I have to say, the best part about going to New Orleans was meeting Crazy Kat. I suppose I should have been a little cautious. I was meeting someone I never met in a city I’ve never been to, and I was not worried in the slightest. My instincts were totally right. I have a feeling we are going to be lifelong friends. We got on so well. She is exactly like what she appears to be online. I love her for her honesty, her bravery, and her very open and kind heart. Her husband is the luckiest man alive. It’s weird, but I really think CK and I look like sisters even though our backgrounds couldn’t be more different. Its been a couple days now since I last saw her, and I miss her already, but I have a feeling we are going to have a lot more excellent adventures together.
CK was an excellent partner on the “Fuck the Diet Tour.” CK is a total foodie, like me, but she doesn’t have the auxillary stomach space that I have (that’s okay, nobody does LOL). Did you know cows have four stomachs? They do! Let’s just say that my middle name should probably be Elsie. I am now going to run through all the amazing things I ate in New Orleans. I would hazard a guess that NOLA is probably one of the best cities for eating in America.
While I absolutely adored the beignets at Cafe du Monde, CK and I fell completely in love with the donuts at District Donuts on Magazine Street. They were the best sweets we ate on our trip (and you will see, we tried a lot). I have had some great donuts in my life, but these were undoubtedly the best. They were incredibly light with a flavor and texture that was exactly like brioche. The Donut Plant in NYC has nothing on these guys. Every day the flavors change. I would love waking up and checking them out on Instagram to see what was on the menu. All in all, we tried four varieties and a couple of sliders. Each one was excellent but my favorite was undoubtedly the strawberry basil one. I really wanted to try the pineapple upside down cake donut, but it was not available during our trip (oh well, we will just have to go back, no CK?).
As I mentioned in the previous post, those beignets were my first bite of NOLA. CK had not yet arrived. She would be coming later in the evening, so I pretty much had the day to myself. It was a beautiful day, and I decided to take a walk up Esplanade Avenue and visit the New Orleans Museum of Art (aka NOMA). It was very warm, and the sun was out. One thing that really took me by surprise about NOLA is how the residential streets are perfumed with flowers. There are giant old trees with the most fragrant blooms (so unlike Fort Lauderdale where it smells of pee and homelessness). And the architecture? Simply gorgeous. It made me long to have a front porch where I could sit on a rocking chair and sip ice tea all day.
After walking around for about an hour, I stopped in at one of the places I read about: 1000 Figs. I love Middle Eastern food, and this place got really good reviews. I tried the falafel sandwich, and it was very special. It wasn’t terribly big, but it was surely the best. Absolutely phenomenal. Better than Taim in NYC and L’As du Fallafel in Paris. They falafels themselves were spiced so expertly, and there was a great bright freshness to it that prevented the them from feeling heavy. There were some great sauces and a liberal use of mint. It is out of the way, but if you love falafel, this is worth a trek.
And just to prove to you that things happened besides eating on this trip, here are some of my favorite pieces of art from NOMA. I call this my “Ladies of NOMA” series. OMG, I am so preposterous LOL, I love me.
After that I walked around the sculpture garden and City Park, which was right behind the museum. There was tons of great stuff. It was definitely worth the visit. I was hoping to get my fat ass on the antique carousel in the park, but it was closed. As an aside, that’s a weird thing about New Orleans. Things that you would expect to be open are not always open (even when there is no holiday). One restaurant in particular was closed on Saturday, Sundays, and Mondays for no real reason. It’s just how they roll over there. So my advice is, if you are planning on visiting, if there is something you really want to see, call ahead to double check opening hours.
Anyway here are some pictures I took in City Park and the sculpture garden:
At this point my feet were throbbing. I had done a lot of walking. I took a street car (which are really cute little trolleys) back to the Central Business District where we were staying. OMG you guys, our little flat was the most gorgeous thing! CK does things in style! That’s when I went to Willa Jean for cookies. I saw pictures of these lovelies somewhere and I had to try them. They are things of beauty. Unfortunately I don’t think anything will ever live up to the awesomeness that is Levain.
Right next door is The Company Burger, who everyone says is the best burger in New Orleans — even Anthony Bourdain is a fan. Naturally I had to see for myself. My verdict: this burger is very nice indeed, nice and juicy with a flame grilled flavor. I certainly wouldn’t kick this lovely out of bed, but honestly, I’ve tasted better. Definitely try it if you are in the area though. It’s really good.
At this point I decided I had better get back to our place and wait for CK. It wasn’t long till we would finally get to meet. She had a really long journey. She was everything I expected, so incredibly lovely and easy to get along with. Although I might have had like two seconds where I felt the slightest bit of worry, she immediately put me at ease.
We had reservations at Peche. It’s buzzy and a little loud, but friendly and fun with great service. We had a delicious whole fish, which is kind of their specialty, some yummy potatoes, and a beet salad with pistachios. My favorite thing was the fried bread though. I never had anything like it. They look like munchkins from Dunkin Donuts, but they taste kind of like the pretzels you get at the mall but with more butter. I loved those. If you visit Peche, and I recommend that you do, get some! Oh, and there was a cheeky slice of key lime pie too.
We had a lovely evening. Of course, CK had no idea that I had been eating all day. Poor woman, she didn’t know what she was in for…