The city that never sleeps. I’d forgotten about that little tag. We got in on Sunday night at 10, worried about finding a decent place to eat. We shouldn’t have. We got out of the hotel room on Royal Street and the city was as busy as if it were day. It turned out that we would be eating about this time every night.
My first dish was salmon and crab at Royal House. I knew, coming to NO, my focus on meals would be on seafood, since I don’t get the good stuff in Utah (except in the form of sushi). The salmon was decently cooked, but the real treat here was the crab. I think that was the best I tasted while there. I also ordered some bread pudding to take back to the hotel room and enjoy. Our good experience with the food service there led to another trip later on. We were directed to a romantic corner that evening, where the air conditioning was perfect. The service once again excelled and our previous waiter also dropped by to see how we were doing. That night we shared soft shell crab, a muffalata, and hush puppies. Everything was delicious. I really want to learn how to make hush puppies.
Lots of things in NO in general are fried, which is a bit disappointing since that way of cooking can really drown out any unique flavors. But they do it well, knowing how not to make it greasy and the flavors manage to make it through mostly intact.
We also ate at a great place on Bourbon Street (about 1 block and a half down from Canal on the right side, wide open). The whole group of people at e-on software enjoyed the food on the balcony. Very fun. The blackened catfish there was another example, though, of the flavor of the real food being drowned out by the cooking. Don’t get me wrong. The hot spicy dish was superb. And next to it was jambalaya, which I mentioned in an earlier post, and is another thing I want to learn how to make myself.
One of the fun times there was going to Cafe Du Monde, where I had beignets. These pastries are basically deep fried bread with lots of powdered sugar on top. Lots of it. They were good, but I couldn’t quite finish all three of them. Coffee is also supposed to be good with them, but as we don’t drink coffee, I had some milk instead.
I suppose I have to be honest though. Since our idea of a good time is not going out to bars or visiting strip joints, except for the food, the night life at New Orleans didn’t appeal to us very much. As someone put it, not just sleazy but cheezy. This aspect of the city is depressing. We should have added on another day, so we could see some of the galleries, antique shops, and taken some tour during the day time. As it is, the things we want to see are mostly things we could see in other older US cities and even more so in European cities.
What we did enjoy very much was the people we worked with and the company we kept in the evenings during dinner. Overall, it was a very enjoyable time and we’re glad we went.