I had a conference in New Orleans last weekend, so I did what any right-thinking American would do and ran through all the important threads on the local chowhound board for my research. Thanks to all y'all, I had a great time on this weekend vacation from Boston. As did a number of my friends who were willing to put up with my food nerdery and get bused all over the city. When I travel, I prefer to go for local food specialties and not so much for exploring the best fine dining in the city. I'm a budding cocktail nerd.
Sat dinner- I had an original plan to hit the po'boy preservation fest on Sunday, but it overlapped with the jazz brunch at Commander's Palace, so I decided on po'boys Saturday - twe took a taxi out to Parkway. I found the roast beef po'boy (dressed) disappointing, the soggy beef destroyed the bread and the whole thing was underseasoned, pretty blah in flavor. The oyster po'boy was delicious, though, positively stuffed with fresh, lightly fried oysters. Also got an alligator po'boy mostly for novelty, it turned out to be sausage with bbq sauce, and was nice.
Sat night- drinks at Bar Uncommon. Place was mostly empty, which blew my mind - Chris McMillian is a genius, and he made a sazerac that was just categorically better than any I've had before. And a mint julep, damn. As the bar was closing, Chris came over himself to chat for a minute and thank us for coming in that night. all class. Drinks at French 75 to follow were not as good - figured I'd get a french 75, and they used orange juice, which produced a somewhat watery version of the drink. But perhaps they merely suffered from following directly after bar uncommon.
Sun brunch- jazz brunch at commander's palace. a very enjoyable experience, but the food was good, not great. The waiter was very pleased with my order (turtle soup and lacquered quail, then bread pudding souffle). I had never had turtle soup before, so perhaps this was a good version of the dish, but I found the broth not particularly flavorful, which meant the sherry dominated somewhat unpleasantly, and the meat was tough. Friend ordered gumbo, which was rich, dark, and delicious. My quail was good, and the skin was lovely, crispy and sweet and savory, but the meat was a bit overcooked. The dessert was the highlight of the meal, the lightness of the souffle matched perfectly with the strong whiskey sauce and rich bread pudding. At $50 per person (incl tip), it's a great deal for the quality of the food, for the new orleans experience, for the attentive service. I guess maybe my food hopes were a little too high going in.
Sun night drinks - 1:30 brunch was pretty much all the food we needed. With bar uncommon closed, took a short walk to sazerac bar, where our bartender (i forget her name) was friendly, fun, and and mixed a delicious pisco sour and a very good clover club cocktail.
Mon breakfast - walked over cafe du monde, had a good time. i now want all my coffee with chickory. and the beignets were hot and fried and good.
Mon lunch - taxi to willie mae's, which was very clearly the food highlight of the trip. the fried chicken was the best I have ever eaten and by a large amount. The chicken was uniformly perfectly cooked, tender and juicy, wonderfully seasoned, with crispy fried skin I could freakin' bathe in. deliciousness. can't wait to go back.
Thanks to all for your (perhaps unwitting) help, and I look forward to coming back. what would you say I missed?