I've been to New Orleans many times in the past several years, always for work. But even while working, one must eat, no? I love the food in New Orleans, and I really mean that - I love the exuberant commitment to local seafood and to traditional dishes. And if you've not been there, let me tell you this - the cooks in New Orleans have mastered their dishes and it's easy to find fantastic food, from complex things like gumbo or étoufée to the magnificent simplicity of a fried shrimp po'boy. There are so many ways to eat these and other things, at high end restaurants and at more modest but equally charming joints. Here some of the great things I ate on a recent trip:
Mahoney's, uptown on Magazine Street.
Ruby Slipper in Mid City. Really this dish is about the grits, which were creamy but retained a lovely grainy texture. Topped with fresh gulf shrimp, this is sweet and savory paradise.
The Upperline, I enjoyed fresh gulf shrimp remoulade over fried green tomatoes. This remoulade was made with a lot of whole mustard grains and was very delicious. I love all of the different remoulade interpretations in New Orleans - that could probably be the subject of a book.
The Joint. They make very compelling ribs, indeed. Great home made baked beans too.
Yes, New Orleans draws tourists for Jazz Fest and plenty of other things, but to me it is a city that is worth visiting even if only to eat and drink.