Miss New Orleans so badly I can taste it.....
I recently wrote about the ten ways NOLA has changed my life. To comply with Chow, I offer to the board: #2, 3,4,6, 8 & 10 --- the ones that pertain to food and drink experiences. Other subjects related to jazz, sundresses, travel perks, pretty mild stuff. Here we go:
Many writers have written stunningly about the idiosyncratic nature of New Orleans. I won’t try to compete with great prose and poetry, but will offer my personalized list of transformations since falling in love with the city three years ago:
2. Now prominent in my living room bar is a bottle of artisan Rye whisky. Started with the Sazerac! Try it at the Roosevelt Bar.
3. I am staunchly spoiled when it comes to wait-staff hospitality; exceedingly impatient with what I now call “California-style indifference” in any restaurant.
4. Consider myself a foodie. Thanks to the random couple from San Diego— who were also lost waiting for the erratic streetcar at Riverwalk. They pointed me to New Orleans favorites— like Casamento’s and August— and now I am a shameless food follower in the Crescent City. I’ve even been called a great “ambassador” by local chowhounds.
8. Da Track. If anyone had told me that I would spend Thanksgiving day at the horse races I would never have believed them. Da Track is a New Orleans tradition, and a spicy mix of old timers and young hipsters coming together in their best hats and finery.
10. Joie de vivre. It’s easier to love the pleasures in life more passionately knowing that in our nation there is a place as magical and unique as the City of New Orleans.
Sure seems like shanefink has thrown down the gauntlet.
The thing is, with the sheer volume of places to try, there's no end to the dining (and drinking) out possibilities. It's a good five year trek through the full list but I'd wager anyone that she repeats herself at least once in even a two week stay.
Plus, unless you have a seemingly limitless dance card there are dishes you'll probably never get around to trying: the crack wings at Manchu, the fried frogs' legs at Dempsey's, the sangies at Bobs (no apostrophe: there are two Bobs). It's hard to recommend these places with a straight face but damn, if you can "waste" a meal they're all kind of amazing in their own ways.
My (partial -- I still have an apartment in Boston) move to NOLA was a similar story though a bit more Fatal Attraction: once New Orleans got its talons into me leaving seemed impossible. It turns out that unlike many places (though very much like NYC or Amsterdam or London) the City itself is a leading player in its own drama. After a point you have to stick around and see what happens. The food and drink is key to that.
And a small aside: we're opening up our place as a Fringe Fest venue (@bunnypinkink on the Twitter). As we were thinking about how that should go down it was immediately obvious that a food truck or two out front is essential because what's an event here without food?
I wait with baited breath to see how Dear Daughter takes to mum moving in...
shanefink & montouri... love the gauntlet throwing.... and your timing is so great to re-kindle this post, since I will be eating and drinking my way through town in just TEN DAYS.
[mt: I did see your Fringe Fest info but we are getting in late on 11/24. next time!]
Re: Food. I also noted that I will be going to two of the three EaterNOLA "hot" restaurants, Peche & La Petite. I don't know why I am not getting to Mariza this time, but again, there are more trips ahead.
Re: Gauntlet. My daughter and I are pretty close -- so I think she needs to have these few years to be the New Orleanian on her own. She knows I love it and she is 100% committed to staying. It is her home and some 2nd graders in the Upper 9th are reaping the benefit of her passion and teaching skills, praise the lord.
Note I said a few years.
Hubby retires in early 2016 and at a minimum we will do a long term rental in NOLA. He has his roots in Chicago and wants to spend some time there, perhaps his "own drama." I think Chi-town is a fly-by for me with the longer term stints in NOLA.
Re: Staying in California. I am pretty pleased with my burgeoning confidence as a West Coast ambassador for your fine city. I am even a bit of a local ambassador as I am recruiting a bunch of DD's friends to take the Cruisers Creole Tour!
My dance card still has plenty of room so I very much appreciate all comments and mt's interesting vignettes:
"...the crack wings at Manchu, the fried frogs' legs at Dempsey's, the sangies at Bobs (no apostrophe: there are two Bobs). It's hard to recommend these places with a straight face but damn, if you can "waste" a meal they're all kind of amazing in their own ways."
I can at least let DD know about these jewels, right?
Anyhow, thank you both (and sanglier too!) for responding to my abbreviated blog post. Full version at www.musingly.me
I hope to do an in progress trip report from 11/25 - 12/3. We'll see if I can waddle up to get onto the computer.