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.

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Inside this was a really cool place, with a bayou theme complete with trees and a crocodile!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A hell of a start, 2 amazing sandwiches and gumbo. Next up was Beignets, Jambalya and fried chicken – stay tuned!

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