NOLA in Love

Pat and I, by the grace of God, made it to NOLA before the thundersnow of 2/13/14 touched Philadelphia. He left first in order to meet his team because NOLA was obviously a work trip. I was there to celebrate Vday and try not to spend too many days apart.

The weather was both a blessing and a curse. My own work trip to Pittsburgh was cancelled because my return flight was cancelled. Why would I go if I couldn’t return? That left me with an opportunity to dash out of town before I was stuck in Philly. (Thank goodness I have an employer who respects my desire to enjoy my life outside of work.) I got on a flight to ATL with no problems. Well, there was significant turbulence, but nothing that killed me. The roller coaster ride was so bad that I had to lay down across two seats the entire flight. I slept most of the way. Every time I tried to sit upright, I felt violently nauseous. In ATL, the wait game began. I probably did not take off until 2-3hrs past the original time. In the meantime I made a friend with someone who told me about all of her relationship hi’s and lo’s.

When I finally arrived, Pat and I crashed. For the next two days, … we worked. Nothing sexy. We ate Subway sandwiches and yoghurt. I hardly moved from the hotel room, and Pat worked hard to open his pop-up shop outside the French Quarter.

We took a small break after his opening event to visit Cafe Du Monde – a place I’ve loved for over a decade. I couldn’t wait for a beignet. Pat obliged. We took a cart ride pedaled by a guy who pedals carts. Never done it. It was fun!

On a cart ride
On a cart ride

And it was disgusting. The Cafe Du Monde beignet, that is. At 12am, I’ll have to believe that the oil was stale and the staff tired. That must be what went wrong. My beignets were rolling in confectioners sugar before we ordered them. They were a lukewarm soft greasy sugary cakey mess by the time I bit into the first.

At Cafe Du Monde
At Cafe Du Monde
Cafe du Monde beignet
Cafe du Monde beignet

The next day I visited another old haunt, Cafe Beignet, and thank goodness I did. I brought Pat back a beignet that was warm, freshly made, delicious. Oddly enough, Solange was there too. You know, Bey’s sister. Lol!! Turns out, she loves NOLA. The weekend was also filled with celebs because of NBA All-Star weekend. But in the end, we did not do anything “All-Starish.” We just took some time together.

We ate at a dirty hole-in-the-wall also known as Jacques-Imo’s on Vday. Pat had heard great things about it. I was taken a back by the restaurant’s appearance and none too happy to wait, but in the end, we had a nice meal.

Fried Grits
Fried Grits
Bread Pudding that we did not order
Bread Pudding that we did not order

The Saturday, we ate at The Ruby Slippers, a chain breakfast spot. I ate a typical breakfast of eggs and fruit. Pat had a shrimp and grits concoction. Hmmm … Pat enjoyed his food. I won’t be returning. Last but not least, we ate at K. Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen with Pat’s co-workers. There were a medley of veggies on Pat’s plate, but other than that we all ate brown food. Fried onion rings, fried frogs legs, fried green tomatoes, biscuits and muffins, a corn maque choux. I had a fried chicken breast with a side of jambalaya – a bit too spicy for group dining. Whenever I eat spicy food, my nose runs unforgivingly. Pat had a fried fish filet with veggies.

Onion Rings and Frog Legs
Onion Rings and Frog Legs

 

Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Caper Dill Remoulade
Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Caper Dill Remoulade

 

Shrimp and Corn Maque Choux
Shrimp and Corn Maque Choux

 

Cajun Jambalaya
Cajun Jambalaya

After dinner, we walked back to our hotel and promptly fell asleep instead of getting dressed for a party. We just don’t party anymore, and we are happy to admit it.

I’m beginning to think I can love NOLA cuisine only soo much though. Pat too. There is an overwhelming use of salt, and frying is the #1 technique. Our plates were always brown. The Creole and Cajun plates must have had some vegetables historically. I’m having a heart attack thinking about what we ate. It is possible that we have just not sampled the more nuanced cuisine. We did see some “Best of NOLA” lists, but unfortunately with all of the All-Star events, the timing of work, and the large size of our party, we could not get a reservation at the likes of Commander’s Palace or Dooky Chase. We’ll do better next time.

On the way out, I returned to Philly while Pat continued on to Vegas. At least we were fortunate to have each other for a Vday weekend.

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