Another well fed librarian who visited NO last week for the ALA Convention. Everywhere we went we were warmly greeted by grateful NO residents( hotel staff, cab drivers, streetcar drivers, restaurant staff-you name it!) Thanks to chowhounder info we really made our way around the city with fabuluous food finds. Some of our highlights:
Napolean House- Great atmosphere- cool and dark environment on a hot & humid first day. Loved the delicious muffulatta and tried the Pimm's Cup which was very refreshing ( and not as sweet as I expected).
Ralph's On the Park- Thanks to this site I made a reservation for the early bird special- $30 for 3 courses plus glass of wine. What a great deal and the food was wonderful. We started with the turtle soup (incredibly rich & flavorful) and shrimp remoulade. Finished with the white chocolate bread pudding which was the best bread pudding tasted this week-fluffy and light with pistachio sauce and fresh whipped cream. Service was very warm and gracious. Maitre d came by for a chat and thanked us for making the trip over to City Park (and mentioned his love of libraries!)
NOLA for Saturday Lunch- Fantastic! The flavors and presentation of each plate was beyond expectation. We were piggies and had to have a taste of each bread selection- jalapeno corn, rosemary foccacia, and mini french breads. The shrimp & grits ( with rich creamy cheese sauce) was declared the best dish ever by dining companion. I had the bbq pulled pork panini with tangy cole slaw, hush puppies, and potato salad. Had to have dessert but with a full stomach shared the chocolate bourbon pecan pie with sweet potato ice cream. Yummmmmy.
Cafe du Monde- Can't try it just once...twice...
Palace Cafe-Place was packed on a Saturday night but staff still found us a place near the bar to do appetizers and dessert. Tried the creamy crabmeat cheesecake with pecan crust, the fried green tomatoes with shrimp (ran out of crawfish), and creole tomato salad- after tasting those flavorful tomatoes- can't wait for tomatoes to ripen soon in my garden.Shared a slice of white chocolate bread pudding. Beautiful setting in the old Werlein Music building on Canal.
Muriels on Jackson Square- Colorful and fun setting with great window views. The 3 course pre fixed is a great deal. Bread offering was disappointing (flavorless and dry) but things picked up after that. First course selections were the beet & goat cheese salad with a tangy dressing and a delicious crepe with goat cheese appetizer (recommended by the waiter to a diner who doesn't like goat cheese- he doesn't either- but said this dish is delicious - and he was right). Followed with entrees of pecan crusted puppy drum with pecan dressing (delicious but could use a little vegetable side to balance all those pecans) and an apple braised pork chop with smokey mashed potatoes and greens. Portion was huge. Finished with bread pudding with pecan sauce (creme brulee is also offered which would be a lighter choice). Took a trip upstairs to the out of this world seance room- definitely a photo opportunity. Also sat outide on the balcony overlooking Jackson Square and the beautiful flower boxes gracing the surrounding buildings.
Petunias- Before flying off we had to experience breakfast in New Orleans and thanks to chowhounders we ended up at Petunias. No wait on a Tuesday morning. Had to try their french toast- wow!- with side of ham( platter size!)Counterbalanced with scrambled eggs for some protein. A side order of "2 eggs" for $1.50 turned out to be a huge platter. Enjoyed the colorful pink surroundings and the delightful waiters.Took photos of the breakfast platter (actually took photos of almost everything we ate) to show people and they could not believe what they were seeing!
Again, thank you chowhounders and a big thank you to the wonderful people of New Orleans. I told them I'd spread the word to all that New Orleans is back and ready to greet you with great food and service!
P.S. Usually don't write with so many exclamation points-but these were well deserved!!!!