A Mardi Gras Tour of New Orleans

Happy Mardi Gras! I’m celebrating Fat Tuesday in New York, but read on for a little about my Fat pre-Mardi Gras Week in the Big Easy:

The sun hadn’t yet risen last Saturday morning, but yet I found myself navigating the tunnels of JFK airport with one destination on my mind: New Orleans. A large latte, three hours and a cramped half-nap later, there I was.

IMG_2181I was suddenly in a place that had until that point been completely foreign to me. It was warm, I could taste the saltwater in the air, jazz and bluegrass echoed through the streets, the voodoo spirits lurked in the shadows, Mardi Gras beads bordered every vista, and I was hungry. So hungry.

So, my partners in culinary crime and I ate. We ate many delicacies, including deep-fried oysters at Antoine’s 

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(Perhaps my favorite entree of the entire trip! Every element of the dish was enjoyable, from the pecan-studded rice pilaf, to the cripsness of the oysters, and the sweet vinegar notes in the sauce. Plus, who doesn’t want their side of asparagus to be deep-fried, too?)

Gator, at the French Markets

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(Almost ham-like in flavor, but gamier. Served sizzling hot, this simple treat was another trip winner.)

Turtle Soup at Commander’s Palace

IMG_2269(For a stock that supposedly takes five days to make, I was expecting more from my first turtle soup. The dish was very salty, and in fact was the only dish on the entire trip I didn’t finish. What was I missing?)

The infamous muffuletta sandwich at Central Grocery

 

IMG_2304(Somehow this is much more than just a deli sandwich, which says a lot since I’m not generally a sandwich fanatic. It probably had something to do with the freshness of the french bread and how absolutely doused in olive oil it was.)

And at least one serving a day of beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde per day

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(I don’t naturally gravitate towards fried, doughy foods such as this, but I’ll admit after no less than six times consuming these powdered pillows, I’ll always have a place in my heart for Cafe du Monde beignets and the excessive amount of powdered sugar dumped atop them.)

And that was really just a teaser. I left NOLA with a full stomach (and a fresh supply of Tums), and a rejuvenated spirit. It’s hard not to breathe easy when you’re in a city that has an onslaught of parades each day, an open container street drinking law, and the world’s largest supply of plastic beads scattered everywhere you look.

IMG_2216Thank you New Orleans, and Happy Mardi Gras!

 

 

Comments

  1. Sasha says:

    This trip looks like a ton of fun. Can’t believe you ate gator!

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