Sunday, May 22, 2011

Places We Ate

One of the points of going to New Orleans was to sample the local cuisine. The Crescent City offers a diverse cuisine and the French Quarter is one of the best places to take advantage of it all. That being said, I'd like to take this opportunity to focus on some of the better places ChrisMac and I ate during out stay.

Johnny's Po'Boys: I'm pretty sure that there's no such thing as a bad po'boy. When you get right down to it, wherever you get a po'boy in the French Quarter, you're going to have at least a decent experience. Many of the locals pointed us towards towards Johnny's Po'Boys, citing it as the best place to go. The place is your typical hole in the wall restaurant with a huge menu and a line out the door. We waited a while before getting our food, but it was totally worth it. Myself, I got the Johnny's Special which is beef topped with grilled ham and melted American and Swiss cheeses. These are big, messy, delicious sandwiches. In fact, the portion was so big that I couldn't eat the entire thing. I felt terrible for having to leave 1/4 of a po'boy behind. It was like I was throwing out a work of art.

Clover Grill: There is a lot of debate about where the best burger in the French Quarter can be found. It comes down to two contenders: Port Of Call and Clover Grill. The consensus seemed to be that, if you wanted a big hunk of meat, go to Port Of Call. If you want a flavorful burger in a fun environment, go to Clover Grill. We decided to go with Clover Grill because it was closer and we were intrigued by the stories we heard about the hilarious staff. Alright, yeah, this place is practically a landmark, so if you get there at peak times, the line is going to be out the door. The place itself doesn't look like much, but it has character and the burgers are great. And the burgers are indeed cooked under a hub cap. ChrisMac and I both liked our burgers and fries a lot and the staff had us laughing through the entire visit. For the record, a group of New Yorkers we partied with most of the week absolutely raved about Port Of Call, so if you're in the area, you will probably want to check that place out. Me, I'm going back to Clover Grill the next chance I get.

Fleix's: Whenever ChrisMac and I were wandering around the Bourbon Street area, there was always a huge line outside of Acme Oyster House. I don't get it. Raw oysters are raw oysters, right? The thing is if you go to Felix's, you'll be downing your third dozen oysters while the idiots across the street are still waiting in line. Felix's is basically just a long, narrow room with tables on one side as you enter and the oyster bar on the other. ChrisMac and I decided not to grab a table or instead just stood at the oyster bar and ordered directly from the shuckers. Jessie, our waitress made us feel right at home and even showed us how to make cocktail sauce with the fresh horseradish on the table. While she was mixing the ingredients in the little plastic cup, I felt like I was watching a mad scientist brewing up something up because of the way she was pouring things into this tiny little cup. Jessie gave the sauce a few stirs and said "Baby, wait till ya try this." And, of course, the cocktail sauce was amazing.

Louisiana Pizza Kitchen: The old saying about pizza is true: when it's good, it's good and when it's bad, it's still pretty good. There's lots of pizza to be had in the French Quarter and tons of it is available right near Bourbon Street. If you're willing to go a little bit out of your way to the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, you will not be disappointed. Their pizzas are made using fresh ingredients and are wood-fired in a brick oven. The food here is easily better than any sort of pizza concoction that you'll find on Bourbon Street and is definitely worth the price and the walk.

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