Thursday, December 31, 2009

24 hours in New Orleans

DH grew up in New Orleans from the age of 8, and I moved there when I graduated from college at 21. We both miss the city, but mostly we miss its food. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend there this visit, so we tried to make the most of every meal. I missed the trip DH, the boys and their cousins took to Café Du Monde (the Metairie location) for beignets because I slept in, so I was very much ready for our lunch at Domilise’s. Domilise’s is an uptown New Orleans po-boy joint with a hand-painted sign, counter service, and about 10 small tables for which its many customers jockey. Fortunately, I am a somewhat aggressive table-snagger so we were able to put two tables together for our group of eight. We were pretty evenly split between shrimp and roast beef po-boys and between Barqs and Miller Lites. I love shrimp, but not fried, so for me a po-boy is roast beef with gravy. I order mine with lettuce and mayonnaise, no cheese, lots of gravy. Occasionally I add pickles. According to the Zagat ratings, Dom’s is the highest rated po-boy place in the city (26), followed by the Parkway Bakery (25) (I’ve never heard of this place), and then Parasol’s (24). The Dom’s roast beef po-boy was very good. The gravy was sublime. But I have to say, I think (and the guys agree) that the roast beef at Parasol’s has an edge...

That night, we ordered the boys a cheese pizza from New York Pizza before we went out to dinner at Besh Steak. New York Pizza was my favorite when I lived in New Orleans 20-25 years ago, and it is still very good pizza. Despite having had a mid-afternoon snack of a cheese burger (W) and fried crab claws (B), both kids chowed.

During the last 13 months, I’ve eaten at two of John Besh’s New Orleans restaurants, Luke and August, and enjoyed both meals. I didn’t realize that he had a third restaurant, Besh Steak, in Harrah’s Casino. It was in walking distance for part of our party, and seemed a safe choice for the less-adventurous in the group. My SIL the sommelier ordered a lovely Shiraz (or two or three) for the table. For the first course, I ordered the Natchitoches meat pies with a buttermilk ranch dressing. I love meat pies and haven’t been to Jazz Fest to get my fix in a couple of years so I really enjoyed them. My appetizer included three small, spicy pies, but it was a lot of food so I was very glad that I had ordered a second appetizer for my entrée. DH ordered a green salad which I at first thought was a kind of boring choice, but it included some quite tasty smoked pork lardons so I changed my mind.

My entrée/ appetizer was a trio of Louisiana seafood: dainty portions of Crabmeat Maison with caviar, Shrimp Remoulade, and fried oysters with blue cheese dressing. It was a very yummy combination and just the right amount of food. DH’s entrée was also pretty fab – medium rare beef tournedos served over grits and topped with a crabmeat béarnaise sauce. He shared one perfect bite with me. For dessert, the table ordered white chocolate pain perdu and crème brulee, and our friendly waiter contributed an apple pastry topped with eggnog ice cream. I loved the crème brulee and the apple pastry, but think that maybe I am just not a big fan of pain purdu. I enjoyed our meal, but unfortunately, will not likely go back because of the aura of cigarette smoke from the adjacent casino.

The next morning, I was ready for a light breakfast but DH wanted to take the kids to Camelia Grill so I went along with him. And I am soooo glad I did, because of all the delicious food I’ve consumed in the last week, it is the memory of that Manhattan omelet that keeps drifting back through my mind. An omelet with corn beef, potatoes and onion served with a handful of French fries – what’s not to love? It was fine.

1 comment:

JGH said...

Oh, you have really done me in with that photo of the Domalise po-boy! I really think they have the best in N.O. Something about that gravy, right?? Glad to know it's still around. And Camellia Grill! Many late night visits there when I went to Tulane.

I really hope to get back down there soon, and you can bet I'll be bringing your list of suggestions for new places to try!