Trip report 10/25-10/31 (long)
As a former Tulane student, and one who appreciates great food and beverages New orleans was the only choice for a bachelor party weekend. While I chose mostly new places based on reccomendations off of this board I worked in a few of my old favorites as well. A small group of us arrived on Thursday afternoon, checked our bags at the Royal Sonesta and immediately headed over to Luke for Happy hour .50 cent Oysters. We knocked back 3 dozen plump gulf oysters with a round of Luke's own Brew for my buddies and a Sazarac for myself. Everything was great. We then quickly headed over to Domenica where we got a table and had 2 1/2 prices Pizza's and a few rounds of Purple haze. We tried the Lardo pie, as well as the spicy lamb meatball pie. From a bunch of New Yorker's perspectives they were both excellent. We spent the rest of the evening bouncing around bourban including a stop at laffites for some excellent Hurricanes.
The next Morning finding Green Goddess closed until 11 we ended up at Stanley for breakfast. After a round of excellent Bloody Mary's from their service bar while waiting for a table we were seated and I had the Breaux Bridge Benedict ~ Charlie T’s Boudin, Smoked Ham, American Cheese, Poached Eggs, and Creole Hollandaise. The flavor profiles were great, but it was a little difficult to eat as it was served atop thick wedges of french bread. I managed to clear the plate and another Bloody Mary before heading back to lay by the pool at the Sonesta. There we had more excellent bloody Mary's from the pool bar (This city is where I learned my appreciation for Bloody mary's, and excellent ones were a constant throughout our trip). The pickled string beans that were in the mary's at both stanley and the pool bar really put them over the top, and let my friends visiting for the 1st time understand that things are done a little differently is this great city. As more hungry people arrived in town a few of us dipped out for a late afternnon snack at Mr. B's. We got a few orders of the Duck spring rolls, a couple bowls of Gumbo yaya and of course a few orders of BBQ shrimp. Everything was as boldly flavored as I remembered, and those that accompanied me were very glad they did. To some it was the best gumbo of the trip, while i was really in it to sop up that excellent BBQ shrimp sauce!!! After hanging out while others got into town we had a late dinner reservation back at Luke. We ordered almost every appetizer, all which were enjoyed, though none that really stood out from memory a week later. For my entree I enjoyed the JÄGERSCHNITZEL. The veal was perfectly tender and I enjoyed the accompanying salad, everyone else enjoyed their meals as well.
The following morning with a late and foggy wakeup 4 of us proceeded to Green Goddess. I had been eagerly antcipating eating here because of the reviews and was not dissapointed. Unfortunately it was cold out that morning, and it took us over an hour to be served, but their Bloody Mary's helped me cope with both the cold and my slight hangover. Fortunately when the food did arrive it met every expectation and praise it receives on this board. My friend and I shared plates. I had the Duck Confit Boudin Hash- A crunchy hash cake made of pulled duck confit,
Creole Country boudin, and fingerling potato, served with crab boil poached locally sourced chicken eggs inside a sweet potato biscuit, a side of truffle grits, foie gras butter, pepper jelly, and Steen’s cane syrup. I can not praise this dish highly enough. The duck confit hash cake was amazing. My split order was a special of the day which was a crab and cheese pannini. Another round or 2 of Bloody mary's and all and all an amazing Brunch. Since the meal ran so long I was unfortunately able to hold out until our 8:30 Dinner reservations at Jaques Imos. As a former tulane student(on his bachelor party) this was a must stop. We waitied about 20 minutes, and actually got to meet Ron pearlmen(Clay from Sons of Anarchy) at the bar which was pretty cool. We loaded up on apps with the favorites as expected being the alligator sausage cheesecake, and the crab meat stuffed shrimp. After our waiter spoke with a manager they were also able to sell us a bottle of Bushmills for $50, which we felt was quite reasonable to a bunch of New yorker's. For my Entree I really enjoyed the Panneed rabbit over the creamy pasta. Though I wasn't able to finish it, it was as good as i remembered. My friends all really enjoyed their food, and the atmosphere as well. Another reaccuring theme(especially compared to home) was how reasonable all of the meals were. No dinner Bill was over $75 and that's with heavy drinking.
Sunday we were in search of a good spot downtown to watch some football and eat some good food. We were dissapointed Coops only had 1 tv, so we eneded up at some oyster house on decatur I believe. We had mediocre fried apps, blahh bloody mary's and some terrible football. Due to Hurricane/Super storm Sandy 6 of us had flights cancelled, and so we resigned our selves to more eating and drinking while waiting to get a flight home.
Monday with no agenda we headed to Cochon Butcher for lunch. It was packed and we didn't want to wait so we went to Cochon instead. We ordered apps: oyster roast, gumbo, Boudin and fried alligator in chili garlic aoli. The gator was by far the favorite of the table. perfect texture and flavor. We then decided to wrap up at Cochon and just get sandwiches to go from Butcher to bring back to the hotel. I had the cochon Muff with potato salad. I ate 1/2 that night and it was as good as any Muff I'd had from central grocery IMO. The potato salad was the real star for me, with a strong grain mustard flavor. I loved it.
Tuesday I split my other 1/2 of muff with a friend and we both agreed it was almost better than the previous day. We walked around uptown, and settled for lunch at Squeal on the recomendation of my friend who still lives in the area. It would not have been my 1st option as I had never had any real good BBQ in N.O, but I'm glad we went. We ordered the boudin, the black eyed pea eggrolls, and the smoked pork cakes for appetizers. The pork cakes were excellent. They had a great consistency, with strong pork, smoke and BBQ flavor. we all really enjoyed them. Sitting outside enjoying yet another round of purple Hazes and a pulled pork sandwich Squel made me a believer in BBQ in New Orleans. We bounced around uptown, and the plan was to check out rebirth at the maple leaf, so looking for something to eat preshow the only thing open was jaque's imos. Not trying to have a crazy dinner I enjoyed the always moist and flavorfull fried chicken plate. Actually not quite as good as I remember, but very enjoyable none the less.
We finally got flights out late Wednesday, so for lunch i picked up Poboys at an old local spot from my Tulane days, Adams street grocery. I had an excellent fried shrimp poboy fully dressed with lots of hot sauce and some mayo and a bag of the Bayou Zaps. I still can't figure out how they are unable to replicate what seems like a simple sandwich up north, but I've resigned myself to stop trying.
I can honestly say I had yet another amazing experience in my favorite city in the world. Almost every bite of food we put in our mouths was spectacular. Those who had not visited the city before(or those who had previously only been for mardi Gras) could not believe the consistency and variety of all of the amazing food that was available. We had an amzing time wandering and eating and drinking our way through the whole city. I tried to explain(and it was confirmed everyday) how much the city revolves around great food, strong drinks and great music. I can't wait to bring my wife down for a return trip. Thank you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!