Monday, February 1, 2010

Food. Obsess. NOLA.

I have a new obsession. Which is dangerous because I already have so many! But lately everywhere I turn I see New Orleans.  I swear it is literally calling my name with its infamy for being the grande enabler of indulgences. Since this reputation applies to its treatment of cuisine, count me in. I'm there.
Well, someday soon I'm there.  I'm really just a plane ticket away.

Since the true city of sin will have to wait for my pocket book to catch up to my stomach, I have been forced to find ways to get my fix until I can experience the real thing. Believe me, I'm chomping at the bit. Yesterday though I was able to abate my anxious chattering by stopping by a local legend known as The Palace Grill. Can I describe it to you? Well let's just say for a fleeting moment I said to myself, whats a New Orleans?

My boyfriend's parents came in to town on short notice which caused a flurry of cleaning and some serious hunting for reservations. Opal? Eh too romantic. Carlitos Cafe? Apparently they aren't big fans of Mexican.  Then I remembered my aunt singing the praises of a restaurant in my own hometown that I had overlooked, The Palace Grill.

We arrived for our reservations at 6:45 to a neon pink front window. When was the last time you saw neon lights attached to a nice restaurant. Well that's the New Orleans spirit for you.  They spare no excess.  Sitting down we ordered the Crawfish  Crabcakes and Crawfish popcorn to start. Yum & yum.  Reading the entrees I felt as if I had traveled to some exotic land where all the dishes were new to me.  Since I grew up in a family that loves food this is a true feat.  What is redfish? What does catfish taste like? How do you pronounce Tchoupitoulas? I found myself asking a ridiculous amount of questions.

Thankfully they are kind enough to encase their signature dishes in special boxes on the menu.  It's a good place to start. I got the Crawfish Etouffee   My first experience with Crawfish was a good one I will say. They are like delicious little shrimps.  I sucked down two glasses of the house red to ease my gastronomic excitement and the whole boyfriend's-parents anxieties. House wine = good.  Two glasses of house wine = better.

I am sad to say that since I was on my best behavior due to our guests, I couldn't bring my camera to take pictures! As normal as I feel bringing a camera with me to all my meals and capturing every delicious moment, I had a hunch that the bf's parents wouldn't see it the same way.  So this means you will just have to try it for yourself! My only regret is that I didn't try their signature Cajun Martini with vodka & jalapenos. Next time (when I'm not worried about ending up under the table)

Another Cajun discovery I made (I swear when it rains it pours!) was this awesome website Sucre

Mardi Gras Macarons, its like I've died and gone to heaven!!!


I was also introduced to this King Cake.  A Christmas tradition in some countries, New Orleans brings it out to celebrate Mardi Gras.  The religious background of this pastry is super interesting but more notable to me is that there is a trinket baked in, often a plastic baby (little Jesus)

Any cake with a little Jesus in it is alright with me! lol I might just be tempted to make this soon (but how will I ever get it so shiny?)