Saturday, November 1, 2008

Coffee, Cemetaries & Carriages

Wednesday morning we woke up early to meet up with my co-workers at Cafe du Monde. The plan was to have some beignets and cafe au laits, followed by a tour of the Lafayette cemetary and a stroll through the Garden District. Have I ever mentioned that I'm not a morning person? In my haste to leave our room on time I completely forgot to grab my camera battery off the charger. It was something I didn't realize until we were at the cafe. Insert tears here. You'll have to take my word that beignets and cafe au lait are awesome, that the cemetary and its history are fascinating and that the homes in the Garden District are magnificent.

We broke away from the group a little past noon so that we could meet up with my parents for lunch. We decided on Red Fish Grill, which is part of the Brennan family's dining empire in NOLA. You really can't go wrong eating at any one of their thirteen restaurants.

My parents don't do raw oysters. So we started off with BBQ oysters: Freshly shucked oysters flash fried and tossed in a Crystal BBQ sauce, served with housemade blue cheese dressing. I ordered the restaurant's signature entree: Filet of fresh redfish grilled over hickory and served with tasso and wild mushroom Pontalba potatoes. It's topped with Louisiana lump crabmeat and lemon butter sauce.
Of all the bread pudding I had, this Praline Bread Pudding was my favorite: traditional New Orleans style bread pudding topped with a brown sugar crumble.
After lunch we walked along Royal St. and came across one of the many impromptu street concerts that seem to occur every day.
We also encountered Lizzie the horse and her guide Trigger. They took us on a carriage tour of the Quarter.
Our tour focused on the eastern end of the Quarter, or as Trigger referred to it, "the non hoochie skoochie area." We passed by my namesake's street.
Brangelina live on this block of Gov. Nicholls Street. Theirs is the shorter gray house tucked in between the two taller, pinkish buildings. They weren't home; there were no signs of a bodyguard laden black SUV parked outside.
The yellow house on the left, also on Gov. Nicholls Street, belongs to Francis Ford Coppola.
Old and new. The ironwork on this building dates back to the late 1800s. The sign on its front is a bit more recent.
We passed by Cafe du Monde.
Napoleon House is a cafe/bar that was the quietest bar we came across during our vacation.
This building houses Lousiana's State Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. The statue in front is of Former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Edward Douglass White.
I loved these; they were all over the Quarter.
After the carriage tour (and a brief nap), we headed out to dinner here:
Paul would be Paul Prudhomme, who popularized blackened seafood dishes and other Cajun specialties throughout the country. We had a table with a direct view into the kitchen.
I started with their version of fried green tomatoes: Green Tomatoes Seasoned and Dipped in Corn Meal Batter, Deep-Fried and Layered with Sautéed Fresh Louisiana Shrimp in a Caper and Dill Remoulade Sauce.
Everyone else opted for the gumbo: Pan-braised chicken, andouille sausage with fresh vegetables, cooked in a chicken stock and dark roux. Served with rice.
I selected a blackened fish entree: Fresh drum fish from Louisiana waters seasoned and blackened in a cast iron skillet and served with drawn butter, potatoes and veggies.
Four people, three desserts, not a single one finished. Clockwise from the top: dark chocolate pecan pie, bread pudding with hard sauce, sweet potato pecan pie.
After dinner we braved the light rain and walked back to our hotel. Party people that we are, we called it an early night.


WeezerMonkey said...

I want to eat everything!

A Feminist Gold Digger said...

Hubs has a great Paul P. cookbook. Yummity yum!