Top 10 in NOLA!

My good friend Maureen told me she was going to NOLA for a visit and asked for some food suggestions. Food places? Have I got tons!! As I started brainstorming recommendations, my mouth literally started drooling a bit over all the delicious foods I could eat that you just can't get in NYC. You can go to 'New Orleans' restaurants but their just not as authentic or fresh as the stuff that you can get in NOLA. Below are the places I thought of in the order that I would eat them. 

PS. Maureen, this blog post is dedicated to you and your upcoming trip! I hope you have the most amazing time!

1. Drago's Restaurant ( - Chargrilled oysters.
*Mouth is seriously watering...* Freshly shucked oysters are topped with butter, garlic, herbs, and cheese...than are grilled over a fiery stove where the oysters basically boiled in butter and the cheese is melted over it. Served with a fresh french baguette...this is seriously one of the BEST things I have ever put in my mouth. You suck down the oyster and sop up the rest of the bread. You'll be surprised at how clean you can lick an oyster shell.  A plate of these along with a blood mary makes for a perfect breakfast of champions!

2 and 3. Felix's Restaurant and Oyster Bar ( -
Freshly shucked Oysters and Blackened Gator
Located right across the street from the famous Acme Restaurant and Oyster Bar, we totally thought we would just go in, have a quick look of the menu, and than mosey away. Wrong! The incredibly friendly staff ordered us in and made us stand at their counter where fresh oysters glistened over packed ice. Without hesitation, the Oyster Shuckler (is that a word?) shucked 1/2 a dozen fresh oysters onto a paper plate. There we dressed our oysters with whatever we wanted from their choice of horse radish, vinegar, cocktail sauce, tobasco, lemon, etc. The last bits of oyster juice mixed with horseradish and lemon tickle your throat.  GAH! I NEED OYSTERS NOW....

Next, we ordered up some blackened gator with a side of fried pickles.  The gator was actually very tender and had a perfect chewiness.  It was seasoned with a heavy dose of Louisiana cajun seasoning (which is kiiiiiind of the best thing ever), which made it super delicious.  I like to describe it as the chewy part of the clam muscle that is left stuck to the shell after you eat the body.  And while we're here, let's take a moment to give a kudos to whoever decided to deep fry a pickle...genius! Dipped in ranch dressing, the pickles tasted like sour cream and onion potato chips.

4. Mufuletta at Central Grocery (923 Decatur St. New Orleans, LA 70116) -
This sandwich is the size of my face! A round foccacia bread with mortadella, ham, salami, mozzarella, provolone and the secret sauce - OLIVE SALAD!!! AHHHHH!!!!! WHAT MORE CAN I SAY? I LOVE ITALIAN HOAGIES BUT THIS IS THE ITALIAN HOAGIES ON CIRCLE BREAD STEROIDS!!!

5 and 6. Fried chicken and Jambalaya at Coops ( fried chicken and Jambalaya I have ever had in my life. There is something really special in the breading that the chicken is fried in. So well flavored, so juicy, so succulent. After Coops, I have never found a jambalaya that I have actually enjoyed. It's served with Rabbit and Sausage. Poor bunny...but they are terribly delicious and especially good in Coop's Jambalya. Get the Coops Taste plate and try the best of all the things they have!

7. Shrimp or Crawfish Boil - I don't know the exact address of this spot but I know that if you walk from Cafe Du Monde down Decatur street and continue to bear left at the tip of the triangle, there is a bar & restaurant that has a boiling pot of either big New Orlean's Tiger Shrimp or Crawfish boil. Their boil is the good fashioned way with enough spice that your lips will puff up like Angelina's. But you can't stop eating the because between the saltiness, the numbness, and the won't find a place with authentic shrimp boil in New York. If someone goes here...please tell me the name!

8. Bloody Mary at Brennan's Cafe - This bloody mary is delicious, toxic, refreshing, and served with a wonderfully crisp pickled string bean! 

9. Beignets and a Cafe Au Lait (Cafe Du Monde) - Famous and definite must for anyone who goes to New Orleans. Crispy fried dough dusted off with powdered sugar. Dip these in cafe au lait and you'll be satisfied for the day. Simply comforting in it's simplified sweetness, we had to go three times, sometimes just because we were passing it and...well...why not?

10. Turtle Soup and than some at Commander's Palace (
Walk off a day's eating by going to Commander's Palace on the other side of town from the French Wuarter. I had my first bowl of turtle soup and it was really good.  From what I remember, it was well seasoned and very creamy. Turtle doesn't really have a distinct taste. It was mellow, creamy, rich, and very delicious. Everything else at Commanders was superb. This is also one of the most beautiful restaurants I have ever been with the most hospitable staf.

When leaving New Orleans, you can't help but be sad that you didn't get to do EVERYTHING, and this is exactly how we felt.  After hours of planning, listing and researching, we were only able to go to about half of the places on our already narrowed down list.  Both of us can't wait to visit again soon, and it's really saddened us to see all the hardship the city has gone through.  We haven't seen the city since the BP disaster but from what we know, and Post-Katrina, each punch to New Orleans seems to make the city stronger and the spirit of it's people more resilient.  This is a charming city that's full of good music, good culture, good people, and amaaaaazing food.  Really...what more can you ask for?  Everyone should go at least once in their life, and when you do, you'll be completely embraced by southern hospitality, food, and architecture.  LOVE NEW ORLEANS AND CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK!!!!


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