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New Orleans 72hours


Daniel
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Ah I will be there the 15-20 of january, the most excited ive ever been for a vacation, all this food porn, oh god I cant wait. I am really hoping for the cochon butcher to be open, any word on that yet?? I was also interested in going to abita to check the brewery, anybody been and recommend?

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I am really hoping for the cochon butcher to be open, any word on that yet??

I talked to Stephen at the farmers market on Tuesday. He said the designer is still finishing up the chairs and fixtures, which is holding things up. They don't want to open until it's right, and it didn't sound like it will be right for a few more weeks.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

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

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My girlfriend, two friends, and I will be in town from the 7th to the 11th.

Are any of the sno-cone places open in January?

Queen of the Ball on Oak Street is probably open.

Tee-Eva's, a little stand on Magazine Street, sells snoballs, although I always opt for the pralines or mini-pies.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

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

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went with my girlfriend and two friends for four days in January.

Restaurant photos and commentary in my Flickr set. Non-food photos in my girlfriend's Flickr.

Summary:

Cochon - Amazing. Truly a temple to pork. Quite affordable. Cochon Butcher looks very impressive. If this were in Austin, it'd easily be in the top 2 restaurants, maybe the best (i.e., better than Uchi).

Herbsaint - Stopped in for drinks. The menu didn't look anywhere as interesting as Cochon, and was pretty pricey.

Casamento's - Everything well-executed. Kinda like Quality Seafood in Austin.

Willie Mae's Scotch House - Great fried chicken. Other dishes so-so.

Parasol's - Good po' boys with superb, crisp, airy bread. Shrimp was a little small.

Parkway - Better shrimp po' boys. Bread not as good.

Elizabeth's - Lots of exotic dishes like headcheese, but execution is uneven. But really it's not much cheaper than Cochon, and definitely not as good.

Café du Monde - Very touristy, like a theme park food court. Beignets are good, but even the best beignet in the world isn't that high up on my to do list. Fine if you're in the area, but wouldn't go out of my way.

Dooky Chase - Overpriced, boring, poorly-executed food. Nice interior and staff. Specific comments and photos in Flickr set.

Food-wise overall, aside from Cochon and Elizabeth's, I was a bit disappointed. I was expecting more, but as it turns out the Cajun and Southern cuisine we have in Austin is already very good, I would say on par with New Orleans. Quality Seafood actually makes a better gumbo and Nubian Queen Lola's a better shrimp po' boy. And Lola's fried chicken is better (though in a different style) than Willie Mae's.

Bars:

Renaissance Pere Marquette - Chris is awesome, great guy to talk to. Makes mostly very classic drinks with no menu. Ingredients a little limited, no maraschino, St. Germain. We went there first and then got recommendations for Swizzle Stick and Iris.

Iris - Is this what you would call a West Coast-style menu? Lots of fresh ingredients, and recipes with lots of ingredients. A little overwrought, but still nice. Punch was great and a steal at $36 for around 15 glasses of punch.

Swizzle Stick Bar - New York-style menu. Perhaps most similar to Pegu Club, with lots of classics like Aviation, Pegu Club, and even a bunch of drinks cribbed (and properly attributed) from New York bars like Audrey's Gin-Gin Mule, but plenty of unique drinks.

Swizzle Stick is best, Renaissance (only if Chris is working), then Iris. Very good bars, better than anything we have in Texas, and about a dollar or two cheaper than New York.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Overall, I enjoyed the trip to New Orleans very much, and it was one of the cheapest trips I've ever taken, excellent value.

My girlfriend, two friends, and I will be in town from the 7th to the 11th.

Are any of the sno-cone places open in January?

Queen of the Ball on Oak Street is probably open.

Tee-Eva's, a little stand on Magazine Street, sells snoballs, although I always opt for the pralines or mini-pies.

I tried calling Queen of the Ball but no answer.

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I live pretty much right up on top of Tee-Eva's and far as I can tell, they're not open. Or open very intermittently.

Glad you enjoyed Cochon and Casamento's - they're both excellent, excellent restaurants. Did you skip dessert at Cochon? I thought the pineapple upside-down cake was just awesome.

So should I skip Dookie Chase? I'd been meaning to make a voyage out there but the photos have kinda turned me off.

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I live pretty much right up on top of Tee-Eva's and far as I can tell, they're not open. Or open very intermittently.

Unless things have changed in the last few months, you normally have to knock the little window for service.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

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

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I want to thank everyone who has posted on this thread and helped make my trip to New Orleans so amazing. I also have to agree with everyone and say Cochon rocks, the absolute highlight of my trip. Its hard when you have such high expectations for a meal, but the blew me away both times, and Herbsaint was right there as well. We were treated perfectly, after chatting with Steven about the 30 lbs of boudin we ordered and how everything was he asked where else we were eating and after I said Herbsaint, he asked if we needed reservations, which also got us treated amazingly there too. The amazing memories they created and are still creating (I'm still rationing my boudin) is the reason I became a chef.

It really is true that chefs love cooking for chefs (at least ones that appreciate what they get). I will be sending them a cheesecake (candied jalapeno and bacon, strawberry green peppercorn, and some other flavors fitting to them) for being so kind. After our second meal we met sous chef Ben, whom we discovered my good friend who has since returned to Louisiana once trained him to flip burgers years ago. We achieved my goal of eating nearly everything on the menu, and there was nothing I wasnt VERY impressed by. The andouile sweet potato pie was one of most amazing things I have eaten. The rabbit livers heavenly.... Oyster bake damn still thinking about it. Chef Link and crew brought me my inspiration back. This vacation was the most needed one of my life, and I even returned to work ready to rock.

New Orleans as a whole has become my new favorite city, and will become my annual pilgrimage. I was impressed by how affordable the city is and by the level of service. I also took a bike tour (8 mile 4 hour) around the city, I highly recommend this, the guy was so knowledgeable, it was wonderful hearing all the history, learning about jazz funerals etc. (IM me for contact info.)

I do have to say mothers (my dad even warned me) was bland, and the only good poorboy I had was parkway (we stopped on the bike tour) But there are many places left to try next year, and I am proud to not be the typical tourist, I didnt make it to Cafe Du Monde.

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I am proud to not be the typical tourist, I didnt make it to Cafe Du Monde.

I was with you til your last couple of phrases. Hopefully, when you return, you will give Cafe du Monde a try - it is very much a New Orleans institution that is a mistake to miss.

Go late at night if you want to avoid the tourists. But even at 10 AM on a Saturday morning it's a lot of fun, the beignets are warm and piled high with powdered sugar, and the coffee is strong.

Tis a pity that a place has been around for almost 150 years and does a great job with its products, is avoided because some tourists consider it touristry.

Edited by Holly Moore (log)

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I am proud to not be the typical tourist, I didnt make it to Cafe Du Monde.

Tis a pity that a place has been around for almost 150 years and does a great job with its products, is avoided because some tourists consider it touristry.

How true. Locals love the place. I don't have beignets any longer due to the waist-band issues, but I always have time for a cafe au lait when I'm there.

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Hey im sorry it just wasnt tops on the priority list, we nearly went there then the acquarium but just didnt have time.

I am proud to not be the typical tourist, I didnt make it to Cafe Du Monde.

I was with you til your last couple of phrases. Hopefully, when you return, you will give Cafe du Monde a try - it is very much a New Orleans institution that is a mistake to miss.

Go late at night if you want to avoid the tourists. But even at 10 AM on a Saturday morning it's a lot of fun, the beignets are warm and piled high with powdered sugar, and the coffee is strong.

Tis a pity that a place has been around for almost 150 years and does a great job with its products, is avoided because some tourists consider it touristry.

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Cafe du Monde is one of those things that is fun to do in New Orleans, like every one said, to avoid the crowds, go later in the day. Or Early.

Another only in New Orleans fun thing to do that is free is walk aboard the Canal Street ferry and take a ride across the river. You can get off or stay on if you want. No charge to pedestrians. The view of the city from the river is great. You can also hike around Algiers for a bit if you want to. Or take a bike with you.

Even when I lived in the city every once in a while a trip to Cafe Du Monde was worth the experience.

Cafe Du Monde is one thing the locals do do, most locals I know do not go hang out on Bourbon Street with all the drunk frat boys.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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  • 3 months later...

more than 72 hours, but here's what's in and out in our world:

IN:

Brennans Breakfast

Couchon butcher

Acme( for the oyster po boy)

Looks like a tourist trap Royal St Oyster house had the best shucked fresh

french Market has the best spice for boiled crawfish...NOT the best spce, but one of the better french Quarter places

Bayonna, becoming a classic

Commanders Brunch

and what's out

herbsaint. Yawn

Galatoires, the service sucked, We had a bouncy cheerleader, how annoying.

Acme (for the shucked fresh)

Just my two cents. Boudain at Jazz Fest was not spicy enough, wish I had planned a road trp to Eunice.

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IN for us after more than 72 hours:

Galatoire's: Our first visit. Something odd happened to me about an inch into my Sazerac. Yeah, I'm a lightweight, but what do they put in there? Good service, good food, great room.

Slim Goodies (Magazine St.): Phenomenal breakfast. They ran out of food shortly after we sat down. I don't think it was us.

Louisiana Pizza Kitchen: I put this down not because the food was so great (it was okay) but because it was a great place to go with teenagers after a day at Jazz Fest.

August: We held a private party there on Saturday night, and it was amazing. These people are really pros, and I just want to give a shout-out to them because we're grateful.

Cafe du Monde: I had no idea I could keep eating.

Parkway Tavern: Where it all began (for us).

OUT for my husband:

The Casino. But what did he expect?

My only regret is that we didn't try anything new at Jazz Fest, because we were so busy re-eating the stuff we've loved previously.

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  • 4 weeks later...

A friend and I visited for a little less than 72 hours over the Memorial Day weekend: in at 10am saturday, out at 5pm monday, which is more like 55 hours, but hey, it's close enough.

Thankfully, the weather reports were completely wrong, and the weather was great, so we biked just about everywhere, which burned-off enough calories that we didn't go into food comas at any time. And despite appearances, we drank moderately enough that there was no impaired pedaling going on...

We returned to a few old favorites, checked out some new places we'd been curious about, and indulged obsessions for boudin and hot sausage po boys. We had a great time, ate mostly fantastic food, and some of the best cocktails we've ever drunk.

We hit a lot of places, so I might break it up into a few pieces...

After landing about 10am on saturday, we dropped our bags where we were staying in the Marigny, then hiked over to Frenchman street to rent bikes. On the way, we decided we needed breakfast.

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then we decided to bike uptown to Boucherie for lunch. But along the way, we needed some sustenance, so we stopped at Li'l Dizzy's in the CBD.

Gumbo

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Hot Sausage Po Boy

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Both were really tasty. We wanted to get more there, but we were saving ourselves.

Li'l Dizzy's

610 Poydras, In The Whitney Hotel

or

1500 Esplanade Ave

nomenu.com listing

After a nice bike ride out St Charles, and up Carrollton, we found ourselves at Boucherie

We started with a Mint Julep and a Pim's Cup, both very well-made and refreshing, especially after the ride.

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Blue Crab Claw and Arugula Salad with Tasso Butter

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Boudin Balls with Garlic Aoli

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Duck Confit Po Boy with Cinnamon Pickled Carrots and Candied Pecans

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Pulled Pork Cake with Potato Confit and Purple Cabbage Slaw

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Fudge Farms BBQ Ribs with Seasonal Greens & Shoestring Shallots

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we were a little too stuffed for dessert, although it was tempting:

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Overall, we liked Boucherie, but weren't quite as blown-away as we'd hoped. Everything was pretty good, but ultimately not quite as intense or indulgent or exciting as we expected from the menu descriptions, and from seeing some photos on the web. The crab claws just didn't taste like much of anything, even with the tasso butter. The boudin balls were very good, with a nice level of spice, complimented well by the aoli. We really enjoyed the duck confit po boy, the interplay of the rich duck, the pickled carrots and the sweet crunchy nuts worked really well - but still - we could help thinking that it needed... something. The sandwich was a little dry. We had some extra aoli from the boudin balls and spreading that on the roll helped a lot, so I'm thinking just a touch of something on the roll, or maybe a few more pickled vegetables like on a Bahn Mi, would make it perfect. But it was pretty darn tasty as it was.

The Pulled Pork Cake was nice and moist, and had pretty good flavor, especially around the crusty edges, but we were missing a smoky undertone, or a more intense porkiness. Same for the ribs, which were remarkably tender, and very pleasant, but lacked the complexity of a long-smoked meat. The fried shallots were mind-blowingly great. I can't imagine anything expecially complicated was done to them, but they were totally addictive.

I got a bacon brownie to go, and upon later sampling, had pretty much the same reaction as I did to the rest of the food: it was good, and the interplay of the elements was very interesting, but it somehow ended up tasting mostly like a good brownie, rather than the genre-defying innovation that it seemed to be aiming to be.

Service was very pleasant, and the prices are very reasonable, a real bargain for good food at a nice place like this. I think I'd like to go back, but I hope that as this newish place gets settled, the flavors will get amped-up a little. Its an imaginative menu, and it's skillfully executed, I just hope for a little more... something...

Boucherie

Uptown/River Bend

8115 Jeannette St. (off Carrollton)

504.862.5514

www.boucherie-nola.com

On the way out, we passed a guy selling shrimp the size of Cocker Spaniels, advertising them by doing a marionette show in the street as cars rushed by on Carollton.

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But we couldn't really haul raw shrimp around with us all day, so I can't tell you whether they were tasty. We biked through Audubon Park to work off lunch, stopped to watch the egrets for a while, and just enjoy the sunny afternoon. Along the way we noticed this:

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Glad to know they're encouraging folks to keep them on leashes...

After a bit of biking in the sun, there was only one reasonable destination: Hansen's Sno Bliz

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That's a combo of Cream of Coffee and Cocolate, with condensed milk. Wow! While I as shooting this, my dining companion made fast work of a chocolate and coconut, which looked pretty similar to mine, so I didn't make him wait for me to take a picture... We were amazed that since their machine got tuned a bit, the texture of the ice might be better than before! It's so light and fluffy that eating it plain would probably be interesting. I still can't understand how shaved ice with syrup can be this good, but it's pretty amazing.

Hansen's Sno Bliz

4801 Tchoupitoulas St

www.snobliz.com

What's a good follow-up to a sno bliz? A cocktail, of course! So we biked up to Cure, to catch them right as they opened, before the saturday crowds descended.

I started with a Creole Cocktail (amaro/benedictine/rye/sweet vermouth - created by Ricky Gomez of Cure, mixed by Michael.)

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My buddy asked if they could make something with Fernet, and I can't recall now whether it ended up as a Toronto, or just something with Fernet and Rye and some accoutrements...

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I think it was Max doing the mixing, but whoever made it, it was very tasty. As was the Creole, which is currently on their cocktail menu, and as you might imagine, tastes a bit like a mysterious Manhattan.

We were intending to drink more, but out of fear of never leaving those bar stools, decided to hit a few more spots around town, but vowed to return.

Cure

4905 Freret St.

New Orleans, LA 70115

curenola.com/

On our way back toward the central part of the city, we stopped at Lilette for a quick drink, and maybe a snack.

We started with a couple of very good cocktails. The short one is a Ward 8, the other one... jeeze, I thought I had taken notes... it was bright and citrusy and good!

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And we could resist a few bites of something, so we tried the

Sweet and sticky fried beef short ribs with hearts of palm, cucumber and lime-ginger vinaigrette.

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And a special of (domestic) "Kobe" Beef Sirloin with Duck-fat fried potatoes.

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(This photo is of a half-portion of the 6-oz steak, the kitchen was kind enough to divide the order between two plates for us.)

You know, those potatoes were spectacular! It feels a little weird to rave about the accompaniment to Wagyu beef, rather than about the meat itself, but that's the reaction we had! The beef had a very deep flavor, and was remarkably tender, so no big complaints about it, but we also didn't have the wow moment one always hopes for with this caliber of meat. It just didn't have that unctuous, marbled texture that makes some wagyu swoon-worthy, but somehow, the potatoes did evoke that kind of rapture. They were delicately crusty on the outside, meltingly creamy on the inside, much more satisfying than one would think a potato could be.

We had a couple of glasses of red wine alongside the beef, a Burgundy and a Rhone, each perfectly pleasant, but neither an especially perfect match.

The shortrib starter was very good: the crispy preparation was an unusual twist, and the sweet and sour flavors of the glaze and dressing offset the rich meat nicely. I'd get that again any time. And I'd really like to come back and have a full dinner at Lilette, the menu was very interesting, and the tastes we had showed serious skill in the kitchen, so, next time...

Lilette

3637 Magazine St

New Orleans, LA 70115

www.liletterestaurant.com

But we had to get going, we had dinner reservations.

But first, a detour to the Pere Marquette to have a drink from Chris McMillan. We intended to get here much earlier, because there's nothing we like more than to spend some time enjoying the cocktails and tales spun by Chris. But sadly we ended-up with a short window of opportunity, and only managed one drink before we had to run, but at least we managed that, we would have been very disappointed to have missed him altogether.

Chris has been doing his twist on the Blue Train lately, so when we just asked him to make us whatever he felt like, that's what we got!

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It wasn't my favorite cocktail of the weekend, but I'm always interested in trying something I haven't, and it was certainly interesting. And when someone asked for one later that same night at Cure, I felt very in-the-know!

We regretfully excused ourselves from the bar and raced over to Cochon for a 10:00 reservation, the only time we could squeeze-in during our visit, and we didn't want to skip this spot. Cochon was completely jammed at 10pm, and stayed that way for a while, but the kitchen seemed to be keeping up.

We started with a couple of Sazerac cocktails, which were terrible, really bitter and unbalanced. You could tell something was off by just looking at them: they were cherry-red from a heavy hand with the Peychauds. When we mentioned it, they were promptly replaced with better ones, and we were back on track.

The chef sent out a complimentary order of Head Cheese. I suspect they might do that for most folks at the kitchen counter...

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Hen and Andouille Gumbo

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Boudin Balls

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Cracklin's (not on the menu, but ask, they usually have some)

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Pork Cheeks

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Fire-Roasted House-Made Sausage

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Green Beans with Country Ham

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The food was mostly excellent. The headcheese was quite good, especially accompanied by a slice of their tasty pickles. We liked the gumbo a lot, even though it was a touch shy on both rice and andouille. The boudin balls were delicious, with that great contrast between the exterior crunch and the interior softness.

The cracklin's were fantastic. Most of them were a nice small size, looking almost like fried noodles, which somehow gave exactly the right proportion of surface crunch, or the perfect shape for a dip in Steen's Cane Syrup, or whatever the reason, we couldn't stop eating them.

The Pork Cheeks were as good as I remembered them from my previous visit: meltingly tender, their flavor intensified by a heavily-reduced sauce on the plate. The sausage was a little plain - not bad, just not as interestingly-spiced, or smoky from the roasting as we'd hoped. Same for the beans, while it was nice to have something green, and the slivers of country ham added some interest, the white creamy dressing didn't have much character, and didn't add much to the dish. Still, nothing was bad and we liked most of the food quite a lot, so Cochon will always be on our list of places to visit. The only real complaint I have is that while I like watching the action at the kitchen bar, those stools are pretty uncomfortable after a while...

Cochon

930 Tchoupitoulas St.

www.cochonrestaurant.com

It was pretty late by the time we'd finished up there, too late to grab another round of cocktails at the Pere Marquette, so we hopped in a cab and headed back out to Cure.

The scene there was pretty hopping, it was very full, but through good luck, or perhaps Jedii mind tricks, we scored a couple of seats at the bar. Max was kind enough to mix up some sophisticated drinks for us, despite the crush. I started with one of his original concoctions, the Black and Bluegrass, while my drinking companion opted for a classic Sazerac.

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Both really delicious drinks, the Black and Bluegrass was quite thought provoking, multiple layers of flavor unfolding over time. After that, another round of dealer's-choice, two more original concoctions from Max. I had The Fall of Man, which was such a mind-bogglingly complex drink that it made me forget to photograph it, and even made me forget what was in it. And what was in the drink before it. I loved it, but it's certainly a drink for thinking about cocktails, not for lighthearted enjoyment. And perhaps taken even more to an extreme, he also served-up an unnamed concoction he jokingly referred to as "The Awesome Cocktail" that started with an ounce and a half of bitters, and just got stranger from there. So if you want to explore the edges of cocktalian contemplation, you can do it here...

To be clear, we encouraged Max to be weird, I'm quite sure the folks at Cure are not going to toss these drinks out to an unsuspecting customer! But it was quite thrilling to experience some experimental mixology that was challenging, yet still quite tasty.

There was really nowhere to go after the Fall of Man and the Awesome, and it was getting late, so we headed back toward where we were staying.

But we felt a need for one more bite, and although it was approaching 4am, the Verti Marte was right on the way, and they're always open!

Hot Sausage Po Boy

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Roast Beef Po Boy

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I don't really love the rolls they use, they're a little squishy and too sesame-seedy for my taste, but you know, they were still pretty good Po Boys, and really hit the spot.

Verti Marte

1201 Royal St.

www.vertimarte.com

So as we fiished the Po Boys, about 4:15 am, we realized we'd been awake for about 24 hours, after waking at a little after 5am Eastern time to catch the plane, so we figured we'd call it a day.

A pretty good Saturday.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Sunday morning (OK, it was noon...) we headed back out to continue our explorations.

The Cake Cafe was nearby and had a nice looking brunch menu.

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That's an eggwhite omelet with bacon and ham and sausage. (we couldn't have those egg yolks clogging up our arteries! Actually, there's a reason, but it's a long story...) And that other object is something they claim is the best bagel in the South. I can't comment on the veracity of that boast, but for the sake of you southerners, I sure hope it isn't...

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Biscuits and sausage gravy, with Andouille.

Nothing transcendent, but very good, and a nice start for the day. And it gave us enough energy to get on the bikes.

Cake Cafe

2440 Chartres

www.nolacakes.com

Next stop: Elizabeth's.

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We might have come straight here, but the guy on the phone had predicted a 45 minute wait, and we needed something sooner! But we didn't want to pass-up the Elizabeth's experience, especially the fabled Praline Bacon.

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And we're not very likely to pass on Boudin Balls if they're nearby...

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And to wash it down, a special cocktail, the name escapes me, but it included chartreuse and sloe gin and something fizzy, and was really tasty, a very nice brunch cocktail. Oh, and a Pimm's Cup.

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That bacon is pretty crazy good, at least if you're one of those people that drags your bacon through the maple syrup when you're having pancakes. And the boudin balls were very nice too, the creamy mustard sauce providing an elegant accent.

Elizabeth's

601 Gallier St (at Chartres)

www.elizabeths-restaurant.com

We did a little riding around, looking for a few rumored locations for holiday crawfish boils or pig roasts, and didn't quite find them, but it was a nice day, and we needed to work-off brunch anyway.

We did that largely by riding up to Parkway.

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A little local flavor while we contemplated our choices...

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Sweet Potato fries were very crispy and flavorful, even better dipped in some gravy...

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The hunt for the ideal Hot Sausage Po Boy continued. This one comes pretty close!

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Their famous Hot Roast Beef Po Boy is a freaking mess! A wonderful, delicious, addictive mess.

Parkway Bakery and Tavern

538 Hagan Avenue (at Toulouse)

www.parkwaybakeryandtavernnola.com

Only a few blocks away is the perfect next course:

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This place doesn't look like it's changed much since 1905, and that's just fine. The pastries looked great, but we opted for something cold:

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That's Louisiana Strawberry Sorbetto hiding under the Lemon. Both were intense, but that strawberry is incredible stuff, more berry-like than fresh berries.

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Zuppa Inglese Gelato on top of Praline Gelato is not a bad way to go either. I thought I'd gotten really jaded from having excellent gelato and sorbetto in Philadelphia, but this stuff was impressive.

Angelo Brocato

214 North Carrollton

www.angelobrocatoicecream.com

We headed back into the Quarter next, first a stop for a drink at Arnaud's French 75 Bar.

The Widow's Kiss:

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A cocktail built around Jameson's whiskey, I thought it was called the Round Midnight, but I can't swear to that...

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I wish we could have stayed a little longer, Chris Hannah is a very engaging bartender. Not only were the drinks beautifully made, it was a real pleasure to chat with him. He even shared a great description of the Widow's Kiss from a cocktail book that really enhanced our enjoyment of the drink. But sadly, the bar was occupied by some annoying cigar-smoking guys that were creeping us out, and anyway, we were getting hungry...

So a few blocks down and around the corner to Green Goddess.

This was only day four for them, but they seemed to be pretty up-to-speed, except for not having a liquor license yet. That was not big deal, they have very interesting non-alcoholic drinks, and we were there for the food anyway.

The Huckleberry Sno-Ball

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This was really amazing, based around an intense berry and red-wine granita.

Island Sea Breeze

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A nice hibiscus-based drink, very refreshing, but overshadowed by the Snowball!

Crawfish Boil Salad

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This is a version of a dish chef Chris DeBarr used to make at The Delachaise. This particular one is tweaked a little more than usual: my dining companion had been craving crabmeat, and we'd just asked if they could incorporate crabmeat in anything. They offered to drop some on this salad, and wow, it was really good, I think they should serve it like this all the time! But even without that, it's an excellent salad. The interplay of the warm crawfish tails, the cool greens, the garlicky aoli makes it better than the sum of its parts.

Bison and Bacon Meatloaf

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As you might guess, it's pretty intense! But it doesn't go too far, and with the fluffy, cheesey potato, it makes for a very satisfying update to a home-style classic.

Cochon de Lait Wearing Hawaiian Sunglasses

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Another really nice tweak to a traditional dish. The tropical twists really added interest to what was already going to be a delicious combo: pulled pork, sweet potatoes, greens. The pork had a remarkably tender texture, and full flavor, only amplified by tasting it along with the sides.

Chef was nice enough to come out and talk us through the menu, although it didn't help much, we still wanted to order everything! Somewhere along the line he mentioned something about duck-fat fried potatoes they've been serving with something, and he could see the spark of interest in our eyes, and kindly offered to make some for us.

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Yow! Crispy, soft, fatty in the most luxurious way, these were just unbelievably good. I'd like to apologize to the kitchen in advance for posting this picture, I suspect they may be pestered to make these all the time!

This was a really exciting meal. It was fundimentally delicious food, but everything was twisted just enough to make it new and interesting. I really think I could eat the whole menu, even the vegetarian tasting menu looked very appealing. This place will be at the very top of our list for a return visit as soon as we get back to New Orleans.

It's a tiny place, 2 or 3 small tables inside, 3 or 4 more outside, and I don't think they take reservations, but they are trying to be open long hours, so maybe it won't be too hard to score a seat. But if there's a wait, trust me, wait!

Green Goddess

307 Exchange Alley

www.greengoddessnola.com

It had been FAR too long since we'd had a drink at Cure, so after dinner we hopped in another cab. Sunday night was fairly calm, so we had the good luck to get a good amount of attention from bartender Kirk Estopinal, who proceeded to amaze us with yet more complex, surprising, sophisticated, and most importantly, enjoyable cocktails.

Over the course of several cocktails, I'm confident that I missed a couple of photos, but among the cascade of libations that Kirk shook and stirred-up for us were:

The Art of Choke

(created by Kyle Davidson of Violet Hour: cynar, rum, green charteuese, demerara, mint)

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An unnamed improv by Kirk based on a request for something with Steen's Cane Syrup

(steens cane syrup, rye whiskey bittered sling with old fashioned bitters and pimento dram)

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The Vellocet

(Kirk Estopinal of Cure/Violet Hour: green chartreuse, pineapple, falernum, lime, swizzle bitters)

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The Search for Delicious

(Kirk Estopinal: Cynar, Punt y Mes, Regan's Orange, Salt, Lemon Oil)

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Improved Holland's Cocktail

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Hush and Wonder

(Toby Maloney of Violet Hour: Matusalem Classico Daquiri with Violette rinse)

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The 227

(Stephen Cole of the Violet Hour: w.turkey bourbon, fees old fashioned bitters, egg, lemon flamed bourbon)

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I think there might have been a couple more. I did my best...

As we thought at our earlier visit, they've really got something special going on at Cure. It's a nice space, and they've got some serious talent at the bar. It was especially nice to go at a slow time, and just let Kirk or Max, or any of the other very talented bartenders let their imagination run wild. This batch of drinks was populated quite strongly with "thoughtful" drinks, ones that are unlikely to be crowd-pleasers, but that are very rewarding if you feel like thinking about what you're drinking.

That said, a few of them, such as the Vellocet, the 227 and the Steen's thing, were very approachable cocktails, but had enough depth to not be merely quaffable. I'd grown cynical about 25-ingredient drinks with eye-droppered tinctures and oils and mists, but these guys cured me of that. I could really taste the point of the 2 drops of this, the flamed reduction of that, feel the result of the showy shake.

(thanks to Kirk for his help identifying the drinks, for some odd reason, my notes were not entirely decipherable... )

Cure

4905 Freret St.

New Orleans, LA 70115

curenola.com

Again, we'd reached the logical conclusion of the course of cocktails, so we headed home.

Oh, one quick stop for a drink at Mimi's

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Mimi's is a really cool bar, but it didn't seem like the kind of place to whip out the camera and start photographing drinks. I was concerned that the bartender might punch me if I did, although other than that, she seemed like a very nice girl. Besides, we just had straight whiskey anyway, I'm sure you can imagine what that looks like.

It was only a little after 3am, but we decided that we'd had a complete sunday, and called it a night.

(edited for typos)

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Monday morning, rain... we decide to grab a cup of coffee and see if it would lighten up.

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I'm surprised, espresso in a styrofoam cup isn't that bad.

Thankfully it does indeed lighten up fairly promptly, so we head out for brunch at Stanley.

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I'd been transfixed by this place since I saw the words "Eggs Benedict Po Boy" on their menu. And there it was! And it was... fine. It was actually quite tasty, in the way that Eggs Benedict is, but I think I'd been expecting something a little more distinctive than swapping out the english muffin for a toasted roll. The Hollandaise was fine, but totally routine; the Canadian Bacon was surprisingly pedestrian. The eggs were well-poached, but as a whole, tasty, but something of a let-down.

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If the eggs benny po by hadn't grabbed me, this one surely would have: Korean Barbecue Beef Tenderloin and Kimchee Po Boy. It's a great concept, and even though it wasn't executed quite the way I would have liked it, it still tasted pretty good. I'm not sure if the beef was supposed to be hot. It wasn't, and it would have been much better if it had been. I'm not sure how rare the beef is supposed to be. This was very very rare, practically mooing. It's good beef, so it was OK, but there wasn't a lot of flavor from the flame, which is one of the appeals of Korean barbecue, so I would have liked for it to have had a little more time on the grill at least for that. And finally, the kimchee was a little tame, but I probably wouldn't have minded that if the beef had been hotter and better charred around the edges. Even with all that whining, I liked it, I guess I'll just have to make one at home more to my specifications!

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Gumbo was on the thin side, but had a nice dark flavor and was generous with seafood, so thumbs up on that.

We might have been a little on-edge from the rather long wait, not for seats, but after ordering. It was well over a half an hour between ordering and any food at all arriving. They seemed pretty busy, if not completely full, but how long does it take to ladle out a bowl of gumbo? Then there were the little glitches that can happen almost anywhere, just on top of waiting so long for food, they irritated more. My water glass had a previous diner's lipstick on it, one half of the Korean po boy had a hair in it so obvious it looked like a porcupine quill. Our waitress was appropriately mortified and immediately removed the charge for the po boy when we explained why we'd left half of it. And it's not her fault that the food was coming out slow, so I can't really complain about the service, but the whole experience was certainly less than what we'd hoped for. Some good concepts, decent food, but I'm not sure I'd go back.

Stanley

St Ann St and Chartres St

stanleyrestaurant.com

So we headed off for a few snacks at Butcher.

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It seemed apropos to start with the Swine Killer:

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and a Steen's Manhattan

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Pork Belly Sandwich

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Boudin

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Barbecue Ribs

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These were all very enjoyable, although we felt each one might have benefitted from a minor tweak. The pork belly was very tasty, but the sandwich as a whole was a little austere, just pork, cucumbers and white bread. We tossed on some pickles and some mustard and it really came together. The boudin had great flavor, and we realize it's pretty traditional to just eat them plain like that, but we did find we missed the crunch of the breaded version around the corner at the mothership. We also wondered how they'd be crisped-up on a grill. The ribs were very tender, the sauce pleasingly tangy, but we were hoping for some smoke, or some greater complexity to the flavor of the meat. We've generally been impressed the depth of flavors at Cochon, so it might have been a fluke that these particular items struck our palates as a little plain. We certainly liked it enough to give it another try! The drinks were excellent, and complimented the food very well.

And we liked Butcher enough to want to take a big andouille home with us. There were many more meats in the cases that looked great, but we weren't confident they'd survive the transport back home on the plane.

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Cochon Butcher

930 Tchoupitoulas

www.cochonbutcher.com

We also dropped-in next door at the Nola Grocery and picked up some frozen sausages that we thought might survive the trip.

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And I think we might have found the last two Blueberry Hubig's Pies in the city.

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Nola Grocery

351 Andrew Higgins

www.nolagrocery.com

And then, we realized we were out of time, and had to get headed for the airport.

But on the way, a couple of Po Boys for the trip home. Verti Marte is on the way...

A mixed shrimp and oyster Po Boy.

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Ham Po Boy

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And that's finally the end. Oh wait, we've still got sausages!!

We had a great time, ate some delicious food, had some amazing cocktails, and met some really nice people.

Hoping to make a return trip soon!

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Nice report.

The shrimp guy has changed locations, as he used to be over on Claiborne and MLK by what used to be Wagner's Meats (You can't beat our meat!).

He isn't just selling them, he is the guy who catches them. They are, always, caught the previous day and his wife makes him drive from Cutoff to NOLA to get rid of them at a premium price compared to what he gets at the docks. That premium price is usually around 5 bucks a pound for 16-20's. A serious bargain. My DC restaurant paramour has made big buddies with the guy. To get those shrimp, in that shape, unfrozen, in DC would cost her 20 or better per pound. They are a serious bargain, even here, and at that price, cheaper than lots of other stuff that isn't half as good.

What kind of camera are you using? Great photos!

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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

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Wow, Phila! I am stuffed and exhausted just reading your accounts. I will be spending some time in New Orleans over the next four years as my second son will be starting at Tulane late summer. Thanks for the additional pointers!

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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Ur killin' me...Can't wait to try and merely put a dent in your itinerary in a few short weeks.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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