Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Delta

Page: 123 > Showing page 1 of 3
Post
wanderingjew
Sirloin
2012/02/23 19:12:38
Sound familiar?- there might be some deja vu in the title for those who remember my roadtrip in August of last year.
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/tm.aspx?m=664082
 
This was my precursor to the presidents day weekend glee club event  in Nashville.
 
Each day will be divided into a chapter and each chapter will have a sub title.
 
Chapter 1- Back in the Big Easy
 
Tuesday February 7
 
Having no weather worries, I arrived in New Orleans just after noon time after an easy flight with a quick change of planes in Baltimore.
 
Since I'll be carless over the next few days, I took the shuttle from the Airport to my hotel, downtown, a couple of blocks from the french quarter, 
 
After checking in and quite hungry, I walked to my first roadfood stop for lunch.
 
Napoleon House
 

 
Since it was around 2pm it was after the lunch rush
 

 
 
 
and  as I arrived I realized perhaps I shouldn't have walked, as my chariot awaits me.
 

 
 
Apparently well known for their Muffalettas warmed up in the oven, I asked for mine served cold probably to compare it to my previous experience at Central Grocery 7 years ago.
 
I ordered half a muffaletta, more than enough for one person
 

 
The olive tapenaude adds a nice garlicky touch, although I remember the bread at Central Grocery being denser and crustier, although it's been so long, I probably forgot.
 
I ordered the "side with sandwich" order of Jambalaya
 

 
A little on the mild side, however adding some hot sauce really gave it a nice kick and brought it up a notch.  Everything went well with unsweetened iced tea. Overall a fine filling lunch.
 
I spent the next several hours walking around the quarter. Realistically I could probably spend days and never get tired.
 
I checked out Jackson Square.
 

 
named after our 7th president (who ironically made his home- where else but in Nashville)
 

 
The Cabildo was nearby. I made mention of touring it in one of my earlier trip reports back in 2005
 

 
 
I finally walked inside St Louis Cathedral and was amazed at the ornate interior and stained glass
 
 

 

 

 
Afterwards, I headed to towards the French Market for a brief respite at Cafe Du Monde
 

 
and a Cafe Au Lait
 

 
sat back and people watched. I'm not sure if it's me, but I found the cafe au lait very pedestrian. I'm sure it will go well with those beignets, but that's for another chapter.
 
I continued to stroll around the french market and came across the Jackson Brewery.
 

 
No longer an viable brewery it's now an urban mall with shops and restaurants.
 
I finally made it inside the french market itself.
 

 

 
having purchased a very forgettable "homemade" peach ice cream that didn't even deserve a photo, i moved on and noticed the reminder that Mardi Gras is on its way..
 

 
Although I didn't purchase one, they were giving out samples some with pecans and even a cheesecake version. I tried one with pecans. It reminded me of a typical entemann's cake- nothing special.
 
I continued strolling around afterwards passing landmarks  such as Central Grocery and Court of Two Sisters.
 

 

 
Happy hour was fast approaching and there's a German style Brewpub I've been wanting to try.
 
Crescent City Brew House
 
I ordered a refreshing malty "red stallion"
 

 
and walked back to my hotel to chill out afterwards.
 
After resting for an hour or so, Imagine my surprise when I realized that my hotel was right across the street from my dinner stop.
 
The Bonton Cafe.
 


This is going to be my first real challenge with dim lighting and my new camera.
 
Starting out with a loaf of french bread
 

 
and spicy shrimp and crab okra gumbo
 

 
I was torn between the Crawfish Etoufee and the Shrimp, Eggplant and Crab Etoufee. I was put at ease when my waitress said I could order half of each.
 

 
(yes this is a non -flash photo in very dim light!)
 
That's crawfish etoufee on the left and the shrimp-eggplant-crab etoufee on the right)
 
My waitress prefers the crawfish etoufee- athough both were really good, I agree.
 
I chose a side of  tempura style onion rings.
 

 
You don't think my meal would conlude here? 

I had to order dessert and I'm so glad I did.
 
I never knew that dessert can put someone over the limit- the blood alcohol limit that is.
 
 
 
This amazing hunka bread pudding, drenched in whiskey sauce, will leave anyone "sauced" . It actually gave me a really good buzz (no kidding!)
 
After dinner, I was already to head out on Bourbon Street. (hell, I probably just downed a whole bunch of the stuff in my bread pudding)
 

 

 
 
Engaged in the sites and sounds..
 

 
 

 
 

 
(I'm picturing beer in a big can)- get the pun?
 

 
I headed on over to Tropical Aisle - to listen to the Zydeco Band, "The Can't Hardly Play Boys"
 

 
 
You cans see the washboard player to the left-although he's out of the spotlight in this photo)
 
They put on a great show, half zydeco/half country. The accordian player sang all the zydeco stuff, he even had the thick cajun accent although I'm not completely sure if it was "put on" . the  old long haired guy playing the guitar sang all the country stuff- he even did a great rendition of Johnny Cash's "I walk the line" 
 
After enjoying a set and a local Abita beer, I felt I was ready to head back to my hotel for a good nights sleep
 
much more to come.
will_work_4_bbq
Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/23 20:23:35
Wow!  Off to a great start!
joerogo
Filet Mignon
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/23 21:37:19
Besides the food, my favorite in NOLA is live music.  In my heyday, all the bars and clubs had live music.  I miss that.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/23 21:51:23
Super start, Dale. I am looking forward to chapter 2 !
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/24 08:03:42
Thanks Al and Lynn. It was good to see you Al after three years and it was a pleasure meeting you, Lynn,  I'm hoping you will be joining us at future events.
 
Joe, not sure if it was because Mardi Gras was starting, but there was music all over the french quarter, however it was very difficult to find Zydeco music, porbably because it was during the week. I was checking the local entertainment weeklies as well as stuff on line- and it appears more of the zydeo bands play on the weekends.
 
I'll continue the report sometime after the weekend.
Louis
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/24 08:11:09
There are places that know how to prepare bread pudding correctly.  I'm glad you found one of them!
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/24 10:01:00
Louis

There are places that know how to prepare bread pudding correctly.  I'm glad you found one of them!


Louis,
 
It seems that New Orleans is bread pudding capitol. The best bread pudding of the trip can be found there.
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/24 12:19:35
Dale, I spent six months in NOLA.  There is music in the Quarter all the time (evenings).  The hygiene there ain't the best but the ambiance, food, people watching is over the top.
 
Roz and I were walking to the quarter and somewhat close to the casino, four high school girls opened their shirts and exposed their breast in unison.  they looked at me and said "what do you think?"  I promptly replied " looks like breast to me except smaller!"  I think it made them somewhat unhappy
 
Great pics Dale and I appreciate your new camera.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/24 16:51:44
Sundancer7

Dale, I spent six months in NOLA.  There is music in the Quarter all the time (evenings).  The hygiene there ain't the best but the ambiance, food, people watching is over the top.

Roz and I were walking to the quarter and somewhat close to the casino, four high school girls opened their shirts and exposed their breast in unison.  they looked at me and said "what do you think?"  I promptly replied " looks like breast to me except smaller!"  I think it made them somewhat unhappy

Great pics Dale and I appreciate your new camera.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN


Paul,
 
Just wait till you see part 2- no breasts, but something "quite interesting"
The camera seems to do better than my last- with my last camera I could never get away with not using flash at the Bon Ton Cafe- there is just no way, however I'm still challenged with unusal or very minimal lighting with my current camera. I really need to read the manual to figure out how to counteract that but again its not a $3000 camera
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/24 19:28:48
Dale, I sure wish I could travel with you on both food adventures and sights of the places you visit.I would even enjoy the walking! Keep it coming!
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/25 08:44:41
ann peeples

Dale, I sure wish I could travel with you on both food adventures and sights of the places you visit.I would even enjoy the walking! Keep it coming!

 
Thanks, Anne,
 
That means alot.
 
Next chapter will come tomorrow evening. Have much to do over the weekend.
ayersian
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/25 10:38:30
WJ, my mouth is watering for this series -- keep it coming, my friend.  Amy & I certainly missed you guys in Nashville last week.  FYI, bad lighting is a constant struggle with my camera, too, and the flash often washes out the shot.  Feel free to commiserate with me anytime!    Chris
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/26 08:11:27
Chris,
 
Thankfully the flash was used rarely. In part 1- of the trip report. I used flash for the onion rings and gumbo only at Bon Ton Cafe. I still just learning my new camera.  I also discovered that my camera is very sensitive to sunlight so in normal lighting I don't need to be near a window. 
 
I'll note in future segments which photos I used flash.
MiamiDon
Filet Mignon
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/26 08:41:34
Nice tour of N'awlins!  I had my first muffaletta at the Napolean House, and some seriously good craft cocktails.
 
What?  No beignets with your chicory-laced cafe au lait? " />
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/26 08:48:21
A great report so far...that new camera is looking good....can't wait for more!
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/26 08:53:24
Nice start, Sir. You're making me hungry.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/26 11:16:43
In fact, you made me so hungry I had to go to the Waffle House for breakfast. Thanks Dale.
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/26 11:30:12
......And I'm looking for a Cracker Barrel!
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/26 20:25:29
Chapter II-  Laissez Les BOMB Temps Rouler (and then some)
Wednesday February 8
 
No, the chapter subheading is not a mispelling.  You'll find out why near the end.
My first full day in New Orleans. Although I'm not a breakfast guy in general, I thought it would be a real shame to pass it up in the Crescent City.
 
My stop this morning was the Camellia Grill. 
 
I opted to visit the location in the French Quarter versus the original location uptown since I was without transportation and didn't want to waste the morning on the street car
 


Starting out with predictably bad coffee, I decided to go with the pecan waffle. Adding just a little maple syrup, since I did not want it to overwhelm the waffle was probably a good idea. This was a traditional, not belgian style waffle, The waffle itself was crisp and was not overloaded with meaty pecans but as far as waffles go, it wasn't bad, however  there was nothing about it that really blew me away or that captured my attention
 

 
 
however the thick strips of crisp oinky bacon that accompanied my my meal did bring the waffle to a new level. (Sorry there are no photos of the bacon topped waffle)
 
 

 
After breakfast, I wanted to get a decent cup of coffee and walked over to a coffee house ingrained in my memory called Royal Blend. Well, somethings are better left as memories. Although it has a nice atmosphere with courtyard seating I asked for a dark roast and it was as bland as all get up. When I got my refill, I thought perhaps they made a mistake and gave me a light roast instead, nope- just as bland as the first cup. 
 
I spent the morning walking around  Bourbon Street to compare night and day, afterwards decided to walk towards downtown and catch a photo of the superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints.
 

 
As lunch time was approaching, I decided to return to an old favorite from 7 years ago. 


 
Mother's Restaurant 
 
Little did I know I would be returning to this restaurant, not once, not twice but three more times. 
Tourist trap or not, Mother's has some of the best food in New Orleans.
As I arrived, there was only one person in front of me in line. I new what I wanted to order, something I didn't get last time.
 
The Ferdi Special.
 

 
Just loaded with debris, roast beef, ham and gravy, this sandwich is just deliriously good. Yes, it put me into a state of delirium.
 
I ordered a cup of red beans and rice on the side
 

 
that was just as good as I remembered on my previous visited.
 
And for dessert- of course
 

 Bread Pudding - very different from the alcohol infused version at The Bon Ton but just as good.
 
Mother's is just as good as I remembered. Afterwards I continued walking around the French Quarter since I had some time to kill before my afternoon activity.
 
I came across these guys
 
 
 
and these guys
 

 
The Royal Street Gum Scrapers.
 
Just like I ran into Chi Town Diner's scruffier long lost cousin last year in Madison WI, it seems that this year I ran into Ayersian's more buff long lost cousin (the second from the right).
 
I did stop for a refreshing iced cafe au' lait at Cafe Beignet.
 

 
And then as I headed towards the river, I ran into these two clowns.
 

 

 
I ended up spending the afternoon taking a Mississippi River cruise on the Creole Queen which culminates in a tour of the Chalmette Battlefield.
 

 
As we left port
 

 
We passed alot of cool things including several ships both foreign and domestic.
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
\\
 
And even the Domino's Sugar Factory. I could even sense the aroma of burnt sugar downwind.
 

 
We finally docket at Chalmette Battlefield.  This is where Andrew Jackson and a bunch of rag tag Tennesseans kicked butt on the British during the War of 1812.
 
This is a national park and we were greeted by a park ranger who explained the history behind the battlefield which was a  working plantation..
 

 
 
The plantation house was built several decades after the war. Unfortunately there was no tour of the house.
 
The cruise lasted a little over 2 hours. 
 
After we docked back in town, happy hour was fast approaching which meant a return to the Crescent City Brewhouse
 

 
 
This time I decided to go with the Weiss Beer
 

 
Which had a fruity clove- banana undertone .
 
Dinnertime was fast approaching which meant a visit to

The Gumbo House
 

 
I had the option of sitting inside or in the outdoor courtyard. Since the temp's were in the mid 60's all day and even at dusk was still at least 60 degrees, I opted for the outdoor courtyard.
 
I began with a cup  of the seafood gumbo
 

 
My first thoughts were "where is the seafood"? . It wasn't one of the better cups of gumbo I've had, I hope the main course will be better.
 
For my main course I ordered the Creole Combination Platter which included Red Beans and Rice, Shrimp Creole and Jambalaya
 

 
This was by far one of the most disgusting meals I ever had.  Besides the fact that I could not tell where the shrimp creole began and where the red beans and rice ended, nor could I tell the difference when I tasted this soupy horrendous disaster but what I think was Jambalaya in the middle was just as bland and nasty. There was no discernable flavor other than blandness. When I thought of adding hot sauce to see if it would enhance the meal-instead  the entire meal competely took on the flavor of Louisiana Hot Sauce. I was horribly disappointed.
The Gumbo Shop wasn't "The Bomb" , it  "BOMBED" It flat out sucked. I felt horribly cheated at this flat out TOURIST TRAP. Not only was this the nastiest meal of the trip- it was the ONLY bomb on the entire trip.

I can assure you which list this will end up at the end of 2012. 
 
What to do- what to do.   I was still hungry  I would find me a good dish of shrimp creole before leaving New Orleans and I knew just where to go. Mothers
Although I've never had their shrimp creole before, I just knew it would be good- I ordered a bowl- nothing more, nothing less.
 

 
And my assumptions were right on the money. This is what  a bowl of Shrimp Creole is all about- Thick, Spicy, slightly sweet  and chock full of shrimp
 
Returning to Bourbon Street, I continued to walk down the most famous street in the City that Care Forgot.
 

 
Enjoying once again the sites and sounds
 

 
I returned to The Tropical Isle as I was under the impression that there would be a new Zydeco band playing that evening. Imagine to my surprise that the same band, The Can't Hardly Play Boys that was there the evening before was back again. I had no problem with that. I grabbed an Abita, sat down and enjoyed a set.
 

 

 
As I was walking Bourbon Street back to my hotel,  I have to bring up what Paul previously mentioned. You never know what you're going to see in New Orleans...
 
Well....here is my what the "frig"
 
?
 
Now I know what they mean by bone......oh forget it!!!,,,,,
 
Much more to come....
 
(no flash photos in chapter 2)
post edited by wanderingjew - 2012/02/26 20:28:04
sk bob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/26 22:24:11
nice trip WJ.
 great photos also
I haven't been to The Big Easy since the Worlds Fair was there in 1984.
do they still have Worlds Fairs any more?
how did the Royal Street Gum Scrappers sound?
my first encounter ever on Bourbon ST. was with a little kid that said to me "hey mister. I bet you a dollar I can tell where you got those shoes" I said OK I'll bet,he said"you got those shoes on Bourbon ST. in New Orleans"
he was right. I GOT them on Bourbon ST., but I BOUGHT them in NYC.
I gave the kid a buck.
scammers everywhere.
ayersian
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/26 23:01:59
WJ, thank you so much for finding my cousin!  My aunt always told him he could never make any money playing the washboard, yet there he is.
 
I'm surprised you liked Mother's so much.  That's one of the only RF-reviewed places downtown that we thought was just so-so.  Looks like it's worth a revisit!    Chris
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/26 23:03:12
Some great looking food here!!!!!
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/26 23:26:31
Great, great report, Dale!  Love the mix of food, music and culture.  Can't wait to see the rest!
At first I didn't get the whole "what the frig" element of your photo.  I mean yeah, skull masks are kinda weird, but it IS NOLA, then I looked in a southerly direction...  Some things you just can't unsee.  Thanks, WJ!
Louis
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/27 09:10:56
I'm enjoying this very much, Dale.  I like the report's alternating focus between the food and the environment.  It gives a good sense of the overall atmosphere of the trip.  I'm also glad to see that you are as finicky about finding the perfect cup of coffee as I am.
post edited by Louis - 2012/02/27 09:13:00
kland01s
Filet Mignon
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/27 09:22:21
Sorry you had a bad meal at the Gumbo Shop, we enjoyed ours there but that was 10 years ago.
Davydd
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/27 10:48:33
wanderingjew

Well....here is my what the "frig"

?

Now I know what they mean by bone......oh forget it!!!,,,,,

Much more to come....

 
Dale,
Great report as usual. You missed this guy?

MiamiDon
Filet Mignon
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/27 18:14:03
The Gumbo Shop is sort of "industrial gumbo.". I'm not surprised at your reaction. It literally is a,"tourist trap," in my opinion.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/27 19:40:57
SK Bob
 
The Royal Street Gum Scrapers  kind of sound like this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja5XLLY_wfU
 
Is this considered "skiffle"?
 
Chris
 
Perhaps next time your long lost cousin should get together with Chi Town Diner's  scruffier long lost cousin . The washboard and string bass should be a nice combo
 

 
What did you have at Mother's that you didn't care for?  Everything I had was just stellar. But then again it was just the basics- Jambalaya, Shrimp Creole, Red Beans and Rice- but that Ferdi Special was just completely over the top.
 
Lee
 
You forgot to mention Bubba Gumps
 
Don
 
Your jumping the gun on the Beignets- wait till chapter 3- Who do you think I am- Chi Town Diner or Buffetbuster?
 
Kland01s
 
Do you remember what you had at the Gumbo Shop? As I said the Gumbo itself wasn't bad- perhaps I should have just stuck to that and gone elsewhere for dinner.
 
Billyboy
 
I too had to do a double take- I did give the boner a buck for taking his photo
 
Mr Hoffman, I hope you ordered your hash browns smothered covered and what ever else they do with it? 
 
Louis
 
Believe it or not it took me a week before I found a decent cup of coffee but from then on - the coffee was stellar.
 
Davydd
 
That's not you is it? 
 
Ok, 
 
I'll probably do chapter 3 tomorrow evening. It's monday evening and I'm tired- I started work extra early this morning at 6:30pm.
Greymo
Filet Mignon
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/27 19:50:29
Wow!  You are doing such a great job of capturing New Orleans!  This is one of my top three favorite cities in the USA.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 06:53:28
Thanks Greymo
New Orleans is probably in my top 5....
 
I think in no particular order my top 5 are
Kansas City
Charleston SC
New Orleans
Austin
San Francisco
 
 
kland01s
Filet Mignon
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 09:39:26
Dale, we went to the Gumbo Shop for lunch (we had 4 meals that day... too many to choose from!) and just had a bowl of house gumbo each. Remember, this was 10 years ago! I'd love to go again, there are so many new places! Thanks for taking us there!
Slim Strummer
Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 10:50:43
Utterly fantastic.  Makes me want to go back.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 11:36:57
wanderingjew

Thanks Greymo
New Orleans is probably in my top 5....
I think in no particular order my top 5 are
Kansas City
Charleston SC
New Orleans
Austin
San Francisco

 
Our lists are very similar, although I would probably replace New Orleans with Memphis and find a way to slip Santa Fe or San Diego in there somewhere. 

buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 11:41:16
Sorry to read about the awful meal at Gumbo Shop.  That plate of food really did not look appetizing at all.  So, how does it rate on your Harold's BBQ/Joe Rogers Chili scale? ( A side note:, I very much liked my meal at Joe Rogers.)
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 14:18:08
WJ
 
That meal at the Gumbo shop did look horribly disgusting, sorry you had to endure such disgust in a city with SO MUCH to offer.
 
My top 5 Cities (No Particular Order)
 
NOLA
Nashville
KC
Austin
Boston (hey the north has to win once in a while)
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 18:37:25
Slim,
 
Glad to see you back. Are you going to join us for our big New England event this May in Worcester?
 
Buffetbuster
 
Santa Fe/Albuquerque would certainly make my top 10.  Memphis would come close. San Diego is a great roadfood town. That would certainly make  my top 20 if not top 15.  
 
Just to compare The Gumbo Shop with the other places you mentioned.
 
Harold's left me feeling nauseous
Joe Rogers left me feeling queasy
The Gumbo Shop left me feeling cheated and pissed off.
BTW The Irondale Cafe didn't do me any favors  when I visited in 2005- that just left my stomach tied up in knots.
 
 
CK
 
Boston? Maybe because its so close I just take it for granted.
 
 
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 19:56:54
Chapter 3  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jcr9_dCOusk
(yes chapter 3's theme is a youtube video)
Thursday February 9
 
 
What a better way to start the morning by walking to the French Market and have the classic N'awlins breakfast at
 
Cafe Du Monde
 

 
\
 
 

I wish I could say the Cafe Au Lait has flavor but it doesn't remind me of anything more than warm steamed milk. The beignets from recall are a vast improvement over the ones I had at Cafe Beignet 7 years ago. Certainly larger, warm and fresh, however they taste like RI style doughboys to me although I'll admit I had to dump a good load of sugar off those bad boys.
 
After breakfast I tried to find real coffee at Community Coffee- a Louisiana only Chain. Certainly a vast improvement over Royal Blend but it still didn't wow me.
 
Thursday Morning I decided to do something that I was going to do on my last visit to New Orleans but I ended up touring the Cabildo instead.
 

 
A walking tour of St Louis Cemetery No 1.
 
The guide was very knowledgable.
 
As you know they bury their dead above ground in New Orleans. Due to being below sea level, it would be somewhat disturbing to find Uncle Harry floating around the river after he died of course.
 

 
 

 
The tour guide explained how they would bury people one on top of the other and that they would need to remove the caskets, re-arrange the bones and then rebury the dead. 


 
As you can see, some of the tombs are in good condition and some not so much.
 

 
This is New Orleans oldest cemetery.
 

 
This is the tomb of Marie Laveau the famous voodoo priestess. She lived to be 98 years old-
 
Speaking of voodoo (hence the theme of this chapter)
Our tour guide dropped us off- yes she literally dropped us off and left us at the Voodoo Temple.
 

 
 
Normally I would say the inside of the temple is indescribable but since it was permissible to take photos- here you go
 

 
That's the voodoo priestess on the far right.
 

 
and there she is on the far left.
 

 
I think that tapestry on the right has been visiting me in my dreams every night since.
 
Interestingly enough, the voodoo priestess noticed I was not married- of course I was alone and  don't have a wedding ring- I told her I was waiting for Sandra Bullock (or at least a look alike) she replied "done"
I guess I have to wait and see now.
 
Afterwards, I walked all the way to the uptown street car that goes up St Charles to make my lunch stop.
Casamento's Restaurant
 

 
The first place I actually hit with a line- There were only two parties ahead of me but it was a good 20-25 minute wait for a table.
Meanwhile I got some good photos of the oyster plate after they were freshly shucked
 

 
Finally my table was available
 
I started out with what is possibly the best gumbo on the entire trip.
 

 
and then continue to thoroughly enjoy this fantastic half an oyster loaf
 

 
Dresses with lettuce and tomato, adding just a touch of hot sauce put this sandwich right over the top- probably one of my favorite stops in New Orleans.
 
There's a reason why I ordered "just half a loaf"
 
Buffetbuster suggested my next stop as a must.
Walking distance (well for me it was) from Casamentos I arrive and guess what
 

 
Travelin Manned 
seasonal only
 
Ok, I'll just walk over to my next intended stop- it too really isn't too far away...
 

 
oh no! Two in a row- and today IS Thursday!
 
Now I need to console myself- a return to the french quarter and Mothers?
As I'm walking back to St Charles Avenue to catch the street car- look what grabbed my attention.
 

 
The Creole Creamery
I literally did a double take- I walked in and the young lady said that the ice cream is made right on the premises. 
They had some really cool flavors, a mexican chocolate made with real cajun spices, a peanut ice cream made with sam adams beer and spicy peanuts- I tried a bite and those peanuts were quite spicy- however this is what I went with
 

 
A Chocwork Orange- the best of both worlds- 
Ben and Jerrys used to have a very similar flavor over 20 years ago, however the Creole Creamery puts Ben and Jerry's to shame.
 
This was probably the best ice cream I've had this year, last year and possibly even the year before. Dare I say better than Ted and Wally's, The Daily Scoop, The Java Cow? If not better then just as good.
 
For those who are heading to New Orleans you would be doing yourself a great disservice by not checking the Creole Creamery out
Here is their website.
http://www.creolecreamery.com/
 
After my coma induced ice cream, I took the slow creaky street car back to downtown but not before I took a photo of one of these find mansions lining St Charles Avenue
 

 
Oh, and yes, I still decided to console myself from being Travelin Manned twice with a return to Mother's
and a late afternoon snack- 
 

 
A small bowl of Jambalaya-the best on the trip! (for those who are keeping tabs, this is now my third visit to Mothers on this trip)
 
After resting up for a few hours back at my hotel after strolling around all day, I decided one can not leave New Orleans without one of two drinks. I've never been a fan of the overly sweet hurricane. So I headed over to the French Market Cafe for a hand made (not machine made) Banana Daiquiri
 

 
 
And down to the maraschino-what a fine Daiquiri it was.
 
Afterwards, I decided on a late dinner at Tujagues. 
This is a multi course meal. And when I entered, I looked around, and thought wow, I thought the Bon Ton was dark- it was even darker here- for the first time the remaining photos are all flash photos. I paired my meal with the local brew-Abita
 
I began with the shrimp remoulade
 

 
Al the Mayor couldn't have described it better- like a shrimp cocktail that was accidentally dumped onto the salad. Actually it was pretty good.
I moved on to an interesting but solid gumbo
 

 
but they forgot to take the crab legs out!
 
And then had the interesting brisket in creole sauce
 

 
fork tender - but it should really be called brisket in horseradish drippings.
 
The killer (and I mean this in a good way) was the main course- the Chicken Bon Femme
 

 
What seemed like half a bird nestled with thin sliced fried potatoes and loaded (and I mean loaded) with garlic, parsley and lord knows what else. This was complete sensory overload
 
Dessert was inconsequential
 

 
a very ordinary bread pudding (compared to the other two I had) in Caramel Sauce. 
 
This was certainly a fine meal even with the ordinary dessert.
 
Afterwards, I walked Bourbon Street one last time and returned to my hotel as tomorrow will be my last morning in New Orleans before venturing to other points around the south.
 
More to come later in the week.
Ralph Melton
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 22:45:55
You tempt me to return to Mother's. (The Ferdi special I had in 2010 was unimpressive.)
Louis
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 22:54:46
I'm really enjoying this report!  I think I would have haunted the Creole Creamery until I had tried everything that had intrigued me.  Those flavors sound great!
 
will_work_4_bbq
Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 06:58:40
What a great report!  And those oysters......mmmmm!!!
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 08:58:58
You've gone to Mother's enough to qualify as an adopted son!
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 10:20:06
Another great report Dale.  I love New Orleans, it's my favorite "food city".  When the plane lands I go straight to Acme for oysters then to Mother's for a "John G plus debris" or just an oyster po' boy.  I also like Olde N'awlens Cookery where they serve a killer Cajun prime rib and really good fish. 
If the 2013 Glee Club meets in Mobile, we are for sure going to NOLA for a few days! 
Rusty246
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 10:42:00
How were the raw oysters, salty or not so much?  The only time I had the oysters there they had no salt what so ever, but they were graham cracker sized!  I've been eating appalachiacola oysters here for 3 days, they are somewhat small but VERY salty.  I love this trip report wishing I could reach into the screen and pull off each item I'd like to be eating right now!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 11:29:57
Hmmm, the opinions on Mother's seems to be fairly split.  In my three visits there, the food has always been excellent!
 
Sorry about leading you to a closed restaurant like that.  Too bad, becuase you would have enjoyed.  Of course, you more than made up for it at Creole Creamery.
 
The photos all look really good.  And as much as I am enjoying the New Orleans part of your trip, I am even more eagerly awaiting the MS/AL/AR legs of the trip.
Greymo
Filet Mignon
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 12:03:42
I, for one never havecared for Mothers.  It was never as great as I had expected.  I went there twice and thought the same both times.  Maybe,  I just ordered the wrong things.
BuddyRoadhouse
Filet Mignon
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 13:55:13
We made Mother's our last stop before leaving NOLA.  It was an excellent goodbye kiss from the Crescent City.  We split a Ferdi Special, a cup of Jambalaya, and a cup of shrimp etouffe.  We were very happy when we left.
 
Buddy
Root-Beer Man
Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 16:49:46
Glad you got to experience the Creole Creamery. We stopped in there on our last foray to NOLA and were astounded by how good their ice creams were. I am a huge fan of their Coffee ice cream. May have to get back there again this year.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 17:20:29
Another Outstanding report, Dale.
Thanks for sharing with us.  I can already taste the Oysters at next years Glee Club sessions.
AL
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 17:20:39
Another Outstanding report, Dale.
Thanks for sharing with us.  I can already taste the Oysters at next years Glee Club sessions.
AL
joerogo
Filet Mignon
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 18:49:47
I have only had breakfast at Mother's, and let me tell you, it was one Mother of a meal!


 
The biscuits, the ham the debris, all outstanding.  Did I mention the biscuits?
 
WJ, Nice report.  Good go to guide for future visits.
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 20:52:36
Oh, my gosh, Dale!This is what Roadfood is all about!
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/01 18:16:27
Ralph
 
I think it was the gravy that won me over with the Ferdi Special- simply intoxicating
 
Foodbme
 
Every "Mothers" should have an adopted son- stay tuned for the next chapter for my last visit
 
Rusty246
 
I didn't have the raw oysters- I just snapped a quick photo right after they were shucked and ready to be served. They do look good
 
Buffetbuster
 
I don't blame you- I blame Travelin Man
 
Louis and Root beer Man
 
The Creole Creamery was definitely the top unexpected find of the trip.
 
joerogo
 
I must ask what you were doing in a restaurant that doesn't serve Italian Food ?- I'm shocked!, completely shocked I tell you!
 
Ann
 
ab-so-freakin-lutely
 
Everyone else- thanks
 
I'm going to continue with chapter 4 later this evening before I suspend for the weekend (I haven't even uploaded all of my photos yet!)
 
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/01 18:58:52
WJ
 
I still hear the voodoo drums echoing now and then from my time in Haiti.  The first day we got into port au prince that night at dark the drums started beating and didnt stop until about 5am.  A very rythmic/hipnotic beat.  In the morning we asked what the drums were, and were told that a voodoo doc and priestess lived up the hill from where we were staying.
 
I love that cemetary, many famous and not so famous people buried there.  It is a cool place to wander around.
 
The Creole Creamery sounds wonderful.  I loved you ice cream pick.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/01 19:52:19
Chapter 4- The Perfect Roadfood Day
Friday February 10
 
If I were to pinpoint the best roadfood day of the trip- today was it.
 
Waking up to overcast skies, I would be leaving New Orleans after breakfast.
 
What a better way to say goodbye to NOLA than a 4th visit to- you guessed it!
 
Mothers!
 
Beginning my meal with a nice-big -dense- leaden - warm biscuit
 

 
I moved on to a nice mess of eggs, debris and gravy and grits
 

 
Again, like I noted  to Ralph Melton it's the gravy that makes the meal- In addition, the grits, were solidly firm and buttery.
 
Afterwards I walked over to PJ's Coffee House- a New Orleans chain. The coffee reminded me alot of Starbucks. Which isn't a bad thing. Probably the best I had in NOLA but it still didn't grab me.
 
After checking out of my hotel, I took the shuttle back to the airport. The shuttle driver actually pointed out some areas that were hard hit by Katrina- the first time I noticed the devestation that hit the city back in 2005.
 
I arrived in Birmingham AL in the early afternoon, greeted by gray skies and occasional passing sprinkles. After rentng my car, I knew where I was heading..
 

 
Miss Myra's Pit Bar-B-Q in suburban Vestavia Hills
 
I knew I was in store for something good when I could smell the smoke in the parking lot
And being greeted by this bunch of happily masochistic smiling pigs solidified my hunch.
 

 
 
 

 
 
I wasn't coming here for pig though. I wanted BBQ Chicken accompanied by some Northern Bama White BBQ Sauce.
 

 
 

 
The chicken was outstanding. Smoke permeating the taut skin into the tender meat. The white sauce had a vingegary- mayo flavor and paired well with the bbq.  It blew Big Bob Gibson's right out of the water.  Even the deviled eggs and the beans were really good- These weren't bbq beans- these were mildly sweet, almost reminscent of Boston baked beans.  You think it could get better than this?
 

 
The nanner pudding was orgasmically amazing. Remarkably similar to that served at The Galax Smokehouse in Galax VA 
 
Miss Myra's was a fantastic find for those stopping in or passing through Birmingham you would be doing yourself a disservice by not checking it out.. Thanks to Heartbreak Soup  for confirming their excellence.
 
After lunch, I had some time to kill before my drive to points west.
 
During my last visit to Birmingham, I went to visit Vulcan
 

 
Unfortunately during my last visit, it was on a Sunday and I arrived too early, before the monument opened
 
This time, they were open. although I was disappointed that the staircase was being renovated and that I would have to ....GASP...take  the elevator..... There is a small museum next door that celebrates the Magic City's history of mining. 
 
I also admired the view of downtown Birmingham in the distance.
 

 
This was also the perfect opportunity to check the potential of my zoom on my new camera.
 

 
more...
 

 
 
even more!!!!!
 
 

 
 
This wasn't even at full zoom!
 
and yes, all of these photos were taken from the ground.
 
I wanted to leave Birmingham before friday evening rush hour hit.
 
The drive to Meridian MS took just over two hours. Unfortunately when I arrived I had to make an unscheduled stop at the local Mall to buy a sweat shirt- You see, before left, I checked the weather and it seems that all the places I was going to visit were enjoying temps into the 60's- well they were expecting low's in the upper teens in Mississippi and all I had was my LL Bean spring jacket.
 
Anyway, after taking care of business, I eventually made it to my dinner stop in downtown Meridian.
 

 
Weidmann's 
 
The Stern's wrote about Weidmann's in the pre-website Roadfood books. Unfortunately Weidmann's closed down and changed ownership over the years and word has it the quality had gone down hill considerably. A year ago or so, new owners bought Weidmann's, took control and the word on the web is that they returned the restaurant back to it's original splendor. When I arrived, it was close to 9pm and the place was still hopping.
 
To carry on with tradition each meal begins with an assortment of crackers and a ceramic crock of peanut butter.
 
 

 
Oh, the peanut butter wasn't anything special, but the presentation was pretty unique.
 
I ordered a local brew
 

 
Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan- a nutty brown ale surprisingly made with pecans. 
 
I started out with the Fried Green Tomato appetizer served with comeback dressing
 

 
I'm knit-picking if I said they were just a tad overdone but then again, who wants soggy fried green tomatoes?- they were crunch and the interior was just bursting with flavor and the homemade comeback dressing had a serious kick- this would be my first of three opportunities to enjoy comeback dressing on this trip- and Weidmann's was by far the best.
 
For my main meal- I ordered Redfish Hannah with a side of creole cabbage.
 

 
The sauce that accompanied the Redfish  was creamy and spicy and loaded with shrimp and  mushroom and did not detract from the sweet flavor of the redfish. The creole cabbage was remiscent of the City that I had just left earlier that morning. 
 
I concluded my meal with a decadent slice of black bottom pie.
 

 
Chocolate pie with a graham cracker crust dusted with cocoa.
 
My bill was actually quite reasonable for the outstanding meal that I had.
 

 
When I left, the crowd had thinned out
 

 
But I was glad that I had the opportunity to stop at thiis fine Roadfood establishment.
 
Afterwards I returned to my hotel for a good nights rest- tomorrow I'll have alot of driving to do.
 
Much more to come after the weekend.


post edited by wanderingjew - 2012/03/01 20:17:21
1bbqboy
Filet Mignon
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/01 23:57:45
Cool! What's creole cabbage, Dale?
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/02 08:36:55
The Redfish Hannah sauce looks really good...is it a Weidmann's specialty or do other regional restaurants offer similar versions?
 
I love the color of Miss Myra's chicken, too.  Any idea of the smoke wood?  I'm guessing pecan, hickory, or a combination.
 
Brad
Louis
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/02 09:51:52
Most interesting entree at Miss Myra's!  I have never seen barbecued chicken prepared that way--with white sauce.  I'd like to check this out.
 
I'll have to check out Weidmann's next time I revisit the Jimmie Rodgers Museum in Meridian.
 
kevincad
Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/02 11:55:14
ScreamingChicken

The Redfish Hannah sauce looks really good...is it a Weidmann's specialty or do other regional restaurants offer similar versions?

I love the color of Miss Myra's chicken, too.  Any idea of the smoke wood?  I'm guessing pecan, hickory, or a combination.

Brad


Mixture of hickory and oak.
BuddyRoadhouse
Filet Mignon
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/02 13:59:32
Louis,
White sauce is the predominant BBQ Sauce in parts of Alabama, at least when it comes to chicken.  As Dale describes it, it is a thin vinegar and mayo base with other seasonings brought in to give it depth.  The trouble with it is, as good as it may be served fresh in a restaurant, the white sauce just doesn't bottle very well.  Store bought versions, even the best of them, have an "off" taste, a little like the oil in the mayo has gone a tad rancid.
 
As I say, it's almost exclusively for chicken, no beef or pork, but I think it works pretty well on fish too.
 
Buddy
Louis
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/02 15:49:15
Thanks, Buddy!  I'll take your recommendation and stick to using the sauce on chicken.  I had just never seen this type of sauce before.  It may taste only so-so, but it sounds intriguing!  Undoubtedly a regional taste.
 
Page: 123 > Showing page 1 of 3