Eater's Digest: New Orleans

January 2018
dtb / bayona / palace café / la petite grocery / toups south / parkway / willie mae's / mr. chill's first class hot dogs and sweet's pastries / boucherie / maypop / parasol's bar and restaurant / cafe du monde / turkey and the wolf / dong phuong / killer poboys / compère lapin / magazine pizza / marjie's grill / clesi's / fritai / fete au fete / cochon / cochon butcher / mr. bubbles / carmo / emeril's restaurant / domilise's po-boy and bar / raising cane's

Crawfish Boil (Clesi's)
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya (Clesi's)

My favourite meal in New Orleans was a catered lunch, unexpectedly.

Next visit, I want to try

Jambalaya Cheese Fries (Clesi's)
cajun fries layered with cheddar, jambalaya, and pepper jack

at (Clesi's) brick-and-mortar.

Crabmeat Cheesecake (Palace Café)
pecan crust, mushroom sauté, creole meunière

^ A savoury seafood-topped cheesecake.

related: the Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake at (Jacques Imo's), which I was unable to try this visit, nor its

Deep Fried Roast Beef Po-Boy (Jacques Imo's)
with gravy.

Home-Cooked Hot Roast Beef with Gravy Poor Boy (Parkway)
slow roasted beef soaked in savoury brown gravy
—The best po' boy I tried this trip, and the one with the best bread.

Shrimp Po-Boy (Domilise's Po-Boy and Bar)

Firecracker Shrimp Po Boy (Parasol's Bar and Restaurant)

I was slow to discover (Parasol's) chill restaurant half.

A sign in its dive bar half reads "food" but points to a door that appears to be for employees only.

Bon Appétit named (Turkey and the Wolf) America's best new restaurant of 2017. I failed to see what all the fuss is about.

Fried Bologna Sandwich (Turkey and the Wolf)
leighann's bologna, hot english mustard, potato chips, shrettuce, mayo, american cheese, on white

Collard Green Melt (Turkey and the Wolf)
slow-cooked collards, swiss cheese, pickled cherry, pepper dressing, cole slaw, on rye bread

Fried Alligator with Chili Garlic Mayonnaise (Cochon)
Fried Livers with Pepper Jelly and Toast (Cochon)

Cochon Muffaletta (Cochon Butcher)
with house meats and olive salad on sicilian roll

I didn't feel either (Cochon) restaurant either and consequently didn't bother trying sister restaurant (Pêche).

Los Angeles Gumbo?

Oh. Right. "LA" is "Louisiana."

LA-1 Gumbo (DTB)
louisiana blue crab, collard greens, crab fat potato salad
Me: This gumbo has potato salad in it?
Server: Just a dollop on top.

Fried Cornbread (DTB)
ham hock marmalade, goat cheese, jalapeño

^ Sublime. Everything in its right place.

Cornmeal Gnocchi (DTB)
hot sausage, broccoli rabe, pecorino romano, lime
—Not sure if this dish was over-salted or if the hot sausage scrambled my palate.

Andouille Pate (DTB)
chef's daily accompaniments

^ Spreadable sausage.

Mushroom Boudin Balls (DTB)
smoked mayo, pickled collards
—Faux sausage.

Fall Spiced Cake (DTB)
pumpkin cake, peanut bark, rum caramel, bouille, buttered popcorn ice cream

Ice Cream Sandwich (DTB)
gâteau de sirop, creole cream cheese ice cream, candied pecans

Pecan King Cake (Dong Phuong)

^ I got in on (Dong Phuong)'s king cakes before people began scalping and fist-fighting over them.

7UP Pound Cake (Mr. Chill's First Class Hotdogs and Sweet Pastries)

Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding (Boucherie)
Thai Chili Chocolate Chess Pie (Boucherie)

Beignets (Cafe Du Monde)

^ Easy on the powdered sugar, Monde.

Blue Crab Beignets (La Petite Grocery)
malt vinegar aioli

^ Pleasantly surprisingly tender.

Turtle Bolognese (La Petite Grocery)
bucatini, sherry, parsley, and fried soft boiled egg
—Turtle meat pasta.

Cracklins (Toups South)

Sourdough Biscuits with Crab Fat Butter (Toups South)

^ The crab fat butter was unpalatably crabby.

Smoked Foie Gras Terrine (Toups South)
banana bread, saba, cured egg yolk

^ I know better than to order unseared foie gras, but "banana bread" intrigued me. Three bites in, I boxed it up for a homeless person.

Smoked Duck "PB&J" (Bayona)
cashew butter, pepper jelly, apple-celery salad, wild flour multigrain
—Came for the sandwich, stayed for its accompanying apple-celery salad.

Fritai (Fritai)
between two fried plantains with pork shoulder, avocado, mango sauce, and pickliz; served with plantain chips

^ A Haitian sandwich. Tostones are lousy bread.

Crawfish Poutine (Fete Au Fete)
crawfish-boiled new potatoes fried, then smothered with pepper jack cheese and buttery crawfish étouffée

^ Never mind that it's not poutine, why smother potato chunks instead of fries?

Cajun Cubano (Fete Au Fete)
spiced roasted pork loin, tasso, smoked gouda, with a jalapeño-garlic aioli, pressed
—The smoked gouda overwhelmed everything else.

Ya-ka-mein, a meaty noodle soup known as Old Sober, is New Orleans' tried and true hangover cure. It's a crossbreed of Asian and African-American culinary traditions. Traditionally made from a combination of beef, cooked eggs, green onions and noodles stewed in a spicy, salty broth, the addition of soy sauce gives this soulful brew an Asian twist.

A distinctly New Orleans dish, ya-ka-mein hails from murky origins. The most popular explanation is that black soldiers who fought in the Korean War got a taste of Asian food and brought it home to New Orleans, where sweethearts, mothers and grandmothers made the recipe their own.

Another theory is that Chinese immigrants who came to Louisiana to work on the sugar plantations and railroads brought their Asian noodle soup with them and gave their African-American co-workers a taste. [source]

Yaka Main (Mr. Chill's First Class Hotdogs and Sweet Pastries)

^ It's…an Asian beef noodle soup. Is its appeal that it's made by black people? Did I just try an unremarkable version?

(Maypop) offers unique dim sum. Shame that it was all mediocre.

Pork and Cane Syrup Sausage-Stuffed Sesame Balls (Maypop)
chili oil

Bacon Scallion Pancakes with Oysters in Cucumber Kimchi (Maypop)

Octopus Shumai (Maypop)
spicy mustard

Head Cheese and Blue Crab Soup Dumplings (Maypop)

Okay, this complimentary amuse-bouche was good:

Spicy Thai Curry Beignet with Wasabi Cream (Maypop)

Roasted Apple and Citrus Ravioli with Crispy Smoked Boudin (Maypop)
shaved apple, parmesan, brown butter, colatura fish sauce

Maypop Java Freeze (Maypop)
frozen mt. gay silver and eclipse rums, passion fruit, coffee, whipped cream
—Coffee with passion fruit.

Almond Cola (Fest)
Pecan Root Beer (Fest)
Southern Peach Ginger Ale (Fest)
—(Fest) makes sodas with "flavours tailored for the New Orleans area." If nothing else, you can taste the tailoring.

First Frost Cocktail (Ace Hotel Lobby Bar)
mint chocolate chip whisky, cream, creme de cacao

The "set-up"—a half-pint of liquor, one mixer, share cups and ice—is more than a staple order at many locals-only NOLA bars: It's a community ritual. [source]

Beefeater Gin Set-Up (Marjie's Grill)
pellegrino orange or lemon, dr. browns cel-ray, topo chico, canada dry tonic
—"A 200mL bottle of liquor and a bucket of ice. Make your own cocktails tableside. Please choose from our favourite suggested mixers. One set-up makes 3.5 2oz drinks."

Slow-Grilled Beef Tri-Tip (Marjie's Grill)
pasture-raised ms beef with toasted chili relish
—I think tri-tip is my favourite cut of beef.

Marinated Winter Melon (Marjie's Grill)
tossed with radishes, mint, sesame, and jalapeño
—I did not expect to like this.

Winter Som Tam Salad (Marjie's Grill)
—Or this.

LA Popcorn Rice (Marjie's Grill)
—Not Los Angeles rice.

Crispy Pig Knuckles (Marjie's Grill)
coated with black pepper, herbs, and chilis

^ I think hock is my favourite cut of pork

(Marjie's Grill)'s men's washroom

Fried Chicken (Willie Mae's)
—Bang-up breading.

Chicken Fingers (Raising Cane's)
—So this chain just sells chicken fingers? And Cane is a dog?

Of all the food I tried this trip, (Compère Lapin) best combined interesting and delicious.

Conch Croquettes (Compère Lapin)
pickled pineapple tartar sauce

Spiced Pig Ears (Compère Lapin)
smoked aioli
—I think ear is my favourite swine body part to eat.

Crispy Dirty Rice Arancini (Compère Lapin)
sour orange mojo

Cold-Smoked Tuna Tartare (Compère Lapin)
avocado, crispy bananas

^ Glorious. I returned for seconds on the last night of my trip. I would never guess that its accompanying crisps are made from bananas.

Hamachi (Compère Lapin)
guava curry, papaya

Curried Goat (Compère Lapin)
sweet potato gnocchi, cashews

^ So fresh and so clean.


Duck Hearts
smothered duck hearts, seared goat cheese grits, pickled oyster mushrooms
—"Duck hearts showered in a dust of dehydrated pig's blood."

Smoked Frog (Sac-A-Lait)
citrus creamed rillettes, aged cayenne gelèe, mustard green tortilla, spiced pecan

Tartare (Sac-A-Lait)
bluefin tuna, venison sweetbreads, fermented pepper, lemon-olive oil
—"Tuna tartare served atop fried venison sweetbreads."

Jambalaya-Stuffed Whole Chicken (Cochon Butcher)

A sno-ball is a New Orleans confection made with finely shaved ice and flavored cane sugar syrup. Commonly confused with the snow cone, the ice of a sno-ball is fine and fluffy; while a snow cone's ice is coarse, crunchy, and granular. [source]

Cheesecake-Stuffed Sno-Ball (Sno-La)

Maypop Milk Punch (Maypop)
soco 80, drambuie, coconut milk, korean chili flakes

Coffee and Cigarettes (Toups' Meatery)
nikka coffey grain japanese whiskey, tobacco bitters

Pork Chops and Applesauce (Toups South)
pork-washed whiskey, apple, aromatic bitters

The Copper Bunny Cocktail (Compère Lapin)
absolut elyx, pineapple jalapeño tequila, ginger, lime, mumm champagne

^ Served in a copper bunny.

Smoked Hamachi/Everything Doughnut (Compère Lapin)

(N7) serves fancy canned seafood straight from the can with baguette.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *