I’d always been curious about Creole and Cajun food but never had the chance to truly try it. I’d tried gumbo once while on vacation in Florida and it wasn’t good. I must admit the word “gumbo” just doesn’t sound good to me. If there was one place that could change my mind it would be New Orleans.
My friend Kate, who was also in town the same time, introduced me to Mother’s Restaurant, famous for it’s Po Boys and “World’s best baked ham” The smell of the roast beef won me over. I had a roast beef Po boy with “Debris” which is the smaller pieces of beef that fall into the gravy while roasting. This is served on New Orleans French bread.
Unfortunately I have no photo, as I was too busy eating it!
Café Du Monde
Café du Monde is the most famous place to get beignets in New Orleans. Pronounced “Ben-yay!” Beignets are kind of like donuts, but not? They are little squares of heaven covered in powdered sugar! The rule is to not where anything black. If you have a mouth covered with powdered sugar, that’s how you know you enjoyed them! Don’t forget to try their chicory coffee!
A good alternative to Café du Monde is Café Beignet. There are a few locations in New Orleans but my favourite was the one located on Royal Street. A cute quaint café, the beignets here tasted somewhat different, I’d say a little softer and bigger in size. But it’s always best to try both!
The Gumbo Shop
The Gumbo shop ended up being my favourite restaurant in New Orleans. It was affordable with a great atmosphere. I tried the pecan pie, Alligator Sausage, crab cakes and creamed corn. Who’d have thought Alligator could taste so good? I was also able to sample the gumbo, which has redeemed itself in my books!
Here I tried my very first crawfish etouffee, as a lover of seafood I found this to be very tasty.
“Étouffée or etouffee is a dish found in both Cajun and Creole cuisine typically served with shellfish over rice. The dish employs a technique known as smothering, a popular method of cooking in the Cajun areas of southwest Louisiana.”
The Bombay club
The Bombay Club is a Bar & Restaurant inside the Prince Conti Hotel. Their websites describes them as being “British fare with a Cajun twist”. We came here for happy hour, which is 4pm-7pm Mon-Fri and 3pm-7pm Sat & Sun. Originally I suggested this place for their authentic looking “Mint Julep” but not being the biggest fan of bourbon I decided against it. Instead I chose a Bellini with a Cajun poutine, both of which were on the happy hour menu.
French truck coffee
I love finding independent coffee shops when traveling. French Truck Coffee was a great place to get away from the crowds and take a moment to relax.
The Carousel Bar & Lounge
The Carousel Bar is located inside the Monteleone Hotel, and is literally a rotating bar designed like a carousel. I had to visit being as I love the carousel Walt Disney World, add in alcohol and I’m sold. Although the bar is usually full, there is more seating in the lounge.
New Orleans Hand Grenade
New Orleans is famous for it’s frozen alcoholic drink, the Hand Grenade. What is it exactly? Honestly I have no idea, but I drank it anyway.
Let’s have a google… “1½ oz gin, 1½ oz grain alcohol, 1½ oz melon liquor, 1½ oz vodka, 1½ oz rum“ – That’s a lot of alcohol!
There are only five bars licensed to sell Hand Grenades in New Orleans. You can find them at Tropical Isle on Bourbon Street.
Ever since my visit to Disneyland in February I’d wanted to try an authentic Mint Julep. The Disneyland counterpart was similar to lemonade with mint flavouring, and it was good. So surely the real thing with alcohol would be better?
It was bourbon, but like 90% bourbon with a sprig of mint and that was it. It was $10 and I tried very hard to finish it. I admitted defeat, no more mint juleps for me!
The Dungeon was probably my favourite bar in New Orleans. The path to this bar takes you down a very narrow alleyway lit with red lights. It was creepy, and I like creepy. There are no outside drinks allowed and no photography inside. They played all my favourite music, from Metallica to Pantera. My friend Hollie felt like a fish out of water, so it’s definitely not for everyone! This place is famous for their absinth drink that glows in the dark.
Have you ever tried a Mint Julep? Are you a fan of Creole or Cajun food?