Monday, February 11, 2013

New Orleans

Hello real world. To be entirely honest, I did not miss you.

In case my lovely readers have been wondering where the heck I went, I just spent a magical five days in New Orleans for Mardi Gras weekend. It was an awesome trip filled with delicious (fried) food, great new and old friends, a ton of beads and other fun objects thrown from floats and, luckily, no boobs (cause really, what women wants to see those)!

My very first parade. Before I left, I was concerned that I wouldn't like the parades and would be the odd man out. Boy was I WRONG.

One of my friends from college (and my new love, his sister) live in New Orleans and their dad is part of a Krewe. We got to go with their dad when he dropped off all his accoutrements to riding on a float, and were able to see all of the floats in the warehouse and even get on a few. 

Best never-before-seen tourist spot ever!

Every house was super decorated for the holiday. Move over Christmas, Mardi Gras in NOLA has you beat FOR SURE.

It took me a while, but I figured out how to "win" the parade game. Next time--I'm buying ball tickets!

While I was not sure how much I would enjoy the parades (LOVE!!!), one thing I was not in the last bit concerned about was liking the food. I mean, who doesn't like fried food served with more fried food served on bread. It was every dieters nightmare, but, for a vacation, it was perfect. I must say, the one thing I am happy about coming home for is the healthy food (salmon and asparagus, here I come). I need a serious detox...

My first meal off the plane--peacemaker po' boy. Half fried shrimp, half oyster, remoulade sauce and all deliciousness. But seriously, fried food served on bread with fries as a side? Carbo-load anyone?

We got the above po' boy and this fried soft shell crab platter (served with fries AND hushpuppies. Seriously. Michael Phelps would fill up on this food) are from the delish Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter

Muffaletta from Napoleon's House, a restaurant known for their drink the Pimm's Royale. And they're $17 bottles of house wine, which was delicious and perfect for a large party.

On Friday, we all went to my friends house for a crawfish boil. I learned from expert NOLA-residents how to de-shell a crawfish and chowed down on these little nuggets, corn, sausage and a delicious beer from NOLA Brewing

Friday night we walked from my friends to Dat Dog, a hipster-ish hotdog stand that looks like it used to be a gas station. Obviously I ordered the chili cheese fries and...

...a polish kielbasa topped with guacamole. 

and tried a bite of this deliciousness--polish kielbasa topped with creole mustard and sauerkraut

Other NOLA food recommendations from places where I chowed down much too quickly to take a picture included:
  • John Besh's Domenica - the tagliatelle with rabbit and duck was to.die.for.
  • Cafe Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar - i got a lamb shank that looked like a brontesaurus bone
  • The charbroiled oysters at Dragos, which may have been the single food highlight of my entire trip
  • Last, but CERTAINLY not least, is the wonderful Praline's By Jean, owned by my friends' family and the location for our parade shenanigans. I highly recommend going there to meet the sweet Jean and devouring the pralines. Seriously. Stop reading. Go now. Your stomach will thank me.
Basically, I can't wait to go back and eat even more deliciousness. Is it Mardi Gras 2014 yet?

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