Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Eating and Drinking in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS -- One of the reasons my wife and I came to New Orleans was to experience its unique and famous cuisine! We have, in fact, had a number of decent meals here along with a few exceptional ones, and I will provide an overview of them here. And over the course of a week we have actually only had one bad experience that bears mentioning, our wretched breakfast at Montrel's Bistro, bad enough that it warrants its own article and which will hopefully save a few unsuspecting souls from its indolent clutches. We also visited world-famous Café du Monde, an establishment that deserves its own entry for entirely positive reasons.

Pat O'Brien's (718 St. Peter Street)
This local watering hole is known for its mixed drinks, and we repaired to this establishment to sample some of them and sooth our jangled nerves after our irritating experience at Montrel's Bistro. Diane had the specialty of the house, its aptly-named Hurricanes, and I opted for my first-ever Mint Julep; there are, after all, so few things one can do for the first time at the age of 45 that they should not pass up the opportunities to do so. (Shown above is Pat O'Obrien's mascot by its Bourbon Street entrance; I am actually working on a coffee table book depicting nothing but my wife posing with creepy streetside mascots, a project in which she is almost inexplicably uninterested.). We sat in the establishment's pleasant courtyard and, while we were not up for eating anything during that visit, thought the food looked good enough that we came back to try it the next day.
On our second visit we sat in a semi-open dining area and I ordered a glass of red wine and the Shrimp and Grits (shown at left), something I had never tried before but wanted to, and Diane ordered the Cancun Shrimp starter and an Abita strawberry ale. The food was all good --high point for me being the fried cakes of cheesy grits, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside -- and Diane especially enjoyed her beer, vowing to pick up a case of locally-brewed Abita on the way out of town.

* Wine tends to be less of a good deal than beer in many New Orleans establishments! We were generally seeing prices, for example, of around $4.50 for a local Abita beer in many places, as compared to $7.50 for a small glass of unexceptional house jug wine. The fact that I just prefer wine to beer with many sorts of food was my downfall here ...

1 comment:

Philip Shade said...

Never made it to the real Pat Obriens. There is, strangely, an almost exact replica outside of Universal Studios Orlando. I say ALMOST because while it looks like NoLa, there is a distinct lack of French Quarter smell and drunk tourists wooping.

Also, my wife and I always enjoyed the Orleans Grapevine for wine.