Just wanted to drop a line after a recent visit to NOLA and comment on how much i loved what I ate--which had not been the case ojn previous visits--though that is clearly through my bad choosing....
Cochon-I had read about this place for the longest and could not wait to try it. In fact, wheni agreed to go on this trip reservations here was the second thing i did (after getting Saints tix). Started at the bar with a good bourbon--Evan Williams single barrel (think it was the 1998 but not sure). At the table we ordered the alligator tail which was excellent--this dish has always been so rubbery and to have it taste like a gamy, rich, densely flavorful meat was an experience. We also had the boudin which was rich and meaty but not incredible and the roasted oysters which were possibly the best starter I ever had...rich and plump and briny with just some warmth and and a creamy, piquant sauce....definitely need to get these when you go. For entrees we got the cochon (duh) and the brisket and both were fabulous...we were way too stuffed for dessert especially as we were going out afterwards...This place goes beyond the hype and is hightly recommended.
The next day had lunch at Mothers---had been here before and will go every time I am in NOLA...split the oyster Po boy and a famous Ferdi...warm, fatty perfectly prepared meat , cool debris and gravy too..are you kidding? Also had a file gumbo which I expected more out of but this is probably me and not them to be honest---gumbo is one of those regionalisms that you expect to transport you to a time and place but in reality is just a pretty good soup.
That night went to EAT in the FQ--actually saw it the first night there but they were closed. Our waitress at Cochon knew the owners and encouraged us to go; as it was BYOB went to a really nice wine shop on Tchip and grabbed a few bottles--dont remember the name (something kitchy I think) but a great selection, nice folks working as well. At Eat we shared the spinach and artichoke gratin--this will remind you why you started ordering it and why every chain in the country now attempts it. I followed with a wedge salad...perfectly decadent with fat bacon and awesome blue cheese. I was kind of annoying by asking off the menu for a blackened redfish which they made for me with no problem at all...it was delicious-peppery and buttery and light. I paired it with some curly fries and it was great: spicy and buttery-smooth, hot, crisp and peppery all together on one plate. The chef/owners were really very nice; we had name-dropped our waitress on the way in and they wound up sitting with us just BS-ing for a while. then they gave us free dessert. The whole meal before tip was like $50 which was just rediculously cheap....you should really, really eat here.
Next day--I just walked around NOLA. I recommend (if you are staying in the FQ, which you probably are) just walking Magazine from the FQ to the Audubon with a Garden district detour. Then turn right up to St. Charles and right again to get back (or back on the trolley, which is what i did). And if you do I highly recommend you stop for a sandwich at Mahoney's Po-boys...a just incredible selection. I got the muffa--it was so good--fatty and meaty and vinegary and olivey all on warm toasty bread. I could barely eat half and wished i could have eaten more.
Thats it, not too bad for 3.5 days there. Also got down to Frenchman street, won $500 at Harrahs and did I mention that Saints beat the Falcons? And I met a gorgeous girl while watching Rebirth at the Maple Leaf? Yeah, I love NOLA.