Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.

 
                        

12.02.2010

Eating New Orleans

August - Amuse Bouche

Amuse Bouche at August

NOLA, oh NOLA! :) Blissful times! We went there for the sole reason of "pigging" out. I guess I could have used the more elegant term "Culinary Vacation" but I am not going to be shy here. Five joyous days of indulgence in the cuisine of the region; creole to French and back, is not something to be coy about at all!

New Orleans has been on our list of places to visit for a very long time, ever since, we were first acquainted with the rich history of the areas cuisine. Food Network then brought us Emeril and John Besh and dreams were visited and plans were plotted. This Thanksgiving was the time for the plunge and thankful were we that we got experience some of the best highs, culinarily speaking!

NO-Sights
Left: New Orleans Museum; Right: At the Old French Market

Along the Bayou
Houses along the Bayou

That is not to say that we did not take in the place in any other way. Frommers recommended three walking tours through different parts of the city - French Quarter, Esplanade and Garden District. We really liked strolling through the rich Garden district neighbourhood, in complete awe of the palatial houses, including the one the Manning brothers played in.

Vibrant Colors of the region
At the French Market

The Esplanade area was richer in architectural history with gorgeous houses, albeit not always in the best condition. It also plays host to a lovely little Spanish restaurant, Lola's that dishes out simple and flavorful Spanish creations. The paella is fragrant and so good! And, if you are there, don't miss the nougat ice cream!

The historic French Quarter, perhaps, is the most visited part of the city, by most tourists. However, it's hold on us, teetotallers, was rather tenuous, except for one strong link to the place that we re-visited oh! so many, many times; Cafe du Monde! Here, I tasted coffee like home. Chicory coffee, people! It just rocks my world! And, of course the beignets under mountains of powdered sugar just pairs beautifully with that rich, flavorful coffee! We began and ended our days, and a few times in between, with stops by this 24 hour coffee shop.

Cafe du Monde - Beignets and Chicory coffee
Coffee and Beignets at Cafe du Monde

New Orleans cuisine has many elements to it. And, the best part about it is that the best the city has to offer is accessible to every wallet in town. We dined at big name restaurants and small local ones. In the end, we felt that the big name ones offered much higher value, especially since many of them have a simply fantastic deal of $20 pre-fixe 3 course lunch!

My personal favorite was John Besh's restaurant, August. He is known for the use of seasonal and local ingredients in his cooking. After dining there, we were just blown away by the creativity and elegance of his dishes. I, for one, am really hoping that he has near-term plans for opening a restaurant in NYC! {Mr. Besh, you listening?}

August---Appetizers
Appetizers at August. Left: Duck Confit Salad; Right: Pork Rilletes

August---Entrees
Entrees at August. Left: Brandade de Mer Ravioli; Right: Veal Grillades

Of course, no one can leave NOLA without a stop at atleast one of the Brennan restaurants. I was simply amazed at how many there were! We ate at two and both were simply awesome.

All in all, it was a fantastic stay in the city, despite being surprised by an unplanned-for cold front and a couple of rainy days! :) It just added to the spirit of it all... :))

NO---Desserts
Left: Dessert at August, Butterscotch Pudding with Apples 3 ways. Right: Dessert at Sucre


Recommended Restaurants

August
Bourbon House
Emeril's
Lola's
Palace Cafe
Red Fish Grill
Mother's (awesome biscuits)

NO Tram
New Orleans Tram

20 comments:

  1. I'd love to go to NO! Your shots are splendid and the food looks wonderful.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. How did you take that tram shot????

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  3. Isn't it wonderful just eating your way through a city? I've never been to New Orleans but I've heard amazing things about the food... and the people. Need to go!

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  4. New Orleans I have such fond memories. we used to drive in from Tallahassee when I was in college. My memories of 6am stops at cafe du monde on our mad dash back to campus (in time for 10am classes) define that time in my life so well. Thanks for the memory! GREG

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  5. Thank you for this beautiful and delicious walk! I have never been to NO

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  6. Miriam, hehe.. the tram driver was kind enough to stop for my photo for a couple of minutes :D

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  7. Lovely read, Asha. And what a delicious spread out there.

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  8. It looks like you had a great time. I would love to go there one day :D.

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  9. Wow, those are some great shots of some great looking food Asha... Just out of curiosity; did you eat at august during evening? The light looks quite good for a restaurant shot!

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  10. Colonel Kenneth Wayne Treuter, EsquireDecember 3, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  11. Absolutely gorgeous. I'm so glad you had a great time. I'll bookmark this page in case I ever get a chance to visit. And I LOVE the beignet photo!

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  12. All this food looks absolutely delicious ! And I agree with El about the beignet... I want one !!!

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  13. You had the beignets. I'm so jealous. I've heard only great and greater things about the food scene in NOLA. Thanks for sharing. Hope I get to eat my way through it some time soon.

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  14. hmmmm... craving the beignets right now!

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  15. Your photos are excellent. I love the colors, especially the last shot of the tram, although your food photos are mouthwatering as well.

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  16. Hi there! Came across your blog on foodgawker.com. I was born, raised and currently live in New Orleans. I love seeing my city through the eyes of someone else, and I'm glad you enjoyed your stay! Just one thing, the building isn't the New Orleans Museum. It's the Saint Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. The museum is right next door and it's called the Cabildo. It's a history of New Orleans! Just a little info for you! Have a good one, and come back soon!!

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  17. So glad you had a wonderful trip. That's some gorgeous food you were eating. Can't help wishing I could try those beignets.

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  18. Lizzy: thanks a bunch for the correction! I am so embarrassed. I saw the notice with the name and just mis-connected, I suppose! glad to have your acquaintance

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  19. Wonderful! Wow! You are lucky! We hope to visit before son decides to leave NOLA and when we do I will definitely take this list of restaurant recommendations. Perfect! Beautiful pics as usual, Asha!

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  20. Those houses along the "bayou" are actually along the canal near city park. The bayou is farther out from the city.

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