby.

Back to French Quarter for dinner.  We went to Acme. It is so famous that no introduction is needed here.  The oyster house appears in many foodie shows and articles.  There was always a long line at the door whenever I passed by. 

It was too dark inside, which makes it very difficult to take photo.  This was the best I could do without flash.  O(_)O~

 A dozen charbroiled oysters.  They were smoky and very tasty.  

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The bread here I assumed was French bread.  They were so awesome.  The texture was very soft, light, fluffy and chewy all at the same time. 

Seafood gumbo.  It was thick and hot and loaded with small pieces of seafood.  Tasted good too.

One dozen fresh oysters.  They were very tender and juicy.  We like them more than the charbroiled version. 

I have to say this was the best fried crawfish during the whole trip.  They were served right after coming out of frying pan.  It was light and crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.  It tasted almost like tempura claw fish.  

The third day is Sunday.  We went to Mr. B's Bistro for jazz brunch. 

The restaurant and entry have an elegant look. 

The interior design was beautiful too. 

There was live jazz.  That is why it is called jazz brunch. O(_)O~ 

There was a sign next to my seat.  I think that means President Reagan dined here on stated dates.  

APPETIZERS 1-1-1; a coconut beer shrimp, fried oyster on the half shell, and a duck springroll.  All were very tasty. 

Seafood gumbo was quite tasty too.  

This was their signature dish: BBQ shrimp. The sauce was rich and buttery; shrimps were big, and they were perfectly cooked.  You can dip bread to the sauce. 

We took a walk tour around French Quarter.  We passed by Central grocery which is famous for muffuletta sandwiches.   We were still very full, maybe next time. 

Parade began  in the afternoon.

We went to Deanie's Seafood for dinner.  Their seafood and BBQ srimp dishes have been feature in a Man vs Food episode.  So we got to try it too.

I wanted to try and BBQ shrimp and boiled crawfish, but was told boiled crawfish was not served that day.  The waitress suggested me switching to Crawfish Quartet, and I did so. O(_)O~

BBQ shrimp.  The shrimps were bigger and fresher than the ones we had at Mr. B's Bistro.  They were cooked with butter infused with spices.  The flavor was bold, spicy and hot.  Shrimps were cooked to perfection but a bit too salty.  There might be tremendous amount of butter in this dish because the sauce is on the greasy side.  Other than that, it is still a good dish.  

Side salad

Crawfish Quartet: Crawfish Étouffée, crawfish au gratin, fried crawfish tails and crawfish croquettes

Liked all of them but crawfish croquettes.  Fried crawfish tails were good.  But the fried crawfish tails we had at Acme were so great and it raised the bar high for others.

Crawfish Étouffée was thick and tasty. 


We had coconut custard bread pudding as dessert.  It was very dense and too sweet.  

Deanie's Seafood became our favorite restaurant for the trip.  BBQ shrimp is truly a delightful dish here.  It would be perfect if they can make it less salty.  Our waitress was very nice and sweet.  She was smiling all the time.  She brought fresh glasses of water whenever our glasses were just half empty.  That was the best service I have had in a really long time.  We would definitely go there again. 

The forth day morning, we had breakfast at hotel.  We went to Antoine’s for lunch.

There were ads for this restaurant on streetcar too.

There was $20.15 lunch special going on.  You can pick one appetizer, one entrée and one dessert.  And cocktail was 25 cents each.  

This is the appetizer I chose: Oysters 1-1-1 - Oysters Rockefeller, Thermidor and Bienville.

I was kind of shocked when appetizer plate was brought to me.  What is the nicest way to say I think they suck at food presentation?  Do they look appetizing at all?

Well, they tasted blank too. 

My husband picked shrimp tomato basil soup.  It was ok.  

We both ordered stuffed pork tenderloin as entrée.  To be honest, the taste doesn’t stand out.  And the pork was a bit too salty too. 

The bread was the best I had in New Orleans.  It was warm when brought to our table; crispy on the outside, and soft, light and fluffy on the inside.  

We both had dark chocolate mousse for dessert.  It amazed me. The mousse was dark and rich with a silky texture; denser than regular mousse; sweet but not too sweet.  It was just the way I liked it.  It had a texture between chocolate ganache and truffle.  

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We went to Café Begnet for afternoon tea.  Alton Brown from Food channel introduced the begnets here on The Best Thing I Ever Ate.  I have to try it. 

There were two locations.  One was in Musical Legends Park on Bourbon Street.  The other one is on Royal Street.  We went to latter one.

 It was a small coffee shop.  We missed it the first time and then came back again to find it.  It was very close to Antoine’s where we had lunch.  

We ordered begnets and two black coffees.

The begnets are fried to order.  You get a number after you pay. When fresh batches of begnets come out, they distribute them according to the number.  

They were soft and warm; tasted like something across from donut and puff, and dusted with lots of powder sugar.

 They were good, but a little greasy.  I couldn’t finish mine. 


For dinner, we went to Drago’s.  

One dozen charbroiled oysters.  Good flavor and taste, similar to the ones we had at Acme. 

One dozen fresh oysters.  They are bigger and cleaner than Amce’s oysters.  They taste tender and juicy, and kind of sweet too. 

Fried alligator nuggets.  They did taste like chicken or something across between chicken and fish.  

The food at Drago’s was great.  However, the service was horrible.  We hadn’t seen our waitress the entire meal after we ordered.  It took a really long time to find her and got the bill.  After we signed the bill, she ripped it right off the table when we were still sitting there.  That was extremely rude.  I regretted I even tipped her. And there is no way I am going back to that restaurant ever again.  

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We took a walk after dinner and passed by the famous Café du monde.  Every tour guidebook will tell you it is a must go place.  There is always a long line in front of it.  Now it was late on a week night; no one stood in line anymore.  

So we just walked in and sat at a street front table; ordered begnets and two black coffees. 

They were indeed very good.  They were served warmed and sprinkled with more powder sugar.  Compared to the ones from Begent Café, they were smaller, crispier with lighter texture.  

For the fifth day, we had breakfast at hotel and lunch at Mother’s.  I wanted to try the famous po’ boy sandwich.

Adam Richmond introduced this restaurant in Man vs Food.  It was just two blocks away from our hotel.

There was a long line in the restaurant.  We ordered and paid, and then found a table to sit at.  A waitress came get the receipt and brought the food we ordered.

It was a small crowded place.  There were many celebrities’ autographs on the wall.  Looks like it is a popular spot for tourists.

Hot sauces on the table.  I love hot sauces. 

There are prefilled water cups at front desk.  

Food was prepared and served right in the store too. 

Ta-dah, po’ boy sandwich.  We ordered combo shrimp & oyster.  

The fried shrimp and oyster were the best I had in New Orleans.  They were hot when brought to the table.  The crust was crispy.  Shrimps and oysters were tender and juicy, and they also had a very fresh taste. 

However, the whole sandwich is a little bit too dry to my taste.  

I ordered the World’s Best Ham Dinner, with red beans & rice, turnip green and French fries as side dishes.

As the signature dish, the ham, to my surprise, was quite blank.  Some pieces were too dry and some others were just ok.  Nothing impressed me on the plate. 

In the evening, we had dinner at Cook’s Place. The reviews online said it was a good place for authentic local food.  We stood in the line for about 25 minutes.  People before and behind us said the restaurant was recommended to them by local friends.  I got excited, expecting a wonderful authentic local food adventure.  However, it didn’t turn out to be the way I expected at all. 

Hand-written menu on the wall. 

My beloved hot sauces

Seafood gumbo.  The broth was very thin, almost watery.  And the taste was quite blank too.  

My husband ordered Combo Fried Oyster and Shrimp Dinner. This was literally the worst dish we had ever had in New Orleans.  Shrimps were very very dry and rubbery.  Oysters were definitely not fresh because they had that kind of bad fishy smell.  Compared to the combo fried shrimp and oyster we had at Mother’s, I declared this dish was barely edible. 

I had the popular Cooper’s Taste Plate.  First of all, the plate might have been sitting in the kitchen for too long that it was just lukewarm when it was brought to our table. The rabbit meat was also way too dry and hard to chew.

And yes, there was a giant feather sticking out on the top of fried chicken wing. 

The only highlight for the entire meal was this LA amber beer. It has a dark, deep and rich taste.  I found them sold in local store too after we got back to Michigan.

On the scale of 1 to 10, this restaurant should rate only 1. The food was so horrible that we would never go back.

On our way back to the hotel, we passed by Café du monde again.  So we walked in to enjoy hot begnets and coffees.  It was a perfect sweet ending for our tasty trip to New Orleans.