Eating New Orleans

Last spring I got to visit New Orleans – which is now my favorite place in the world. If you’re a foodie, I’d say New Orleans is the major U.S. food trip destination. Many places have good/interesting food: say New York City, Los Angeles, etc. But New Orleans is truly unique in its founding, the way its history wraps in with the food, and its geography. It’s unlike anywhere else in the world.

Before I even left I had a list of all the foods I wanted to try while I was there. I wanted to try foods that were traditional and unique to New Orleans. I ended up eating just about everything, but I wasn’t able to try boudin, king cake, corn maque choux, or a po’boy.

Below are pictures of the food I ate.

The first meal I had was at Red Fish Grill. Catfish is common, and of course if you’re in the south you have to have something blackened. This is my blackened catfish with roasted artichokes, sundried tomatoes, pearl pasta, and lobster sauce.
The next morning we had breakfast at French Toast, a little restaurant in the French Quarter. I got toast (from some type of French bread, probably a brioche) topped with herbed ricotta cheese, ratatouille, and a sunny-side-up egg.
That night I tried alligator at Royal House, it was served with a remoulade. And yes, alligator really does taste like chicken.
The next morning we ate at Willa Jean, a southern cafe that I had been able to eat at about one year earlier and hadn’t stopped thinking about. I tried their shrimp and grits which came topped with a poached egg. I also had a matcha latte. Willa Jean is owned by a James Beard Award winning chef and they are famous for their biscuits – for good reason. They have a thin crispy layer all around the outside, the bottom isn’t even any thicker or harder, and the inside is perfectly fluffy and layered. I have never had one like it, and I still dream about them.
We went on a lot of tours, one of which was to the old Oak Alley Plantation where we got some virgin mint juleps – a classic louisiana drink.
For desert we had bread pudding (with rum raisins of course) which is a New Orleans classic.
New Orleans has two famous sandwiches: the po’boy, and the muffuletta (muff-uh-lot-uh). I didn’t have time to fit both in, and since a po’boy is much easier to make at home to try, I went with the muffuletta from the store that created it: Central Grocery in the French Quarter.
Brennan’s was the creator of banana’s foster, so of course that’s what we had to have for dessert!
Because my birthday was coming up my mom and I told every restaurant that it was my birthday, so the Red Fish Grill brought us some free soft serve.
We attended a cooking class from the New Orleans School of Cooking (highly recommend!) and got to see demos of and taste gumbo, jambalaya, bananas foster, and pralines. They also served warm biscuits with cane syrup (a New Orleans tradition, sugar cane is big there), as well as sweet tea. Pictured above is the Cajun gumbo.
I also had lobster, shrimp, spinach, and ricotta stuffed jumbo ravioli in a creamy crawfish sauce with blue crabmeat. Yummmmmmy!
While I was in an ocean state I had to try oysters. They’re served on ice with cocktail sauce, garlic, lemons, and (a New Orleans tradition) Louisiana hot sauce.
We had dinner at the New Orleans Creole Cookery, I had the “taste of New Orleans.” From top: red beans and rice, crawfish etoufee, jambalaya, and shrimp creole.
A trip to New Orleans isn’t complete without visiting Cafe Du Monde. The beignets are perfect (okay… maybe a little bit too much powdered sugar) and they serve cafe au laits (coffee with milk) made with chicory coffee. Chicory coffee is a New Orleans tradition that started when there was a coffee shortage, so they used chicory to increase the volume.
For our final dinner, we went to Brennan’s, a famous fine dining spot that opened in 1946. They have an interesting backstory but I’m not going to go into it here, I believe it is recounted on their website. I had Roasted scallops that were served on a sunchoke fondant and topped with crispy kale and an andouille vinaigrette.
They also gave us this free mountain of cotton candy for my birthday, and hiding underneath was a funfetti cake with a scoop of sherbet on top.


Hi, I'm Elaine! Welcome to my food blog; I am a Montanan, an Eagle Scout, and lover of all things food. I love to cook and bake, as well as share my creations with others.