NOTE: I do apologize for the late posting, I haven’t completely committed to posting every Monday but it has been a rather convenient day to wrap up and reflect on the week past. However this last Monday I spent the entire day riding from Norco, LA (about 25 miles out of New Orleans) to my new host in Baton Rouge. It was a long and tiring (and at times wet) ride but that’s another article. So enjoy, folks!
After two very dense weeks of new experiences I felt it was time for me to move on from this strange and sometimes magical place called NOLA. However what terrified me most, more that riding more than 120 miles to my new destination, was: how am I going to wrap up this whole experience? I arrived in this strange limbo just after the super bowl and just before the festivities of the month long Madi Gras celebration continued where the city was calm and serene (well as serene as NOLA gets) and yet there was this strong undercurrent of energy tugging and pulling on my senses that I couldn’t quite understand; until I went to my first proper Madi Gras Parade. Then I understood what all the pent up energy was all about.
Now what my real problem didn’t just lie in writing about Madi Gras and how crazy it gets in NOLA because anybody with a tv, an internet connection, or with a set of ears has some idea about this crazy catholic holiday (it’s debatable how catholic it is, but that’s a debate for another blog and blogger) and so I really didn’t want to just approach it from the relatively trite angle of “OMG! MADI GRAS IS SO AWESOME! LOOK AT SOME PIX GUYS!!! LOLOLOL” yet the idea of a picture blog post did appeal to me since I’ve never tried it before and I do have some good pictures, but not all of them were of the party (in fact almost none of the pictures of the floats turned out good enough to make the final cut) and even if they were all of they party they would fail to capture my genuine experience of NOLA. So with out further adue, I present my best rendering of my stay in NOLA in pictures:
The first night I arrived was a very wet night indeed. I was cold and hungry and was already dreaming of hot miso soup and trying out my instant coffee after a nice shower. My host had other plans, she decided we should go out to this small little pizza place on the corner (I really wish I could remember the name) and get a bite. What I have there is “Cheese calzone with Red Gravy”. I’m a rather adventurous eater and was craving to try something local and when I saw “red gravy” I was sold. “What sort of exotic gravy is coloured red? What is it made of?” So many questions with some surprising answers.
What I’ve learned from looking at menus around NOLA is that “gravy” is a very general term for sauce (this might be a NOLA thing, it might be a LA thing or it might be a Southern thing in general, I’m not sure yet but if any one is curious I’ll keep you updated) so the red gravy turned out to be what I’m more familiar as calling a marinara sauce (so delicious no matter what the name) and the calzone was another surprise. The only calzones I’m familiar with look more like a pizza folded in half, however this pie of sorts was a decadent ball of dough filled with a mix of 5 molten hot cheeses making it a little painful to dig into but the first bite will make you crave more.
These are Beignets (which took some serious searching to find the proper spelling on) which are (very basically, you can read more on their exact definition and history here) french style donuts. These pillow shaped pastries are every bit as sweet and soft as they look. Again, I really wish I could remember the name of the Cafe we got these at, I want to say it was Cafe Du Monde, but just ask around with the locals. It’s not quite an easily over looked mom n’ pop shop.
I will apologize in advance for the next few pictures, I had some technical difficulties transferring them from my phone to my computer and then sorting and they accidentally got deleted so I’m gonna have to borrow some from the web.
This is the surf n’ turf poor boy sandwich from the Parkway Bakery & Tavern. This is easily the messiest sandwich I’ve ever eaten. Something to understand about po’ boys (if you’ve never ordered one) is that the guy or girl will ask you if you want yours all dressed up or not. In my opinion the *only* way to order a po’ boy sandwich is all dressed up and that comes with lettuce, Tomato, pickles, and mayo (and at some places this includes hot sauce). This bad boy was all dressed up and came with (product description from menu) “slow cooked roast beef topped with golden shrimp covered in gravy”. Here’s that gravy word again, in this case it’s basically beef stock. The guy I was with split a large one of these and a side of these:
Cheese fries with gravy. This delicious mess perfectly complimented our sandwich making a hot mess of a comfort food feast.
This basically concludes my tour of NOLA, I feel that experiencing the food and sharing it with all of you is a much more genuine and authentic representation of the strange and wonderful city we call New Orleans then covering a holiday which only happens once a year. I do hope you’ve enjoyed my first picture post. I don’t take many pictures, but when I do it’s probably gonna mostly be of food.
Now go get a damn snack! (I know all this has worked up a fierce appetite in me anyway)