Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Top 5 Essential Food Experiences of New Orleans

New Orleans; also known as The Big Easy. Also known as The Big Easy-To-Eat-Lots-While-You’re-There! I happily ate my way around New Orleans when I was there recently. Here are my top picks…

Heaven on a Plate; the Cajun Donut
1. Cajun Donuts. And I am not referring to the famed beignets. Yes, beignets are beautiful, but I have to be honest and say the beignets made famous by Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter are a little bit overrated. What you really need is a cajun donut. They are made with dough and fried, just like a beignet, but the difference is this version is then smothered in melted butter and has the tiniest bit of sugar sprinkled over. The end result is an absolutely divine donut, which melts in your mouth!

2. Oysters. Seafood is something New Orleans is famous for and with good reason. There are so many places to enjoy a good oyster in New Orleans and if you visit the city in June, you may even get to experience the New Orleans Oyster Festival. You can try them fresh in the half-shell, grilled, Kilpatrick, Rockefeller. Try the Acme Oyster Bar, popular with tourists but rightly so.

The original and best; The Po'boy
3. Po'boy Sandwiches. Whoever invented the Po'boy should be declared a saint. These things are scrumptiously southern and I had a couple (ok, maybe five) of the best Po'boys sandwiches in all of America, while in New Orleans. They come so many different ways, but I like mine with the traditional fried oysters and the not so traditional spicy chicken, with some slaw and fries on the side.

4. Crawfish. This freshwater crustacean is on just about every menu in New Orleans and it’s great served simply, but I like to eat my crawfish with some style. Etouffee style to be exact. I had an amazing crawfish etouffee (French for ‘to smoother’). It’s basically crawfish tails smothered in a butter blend of onions, peppers, celery and garlic. Etou-fantastic! Head to Deanie’s Seafood on Iberville Street in the French Quarter for some etouffee excellence.

5. Gator. Vegetarians please stop reading now. Yes, they swim in the bayous around New Orleans but they also taste really good on a stick! You can get gator served so many different ways at so many places in New Orleans, but I had gator on a stick with cajun spices, cooked two ways; fried and grilled. But the burning question; what does it taste like? Well, it’s a bit chewy like beef but it’s white coloured flesh. Get your gator on a stick at Gator-Me-Crazy on Decatur Street. They also have the friendliest waiters in the French Quarter. 


What are your top 5 best foreign foods you've ever laid lips on?

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