I’m back from New Orleans! And before you ask, last I saw Nicolas Cage, it was 5pm on Friday afternoon and he was just finishing up the last shot of the day in Jackson Square. I couldn’t tell you what happened after that, but if I had to work with the crew of that movie, I would want to tie one on after a long day of work too. 🙂
Yes, we did see Nicolas Cage up close and personal, but it was the food that really shined on our trip to New Orleans. Sweet and savory, cheap and a little not cheap, we did our duty and ate our way through the town. Of course, I’ve got a sweet tooth, so I fondly recall the sweets. Here’s a taste for you.
Once we got in from the airport, we quickly changed at the hotel and headed into the French Quarter. Our first stop was Cafe du Monde. It’s a tourist must do item, and they did not disappoint. The atmosphere leaves a little something to be desired, but that could have just been us adjusting to the New Orleans pace. But once our waitress did come to take our order, we were happy as clams. Not even Nicolas Cage holding us up could ruin it for us.
They do two things really: Coffee and Beignets. Since I don’t drink the coffee, I ordered a hot chocolate, and we ordered a double order of beignets. Oh yes, they were as delicious as you can see in the picture. Totally worth it. We timed our little trip to Cafe du Monde perfectly and were able to wait out a nice sunshower while stuffing our faces with fried dough.
The next day, we decided to take the streetcar up St. Charles Avenue to the Garden district, which is known for its gorgeous homes (films like Benjamin Button filmed there, not to mention, it’s where the Real World cast lived while filming there) and great shopping (a post on that later!). As we were walking, I remembered I had read about a great pastry shop called “Sucre”. We window shopped and took in the great atmosphere along Magazine Street, and then stopped in to Sucre.
We walked over to the display, bypassing the gelato (as a customer was ordering peanut butter chocolate gelato, no less), and this awaited us. Drool with me:
It was a tough decision, but with some help from our very helpful and lovely server, Sean, we decided on these (yes, plural):
We ordered the Turtle petit cake, a strawberry petit cake and a Xocalat petit cake. Holy hell, they were good. My own personal favorite was the Turtle cake, but the strawberry was also very good. The Xocolate would have been amazing at a time later than 11am in the morning. It was just very rich for that early. But still: good. Way good. Still, I couldn’t stop going back to the Turtle. We ordered a few macarons as well, but they were just an afterthought when compared to our petit cakes. But pretty and yummy in my tummy.
And because he was awesome, helpful and friendly, and we loved him, here’s a shot of our server:
That reminds me: one of the things I really loved the most about New Orleans was just how wonderful the people are. They are extremely friendly and helpful, which sometimes you don’t find when visiting popular tourist towns. Couldn’t help but enhance our experience.
On Sunday, we hit up the jazz brunch at Arnaud’s. This is an old New Orleans standard and one you shouldn’t miss. The atmosphere is just something else: the dining room almost reminded me of scenes from the Titanic- leaded glass windows and tile mosaic floor with dark wood paneling. Just gorgeous. The jazz trio was just great and traveled throughout the room playing for each table. But the favorite part of the brunch for this chick? Dessert, duh! Our server Brendan put on a great show as he prepared our Bananas Foster:
There’s just something special about stuffing your gullet with a special dessert made right before your eyes, tableside. And with fire to boot! I’ve never had Bananas Foster before, and they were so yummy, especially the brown sugar and cinnamon butter sauce. Soooo good!
I’ve got a five pound food baby to prove just how much I enjoyed New Orleans, but it’s worth it. It’s a place I’d return to in a heartbeat. Who’s in?!