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lala

Heat factor for wussie visitor

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I have always wanted to visit NOLA, but I have a problem. As I understand it, all of the local food is traditionally very spicy, and I'm a wuss when it comes to heat. Worse, I will most likely be visiting with BF, who's an even bigger wuss. Did I also mention that I'm not a fan of green peppers?

While I know that NOLA has many food options, I want to eat the regional foods - without the heat blowing my head off. Am I foolhardy to try? Are there heat options, or does the food just come in one scolville factor? I do so want to visit and explore the culture and history of the region. I just don't want to starve while I do it!

Help?!

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lala,

Take it from a cajun who doesn't like hot foods, it's not that hot. I like to say that some of our dishes are spicy, but not that hot. Whether you go to Mother's for a po-boy, or get gumbo at a neighborhood restaurant, or trout amandine at Antoine's, you will not get blown away. You probably have to stay away from the Tex-Mex of San Antonio, but not New Orleans.

Just ask the wait staff about what dishes may be hot and just get something else. Hot peppers are not a predominant spice in most cajun / creole / New Orleans' restaurants.

Joe

PS: My only caution is that if you want to order gumbo, ask for a tiny taste before ordering it. That's where you may get caught by surprise! :shock:


Edited by Java-Joe (log)

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Lala welcome to the boards!

Just find your self a big ole roast beef po' boy dressed (that means with lettuce, tomato and the trimmings).

A shrimp Po'boy from Mandina's up on Canal street near Carrollton, that is heaven. The advice about tasting the gumbos is excellent. Try one of the old line New Orleans Italian restaurants, like Liuzza's on upper Bienville, the eggplant parmesan is heaven, and if you dare, try one of the stuffed artichokes.

You can dine very well in New Orleans without burning out. If you like Vietnamese, there are several options on either the New Orleans side or the West Bank of the river.

Go, enjoy yourself. The city is a great place, I recommend to avoid Bourbon Street.

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Oh come on. Bourbon street is a must, if only for the scenic value :biggrin: Some of the best people watching takes place there. And it's one of the few places I've been where the bartender asks if you want your drink "to go", in which case he'll make it in a plastic cup and off you wander down the street :biggrin:

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It's not about the heat, it is about the flavor. Unless you get down on a big pile of bugs that somebody has completely overdone, you should be pretty safe. When you think about it, most of the classics are not that spicy hot.

Just sit down and order. You will be pleased. There are very few places in the world with a range of dining like New Orleans and the surrounding area. Make sure you go through some of the Louisiana threads and see what others have said about recent trips and read about the dishes.

Have a great trip and quit worrying about the heat, it's the humidity! :raz::laugh:

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Oh come on. Bourbon street is a must, if only for the scenic value :biggrin: Some of the best people watching takes place there. And it's one of the few places I've been where the bartender asks if you want your drink "to go", in which case he'll make it in a plastic cup and off you wander down the street :biggrin:

I totally agree. Sometimes this "avoid the tourist areas" bit goes waaaaay too far.

For example. I used to live in Panama. I actually had a friend come to visit that told me she wanted to "skip the canal because it's so touristy." :laugh:

The first time I went to Italy, I went with this friend. We spent about a month. On my first visit, I always want to find the biggest tourist attractions and set my butt right down in the big middle of it. I want to know what all the fuss is about.

But my friend? No. No "tourist attractions" for her. So finally I told her, okay, you go see what you want, but I'm going to all the famous places. And when we get back and someone asks you, "Did you see the Leaning Tower?", you can say, "No, but I did tour an amazing cement factory just outside of Turin."

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Not a problem! We went there right after Christmas--we love the place--and ate our little hearts out. I, too, don't do well with heat. ( I used to...but...sigh). We had great meals with no problems. Makes me hungry just to think of it.

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Thanks for the reassurances and encouragement, everyone! I shall continue with my research and planning.

I do remain cautious about asking servers about the heat factor. I always ask in Asian restaurants, and often wind up with head-exploding heat in my food, despite the waiter's assurances of mildness...ah, well, ya pays yer dime, ya takes your chances...

Thanks!

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