New Orleans Nostalgia: My Favorite Restaurants

Food and Spice

Have you ever wondered why the meals served in most restaurants are so bland? The main reason is the lack of proper spices. The food is cooked with salt and pepper, and onions if you are lucky, with fat thrown in for flavor. Add gobs of tomato sauce or gravy and there you have it. I suppose the reason you see hot sauce bottles on restaurant tables is to cater to those epicureans who either want some kick to their meal, or the spice that is missing to add real flavor. If there were a rack of various dry condiments included, you might be able to tweak the flavor up with substantial improvements, to say the least.

My theory is that the majority of meals prepared by uninspired chefs are designed for geriatric taste buds. That is why you will see the chile, or “hot” symbol next to certain entrees. Since the popular method of creating flavor is spicy heat, most people have to settle for meals they have to ‘doctor up’ themselves.

In New Orleans, I believe most of the senior citizens that have lived there for a lifetime, grew up with, and became accustomed to eating, spice-flavored foods. So they are more adept to handle the intense flavor of Cajun, or Creole dishes. Even if the heat exceeds the tolerance level of the majority of senior citizens.

A Typical New Orleans Restaurant

I suppose most tourists hit town looking for the type of meal they will never find back home. Gumbo, Po-Boys, Crawfish Etoufee, Jambalaya, Red Beans and Rice, and other popular culinary delights take the spotlight.

My wife loves the local favorite called the Mufaletta sandwich. It is made from a loaf of bread about 8 to 10 inches in diameter filled with ham and cheese and lots of special olive dressing. It is so big, she can only eat 1/4 of the meal at a sitting. So for her, it is 4 meals in one. My favorite Po-Boys are either the fried oyster with Remoulade Sauce, or the roast beef with that delectable gravy infused into the meat. The trouble is, if you don’t eat it right away, the delicate texture of the famous French bread gets soggy. Still tastes delicious, but gooey just the same.

Our favorite restaurant for these sandwiches is Ponchartrain Po-Boys in Mandeville (across Lake Ponchartrain from New Orleans). They always seem to make their meals perfect and it is a very crowded place at lunch hour. We love to stop there before we make our return trips back to Florida and eat half our meal there and the other half on the way home. Yumm!

The Best Meals I Ever Ate

My favorite restaurant in the French Quarter is Antoines‘. We only went there once with my sister and her husband, but the meal I had there was delectable. I ordered the Chateaux Briand steak and the meat was so full of flavor, I think my taste buds were in hog- heaven. I followed the main course with dessert. That choice happened to be Baked Alaska (Omelette Alaska Antoine), and it was scrumptious. I never went back, because the meal for 4 of us topped the $350. price tab, which was a little heady for my pocket book at the time. Nevertheless, I plan to return some day. My next favorite place to eat is a restaurant called K Paul’s. It was started by the local famous chef, Paul Prudehomme. I took my wife there for our anniversary one year, and it was a delightful experience. When we arrived at our seating, the table cloth was covered with little red and gold hearts prepared special for us and our special day of celebration. Our delicious meal was followed by a Dixieland band that came marching through and played a number at our table. Perfect!

Brunch

The two local favorites for brunch are Brennan’s and The Court Of Two Sisters. Their main claim to fame is the creation of massive buffet-style breakfast dishes that encompass all the best of local fare. The Court’s masterpiece is their Classic Eggs Benedict prepared right before your eyes. Their Hollandaise sauce is to die for. Sitting in the courtyard among the trees with the sunlight peaking through makes for romantic overtones to fill the senses. There are other choices to fill your plate, but I tend to focus on the specific meals that center on the desires of my palate. Fruit salads, grits, peel-and-eat shrimp are other attractions, but they are secondary.

Iconic Cajun Seafood Dish

One of my all time favorite Cajun dishes is Crawfish Bisque. It is prepared by stuffing the Crawfish heads with a mixture of the tail meat and seasonings and cooked in a roux type bisque which is the thick soup-like sauce that the stuffed heads are made with. It is served over rice and is a very messy meal to eat. But man, is it delicious!

My mother made it once with one of her sisters. She said it was so much work, they never did it again. So I was consigned to either find it made fresh at a New Orleans restaurant or buy it frozen in one of the old time local grocery stores.

The store that I favored was called Langenstein’s. It is the oldest full-service grocery store in the area and they make most of their prepared meals onsite. Crawfish Bisque was one of their most popular favorites, and I loved getting the dish there. But they quit making it after Hurricane Katrina because most of their preparations staff left and never came back.

So I now get it at a restaurant called Mike Anderson’s. I can find it at their court-style outlet at the food-court in the Riverwalk alongside the Mississippi River down a bit from the French Quarter. Their version is not as good as I would like, but it is still delicious.

That’s It

I realize there are other good restaurants with delicious food. But the ones I mentioned here are my favorites. If someone else wrote this article, they would have their own choices. It’s a matter of taste.

One dish I left out is Red Beans and Rice. My mom made the perfect example of that Southern Dish, but I have not found a restaurant in the area that matches the taste of hers. They have contests every year for the one with the best flavor, but I have not tasted the results prepared by any of the winners.

So my wife has learned how to make it using an old recipe and it is perfect. That means I don’t have to go searching anymore. She won’t tell me her secrets, but I allude to some of the clues in my blog entitled Red Beans Et Du Rizi.

So that’s it! Another Country Cooking Tale. Hope you found this blog interesting and where to look if you visit the Crescent City.

24 comments

  • Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as
    I provide credit and sources back to your webpage?
    My website is in the exact same area of interest as
    yours and my visitors would truly benefit from some of the information you
    present here. Please let me know if this okay with you.
    Appreciate it!

  • What’s up, all the time i used to check website posts here
    early in the morning, because i enjoy to learn more and more.

  • What’s up it’s me, I am also visiting this site daily, this website is genuinely good and the users are really sharing nice thoughts.

  • Greetings from Florida! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the information you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get
    home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded
    on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..

    Anyhow, great site!

  • hi!,I like your writing so much! proportion we keep up a correspondence extra approximately
    your post on AOL? I require a specialist on this space to resolve my problem.

    Maybe that is you! Looking forward to peer you.

  • I have read so many posts on the topic of the blogger lovers however
    this article is truly a good article, keep it up.

  • Your means of telling all in this paragraph is truly fastidious,
    all can easily understand it, Thanks a lot.

  • What’s up to all, it’s in fact a good for me to
    visit this website, it consists of useful Information.

  • Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really recognize what you’re talking approximately!
    Bookmarked. Please additionally seek advice from my web site =).
    We will have a hyperlink change arrangement among us

  • Hey there would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re
    utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different web browsers and I
    must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good
    hosting provider at a reasonable price? Thanks,
    I appreciate it!

  • Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post
    reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept
    talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.

    Many thanks for sharing!

  • This is very fascinating, You’re an excessively skilled blogger.

    I have joined your rss feed and look forward to looking for extra of your great post.
    Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  • Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something
    enlightening to read? natalielise pof

  • Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my
    newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience
    with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward
    to your new updates. plenty of fish natalielise

  • This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post.
    Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!
    pof natalielise

  • Your style is very unique in comparison to other
    people I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting
    when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book
    mark this page.

  • Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to
    your blog? My blog is in the exact same niche as yours and my users would truly benefit from
    some of the information you present here. Please
    let me know if this okay with you. Thank you!

  • Hi friends, pleasant paragraph and good arguments commented here, I am actually enjoying by
    these.

  • Great goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff
    previous to and you’re just too fantastic.

    I actually like what you have acquired here, really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say
    it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep
    it wise. I can’t wait to read much more from you.
    This is actually a great website.

  • Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your website,
    how could i subscribe for a weblog website? The account helped me
    a acceptable deal. I were a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided brilliant clear
    idea

  • Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact used to be a
    leisure account it. Glance advanced to far added agreeable from you!
    By the way, how could we keep up a correspondence?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *