New Orleans is a legendary city and has more than lived up to it’s reputation, crazy partying, amazing food, fantastic people and a rich and interesting history, it’s a fantastic place – so good in fact that I am going to split posts about this place into a few – hope you enjoy.
It was a fairly long drive from Houston to New Orleans so we stopped half way in a place called Lafayette – conveniently this city also had a must visit restaurant on my list called PreJeans.
We arrived late, to this big restaurant on the side of the freeway, which apparently had some world beating gumbo.
Inside this was a really cool place, with a bayou theme complete with trees and a crocodile!
So on to the gumbo! Gumbo is basically a stew served usually with either chicken, sausage or seafood.
Gumbo is a stew that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. It consists primarily of a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and the Cajun holy trinity of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers, and onions. Wikipedia
We kicked off with a cup of gumbo each, and my first experience of this, was amazing. Rich, dark, almost like a beef stew but with beautifully subtle cajun spices and a little heat. It was amazing.
Followed by a massive plate of fried prawns and fries, washed down with a lovely citrus IPA called Big Easy – a hell of an introduction to Southern cooking!
The next day we hit the road early and made it to NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) in time for lunch. Round the corner from our hotel we found a restaurant with a live Jazz band (of course) and a number of famous Po’ Boy sandwiches on the menu. Po’ Boys, or Poor Boys, are sandwiches served in french baguettes, there are a range of fillings, usually meat of fish, with pickles salad and mayo or mustard.
I went for the shrimp and oyster one and wasn’t disappointed – it was huge and the deep-fried oysters and shrimps tasted salty and delicious.
The plan that evening was to go to the ‘World Famous’ Mother’s restaurant.
Mother’s is a local Louisiana restaurant well known for their baked ham, gumbo and Po’ Boys – so looked liked sandwiches were on the menu for dinner too! It’s a hectic busy place, we had to queue for a bit to get in, but it was well worth it.
I went for a little starter of seafood gumbo, which was delicious. Very salty with lots of prawns and crawfish tails – a lot thinner than the one from PreJeans, but had a deeper flavour.
To follow there was only one option – The Famous Ferdi Special – ham, roast beef, the original debris (Debris \ˈdā-ˈbrē\ n. The roast beef that falls into the au jus gravy in the pan while roasting in the oven. A Mother’s original) with au jus gravy. It was a beast, loaded with meat in a lovely baguette, dripping with gravy – messy, sure but totally delicious.
A hell of a start, 2 amazing sandwiches and gumbo. Next up was Beignets, Jambalya and fried chicken – stay tuned!