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New Orleans 72hours


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I gotta get down to New Orleans! I've only pass through there and never spent any quality time. This thread is making think that I gotta go sooner rather than later. Cheers.

"I take a vitamin everyday- it's called steak."

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Thanks everyone for all the help and talk.. Its great to have such a great reference and collection of passionate peoples...

In terms of andouille, we are all set.. A conversation with the chef at Cochon got me a bunch of stuff to take home.. He sold me there homemade andouille! Pretty excited about that.. I also met this guy at Nola Grocery who is picking me up 6 pounds he is buying at a butcher shop in another town 40 minutes away..

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So, I was supposed to take an 855 flight last night.. Around 10 am yesterday the im's start to come in..

"You wanna leave now?"

"I think there is an earlier flight leaving at 3?"

"I think I can get us on stand-bye!"

"Yup, we are reserved on stand-bye, first on the list"

"I am ready to go and packed, come pick me up?"

Before I know it, I am racing up the NJ turnpike heading torwards JFK... We arrive in NO and hit the ground running.. We show up to the Hotel Lafayette, throw our clothes in the closet and are out walking torwards Cochon...

We order a trio of small plates..

Fried rabbit liver in a pepper jelly sauce..Little shot of mint takes this to the next level..


Fried aligator again with the mint.. A wonderful combination.. Think of Nobu's spicy rock shrimp with out the citrus..


Here comes the bell of the freaking ball. Oyster covered in a chili and garlic compound butter and then thrown into a 650 degree wood burning smoky oven..




The next dish the chef sent us out..

Head cheese.. Really well done.. Super rich, really wonderful texture.. Served with super crunchy bread, homemade pickled cucumbers and green tomatoes..


Switching to something a little less heavy, we moved onto fried pig ears.. Must have been boiled, sliced into thin strips and then breaded.. Served over a wonderful rich and deep brown mustard sauce...

Fried perfectly and served hot, it was in between liquid and a solid..


Ribs served with pickled watermelon.. I am pretty particular about my ribs.. And though I did not love them, techinically they were amazing.. Fall of the bone, really rich wet ribs.. I am more of a dry rub guy.. Loved the watermelon that was served with it...


We ended dinner with the lemon buttermilk pie, a couple of shots of moonshine and plans of returning before the trip is over.. Not only to pick up my andouille but, to get that bacon oyster sandwich...

Pie crust was just beyond good.. If the photographer hadnt drank so much white lightening, I am sure you would be able to see the perfect thumb prints in the crust that was used to shape it..


The night ended at around 2 or 3 am.. Instead of going to Vaughn's, we watched Big Al Carlson at the Funky Pirate.. We were able to watch two sets... We havent seen him in a couple of years but, wow.. The guy and his band are better then I have ever heard them.. He is doing this crazy high voice singing now and was just amazing.. He has a live version of I'll Play the Blues for You that is the best I have heard.. And upon request, he did a version last night that lasted 10 minutes.. Fantastic...

Miss A was a wonderful tip collector last night as well.. She walked the room with a bucket for him.. It was rather hilarious..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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You know the old saying, you don't really buy drinks you rent them... That statement is never more correct then when talking about the Hand Grenade..


Drinking these is like bullriding.. Its just a matter of time until the bull kicks you off.. Like clock work, after a night of drinking these disgusting concoctions, I am up puking at 6 am.. Sure you can tough it out and be miserable all day but, why fight it.. Go back to sleep and wake up hungry and happy by 8...

So, last night as we were heading home we asked a cop where the best place to grab something to eat.. "Port Of Call is 8 blocks that way, Clover Grill is a long walk that way but, Oceana is right down the street." By this time of night, the streets were getting shady. We were happy to go some place close and on the way home..

We order a oyster po boy and a side of shrimp etouffe.. I am nursing my last hand grenade and I no its time to stop.. "I think this time I am not going to get sick", I say to Miss A.. "I am not drunk and I feel perfect" "Uh-huh"she replies...

This is award winning stuff here.. This easily wins the absolute worst po boy I have ever had.. Some how they were able to mimic the cooking qualities of a microwave in a deep fryer.. The sandwich is way too bready and the 4 or 5 measly little rubbery oysters are pathetic.. Not to mention the sandwich is completely dry.. I had to order a side of sauce...

The photos dont do it justice.. It looks decent in the photo..Fries were soggy and poor.


After trying this etouffe visions of Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC popped into my head.. The sauce was definitely from a mix or a dented can.. It tasted like a generic starchy sauce that could have been from any microwave meal..Just a starchy slimy mess.. One bite and I was done..


Have a good day everyone, off to Galatoires.

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Great start on the write-up. Thanks.

Do you drink the Hand Grenades or use them to light your way down a darkened alley. They look greener than those chemical doohickies one snaps to produce green light at concerts.

I'm in New Orleans for a week in August so will likely be following in your footsteps.

Eat well and prosper.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."



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Thanks for the...er, blow by blow account of your trip. :laugh: And thanks for taking the time to upload the pics of your good and not so good food. At least the low valleys will make the high peaks taste even better in comparison.

Are you definitely hitting Willa Mae's?


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


Tim Oliver

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Wow. You went from the sublime to the ridiculous in no time at all.

Thanks for the photos of Cochon (and the warning about Oceana--although I'm sure in a more sober state you would have known to avoid the place).

When Cochon first opened, I was one of the few folks who wasn't absolutely crazy about. I thought it was good, but a little overhyped. What's great is that the place just keeps getting better. The menu pushes into new areas, the chefs are obviously constantly thinking about ways to improve the dishes. Now I really do think it's just one of the best places in town--no doubt about it. And I don't see any signs that they're slowing down.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Nice work. Looks like you had a good first night, sort of.

Hand Grenades? Yikes! I used to make "Hand Grenade" beer for those guys. It didn't do as much damage as the "tube o' death" but it got the job done.

I'm glad that you enjoyed Cochon. Unlike Todd, I've been crazy about the place from the first day because it reminds me of home and growing up, but punched up to a point where it's even more memorable and, as Todd says, Steven just keeps getting better at it. I don't see it stopping anytime soon. If you go back, get the Pineapple Upside Down Cake-trust me on this one, it might be a pedestrian idea, but it's really good.

What's on the agenda for today. Looks like rain in the forecast this afternoon, though they seem to be just big thunderstorms floating around, so you might get lucky.

Have fun.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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So we leave the hotel yesterday morning and spend some time looking at the antique shops down Royal Street.. The things they have in these shops are amazing.. Thats one thing that has always facinated me about New Orleans.. Down a particular street there will be a shop with a 250,000 Chandeleir right next to a place selling 2 dollar beads, or hurricanes or something.. The balance of classy and shady is amazing...

So we line up at 1030 ready for our Friday brunch/breakfast/lunch at Galatoires... Arriving at 1030, there were only 10 people ahead of us.. As we stood in line, we spoke with several of the people, getting recommendations of where to go, and what to do... In fact through out the course of our 4 hour lunch, several of the people had come by our table to say hello and see how we were doing...

Fridays at Galatoires, an amazing thing.. A loud boisterous carnival of sorts.. Woman wearing blinking headbands, waiters clinking glasses instructing the whole room to sing happy birthday to people...Old friends,new friends, family, and strangers, all having the time of their lives.. Its one the coolest things I have been apart of...


The waiters here are professional waiters.. These are not aspiring actors, artists, or dreamers.. In fact they are not aspiring anything, they are the real deal.. A waiter is asigned to families and customers for there whole time working there.. Imagine having the same waiter for 40 or 50 years being there for all the special occasions you celebrate..

Are waiter comes over with no menu, just a wine list.. He hands me the wine lists and suggests/was going to do it anyway, that we start with some potatoes to start..

Potatoes that through cutting and frying at different temps come out puffed up.. Served with a side of Bernaise Sauce... Whats not to love.. The Bernaise was the thickest I have ever had.. Like a tarragon mayo I would call it..


We were in no rush mind you.. We are hanging out talking, drinking martinis, bloody mary's, champagne cocktails and I think more things... The room is just jumping.. Women are decked out, men in white pin stripe suits, all hanging out drinking there heads off... I think the first hour we were there no one had anything to eat besides the wonderful bread..

We see a plate of oysters go bye and ask the waiter for a round.. Oysters Rock.. More like a spinach souffle served over oysters.. So delicious.. There was some herb that I think was parsley added to the spinach.. With the briney oysters and just a touch of lemon that added, they were perfect..


Next up, I dont even think we ordered.. Waiter was bringing drinks and food with out us asking.. We just sat back and had an amazing time.. Normally it take me awhile to relax or decompress.. But even the waiter was saying how impressed he was with how us New Yorkers were so patient.. Haha.. Shrimp remoulade... Served cold with lots or horseraddish..


Quick shot of the room.. That waiter by the way in the photo has been working there since 1967.. I spoke with him before the restaurant was open... In the five minutes I spoke with him, I learned about his 11 year old grandson, how he was in the New York Times several times, he was also pictured in the cookbook in my favorite shot of the book.. About where he traveled around Asia and the various chess matches he has with his grandson who he sees every morning from 5 to 8 am before he goes to school.. By the way, I have like 5 or 6 shots of the room and there isnt one shot where everyone in the room isnt smiling and laughing. Its so cool to see..


Godchaux salad.. Wonderful mix of crab, creole mustard, lettuce, egg, and anchovy... The food here is straight forward and expertly prepared..


Soft shell crab with brown butter.. We make this version off the cookbook for ourselves all the time... Just wonderful.




After this point we noticed him putting out steak knives.. We cried mercy and we will have the lamb another day...

Dessert: Bread pudding

Just beyond good.. Bananna bread pudding with praline liquor..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Next up he brought out a cup custard.. The only dud of the meal.. He brought this out for free.. He actually gave us a ton of stuff for free..


Coffee Brulot a mix of spices and liquor flambe table side in a beautiful silver bowl with an antique serving piece..




Lunch was like 130 bucks for the whole thing.. What a wonderful experience.. A beautiful day, with a beautiful girl, in a beautiful restaurant, in a beautiful city.. One of the best dining experiences of my life, one of my favorite places to be... You ask me where I want my last meal, it would be hard to convince me not to go to Galatoires..

We spent the rest of the day walking around shops, the night dancing on French Men Street.. Will finish the day later..

Sorry if there are proofreading mistakes.. I will go back to check later.. I am sitting here with a headache and I must get some fried chicken..

Happy birthday Miss A!

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Great start on the write-up.  Thanks.

Do you drink the Hand Grenades or use them to light your way down a darkened alley.  They look greener than those chemical doohickies one snaps to produce green light at concerts.

I'm in New Orleans for a week in August so will likely be following in your footsteps. 

Eat well and prosper.

I am telling ya.. I learned my lesson and I dont think I will be drinking that stuff anymore.. Its like the color of that rod that gets stuck to Homer Simpson during the opening clip...

So happy you are coming.. Can't wait to read about your trip..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Well apparantly its nine the morning and fried chicken just dont grow on trees.. So, I have some time to finish the night.. Anyone know what time Willy Mae's opens?

Port of Call


So we show up here around 2 am and the place in packed.. There is a 45 minute wait for a table but, er uh, no one is sitting at the bar and you can order burgers at the bar... Ahh us clever New Yorkers.

I get back from the restroom and Miss A ordered me this monstrousity.. No more fruity drinks.. I actually gave it to a person who looked like he definitely did not need it...

Big A burger with a big A loaded potato.. Electric Bacon Bits.. Haha.. Should not be approached before midnight.. Kind of blurry on the details.. I remember not liking my burger and loving my potato.. There is cheese and onions and other things hiding through out the potato.. The bacon bits were too much for me.. Really liked the different sauces they have available.. I remember the BBQ sauce being amazing.. But yah, I certainly wouldnt testify to it..


Mushroom burger for the Birthday Gal..


Edited by Daniel (log)
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Willie Mae's SHOULD be open around 11-11:30, N.O.LA.S.T. Don't get in a hurry. It ain't Galatoire's, but, on the right lunch, it can be as interesting of an experience. As you are very patient, you shouldn't have any worries.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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You ask me where I want my last meal, it would be hard to convince me not to go to Galatoires..

Funny you should say that, this is pretty close to my last wish, though, if I kick off in the dining room, I would like the funeral director to be instructed to order 100 lbs. of grade A lump crabmeat and lay me out in it. Sure, it will stink a bit later, but so will I, and I know that, if there is an afterlife of anysort, the first few minutes of it will be very satisfying and over the top. Besides, maybe St Pete has a taste for the stuff, and that's good, as I'll need all of the help that I can get in order to get through the Pearly Gates.

Glad you are having fun. That was a great write up on the place. I've already sent it on to the proper authorities.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Hey thanks Doc...

Didnt write up the last couple of days and I am normally bad at doing it once the moment is over.. Today we went to Parkway Bakery and Hansens.. There is also an interesting story that involves us using a traffic cone to carry 20 pounds of meat out of Cochon last night.. Its a pretty funny actually so hopefully I get to it..

What a wonderful trip, we have lots of memories, a few Antiques, a trumpet for my buddy,a few new pieces of jewelry for Miss A, and 20 pounds of mixed Tasso, Andouille, and various other meats for me :raz: ...

Its 1 am and though we were very close to extending the trip, we are happy to be home... New Orleans is officially my second favorite city.

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So, it was a tough go at it the other day.. Each culture has there own name and there own way of dealing with hangovers.. And though there are many different "cures" it seems that there is no one universal solution.. Perhaps because there is no real cure.. You really just need to do what makes you feel better..

For me, I try to eat the most disgusting possible thing I can get my hands on.. Something fried, something greasy, something so bad that it takes your mind off the old problems.. And since I am on vacation, a bloody mary at Pat Obrien's is quick to follow..

Going for the gold baby:

I swear I normally dont look this bloated or green..


I dont know if this is my first time at Krystal or not.. The place is basically a poor mans version of a white castle.. Anytime you appreciate the quality of White Castle, you know you are in trouble... It was 10 am or so and I give them credit for serving burgers this early.. The patty was grey and room temp, the cheese was cold, the mustard was cold, and the bread was soggy.. Mmmm still interested?

I am sure the first Krystal was probably really good.. Little burgers being grilled on a flat top by someone who used fresh ground beef or at least red meat.. But after many locations and many years, this is just crap..

You think they could fit my whole last paragraph on to a box?


And I am not even being a snot. This stuff is expensive. At $8.50 I could have eaten a half a po boy over at Parkway..


So after Miss A watched in stunned amazement, we were on to Pat Obriens.. Home of the Hurricane Drink.. I have never been here before but was really surprised at how wonderful the Bloody Mary's are.. Most of the bloody mary places on Bourbon are too spicy for them to be helpful.. Love the fact that the place at 11 am looks like a dungeon and they keep the AC at a cool subzero temp..

Next stop Central Grocery.. Central Grocery is the tourist place that has made the mufalatta a symbol of New Orleans worldwide.. Though, I get the impression its not so popular with the locals, every person with a fanny pack in a five mile radius is bound to eat one of these babies..

Capiocola, salami, mortadella, emmental cheese and provolone cheese is how I heard it described.. The provolone wasnt really sharp however, the swiss and provo together almost made it taste like sharp provolone..


Its a good sandwich.. I found the olive salad to over power the meats.. I might think sharp provolone would be better and make it more of a Philly Style sandwich.. (Thanks to Hollyeats.com for taking me here http://hollyeats.com/Sarcones.htmIn fact, growing up on the east coast, I have had thousands of sandwiches that are very similiar.. I could see it being something special to someone from the South that doesnt have places like this.. Its good but, when I come to New Orleans, I aint eating bagels, and I dont need Italian Hero's..

Zapp's makes the best potato chips in the world..



At this point I am almost out of the hole..

We walked through a Cajun Tomato Festival for a little bit.. Not really the most exciting Festival New Orleans has..

Next stop:

Brennans Oyster House.. Will continue when I get my photos in order:

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Me thinks you are being a bit harsh on Crystal. I've found them to be every bit as tasty as White Castle. Perhaps you were not sufficiently hungover.

Most Crystal Burgers come my way when the stars align in the chemotherapy room at the Sarah Cannon Research Institute in Nashville and I am there on the same day as a woman who sends her husband out for lunch. He returns with a few bags packed with neatly aligned boxes of Crystal burgers. He works his way about the room handing them out to all takers. The only issue being that one Crystal burger is merely enough to whet one's appetite and there are rarely any leftovers once he has made his rounds.

(Not to worry about the chemotherapy locale - I have been dealing with my idiosyncrasy since 1994 and have been soaking in Avastin every two weeks at Sarah Cannon since 2004 with great success. No need to discuss it here though I am certain that Avastin has far few sider effects than the dayglo green Hand Grenades flowing through Daniel's system.)

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."



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I am willing to say that it was this particular Krystal as I havent been to many or maybe even only this one.. Also, I am a die hard White Castle guy, so I might be a tad partial.. And also perhaps the time the Krystal burgers spend in the bag on the way to you, the cheese has time to melt and the mustard to heat up..

But as you can see in the photos it was a hard piece of cold cheese that didnt help the situation..

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Thanks for the...er, blow by blow account of your trip.  :laugh:  And thanks for taking the time to upload the pics of your good and not so good food. At least the low valleys will make the high peaks taste even better in comparison.

Are you definitely hitting Willa Mae's?

We were planning on it but, in the end we did not end up going.. There are too many places to go and see for 3 or 4 days. Hell,I could have spent the entire trip eating at Hansens and Parkway every day.. This only means we will have to be going back soon..

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So on to Dick Brennan's Bourbon House Seafood Restaurant.. I have been here in the past and its a really fun spot.. Its nice to dip into a semi-refine spot off of Bourbon St and have a bunch of oysters.. Though its in classy surroundings and its pretty Chic, the price of oysters is still cheaper then what you can get from your local seafood shop in Manhattan..

And no one gave us a problem with me wearing a short sleeve button down, shorts, and flip flops..


We start out with a couple of drinks.. Miss A has been drinking Sazaracs since we arrived.. She is a lot tougher then I am.. I get an Abita 4 grain.. A really nice beer/wine.. Its like 11 percent.. I highly recommend trying this beer.. We then move onto Oysters Brennan.. It says just Oysters and Caviar but, there was some other spice on it.. I dont recall what it was..


Close up:


Next up was the hot sampler plate.. You have oyster rock, you have bienville, and fonseca.. All were really good.. Miss A liked these oysters to Galatoires version of Rock.. I liked the herb taste and the finer chop better at Galatoires.. But at this point, its personal preference..

Fonseca is an invention of brennan's..


A plate out of many plates of raw oysters.. We were here for a couple of hours..


This is a different order.. We just ordered the oysters rock and bienville but, the accidently brought out Rockerfeller and Fonseca.. Which is very Spanish.. A mixture of peppers and shrimp.. We gave one of the oysters fonseca to our waiter who has yet to try them.. He was very brave..


As we were leaving Brennan's a couple walks in and sits at the bar next to us.. They were very LA.. Meaning the woman was wearing a Leopard Jacket in 90 degree heat.. They walk in and sit at the bar.. He asks for 2 50 dollars bills out of a hundred and calls over the man shucking oysters.. He hands him 50 bucks and tells him to go in the back and get a fresh bushel..

How they heck are we going to leave when guy is making them get fresh bushels. I am sure they are just as fresh as the ones he is doing but, we had to try them.. Which then gets us eating more oysters and we might get another 2 dozen oysters ordering 6 at a time.. Notice there are 8 oysters on this plate.. I think oyster dude was so happy he just started handing out oysters to people.. This was called a shuckers half dozen..


We finish up around 4 and its time to start listening to some music on Bourbon St..Another top notch meal with some spectacular oysters..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Oh to be young again! :laugh: Betwen the booze and the oysters I would be curious to see your liver function tests in a month or so. :raz:

Funny hearing about Krystal. A college buddy of mine was from the family who owned the chain, which is (or perhaps was) based in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, I do believe.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Often times I am told that a Lucky Dog cures most liver ailments..

Can't help but think of Confederacy of Dunces..


Whats that saying, a man can not live on Oysters alone..


Love these guys..


Walking down the street we were walking in and out of various Clubs.. We followed this one amazing woman.She went from club to club going on stage, playing a set and leaving.. I was disappointed that there was only one Zydeco Band on Bourbon that day..


Love the little kids dancing with the bottle caps on their shoes.. There was only one crew of three kids out that day.. Normally there are a lot more and they look a lot tougher.. Though the tall one's shirt says "Jesus loves you but, the rest of us think you are an asshole" These kids were sweet..


This baby had beautiful striking eyes..


Edited by Daniel (log)
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