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 Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival

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Ralph Melton

Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Fri, 04/1/11 12:03 AM (permalink)
As in 2010, we had planned to leave for New Orleans on a Wednesday, but failed to get to New Orleans that day.

This year, we were scheduled to get to New Orleans by flying United to Chicago, then Delta to New Orleans. When we arrived at the United checkin counter, the agent told us that the flight was delayed due to weather, so we would miss our Chicago connection. So she rescheduled us on a pair of USAirways flights, connecting through Washington DC. These flights actually were scheduled to arrive in New Orleans earlier than our original scheduled arrival, so we didn't mind this at all.

We boarded the plane for DC, and there we sat. First, we were delayed by the fallout of Pittsburgh's storms. I haven't checked whether the Pittsburgh area officially got tornadoes, but I know from the news that it certainly got funnel clouds. And after the storms left our area, they progressed towards Washington, so we then held off taking off because of uncertainty about whether we'd be able to land safely. We ended up waiting on the tarmac for two hours before the pilot took us back to the gate to give us a chance to stretch our legs. We then learned that the flight was cancelled.

USAirways rescheduled us again, but at that point, there were no flights available until Thursday afternoon. I asked the agent rescheduling us whether we were still good for our return flight on Sunday, since I feared that there might be mixups with the double change from United -> Delta to USAirways to a different USAirways flight. She assured me that everything was fine with our return flight. (This section ought to be accompanied with an ominous tremolo of organ music, but I didn't know that at the time.)

I do approve of a policy of not flying in tornadoes, but I nevertheless found it frustrating. At least this time, we didn't have any specific plans for the next morning in New Orleans. The frustration I felt most keenly was that I'd gotten a really superb parking place, much closer to the covered walkway to the terminal than I usually get, and I was disappointed to give it up.

So we returned home to sleep in our own bed.

We had plans for Thursday morning; we'd eat at some undiscovered Roadfoody place in the Pittsburgh area, do some shopping for new shoes, visit Half Price Books, and still arrive at a leisurely time for our flight. But instead, we slept late, took our time getting out the door, and concluded that we only had time to get to the airport without doing any of those other things—particularly since we wanted to get to the airport early enough to handle any other problems that might arise.

On the plane, we read USAirways' in-flight magazine, which featured an article on 15 best airport bites. This article mentioned Brookwood Farms BBQ in the Charlotte airport, which we've passed a few times in the past few months. This gave us the impetus to give it a try as we made our connection in Charlotte.

This plate shows pulled pork, fried okra, mac and cheese, hush puppies, and a fried pickle spear. We enjoyed the pulled pork quite a bit; it had a nice smoky flavor, and we liked the tomato-based Western-NC sauce. I also quite liked the hush puppies, which were nicely seasoned and had a nice balance of crisp exterior and tender interior. The fried okra was as good as fried okra normally is (Lori and I wouldn't give the same numerical rating to that quality level); the mac and cheese and the fried pickle spear were entirely adequate but not as good as instances that we've had elsewhere.



 
#1
    Ralph Melton

    Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Fri, 04/1/11 12:04 AM (permalink)
    After finally arriving in New Orleans Thursday evening, we went in search of a late dinner to the Roadfood-recommended Tujague's (pronounced Two-jacks), New Orleans' second oldest restaurant.


    Tujague's offers a five-course meal with a single choice, that of main course. There are four choices given, and chicken bon femme is always available if you know to ask for it.

    The first course was shrimp remoulade. This is not the mayonnaise-based sauce that I've encountered under the name of remoulade elsewhere; this was a complex, brownish-red mixture of I-don't-know-what. It was spicy enough to be too spicy for Lori; I think I tasted cayenne and mustard in it, but those were only a small fraction of the whole flavor profile.


    The second course was seafood gumbo. It was a very thin gumbo, unlike most gumbos I've encountered that it wasn't served with rice; it was mostly just broth with a few discs of spicy sausage and a crab body that I didn't extract the meat from. It too was too spicy for Lori, and I wasn't very pleased with it myself.


    Things improved with the third course, beef brisket with creole sauce. The brisket was splendidly tender, falling into shreds at the touch of a fork. The sauce was much like a cocktail sauce.


    For the main course, I ordered the chicken bon femme. "Chicken bon femme" translates as "good woman chicken", but what was not clear to me from the reviews I've read was that the good woman has an interest in a garlic farm. It was a layered dish. Layer one on the plate was a layer of salad greens. That was topped with four pieces of fried chicken. The chicken was almost hidden from view by a layer of housemade potato chips. Then the whole thing was topped with a double handful of chopped raw garlic and parsley - mostly garlic. I've had platters of nachos with less cheese than there was garlic atop these potato chips. I tried to keep the garlic on the chips and chicken as I ate them, but despite my attempts, enough garlic spilled off to pile up in drifts on the table. I was very conscious that Lori and I might be risking an unfortunate garlic imbalance, like the imprudent Stinking Rose incident on our honeymoon.
    The chips didn't thrill me; they were decent, but a bit too greasy for me to enjoy eating them for long.
    The fried chicken, however, was excellent: very juicy and flavorful, with an exceptional herby crispy skin. I really enjoyed it a lot.
    By the end of the course, I could feel the garlic emanating from my whole body. But on the plus side, I felt totally proof against vampires.


    Lori got a filet mignon, served with mashed potatoes and cabbage sauteed with onions. The filet was cooked with a sauce of butter and (cooked) garlic. I was surprised to find that I could clearly taste the garlic in the sauce even though I had eaten so much raw garlic from my plate; it gave me hope that we might avoid garlic imbalance catastrophe.


    Dessert was banana bread pudding with caramel sauce. It was very good.


    One last remark about Tujague's: the bar area has a huge mirror, probably 8'x16'. The history of Tujague's we read said that the mirror was brought from a restaurant in France. The thought of transporting such a huge mirror safely with 19th-century technology daunts me.

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    #2
      EdSails

      • Total Posts: 3588
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      • Location: Mission Viejo, CA
      Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Fri, 04/1/11 12:19 AM (permalink)
      Ralph, I'm looking forward to more on the trip. It's a nice report so far. Awesome that you went there for the Festival! 
       
      #3
        buffetbuster

        Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Fri, 04/1/11 8:19 AM (permalink)
        Ralph, you two really don't have much luck getting back and forth to New Orleans, do you?  If you don't mind, could you tell the story of the Stinking Rose incident, that you alluded to?
         
        I am very much looking forward to the rest of the report!
         
        #4
          Greymo

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          Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Fri, 04/1/11 8:32 AM (permalink)
          Enjoyable report.  It also reminded me of why I no longer fly!
           
          #5
            ann peeples

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            Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Fri, 04/1/11 9:14 AM (permalink)
            Love the first part of the report. Looking forward to much more!
             
            #6
              ScreamingChicken

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              Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Fri, 04/1/11 10:04 AM (permalink)
              Are those big slices of garlic on the banana pudding?
               
              Brad
               
              #7
                Ralph Melton

                Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Fri, 04/1/11 1:49 PM (permalink)
                buffetbuster

                Ralph, you two really don't have much luck getting back and forth to New Orleans, do you?  If you don't mind, could you tell the story of the Stinking Rose incident, that you alluded to?
                 
                 
                So far, we have not had good luck with our New Orleans travels. If it happens a third time, we'll definitely consider ourselves cursed there.
                 
                It's possible that the Stinking Rose story works better as an allusion than as a full story, but I'm happy to tell it:
                 
                In June of 2001, Lori and I went to San Francisco for a week. On that trip, I persuaded Lori to dine with me at the Stinking Rose. The Stinking Rose is a garlic theme restaurant; their slogan is "we season our garlic with food."
                For an appetizer, we had bagna calda. I believe that the traditional form of bagna cauda involves tuna or anchovies seasoned with garlic, but the Stinking Rose's version was roasted garlic in olive oil seasoned with anchovies. I ate more of it than Lori.
                For dinner, I had the Italian garlic meatloaf, which was polka-dotted with whole cloves of garlic. I forget what Lori chose, but it had what would normally be considered a generous amount of garlic - so it was probably a tenth the garlic of my entree.
                For dessert, I tried the roasted garlic ice cream, which was actually pretty tasty. Lori, though, was not so bold.
                 
                So as you can see, we violated the Principle of Garlic Parity: if you and your sweetie eat the same amount of garlic, all is good; if one member of a couple eats a lot more garlic than the other, problems ensue.
                 
                The next day, I reeked of garlic. It was exuding from my pores. And there's no way to put this delicately: it made me flatulent. And the farts were horribly malodorous, reeking of garlic and brimstone. And we were taking a bus tour of wine country, so for most of the day we were sitting next to each other on the bus.
                 
                I am happy to have visited the restaurant, but it was definitely a mistake to do so on our honeymoon.
                <message edited by Ralph Melton on Fri, 04/1/11 11:17 PM>
                 
                #8
                  Ralph Melton

                  Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Fri, 04/1/11 2:12 PM (permalink)
                  ScreamingChicken

                   Are those big slices of garlic on the banana pudding?
                   
                   
                  Sliced almonds. I could imagine a roasted garlic bread pudding being pretty tasty, but I'm not sure it would be at its best with banana.
                  <message edited by Ralph Melton on Fri, 04/1/11 11:18 PM>
                   
                  #9
                    EdSails

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                    Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Fri, 04/1/11 2:15 PM (permalink)
                    I think NO has some sort of jinx for a lot of us, Ralph. You and Lori aren't the only ones. The first time I was "in" NO I was on a layover for 3 hours---just long enough to keep staring out of the airport window at the city I wanted to grab a bite at lunch in. It hurt, knowing I didn't have the time to actually go out in the city, eat and return to catch the next leg of my flight. The second time, I was driving from CA to AL with a friend and we hit NOLA around 3AM. I was able to grab a crawfish ettouffee hand pie at a gas station with a food counter just on the outskirts of NOLA. The next time, catching a plane at MSY, there wasn't enough time to see the city, only drive straight to the airport. And then there was the friend who panned a trip to NOLA for six of us friends. We'd already looked into flights and hotel for all of us for Mardi Gras when his small airplane her was delivering (he was a commercial pilot who specialized in aircraft delivery) vanished, oddly enough on pretty much the same leg of a flight and very near where Amelia Earhart disappeared. That took care of our group trip. Well, someday I hope to make it there. I'm glad you have!
                     
                    #10
                      susanll

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                      Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Fri, 04/1/11 2:22 PM (permalink)
                      Ralph Melton


                      buffetbuster

                      Ralph, you two really don't have much luck getting back and forth to New Orleans, do you?  If you don't mind, could you tell the story of the Stinking Rose incident, that you alluded to?
                       

                      So far, we have not had good luck with our New Orleans travels. If it happens a third time, we'll definitely consider ourselves cursed there.

                      It's possible that the Stinking Rose story works better as an allusion than as a full story, but I'm happy to tell it:

                      In June of 2011, Lori and I went to San Francisco for a week. On that trip, I persuaded Lori to dine with me at the Stinking Rose. The Stinking Rose is a garlic theme restaurant; their slogan is "we season our garlic with food."
                      For an appetizer, we had bagna calda. I believe that the traditional form of bagna cauda involves tuna or anchovies seasoned with garlic, but the Stinking Rose's version was roasted garlic in olive oil seasoned with anchovies. I ate more of it than Lori.
                      For dinner, I had the Italian garlic meatloaf, which was polka-dotted with whole cloves of garlic. I forget what Lori chose, but it had what would normally be considered a generous amount of garlic - so it was probably a tenth the garlic of my entree.
                      For dessert, I tried the roasted garlic ice cream, which was actually pretty tasty. Lori, though, was not so bold.

                      So as you can see, we violated the Principle of Garlic Parity: if you and your sweetie eat the same amount of garlic, all is good; if one member of a couple eats a lot more garlic than the other, problems ensue.

                      The next day, I reeked of garlic. It was exuding from my pores. And there's no way to put this delicately: it made me flatulent. And the farts were horribly malodorous, reeking of garlic and brimstone. And we were taking a bus tour of wine country, so for most of the day we were sitting next to each other on the bus.

                      I am happy to have visited the restaurant, but it was definitely a mistake to do so on our honeymoon.

                      Funny story - thanks for sharing.
                       
                      #11
                        icecreamchick

                        • Total Posts: 99
                        • Joined: 9/26/2009
                        • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                        Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Fri, 04/1/11 11:30 PM (permalink)
                        Umm, so, Ralph told one of the funnier stories from our honeymoon with far more honesty than I expected.
                         
                        I remember the strong "garlic aura" my husband had the day after the Stinking Rose...there's no nice way to put it -- he reeked
                         
                        The Chicken Bonne Femme was not nearly as bad, but I'll admit my first words the next morning were "ugh, you still smell like garlic." I'm not a complete garlic frowner, but it's an aroma best suited to a plate of pasta. ;-)
                         
                        I will also point out that despite the infamous "Stinking Rose Incident"(aka "The Stinking Ralph"), we'll be married ten years in June this year. So, a good relationship can survive the occasional garlic calamity. :-) 
                         
                        #12
                          Ralph Melton

                          Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Sat, 04/2/11 12:04 AM (permalink)
                          On Friday morning, we got out of the hotel at about 11am. We considered going to Brennan's for breakfast, because we had had a splendid three-course breakfast there in 2011. We knew that this was our best chance for a big ornate breakfast like that, because we'd want to save our appetite for the Roadfood festival on Saturday and Sunday. But as splendid as the prospect was, it just did not call to us, and so we searched elsewhere. We looked in the window of Antoine's, but they didn't serve brunch on Friday, and Lori likes to start her day with breakfast. So we drifted across the street to K-Joe's, which is not listed on the Roadfood site, but which had provided outstanding red beans and rice at the 2010 festival. Lori asked if they were still serving breakfast, and the server replied, "until 2pm." Lori's kind of place!


                          I ordered the cajun omelet, which the menu describes thus: "CAJUN OMELLETTE, a true New Orleans breakfast; ham, smoke sausage, bell pepper and onions. Topped with Creole sauce." The omelette was very good, with strong flavors from the ham and sausage. The grits were unusual in that they tasted of fresh corn; I believe that they had a smattering of corn kernels mixed in. The biscuit was buttered and lightly toasted, which made it quite nice indeed.


                          Lori ordered the eggs Benedict with hash browns. The eggs Benedict were good, but Lori would have preferred a creamier hollandaise and less of the paprika-based seasoning on top.


                          I had hoped that I'd be delighted beyond compare by K-Joe's, such that I could claim it as a hitherto-undocumented Roadfood gem. But this meal leaves it still in limbo, because it's not uncommon to have meals this good; I'd like to have a few more extraordinary meals or several more very good meals at K-Joe's before I felt I could claim "you should turn aside from the other splendid restaurants in the French Quarter to make time for K-Joe's". But I'm certainly cheerful about breakfasting there. And on Saturday, I got to meet and chat with Joseph Faroldi, proprietor of K-Joe's, and I was very glad to chat with him. (More on that later.)

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                          #13
                            Foodbme

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                            Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Sat, 04/2/11 12:05 AM (permalink)
                            San Francisco is just a stones throw from Gilroy, CA - The Garlic Capital of the World" So I'm sure the Stinking Rose has the peak of freshness on the Menu. One of my goals is to make it to the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Anyone been there?
                             
                            #14
                              agnesrob

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                              Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Sat, 04/2/11 6:20 AM (permalink)
                              Great report. Can't wait for more!
                               
                              #15
                                Ahi Mpls.

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                                Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Sat, 04/2/11 8:13 AM (permalink)
                                 If you look closely, it would seem that the bowl of gumbo did indeed come with rice, 4 grains on the rim of the bowl!  What's up with that?!
                                  thanks for the report, I can't wait for more. 
                                 
                                #16
                                  Ralph Melton

                                  Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Sun, 04/3/11 12:26 AM (permalink)
                                  I haven't been to the Garlic Festival, but I've driven through Gilroy; you can smell the garlic merely driving through with the windows rolled up.  
                                   
                                  #17
                                    Ralph Melton

                                    Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Sun, 04/3/11 12:27 AM (permalink)

                                    On the way to K-Joe's, we stopped to watch the Slick Skillet Serenaders busking on the street. I particularly enjoyed the guy on the left with the washboard, harmonica, kazoo, and assorted instruments.
                                    (Edit: until I figure out how to embed video from Flickr with BBCode, the video is at http://www.flickr.com/pho...set-72157626262108989/ .)

                                    After K-Joe's, we stopped to browse in the Fleur de Paris fine hat store. (The picture was taken of their shop window the evening before, when I hadn't yet seen the "no pictures" sign.) Fleur de Paris takes millinery to a level that I have not seen elsewhere, and to prices that I have not seen elsewhere - I saw one price tag on a hat showing $829, and I doubt that was the most expensive hat in the store.
                                    As we came into the store, there was a figure to our left with a dainty red feathered top hat, a vintage-styled dress, and elegant stockings - I was very startled when she moved, because I had thought she was a mannequin.


                                    In the afternoon, we took a walking tour produced by Friends of the Cabildo, a volunteer group supporting the Louisiana State Museum. We were deliberately looking for something very different from the ghost tour we had taken last year; last year's tour guide had definitely emphasized the gruesome, and we believed that he had gone so far as to prefer gruesome to true when a choice was necessary. In particular, according to Wikipedia, the tale of Delphine LaLaurie got exaggerated in 1946 and again in 1998 well beyond what primary materials support - and his version of the LaLaurie story definitely had all the most gruesome bits from the 1998 version.

                                    In front of the Friends of the Cabildo store, there was a woman selling copies of her book Mad Madam LaLaurie, who claimed that she was going back to the primary sources and debunking the gruesome stories. We bought a copy as a financial endorsement of truth over sensationalism.

                                    Pictures from our tour:

                                    Jackson Square


                                    A statue and painting of the French Market, located behind the market. I recall the guide mentioning that the headscarf on the woman in the lower left of the painting meant that she was a free woman of color.


                                    This garden was next door to the Beauregard-Keyes house. I believe that it was established by Frances Parkinson Keyes, but I'm not certain.


                                    The tour guide told us that these were called "Romeo Spikes". There was a strong double standard of sexual conduct in pre-war Louisiana, in which young men were expected to go out and sow their wild oats, but young women were supposed to remain at home and ensure that no wild oats were sown upon them. A strapping young buck might shimmy up a column to meet a miss upon a gallery - the Romeo spikes were meant to deter such rendezvous.



                                    <message edited by Ralph Melton on Sun, 04/3/11 12:29 AM>
                                     
                                    #18
                                      leethebard

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                                      Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Sun, 04/3/11 7:40 AM (permalink)
                                      Really enjoying this report. Romeo spikes...oooowwwww!!
                                       
                                      #19
                                        ChiTownDiner

                                        Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Sun, 04/3/11 8:38 AM (permalink)
                                        An early happy 10th guys...love the report, wish i had been with you!
                                         
                                        #20
                                          leslie638

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                                          • Location: pittsburgh, PA
                                          Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Sun, 04/3/11 8:31 PM (permalink)
                                          Waiting patiently for the next installment.  I ate at Tujaques about 10 years ago & I don't remember it looking or being that good.  I leave for NO in may.  Thanks for a great report.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            Nancypalooza

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                                            Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Mon, 04/4/11 3:32 PM (permalink)
                                            Ralph, we're celebrating our tenth in June as well--happy anniversary!  I'm so glad I don't have a parallel story from our honeymoon, but you're an awfully good sport for telling on yourself.  We're celebrating in SF this year too so I might pick your brain for places to visit.
                                             
                                            We did Tujaques back in 04 or so and had the brisket with a different result--burped it for three days or so.  It is now affectionately known in our household as the 'death brisket.'  But everything else was very good and looks strikingly similar to our visit there.  Except for the crazy garlic business--we didn't do that.
                                             
                                            The last time I was there I wandered through the office of the national park in the French Quarter and didn't have time for one of their tours but they looked terribly interesting--has anybody here done one of those?
                                             
                                            #22
                                              Ralph Melton

                                              Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Tue, 04/5/11 11:07 PM (permalink)

                                              Lori wanted to get a cab, because we'd been walking a lot and our legs were tired. Google Maps said that it would take us about 15 minutes to walk there, so I proposed that we start walking and hail a cab if we saw one. Unfortunately, Google Maps didn't accurately estimate our walking speed, and it didn't even get the right location. It ended up taking us about 40 minutes to finally get to the museum; we arrived just before the festivities started, with a mighty yearning to sit down.

                                              The food:

                                              The first food we saw was the extraordinary alligator cake made by Melissa's Custom Cakes, who had made the Crawfish Boil cake last year. Lori paid more attention to the construction of the cake than I did; she reports that Melissa uses melted chocolate over buttercream frosting, which gives a better flavor than fondant. Once the cake was finally cut, it was revealed to be a buttery pound cake alligator and a rich, moist chocolate bag of sugar.


                                              Gumbo from Prejean's. This at least was served with rice, but I didn't notice the rich medley of flavors that I want from gumbo. I'm pretty sure this is a roux-based gumbo from the color, but I don't remember much else about it. Now, others judged the same gumbo much better - so maybe I was missing something.


                                              Jambalaya and muffaletta pasta salad from K-Joe's. Again, though this was pretty good, I don't remember it well.


                                              The cheese crackers from K-Joe's were much more memorable, though. They reminded me of Cheez-its, but much zestier and spicier. Smearing the cracker with a bit of the cream cheese and jalapeno jelly actually spread out the flavors and slowed down the heat without diminishing it.


                                              There was an oyster boat as well. I'm still learning to like raw oysters, but I liked these as much as the ones Chris shared with me in North Carolina, with less garnishes.


                                              Lori really liked the mini cupcakes from The Cupcake Company. They were good cake with thick, creamy, rich frosting that was as high as the cake.


                                              I apparently neglected to take a photo of the Lasyone's meat pies. They were small, just a few inches long, but filled with a rich warm savory meat mixture. I loved the size as much as the taste. I suggested that they serve those pies at the Roadfood festival, but the lady providing them said that they were too labor-intensive to make in the quantities required for the festival.

                                              I also sampled the cracklins without taking a picture. These cracklins were fatty and fibrous; they did not make a fan out of me.
                                               
                                              I had hoped to get crawfish in the shell at the party, because there had been crawfish last year and I'm still at a stage such that a few crawfish is the right amount. But there were none.
                                               
                                              One difference I noted between this year's party and last year's: all the food was local to Louisiana this year. I have no judgment on whether that's good or bad; I liked the nationwide flavor of last year's party, but some of last year's more distant foods did not travel well.


                                              The big event of the evening was presenting the Blue Plate Award to Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller's Barbecue. Wayne gave a very touching, incredibly humble speech, giving the credit to his grandfather and father who ran the restaurant before him, clearly showing that he felt honored to carry on that legacy.


                                              As the party started to wind down a bit, I turned my attention to the museum itself. I skimmed over the room with absinthe bottles and paraphernalia, but I was really interested by the room called The Museum of the American Cocktail. I was quite engaged. Details I remember learning from the museum: I learned the name "callabogus" for one of the precursors to the cocktail, and I learned about Jamaica ginger as a patent medicine that got added to cocktails and caused its own special neurological breakdown. Unfortunately, I got kicked out when I was somewhere in Prohibition. Clearly, I need to go back some time when I'm not distracted by food and chatting.



                                              <message edited by Ralph Melton on Tue, 04/5/11 11:28 PM>
                                               
                                              #23
                                                Ralph Melton

                                                Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Tue, 04/5/11 11:23 PM (permalink)
                                                Nancypalooza


                                                Ralph, we're celebrating our tenth in June as well--happy anniversary!  I'm so glad I don't have a parallel story from our honeymoon, but you're an awfully good sport for telling on yourself.  We're celebrating in SF this year too so I might pick your brain for places to visit.

                                                We did Tujaques back in 04 or so and had the brisket with a different result--burped it for three days or so.  It is now affectionately known in our household as the 'death brisket.'  But everything else was very good and looks strikingly similar to our visit there.  Except for the crazy garlic business--we didn't do that.

                                                The last time I was there I wandered through the office of the national park in the French Quarter and didn't have time for one of their tours but they looked terribly interesting--has anybody here done one of those?

                                                 
                                                I'm not sure I have good suggestions for San Francisco; I've only been there a few times. On my most recent visit, I enjoyed Sears Fine Foods, Sam's Grill, and Dottie's Cafe, all reviewed on the website. I also have fond memories of Mona Lisa, because they were very sweet to us on our honeymoon - but that was years ago, and I don't remember whether the food was outstanding.
                                                 
                                                I'm intrigued by your very different experience of the brisket. The Roadfood writeup mentioned that people vary widely on the brisket; your experience suggests to me that it's really a variation in the brisket, instead being accounted by variations in the diners.
                                                 
                                                I have no experience of the tours from the New Orleans Jazz Historical Park, but the tour guide who led our walking tour spoke very highly of them. I'm also keeping it in mind for next year, because they show a lot of films for free; that might be a nice option when I've been standing too long.
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle

                                                  • Total Posts: 1350
                                                  • Joined: 7/12/2000
                                                  • Location: Robbinsville, NJ
                                                  • Roadfood Insider
                                                  Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Wed, 04/6/11 1:01 AM (permalink)
                                                  Ralph, I didn't get to try the gumbo at the Friday night party, but I thought Saturday's gumbo was the food item of the weekend.  Perhaps the batches just came out different.  I think you are right, though, they used a dark roux.
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Foodbme

                                                    • Total Posts: 9575
                                                    • Joined: 9/1/2006
                                                    • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                                                    Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Wed, 04/6/11 1:01 AM (permalink)
                                                    Nancy Palooza,
                                                    My #1 Stop every time in SF is Swan Oyster Depot on Nob Hill.
                                                    1517 Polk St
                                                    San Francisco, CA 94109
                                                    It will be 100 years old next year. Pretty soon they're going to get it right! Cash only, No Credit Cards taken. Go during off hours to avoid a wait. Limited Seating, like 20 counter stools!
                                                    Freshest seafood in SF.
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      Nancypalooza

                                                      • Total Posts: 3778
                                                      • Joined: 6/17/2004
                                                      • Location: Columbia, SC
                                                      Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Wed, 04/6/11 8:50 AM (permalink)
                                                      (I'm not gonna hijack your thread but I'll ask you guys more questions as time gets closer--thank you!)
                                                       
                                                      Ralph, my only real problem with gumbo is that sometimes a restaurant in particular seems to just use it as the throwaway for extra parts, and so I get unsettled by the random tiny claw or whatever.  Maybe that's perfectly acceptable gumbo operating procedure (GOP) or maybe it just varies from place to place.
                                                       
                                                      Always glad to see somebody trotting out the cream cheese and pepper jelly, one of my favorite old lady Southern staples.
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        BelleReve

                                                        • Total Posts: 1138
                                                        • Joined: 8/4/2005
                                                        • Location: New Orleans, LA
                                                        Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Wed, 04/6/11 5:34 PM (permalink)
                                                        Ralph,
                                                        On those Romeo spikes - a friend of mine who's a tour guide points them out to his groups and says "Many a Romeo has climbed up - only to come down a Juliet."
                                                         
                                                        I'm enjoying your reports, I had to work the weekend of the Roadfood festival, but at least I'll be getting to the French Quarter festival which starts tomorrow.
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          Ralph Melton

                                                          Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Tue, 04/12/11 6:10 PM (permalink)
                                                          After the opening night party, nine of us headed over to Galatoire's. We had eaten at Galatoire's by ourselves last year, but this year we were tickled to be invited to join a larger group of Roadfood folks.
                                                          The down side of being in such a large group: we had a long wait. We tried to seclude ourselves in the bar while we waited, but there was no space for us to be out of traffic flows.

                                                          I ordered my first Sazerac, because it's the official cocktail of New Orleans. It was not to my cocktail-inexperienced taste; I mostly tasted dark murky flavors.


                                                          We were several people, none of us very hungry, all expecting to sample some of everything. So we let Chris Ayers choose for us. This gave us a good selection, but it meant that I neglected to get the names of everything we ate. I've forgotten the names of some of these foods, and some of the names I never knew. I find that I've forgotten many of the flavors as well - I hope that others who were there will add their own commentary.

                                                          These are oysters en brochette, which is more or less a deep-fried oyster-and-bacon kebab. What I remember most about this is the rich flavor of the toast that had soaked up all the flavorful grease from the oysters and bacon.


                                                          This appetizer combination was shrimp remoulade on the left (I think), and crab maison in the center - but I'm not at all sure about the right. I think it might have been crawfish, but I don't see any crawfish appetizers listed on Galatoire's online menu. Of these, I most enjoyed the smooth tanginess of the crabmeat maison.


                                                          This looks like gumbo, but a dim memory suggests it was an etouffée. The online menu only mentions shrimp etouffée, but I think it was something else.
                                                          The potatoes were Brabant potatoes, which a low-brow diner like me might describe as excellent hash browns. I enjoyed these much more than I had the year before, because I wasn't surprised by them this year. 




                                                          I don't remember which fish this is, but I think the sauce is the Meuniére Amandine. In the background, you can see the crab Sardou.


                                                          Again, I don't know the fish, and this time I don't know the sauce either. I see mushrooms and (I suspect) crabmeat, but none of the sauces listed on the website obviously contain mushrooms.


                                                          A closeup of the crab Sardou, a delicious combination of artichoke bottoms topped with crabmeat and Hollandaise sauce.


                                                          Lori is a fish frowner and a mushroom frowner, so she asked for the crab gratin to be added to the selection. This was very rich and cheesy, like a superb crab dip.


                                                          Apparently I neglected to get a picture of the souffleed potatoes, sliced potatoes fried so that they puffed up like balloons. I know that Chris ordered these because he was intrigued by my description of them last year - which gratifies me, because it makes me feel like one of the explorers of Roadfood, not just a consumer of others's discoveries.

                                                          As we meandered towards dessert, a host exhorted everyone in the restaurant to sing "Happy Birthday" for a gentleman at the next table. As we sang, we noticed that the birthday celebrant was wearing a tiara with the number 50 picked out in rhinestones. Chris ended up going to chat with him and getting a picture taken with the celebrant.

                                                          I remember the desserts a little better, at least well enough to identify them.
                                                          There was a sweet potato cheesecake with pecan praline topping, light and not very sweet. 


                                                          The banana bread pudding with caramel sauce was fabulous, my favorite of the desserts. The banana and caramel flavors really filled my mouth splendidly.


                                                          I remember that there was also a third dessert, involving chocolate and coffee. But apparently I neglected to photograph it. So here's another photo of the bread pudding instead.


                                                          So much excellent food, and so few clear memories. I regret that I can't remember and describe every dish in vivid detail.
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            ayersian

                                                            Re:Ralph and Lori at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival Tue, 04/12/11 7:23 PM (permalink)
                                                            Ralph Melton

                                                            So much excellent food, and so few clear memories. I regret that I can't remember and describe every dish in vivid detail.

                                                            Ralph, it was probably all that butter -- it clogged my memory, too.    Chris
                                                             
                                                            #30
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