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New Orleans

New Orleans

July 15, 2013

New Orleans…I’ll be honest, we weren’t really prepared for you.

You see, Ben and I did not think we would get that far South during our recent USA trip. But we ended up having some extra time and we jumped at the chance to head to The Big Easy! When we arrived we were a little unsure. We didn’t instantly fall in love, as we did with San Francisco, Austin and New York City.

New Orleans is… unique. It’s ornate and dirty and gorgeous and sticky. Sometimes it’s a little scary. Often it’s covered in powdered sugar or hot sauce. And it sounds like this…

It gets under your skin.

Ben and I were loaded with stellar food recommendations, which were so exciting, but really, we were a bit exhausted at this point of our trip. Ben had to work during the days and funds were ooooh a little tight at that point. So we ended up chilling out at our Air bnb rental and working for a decent portion of our visit, sneaking out for a few fun excursions to see some sights, enjoy tasty eats and soak up that Jazz. Yeah, it was pretty great. And by the time we left New Orleans, we had it. We got it. It’s magic.

Here are a few photographs of this beautiful, beaded city, plus some recommendations for you.

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First up, we dove into yummy shrimp Po Boys from Parkway Bakery and Tavern. These famous Louisiana sandwiches were ‘shove in your face’ good.

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We went to Gumbo Shop. For gumbo. Duh. Oh, and for daquiris at 11am. Double duh.

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Opposite Gumbo Shop on Royal St is a super cute coffee shop.

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Stanley‘s reportedly serve very delicious eggs. Their gumbo was tasty, as were their Creole potatoes, and I enjoyed my salad (I needed greens, you feel me?).

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Beignets. Do it. Get it. Love it. Cafe Du Monde is where it’s at.

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Boucherie is the sweetest little restaurant. They serve modern, gourmet Po Boys for lunch (think slow roasted beef with horseradish cream and pickled onions) and their garlic parmesan fries are super tasty. Oh, and their Pimm’s is outrageously delicious too. Thanks for the recommendation, Joy! Ben and I also visited for dinner one night and enjoyed one of the most lovely scallops and mussels.

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Dooky Chase is an absolute institution and well worth a visit. Rice and beans is their thing. I ate fried green tomatoes here. Anyone…?

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Pies & Quiches is a darling little shop that sells beautiful homemade Ps and Qs. We got a small chocolate cream pie to share. I wish there was more time for more pie…

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D.B.A. is an ace little Jazz bar on Frenchman Street. We saw Linnzi Kaorski do her sweet thing and now I’m a bit obsessed with her music. Please do visit Frenchman Street for Jazz and drinks and general fun. It’s where you need to be (not Bourbon Street!).

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The World War Two Museum in New Orleans is an excellent way to spend a few hours. I learnt so much, I left completely embarrassed about my lack of World War Two knowledge and with so much respect for the men and women who fought in that war.

And I cannot recommend doing a Free Walking Tour of the Garden District/Lafayette Cemetery enough! Our tour guide Sarah was so charismatic and full of information.

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Here is a list of recommendations we didn’t get to try (from friends who truly know good food).

Camellia Grill (the original location!) – for burgers, milkshakes and pecan pie.
Jaques Imo’s – for aligator cheesecake (whaaaaaat?).
Port of Call – for burgers.
Sucre – for ice-cream and macarons.

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New Orleans Notes

Length of Stay: 5 nights. A nice amount of time. You could certainly see a lot of the touristy parts in less time, though. We visited in June and it. was. hot. I’d recommend visiting in a cooler month, for sure. Mardi Gras would be wonderful, and I’ve heard St Patricks Day in New Orleans is a hoot.
Accommodation: we rented a fabulous Air bnb pad (seriously, this place is the bomb!). It was a great location for the French Quarter and Frenchman Street, though personally next time I would stay in The Garden District, to be more central to the eats I was after and to also stay amongst the gorgeous, grand houses.
Where we ate: see above!
Highlightsfalling for Beignets, the walking tour, late night Netflix sessions watching Breakdown and playing Trivial Pursuit, the World War Two Museum, Jazz on Frenchmen Street and just being in the South.

Heidi xo

 

 

 

Beignets. I get it.

July 1, 2013

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Beignets. My first experience two years ago was friendly, though a tad ‘meh’, and ever since I have not had such a desirous attachment to this fried pastry situation. Rolled in cocoa sugar, those first bites were tasty, sure, but nothing to truly dance about, in my opinion. You see, I make some pretty darn good doughnuts, myself, (thanks to Nigella’s luxurious recipe, Baci Di Ricotta) so it takes a lot to impress me when we’re speaking on little fried dough balls.

Needless to say I was curious when visiting New Orleans and coming to the home of Beignets, as to how my thoughts may shift. Before I made up my mind about Beignets once and for all I knew I had to try the famed bites from Cafe Du Monde. I was a little dubious – despite all the hype, my expectations were not that high.

One drizzly Tuesday in NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana), Ben and I grabbed an outdoor seat at Cafe Du Monde near Jackson Square, and ordered one plate of Beignets and one frozen Cafe Au Lait to share. A rather modest order, we felt.

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In no time our order turned up and I got to taking pictures of the humble plate of oddly shaped, freshly fried, tan lumps covered in an impressive mound of sugar that lay before me.

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We pounced in for a taste…

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and then…

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and then…

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I got it.

boogie beignet

Yep.

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These charming, golden pillows are surprisingly light (provided you can stick to one or two), though slightly awkward in shape (never allowing for a dainty taste ). As you wrangle a bite the lovely crisp outer layer yields to a winsome web of tender dough. And they are completely, completely covered in powdered sugar (I felt with sugar-kissed feet), which, let me assure you, only enhances the deliciousness.

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Previously I had only seen merit in dressing dough balls in cinnamon sugar, where sweet granules marry with spice and seep into fried crevices to create something magical. But oh my, this powdered sugar business did something to my heart and now I get it. I get it. Beignets, these fiercely fried morsels, are pure comfort and the perfect vehicle for an uplifting dusting of sweet snow, a sugary sonnet, if you will. I get it. I get it all.

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Though I might come back another day for second plate, just to make sure…

 

Heidi xo

 

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