Audubon Park is real nice too. I love the moss on all the Live Oaks.
Here's a couple of pics from The Joint
and one on Frenchmen St. I'm going to see Stanley Clarke and Victor Wooten in March...and I've got no problem admitting that these kids kicked some jazz a&&.
We ate at the Chef's food bar at Cochon. we ate so much food there...the line was great and knew exactly what we were doing by ordering so many apps and sooo many entrees, and then sharing them all between the four of us. But the server didn't get it at all...we were passing food between all four of us and the waitress, at one point, asked our wives if they were going to order...WHAT! Luckily the line cooks got it, and cooked us more than a few goodies that they just passed to us. The rabbit and dumplin's were good, the rabbit livers with pepper jelly, cracklin', skin on pork loin was great, in fact...everything there was pretty darn good...but perhaps one of the best parts of the dishes (I almost hate to admit) were some greens cooked in a lovely amount of pork fat and wonderfully seasoned.
Domenica, another Besh restaurant, was great. I had the tasting w/wine pairing last time at August, which was good too. At Domenica we got the full charcuterie and cheese plate, octopus carpaccio, wood roasted sardines, stracci, papardelle con ragu, truffles and pancetta risotto, roasted mangalista pork shoulder and roast goat loin (I feel like I'm forgetting something)...all were very well done.
Kpauls...I went in here with very low expectations, just because of the way everyone has spoken about the place. I went there twice and thought it was pretty good. Now, his gumbo does have a little different flavor to it, but I thought it was a welcome change...and still a nice dark roux. The red beans and rice were done nice, nothing fancy...but they shouldn't be. The breaded pork chop for lunch was so so. Dinner we ordered a few more things (like usual) and everything was really nicely done (a bit better than lunch). I was hoping to get a signed menu, but he wasn't there either day.
Elizabeth's for breakfast. This was a small local place a bit out of the way, past the French Market. I loved this place. I walk in and they're playing some older doors (not the popular stuff) and it feels like a local diner. Why in the world this place had the best poached eggs out of all the places we had them I don't know. Even Commanders gave me only one ok poached egg. Both of these were perfectly poached sitting atop a nice cornbeef hash.
When we were finishing up we were asking the server if there were any other great local spots that we may not have heard of, she gave us a few ideas. But while this was happening another couple had heard us talking about food. They quickly through a few questions out and we enthusiastically replied back. They had a house in New York, New Jersey, New Orleans and another vacation spot on Long Island. They were naming off all the top food spots to go all over. They said they started living down in New Orleans some years ago. They seemed to have a decent amount of money (I didn't ask)...but everything seemed to be about the food with them (they were maybe upper 50's). We canceled our taxi ride back to the quarter and the couple gave us a great tour of the expanded New Orleans area. We were jotting down places to eat and listen to music as fast as they were taking us past them. What great people. Only thing they asked in return was that we pass the word on to others about New Orleans. Well, that shouldn't be tough to do!
We hit so many places for gumbo, etoufee, Johnny's for po'boys, more gumbo and more gumbo, Port of Call, Snug...all real good. The cook at the Coffee Pot had made us some special bowls of crab/corn chowder that we had had last time we were in NoLa...great flavor...tons of crab. They weren't serving it on the menu this time...but we just asked if he had it again...and said that he would make it no problem! Blue crab was in season...oysters, LA crawfish weren't in season (but we didn't figure they would be). Hmmmm...GW Fins was actually pretty good. I wasn't going to go there on this trip either just because the name sounded like a chain (don't ask me why). But it was good...plus, Sunday night there isn't too much open for dinner.
I thought The Joint was really spot on. This guy can smoke. It's way out in the middle of nowhere, but it opens at 11:30am. I got the sampler and had to add a side of sausages (why do I always have to add sausage to a sampler plate). Pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and Pouche's smoked chaurice was out of this world.
Sucre on Magazine was a surprise for the sweet tooth. They had real nice and incredibly tasty up scale (type) desserts. Everything was outstanding...and we sampled a lot of what they had. Oh yeah, the hot chocolate is real hot chocolate. There are so many places. We ended up going to Commander's Palace too. The place has such a place in NoLa food...how could we not stop there. The cemetery across the street was open for a nice stroll through a bit of history. The food at Commanders was really good, not great...but good. I thought the service was oddly clumsy. They had all the elements, and bodies, to perform a full service dinner...but it seemed very awkward and clumsy. We still had a wonderful time eating there.
I would say the only two places that weren't real good was The Gumbo Shop, which just makes a so so bowl of gumbo. On the plus side they have a nice variety and a good alligator sausage. Not a bad bowl of gumbo by any means...but so many other places do it nicer. Again, all gumbo is beautiful!
(oh...we also had crab and alligator at either Cochon or Domenica)
The one place that was actually bad, PatiosNola. This was on the clear other side of town and was going to be one of our better dinners planned. The mixed drinks were fabulous..nice and proper! Some of the food we got was way under seasoned and other stuff was just way overcooked. I mean...I would be ashamed to serve two of the dishes that they served us. The roux in the gumbo was burnt. It wasn't sorta burnt...it should have been thrown out and started over. We had plenty of other dark roux gumbo's while we were there...I can't imagine that was what they were going for. The pork belly was so overcooked you needed a drink to keep from chokin' on it while it went down. Keep in mind...this was the better one after we sent one of them back! Off night? perhaps. But this place has such a good reputation...some of that food shouldn't have been served to us.
How can you not go on and on...
The music...Frenchmen St (music) after 0400 the next morning! Even the local art shops are great to go in. M.S. Rau, at 610 Toulouse) is a must for everyone to go in and look. This is a museum class antique store...they've got so much stuff it's just cool to look. Hmmm...I think this may be one of the few places I didn't bring a beer into.
When I retire I would love for my wife and I to rent a house there for 2 months out of the year. I love the quarter and I believe you need the Quarter in New Orleans. But New Orleans has so much more to offer if you're willing to venture out.
I miss it already!