Monday, September 25, 2017

New Orleans: Food & Drink

We went to New Orleans for the first time last month and had the greatest time. I loved it so much that I can't wait for our next time!

Even if you haven’t followed my blog for a long time, I think there are some easy things that one will know about me from just a few posts. One of them is that I enjoy food and I love taking pictures of it. This is why when we decided to go to New Orleans I was a little more than psyched! I could not wait to eat.all.the.food. I decided that I’d share a breakdown of where we ate and what we ate (if I could remember). I honestly did try my best to keep track of all the places we ate/drank at but I did miss a few because I either forgot to take a picture or did not jot it down in my phone. Hopefully this guide will be helpful to you if you’re ever planning to visit, as Sean likes to call it, The Big Easy.

We asked all our UBER drivers the same question each time we got in their vehicle. What is your most favorite thing about New Orleans? No lie, every single one of our drivers responded with food. I will say that it was maybe just one place we ate while in NOLA that we did not finish everything on our plate. That right there tells me that the rumors of NOLA having the best food is right on. Our dishes were just so flavorful and well, if you come back more than five lbs heavier (cough, me, cough), I'll say it is completely worth it.

Tableau - The first place we ate at was Tableau. I was not that hungry (I regret not being hungry) so I just ordered seafood gumbo and a couple of drinks. But omg, their seafood gumbo was my favorite of the entire trip. If it wasn't frowned upon to lick a plate clean in public I would have done so. Sean ordered their Tableau cheeseburger that was so good that I felt tempted to order one for myself as well. I did not (the whole not being that hungry dilemma). While we ate outside a three person band came by our table and asked us if we had any requests for them to play. We told them to surprise us and it was seriously such a neat experience. After we ate, it got so unbearably hot so we chose to finish our amazing cocktails indoors and the inside was just as I imagined it would be. The service was great as well so we both highly recommend getting food or drinks here when you visit.

IMG_7567 IMG_7569

IMG_7572

IMG_7576

IMG_7579 IMG_7580

Alibaba - When we wanted something quick to go back to our hotel room after a late night we ordered food from Alibaba, a Greek restaurant. I had a falafel wrap and Sean had a lamb gyro which were both inexpensive. Our food was delicious and the person working there was so warm and welcoming. They only take cash which we were not aware of but there's an ATM right across the street so not a big deal. They unfortunately do not have a website but they are located right in the French Quarter.

Brennan's - Another place that I feel you can't miss when you go to New Orleans is Brennan's. They say that this restaurant is the birthplace of the egg benedict and the banana foster. We went for brunch and I had their summer vegetable frittata and Sean had their egg benedict. Not a piece of food was left on our plates when we left. So incredibly good! I'm not the biggest fan of bananas and Sean doesn't like sweets so we passed on the banana foster, however, many around us did partake and enjoy (we asked them). If anything it was a fun presentation to watch. My drink was also incredible but I can't remember what it was called and can't find it on their menu online. Additionally, if you like interiors (walls beautifully decorated with oyster plates) I think you'll enjoy the inside of this one. I also don't think you can go wrong with a pink exterior. This is another place that we both highly recommend!

IMG_7668 IMG_7665

IMG_7654 IMG_7652 IMG_7655

IMG_7640 IMG_7641

IMG_7643 IMG_7647 IMG_7650

IMG_7656

IMG_7659

IMG_7637 IMG_7662

Tropical Isle - After many recommendations we made sure to try the Hand Grenades at Tropical Isle. I don't know what I was expecting but I wasn't expecting to like it but I did and maybe drank it a little quicker than I should have. If you're in New Orleans you have to get one, if just to say you did it.

Dante's Pizza - After our pub crawl we were starving so we walked to Dante's Pizza. I ordered a slice of pizza that did not strike my fancy but I ate it. Sean ordered chicken tenders that were actually really good. We ordered chicken tenders two more times after our first visit whenever we would go back to our hotel room for the night. Nothing like greasy food at three in the morning.

Down the Hatch - We took a trolley down St. Charles Avenue to look at beautiful homes and to also check out the above ground cemeteries. After that we took an UBER to Magazine Street as I wanted to check it out after some recommendations. Funny story, our UBER driver was the Soul Glo Guy from "Coming to America". After we strolled around we happened upon Down the Hatch located in the Lower Garden District for lunch and drinks. It was a bit of a hole in the wall but the bartender (a woman originally from Israel with the best accent) was awesome and whipped up a new drink for me when I could not decide on what to order. I had a Cajun veggie wrap and Sean had a Cuban sandwich. Sean was not impressed with his meal and mine was OK, not bad but not great either. It was a bit of a bummer since we were having such hits with food in NOLA and it almost felt like a waste if that makes any sense.

IMG_7768

IMG_7772

IMG_7774

Cornet - We stopped at Cornet with the intentions of just having some drinks to cool down but then decided to order their Tour of New Orleans which were three small bowls of Jambalaya, gumbo and crawfish mac n cheese. YUM!

Pere Antoine - We had lunch at Pere Antoine (unfortunately their website is down?) after we basically walked to every restaurant in the French Quarter to see if any were serving eggs (during lunchtime) since Sean was craving eggs. Sean practically did a happy dance when he saw that eggs were being served. I ordered the Crawfish Chicken (grilled chicken breast topped w/ a thick roux w/crawfish tail meat, peppers & mushrooms on a bed of rice) with a drink, the Southern Belle which was so good! Sean ordered the Rajun Cajun Omelette which was smoked sausage, ham, bell pepper & onion topped with their homemade creole sauce. Our food and drinks were so good but our only complaint was that we wished that our food was hotter. It came out warm but I think it would have been so much better if our dishes were hot! The time of day we were there was not a busy time at all so our server was so attentive and helped us narrow down what to eat because they have such an extensive menu that I could have sat there for hours trying to decide on something to eat.

IMG_7935 IMG_7937

IMG_7940

IMG_7943

Mango Mango Daiquiris - Stop at Mango Mango Daiquiris for either a pina colada or their blue crack (lol). Again, just to say you did it. But I will admit that my pina colada was very delicious!

Café De Monde - I don't think I can tell you the amount of people that told me to go here for a beignet, so of course we did. It was an interesting visit to say the least. First off, it is packed, so be prepared for that. I was expecting to wait at a long line to place an order but that isn't what you do. First, you have to find a table (dirty or clean, ours was dirty) which is a feat in itself because it is packed; and you wait for one of the servers to come to you. If your table is dirty they'll clean it while you're sitting there and then walk away without taking your order. It was confusing but we just sat there and stared at each other with question marks on our faces and then a few minutes later a server comes back and takes your order and cash. I can't remember if they take cards but I'd recommend bringing cash. I ordered an ice coffee and we both ordered the beignets and they were completely worth the chaos. If you like fried dough, then you'll like this. Sean isn't a fan of sweets and he even enjoyed it. Please excuse my poor pictures but it was so humid that day so my lens fogged up immediately. This happened often while we were in NOLA and I'd get so bummed out because I wouldn't be able to get the shot, etc. Anyway, if you make it to NOLA make a visit!

IMG_7740 IMG_7743

IMG_7746

Pat O' Briens - Stop at Pat O'Briens to try the Hurricane (drink) and to listen to the dueling pianos. Such a fun experience and great people watching to be had!

Bourbon Heat - On our last full day we thought we would spend some time at the pool just to take it easy but Mother Nature decided to rain all day so our plans were changed. While we were walking down Bourbon Street we heard a jazz musician playing music that sounded amazing so we decided to pop in. This ended up being a "pop in" that lasted about four hours. We loved Bourbon Heat and had such a good time here! At one point the rain stopped for a short period and as soon as the musician began to play "Purple Rain" it just started pouring. Seriously, such a great moment. You're probably wondering why I'm talking about this in my food guide. Well, it is because Sean ordered alligator sausage here. I told myself I wouldn't try it but the bartender and Sean would not let up so I tried a tiny bite. It was chewy and spicy and didn't taste bad but just the thought that I was eating alligator was enough for me to never try it again. Oh and big, bad to the bone Sean only had a small piece too, ha! Great service, amazing live jazz music and awesome drinks!

IMG_7953 IMG_7956

IMG_7973

IMG_7958

IMG_7961

Roux on Orleans Restaurant - We ordered room service from our hotel's restaurant one night. Sean ordered their garlic chicken that he raved about (I thought it was good but nothing special) and I ordered French bread pizza because I wanted just a small bite to eat and figured that pizza always hits the spot. Well, it just was not good. If you don't eat here, you aren't missing much.

Bourbon O' Bar - However, their Bourbon O' Bar was a hit! The hotel gives their guests complimentary drink tickets and they were awesome to have. We had a drink here basically every day and they always had unique cocktails (many classic New Orleans cocktails) that they whipped up every day. In the evenings, they had live jazz bands that were all awesome and it was a really nice way to end an eventful day!

IMG_7780 IMG_7778

IMG_7783

IMG_7784

IMG_8011

Carousel Bar & Lounge - Our last night we made sure to go to Hotel Montelone to check out their Carousel Bar & Lounge for drinks. This was such a neat experience as the bar actually spins and looks like a carousel. I ordered a hand-shaken piña colada which was seriously so good. I've always had piña colada frozen but this made me think that I've been having them wrong all this time. If you're ever there and enjoy piña coladas definitely try their version!

IMG_7976

IMG_7975 IMG_7986

IMG_7982 IMG_7990 IMG_7985

IMG_7979

Johnny White's Corner Pub - Our last night, Sean was all jazzed out (not me, could listen all day!) so imagine Sean's delight when he saw that they had touch tunes. Sean proceeded to play all his favorite metal music and met some kindred spirits. They do not serve food but the bartender gave us a big folder of menus from restaurants that she orders from. She gave us some tips on her local favorites and told us that they'd deliver our food to the pub. Sean wanted to try some Chinese food in NOLA so we did and wow, so good! I wish I could remember the name of the place we ordered from but I can't. It was so easy to do from the pub too and within 15 minutes our food was delivered to the pub. The service was great, the drinks were delicious and we really had such a good time!

I'm sure I missed a few but I think what I shared has a great variety and you'll easily find something you like depending on what you're going for. Let me know if you've ever been to any of these places or share what your favorites are that way the next time I'm in New Orleans I'll be sure to bookmark them! I'll be sharing more about our trip soon so stay tuned!

7 comments:

Emily Jane said...

I think I just gained 60 pounds by viewing and reading. First off beautiful photos. I like that you wrote out a comprehensive list of restaurants. I'm still too chicken to bring my camera in a restaurant and take photos. A lot of the buildings (inside and out) were gorgeous too.

ShellyShell said...

Next time check out Willie Mae's Scotch House(fried chicken/soul food. When you go to New Orleans you always have to have BBQ shrimp it's not bbq shrimp the way you think. Also go to Drago's they are known for their chargrilled oysters. My boyfriend does not like oysters but he loves chargrilled ones. Gene's for a legit PoBoy. I don't love alligator sausage but I love gator bites..try them! If you're there on a Sunday go to a Court of Two Sisters for brunch. It's a little pricey but so good. Port of Call for the best burgers.

Faith said...

Thanks so much ShellyShell! I'm so curious about that BBQ shrimp! I heard amazing things about Court of Two Sisters too! Unfortunately, we did not get a chance to eat there but will def. add for next time! So much food to eat, so little time :)

Sarah M said...

Hello,

Oh, so cuuute !

Sarah, http://www.sarahmodeee.fr

Beautifully Candid said...

New Orleans is on my bucket list to visit! I've always heard great things about it and it looks like you had a lot of fun! And now you have me officially hungry :) Beautifully Candid

Desiree Macke said...

NOLA (and the beignet) are on our Bucket List!
You should work for a food and travel magazine! Every place you recommended makes me want to go there, NOW!

Joy B. E. said...

What an awesome experience! My sister just moved back to the states and is employed in New Orleans. I've visited a few times (pre Katrina) and loved it. The only restaurant I recognized though is Cafe De Monde. Loved it!
Thanks for the other recommendations. We will have to try them the next time we visit.
You take such beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.