Well, I survived it -- 48 hours in New Orleans while sticking (mostly) to my WW plan. Thanks to all who offered such great suggestions! It turned out to be easier than thought it would be, and I did not feel deprived or tortured in the least.
Dinner #1 was at Luke. Our table shared the charcuterie plate, which had some really excellent elements, and by forgoing the bread and sticking to small bites of the leaner proteins and the pickled items I did OK. I also had a half dozen oysters with some really terrific horseradish that makes one feel virtuous and cleansed.For my entree I had the gulf fish special, which was a black drum -- I had them go very light on the meuniere sauce and got extra veggies on the side. The fish was exquisitely fresh and delicious, and the vegetables were a joy, rather than a chore.
Breakfast the next morning was at the hotel -- Cafe on the Square, on the corner of St. Charles and Poydras -- a really quite good hotel restaurant, where I had no problem customizing a protein and fruit heavy breakfast of an excellent crawfish omelette and bowl of fruit salad. They also had steel cut oatmeal and yogurt with local honey, so I could easily have eaten very well here for many days and not suffered from limited options. Staff was great about substitutions and omissions.
For lunch I had to take a first time visitor for Po' Boys, and that's where I pretty much gave up all pretensions of staying on plan. We went to Johnny's, where the line was long, the bachelorette parties obnoxious, but the fried oyster po'boys, dressed, were quite good. It wouldn't have been my first choice, but before introducing him to Killer Po'Boys, I thought he should sample a classic. You can get a half Po'Boy and a bowl of gumbo combo here, so it's a good way to get a taste of both without overloading too badly. I'd never had their gumbo and was impressed with the depth of flavor and the succulence of the shrimp.
I made it through the afternoon, and a sweaty wade through an overpacked FQ while I was playing tour guide, without succumbing to beignets. By the time we made it back to the hotel, we had walked about 4 miles in total, so the Po'Boy damage was somewhat minimized.
That evening we went to a show at the Chickie Wah Wah and that's where we stumbled into the unexpected food highlight of our trip: the Blue Oak BBQ annex, where you order at the window and they deliver your food to you inside the club.
It's easy to order a selection of things to share so it's possible to piece together a meal that satisfies all of your tastebuds without overindulging. The Gulf Shrimp Tacos were absolutely the star of the evening -- perfectly fried shrimp with a tangy glaze, beautifully crisped (and I believe made in-house) corn tortillas and some great ginger-sesame coleslaw. I also sampled the smoked wings which were possibly a bit on the dry side, but extremely flavorful. I had a couple of bites of pulled pork, and a wasabi deviled egg -- who can't appreciate the notion of a deviled-egg-du-jour? Really great food out of a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. And a great room for live music!
Brunch the next morning consisted of a giant fruit salad and a dozen oysters from Acme before we had to head back home. Breakfast of champions!
Bottom Line: I didn't gain any weight. I didn't lose any either, BUT I had a great time, did not feel at all deprived of anything, had at least a taste of everything that appealed to me, including a few cocktails, and did not have to jump through a million hoops while being the annoying "I can't eat that" person of the group. I walked a total of about 9 miles in 48 hours (put in some treadmill time at the hotel gym each morning), sweated about an ocean's worth, and fell completely great about the whole thing.
So even though I didn't use many of the options I had researched, and that you all had so kindly suggested, knowing that I had them in my back pocket was really comforting. There is nothing worse when you're traveling than that feeling of having settled for a meal that wasn't really what you wanted, was far fattier, carbier, and low-nutrient, just because you were crazy hungry and couldn't think of other options. When that happens it tends to make you feel like you've already gone over the cliff, so you might as well keep falling. This time, wherever I went, I knew of at least 2 great and healthy food options within a few blocks that would not decimate my Points budget, so I felt well-armed and prepared.
Thank you all for your help!! We're due to go back a couple more times this year, and I feel super-confident that it will go well.