Here's the lowdown on some great eating and not so great eating, both with their surprises...
Friday night at Jacques-Imo's. Ealy dinner at 6:00. Seated right away and treated to some of the best service of the whole five days. Shrimp and Alligator Cheesecake was OUT of THIS WORLD! My wife loved the fried green tomatoes. Catfish with Creole Hollandaise and the Porkchop stuffed with Shrimp and beef, greens, mashed sweet potato and corn macquechoux were the kinds of foods we craved after a day of travelling. Washed down with a simple Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc. Finished with some yummy banana cream pie and chicory coffee.
Saturday- A very Disappointing Muffaletta from Central Grocer. Looks like they were maximizing profits for the big weekend. We each ate half with chips and bloody mary's with room to spare. Scary...
Saturday Night at Mr. B's. Seated right away. Seemed that no restaurant the whole weekend was brimming with customers and there was plenty of room for everyone. BBQ shrimp were fabulous and fabulously messy. My first of many sazerac's for the weekend. Fell in love with the classic cocktail. Crabmeat risotto could have been a little more al dente but creamy still and loaded with crab. I was unsure about it initially but the waiter brought over a sample for me to try to entice me. It worked! Strawberry shortcake for dessert could have been juicier but it's tough to beat the New England shortcake's I'm used to. No wine tonight since I was heavily buzzed from a day of hand grenades, hurricanes and the sazeracs.
Sunday was a day of disappointment. Acme Oyster House- While the Oysters were first rate and my Oyster and Shrimp Po'Boy was tasty, the room was pretty gross and unclean. While we are all for local flavor and understand how busy the weekend was, if the front is that messy, we can only imagine (and would rather not) what the kitchen looks like. By contrast, Mother's was great (Monday). Just as busy, noisy and we sat right next to the dishroom. But the staff was courteous, the food great and even the owner was outside keeping the line smiling. The red beans and rice weren't too shabby either nor was the Ferdie Special, the turtle soup and the bread pudding. Well worth the 45 minutes on line.
Sunday night at the Palace Cafe. Good food, awful service. SO bad we had to let them know the next day. Bad enough that they bought us dinner the next night. Unfortunately with the previous night's taste in our mouths we weren't that much more impressed. Shrimp Remoulade was a good presentation and tasty with a fried ripe tomato as the centerpiece for the remoulade and the shrimp. Peppered duck with seared foie gras was delicious. Bananas Foster was only ordinary. Praline Cheesecake was phenomenal. Crabmeat cheesecake couldn't hold a candle to Jacques-Imo's similar preparation.
It took us until the last day to realize we really only needed one main meal a day! Beignets and frozen cafe au lait on Mardi Gras at noon. We were lucky enough to get an early reservation at Brennan's which was one of the few places we could find open. Awesome! Our Waiter Jesse was the best. We told him we had great turtle soup at Mother's and he wouldn't let that go until we tried some of theirs(Mother;s was actually still better) as were the Oysters Rockerfeller, Oyster Soup, the Jackson Salad (kinda like a cobb without the avocado), Peppered Filet Mignon with BBQ Shrimp, Trout with lump Crabmeat and a pecan lemon butter sauce and the best Bananas Foster with a rich Brown sugar, banana liqueur and rum glaze. We decided to go all out and spend on some wine. First we ordered a white Hermitage but they brought a chardonnay by mistake. We ordered something else and they again brouhgt a mistake. I was told that someone must have put it in the wrong bin but were welcome to it even though it was a mistake. Tagged in the bin for a $95 bottle was a 1974 Mantrachet by Domaine de la Romanee Conti! $550 on the list, we gladly took their offer and had a truly spectacular night.
In between all the eating and walking we actually saw five parades, caught about 50 pounds of beads and had a spectacular time.