08 April 2008

New Orleans, Part II

We wanted a hearty breakfast and found ourselves at Orleans Cafe, attracted by the gentleman soliciting guests out front. The buffet caught our attention first but except for grits and fruit, it was the standard scrambled eggs, pancakes, and bacon. I opted for some kind of omelette with seafood and tomato sauce inside. I can't get all the New Orleans food straight. I guess it was an etouffee omelette? Anyway, seafood for breakfast: definitely a first, but I was happy. The breakfast was a little greasy but it did the job. The omelette also came with some yummy fried potatoes. One friend got Eggs Benedict and I can't remember what the others got except I think they each had some grits, which they loved.

We went to Central Grocery for muffuletas for lunch. It was awesome. I now understand the muffuleta obsession. Besides that great olive spread, there was salami and other meats and provolone. A friend and I split a half-sandwich along with some Zapp's Cajun Crawtator potato chips, which tasted like BBQ but spicier.

Later that day I met some friends for beignets at the Cafe Du Monde at the Riverwalk Marketplace. Not the "real" Cafe Du Monde unfortunately, but still good. And located in an isolated corner of this cheesy mall, right on the river. (Sidenote: This mall is owned by General Growth Properties, the same company that owns Ala Moana and Ward. Made me wonder if their thing is malls with heavy tourist elements.) As my friend Jill said, beignets are like malasadas. A new friend taught us the secret to eating them without getting powdered sugar all over: don't exhale. Unfortunately, I didn't get to try the chicory this time.

A group of decided it'd be nice to have one fancy meal. We called to make reservations for Emeril's Nola and couldn't get in until 9:30. Went ahead with it anyway. I'm generally opposed to Emeril. I hate his show. I heard the Food Network had to give him cooking classes. This restaurant, however, was awesome. It's got an elevator in the middle, which took us up to the third floor. I think we had two waiters and they were fun and friendly. They could probably tell this was a splurge for us because they asked us if we wanted bottled or ice water and told us we could have as much bread as we wanted. The bottled or ice water was nice though--you could be like, "No, it's not regular water; it's ICE water." They had three kinds of bread: jalapeno cornbread, onion bread, and french bread. Of course we went for the cornbread.

The absolute best thing was the bourbon mashed sweet potatoes that came with the buttermilk fried chicken. The potatoes must've been carmelized or something because they were the best thing ever! I'm not sure if I tried the fried chicken--I was eating off my friends' food. The sweet potato ice cream we had for dessert was also a standout. The chocolate pecan pie it came with was less impressive in my view, although others seemed to like it.

We also ordered shrimp remoulade with friend green tomatoes. The remoulade had creole mustard in it and I think that gives me heartburn, although it was very very good. I also had roast chicken gumbo and the arugula salad that were pretty basic, but still good. As always, I was trying to get some veggies in.

I should also say that the portions were huge! Rather than order an entree, I ordered an appetizer, salad, and soup because I was worried about small portions. I think I could've ordered just two and been great.


At 7:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sandwich looks gorgeous! And yay for non-snobby service in a fancy restaurant! Mmm, Cajun food...

At 8:57 AM , Blogger archi.monkey said...

yes, that sandwich looks tasty! i shouldn't read your blog in the morning if i haven't had breakfast. makes me hungry. ugh.


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