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May 2, 2007 08:56 PM

Food stuffs and the stores that sell them

what are some good Nola treats to look for and bring home?
Also - this isn't food-related, unless you count good cocktails as requirement - we are coming to New Orleans at the end of May. We want to hear some jazz, but we aren't big into being standard-issue tourists. Recs? Thanks!

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  1. A bottle of Herbsaint - so you can make Sazeracs when you get back home. Because it's authentic, of course, and much cheaper than the Pernod you'll be forced to substitute.
    Camellia Red Beans - much better than whatever kidney beans you'll find in your local stores for Monday's traditional Red Beans and Rice.
    French Market or Community Coffee City Roast with Chicory.
    Olive Salad to try to make your own Muffalettas with quality cold cuts - good luck on the bread! Bring a few loaves home for the freezer.
    Tony Chachere's for sprinkling on everything.
    Zatarain's Crab Boil, and other products, especially Creole Mustard
    Packages of Louisiana crawfish tails for your freezer

    1. Good list from MakingSense...I'll add:
      Zapp's potato chips cajun craw-tator flavor (made in Gramercy, but still a LA food product)
      Steen's cane syrup (again, not NOLA, but LA)

      8 Replies
      1. If I might piggyback on this usefull thread - I'd like to try some good hot boudin sausage while I'm here. Any recommendations for a good place or brand? Thanks!

        1. re: Paul N

          For lilyana, use Steen's as you would use maple syrup. It's what southerners eat on their pancakes and (pecan) waffles. You can also use it as a glaze. Steen's has a web site with recipes.

          As for boudin, not sure I can help here. I buy mine -- by the five-pound box -- from Kelly Cormier's Country Meat Block in Opelousas, which is two hours west. If you have a car, you might try Jacob's or Bailey's in LaPlace, which would be a half-hour away. They are more noted for andouille than boudin, but do sell boudin.

          I think the Napoleon House serves boudin on its charcroute plate, if memory serves. I would trust that it, like everything else there, is of high quality.

          In general, boudin, unlike red beans or cane syrup, is not really a branded product. Everybody has some meat market or gas station they're partial to. And the best producers are west of New Orleans. (Calvin Trillin, for example, famously likes the boudin from Nook's in New Iberia.)

          For a different taste, you might try the Vaucresson Sausage Co., which sells po-boys at Jazz Fest and has a retail outlet on St. Bernard Avenue.

          1. re: Paul N

            There's a combo gas station/convenience store/restaurant about 1700 block of Airline Highway (sorry--Airline Drive) that serves good po-boys and very good boudin--both traditional pork and crawfish. It's on the odd-numbered side of the street on the edge of the big parking lot of the shopping Center--you'll see it. (If you are proceeding from NO to Kenner, it'll be on your side of the hwy. Start loking after you pass the Hurwitz Mintz furniture store (Very hard to ignore.).

            This conforms to my view that the very best boudin is served in little out of the way gas stations, etc, back on country roads. The best I ever had was on a highway near Ville Platte, and I curse the fact that I lost the note as to it's location. I have never been able to find it again.

            1. re: underworld gourmet

              Just checked the address today-1919 Airline Drive, and the name of the place is Kid Creole's food store. Very nice, like I said.

            2. re: Paul N

              Boudin is not something readily found in NO. More to the west in Cajun country around Lafayette. Try Cochon in the warehouse district.

              1. re: Paul N

                There's a stand at the farmer's market that sells smoked meats and tasso, etc. I haven't had the boudin from them, but it's probably worth a try. Saturday mornings, look up Crescent City Farmer's Market.

                1. re: Paul N

                  Paul, if you'd like to talk like a Cajun...just say boudin, the sausage is redundant!

                  1. re: cajungirl

                    Thanks for the tip, cajungirl.

                    Last night I got to try some delicious boudin - at Mid-city Lanes Rock n' Bowl of all places. I asked what it was doing in NO and the guy behind the counter told me tonight's caterer was from "somewhere across the lake." There were only four items on the menu but the guy assured me they were all excellent. He was right. I ended up trying al of them. Best etouffee and best gumbo I've ever had. (the gumbo was a lot thinner than the stuff that gets called gumbo up north - but so tastey!) Good jambalya. The boudin was delicious - but not at all like I expected - mild and flavorful and clearly meant to be dipped in hot sauce.
                    Then I got to see Kermit Ruffins.

              2. Folks, please keep this discussion focused on the food. The local music scene and other general tourism discussions fall outside this site's purpose.

                3 Replies
                1. re: The Chowhound Team

                  Thank you, Chowhound Police.

                  More genuinely, thank you posters, for these great suggestions. Jamy, I live in the South, and in NC, we don't use in Steen's on anything, so this is another reason I'm excited to visit a new Southern subsection.

                  1. re: The Chowhound Team

                    So boudin and Steen's cane syrup are now off limits? My husband eats both on LeJeune's French bread...does that count for something?

                    1. re: cajungirl

                      They are talking to the OP, who requested non-food info.