My first time to New Orleans was about 2002, Missy Elliot's "Work It" was on the radio as we drove to the airport. "Excuse me, sir, could you please turn it UP?"
I was down there for a conference with some of my coworkers from Friends School. We had had some amazing meals (some not so great) and I was given an impromptu tour of the Garden District from the nicest mailman named Andy. He showed me where Anne Rice lived and also where Peyton Manning's parents lived - his face was priceless when I didn't really know how that was. (I do now...) Eep! He gave me his favorite places to eat for my next trip. And I saved it and about 12 years later, all of his favorites were still there, even post-Katrina. When I returned for my second visit, I was a lot more into food and arrived in the Big Easy with a serious biz list, which included Andy the mailman's faves, ones I found online and some recommended by friends who go to NOLA a lot. And, along your travels as in any city — always, always, always ask locals where they like to go. Those are generally the best.
A lot of people tend to focus on the drinking aspect of New Orleans. And, yes, walking around with booze in a to-go cup is an oddly freeing feeling. However, it's more than debauchery. A lot more. This city has a deep soul. The people are friendly and kind. The architecture and gardens always grab me and pull me in. I end up looking around and getting a bit lost, in a good way.
I've had this New Orleans blog post in my drafts folder for years. Here it is, finally, and of course with a place like New Orleans, I am not able to list all of my favorites or all of the places I've ever been. My list is really and truly just a start. But if I had to name my favorite place to eat there, it's La Petite Grocery.
Here is my Philly blog I also just recently wrote in case you missed it.
I'm working on adding more of my travels (which are honestly, limited) so I think I will write soon about the Inn I stayed in down in Virginia and the yurt in Western Maryland. Both were really lovely and restorative.
Here is a little more food and drinks I've been able to enjoy outside over the last little while. Highly recommend all of these!
A really, really fantastic spicy margarita at Grand Cru
The calamari at Cinghiale is a must for me, every time.
Cosmos at True Chesapeake
Thank you for reading -- please forward it onto your friends who love food!