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Jan 4, 2014 05:41 PM

Best bites of 2013

Sorry I know the Saints game is on now. We are cheering for you from No. California!

At the risk of being audacious --as a non-resident suggesting this topic -- here is how the San Francisco Chow board starts out their annual poll of best bites, please note the word "contextualize" and the term "maximize signal" which had me in hysterics at my fellow Californians:

"What dishes should we slip in before the year's end or add to our 2014 to-eat list?Now is your chance to contextualize the excellence of the dishes you ate in 2013. Going with the convention, and to maximize signal for the SF Bay Area board, list up to ten new (to you) local tastes. Drinks allowed. To help us all plan our next excursion, feel free to list separately at most ten destination worthy dishes you ate while traveling."

Hilarity aside, I have to give the well organized chowhound from SF inspiration for this post --and so I will ask my NOLA chow friends, ya'll are the best, what were your favorite dishes, drinks allowed, in 2013?

Two lists please: local tastes and then "destination-worthy" from your out-of-NOLA dining.

I have to ponder this for a while, so hope someone else will start, although I expect very little response over the next three hours. :)


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  1. You properly remark on "contextualize" and similar folly. the unotion of the original post fills me with mystery.

    My favorites of the year were, largely, my customary ones. I did have great dirty rice down near Lac des Allemands and I found good boudin near Maurice,LA. Part of the fun of "foraging."

    Truth is, though, I like my local places....the cooks [not "chefs]

    ' know what I one need pretend op to fake grandeur.. Fresh fish, quality shrimp. Cooking is cooking: nonsense knows no bounds.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hazelhurst

      We've split a discussion of the cookbook La Bouche Creole and some creole cooking techniques to Home Cooking, here: . Enjoy.

    2. LOL, regarding the SF post, I remember thinking "what the hell did I write last night at 3:50am?" upon rereading that post the following morning :-)

      4 Replies
      1. re: hyperbowler

        Hyperbowler, awesome! Thank you so much for having a great sense of humor and tracking this down on the New Orleans board.

        I meant to put a link to your post but glad to see you here!

        I hope you, too, are a #nola eater. Do tell!

        I live in Sonoma County and am trying to expand my SF/NBay eating experiences -- but I just keep coming back to New Orleans for the fun! Also, this board is so welcoming with some amazing, positive discussions.

        Making it ever more funny, as you may well know, the January SF dish of the month is Shrimp n Grits!

        1. re: karendor

          heh, I've not been to New Orleans since 2001 but hope to return sometime soon. Actually, what brought me here today was a friend's question about what I liked when I last visited. Yikes, I'm a terrible person to ask. I knew they'd get more recent, and better, advice from locals on here and then stumbled upon this post :-)

          Thanks for linking the Shrimp and Grits post! There are a few New Orleans' chefs in the Bay Area, so it would be interesting to hear if their Shrimp and Grits can compare to what's available in New Orleans.

          1. re: hyperbowler

            I am now following you, hb, and will check out any info on New Orleans chefs in SF/EBay.

            Let me know if there are any upcoming SF chowdowns. 'Twould be fun to meet!

            One of my favorites up here in Sonoma County is Rocker Oysterfeller's over in Valley Ford. She (Shawna) has family roots in coastal Louisiana/Texas, and her husband, Guenther, learned to cook from her grandma, so they do a nice low-key Gulf a la Sonoma County scene in a great little spot between Tomales and Bodega Bay.


            I'll switch to the SF boards to pick up info on other #nola chefs, unless my nola chow brothers/sisters have some insights?

        2. Hi Karendor I love that you are from Napa but love visiting Nola for the food.
          My fav dish of 2013 in Nola is from Root : Korean Thai Ribs Bowl with Farro Fried Rice.
          2. Dominique's on Magazine : Butter poached Lobster with Celery Root
          3. Bootys in Bywater : Vietnamese poboy for brunch
          4. Maurepas Foods also in Bywater : Chicken with the best grits I've ever had and greens.
          5. High Hat Cafe on Freret St : fried chicken with pimento Mac n cheese
          6. Delachaise Wine N Bar on St Charles: Crispy Spicy Frog Legs
          7. Milk bar on St Charles n Prytania : any of their Sandwiches
          8. Borgne near Superdome : Cracklin Mac n cheese
          9. CochonButcher Sausage Flatbread
          10. Pie Pizza n Pasta on S. Peters in Warehouse District Lobster Ravioli

          2 Replies
          1. re: hltran

            Thanks, hitran, and I am going to keep your 1 - 10 list. you and I may not see eye to eye on all, but these look mighty yummy.

            I agree w/you on Maurepas' grits and really want to try your specific dishes on #s 5-8.

            Oh, and I am from Sonoma County, not Napa. Quite loyal to my side of the Mayacamas mountains, although they do have some good eats on the other side. LOL.

            1. re: hltran

              maurepas's chisesi ham greens are indeed unbelievably good.