I am debating about what to post! I’ve been to many great places lately: Toronto, New Orleans and next I will be in Las Vegas, Dallas, Rhode Island and New York City. So I don’t have a lot of time in my kitchen but I’m still enjoying good food. If you are following me on Instagram or my Facebook page (link), you probably already know about a few places 😉
The Toronto trip was in early October, but I just came back from New Orleans, so I think I”d rather let New Orleans cut in line this time when my memory is still fresh.
I’ve been to New Orleans many times and never miss the chance to go there when the opportunity presents itself. I can easily say that NOLA is officially my second favorite city in the US. Oh oh…do not trying to guess which city is my most favorite. I’m afraid that you would easily guess it right. I will visit that city right after Thanksgiving and you will know for certain then. (Shoot, I already revealed that it’s not my home base, Manhattan Beach or Los Angeles!)
Since I’d already been to NOLA many times before and did all the French Quarter, Jackson Square, Cafe du Monde and the whole nine yards, this time I wanted to do it differently. I wanted to explore all the local favorites instead of staying in town.
With the help of my hero, Chef Markvs, who was born and raised there in the city of New Orleans and not only that, he’s worked as a chef at many of the restaurants there. He gave me a comprehensive list of restaurants to visit on my five-day trip.
Wait…I can only eat two meals a day, or three meals max! What will I do in between meals is another interesting question. If I don’t want to walk around the French Quarter, NOLA has many other things to offer, but I’d already done most of them. There was one thing I did a long time ago, nearly 14 years ago, which was a tour of the plantations along the Mississippi River. That was so interesting. I set out to do it again on this trip, since I had to rent a car to go to places around town to eat anyway. I can kill two birds (or more) with one stone.
Wait…did I leave out the important part of this trip? Halloween! I am going to be in New Orleans for Halloween! Yikes, this city is spooky year round, do they really need Halloween? I guess there should be a way for the kids there to get their whole year supply of candies, of course, and beyond that, the citizens LOVE a party (No, we really can’t tell that about you guys at all…)
The winner restaurant this trip is called Jacques-Imo’s. The restaurant has this tag line advertising their restaurant, right underneath their name:
Yet, they do not take reservations for parties under 5 people, and people are willing to wait hours for a table! The first night we went at 9pm and got a table within ten minutes. We went there again with a group because we loved it so much. We strolled in after 8:30pm with our group of five and they told us it would be 90 minutes, but we got a table in about half that.
8324 Oak Street, New Orleans, LA (Up Town)
Monday – Thursday: 5pm to 10pm
Friday and Saturday: 5pm to 10:30pm
HOW: Walk-in only unless you have party of five of more then you can call to make a reservation (weeks in advance, please)
WHO: Jacques Leonardi and his wife Amelia
WHAT: They will bring the best corn bread to you. This is how they look like. Do not let this go to waste. They are so good. The outside was so crispy. My husband thought they were fried.
Shrimp and alligator sausage cheesecake is a must. This is a savory appetizer that you shouldn’t miss. It’s like shrimp bisque married an andouille sausage quiche and had shrimp and alligator sausage cheesecake as their first-born…LOL…It just tasted like the bisque in a denser form. You have to try it for yourself.
Deep-fried roast beef Po-boy with gravy. This is another very interesting dish. It’s like a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich on ecstasy!
Fried grits with white corn and tasso. Another delicious dish that I never tasted anywhere else.
Shrimp Étouffée with rice
Blackened Lamb Sirloin
Rack of lamb with creole mustard sauce and red flannel hash
Along with the “Lousy Food” that I could eat again for the second, third or forth round, the decoration is spectacular.
Paintings on the wall, murals and interesting choice of chairs and tables.
They are not afraid to put customers on a pickup truck bed. I guess if you wouldn’t mind getting your picture taken just like these two cuties that I asked to take theirs.
Do you know the “New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp”? The one that has no ketchup or horseradish but is soaked in flavorful, buttery but spicy sauce, comes with the head and shell still on and is served with a baguette. That’s what I’m talking about. The white Gulf shrimp from Louisiana are so sweet and smooth with the unique sauce that I love to dip the baguette in.
Have you ever wondered who originally thought of these? And Where do NOLA residents go to eat BBQ shrimp when they don’t cook them at home? The answer is Pascal’s Manale, the New Orleans legacy.
WHERE: Pascal’s Manale Restaurant
1838 Napoleon Ave., New Orleans, LA (Milan)
Monday – Friday 11:30am – 9:00pm
Saturday 5:00pm – 10:00pm ISH
HOW: Reservation on the website which is through OpenTable or Call
Fresh oysters (I’ve heard that the Oyster Rockefeller and Oysters Bienville are good but I don’t want my oysters cooked)
Crabmeat & Scallops over pasta
I’m not showing the fresh oyster on this post 😉
The next post already up “Off the Beaten Path Part II: Oyster Bars and Beignet” you will get to see PLENTY of them!