Food! Food! Foodfoodfoodfood, oh, God, I’m still having indigestion. But it was worth it.
Muriel’s: Blackened redfish with crawfish tails, double-cut pork chops that were incredibly juicy and tender and salty-savory (more like a good ham than a chop), and a purple sunrise cocktail (not pictured, on the fruity side but well-balanced). Found out later it’s haunted, but did not see a thing when we were there.
Café du Monde: Beignets and frozen café au lait. Beignets, hot, crisp exteriors with airy interiors, just a magical kind of fried happiness, are my strongest memory of my first visit to this city. Still so good. The café au lait was really blended fine, ice particles that melted before you could crunch with your teeth. Also, conveniently close to the French Market where we did some quick souvenir shopping (or Bourbon Street, which we walked through, quickly, just so we could say we went there, because it is still icky tourist).
Willie Mae’s Scotch House: Amazing fried chicken. The breast meat was dripping juice. The good, lick-your-chin kind of greasy. And a breading that went crunchsaltcrunch that you dream about for hours later. Also, the homemade lemonade is real, legit homemade, tangy instead of over-sugared, and the sweet peas are really good, too. Fried okra (not pictured) was a bit of a let-down. It was fried fine, just nothing special flavor-wise.
Cochon: Spicy oysters roasted over a wood fire, popping briny and warm and delicious in your mouth. Fried boudin balls were less good, the spice level keeping me from assessing the other flavors in the mix, but those pickled peppers were awesome. Gumbo was fine, nothing standout, and the fried alligator was like every other alligator I’ve tried: stringy and tough. Stick with the oysters.
Roosevelt Hotel: Sazerac tasted like a Sazerac should taste. I’ve had more exciting twists on it, but you go here for the standard and that’s what you get. The shrimp and grits paired plump, spicy shrimp with smooth, cream-cheesy grits, while the cochon benedict suffered somewhat from really dry pulled pork.
Not pictured (either because it was too dark for the camera, or I was too busy drinking to bother snapping photos):