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The Big Easy

by Meghann on April 11, 2010

Sorry for the delay in posting. Yesterday was jam packed with sight seeing, walking, and enjoying the area. By the time we made it back to the hotel late last night I could barely keep my eyes open to brush my teeth. I’m now blogging from 35,000 feet in the air as I wave good bye to New Orleans and head back to Central Florida. πŸ™‚

Good Bye New Orleans! It’s been fun!

Derek and I had planned to start our first full day together in New Orleans at Brennan’s for breakfast. We had made reservations a couple of weeks ago based off of a recommendation from a family friend.

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We knew as soon as we sat down this place wasn’t for us. The menu was very heavy, the prices were outrageous, and I think we were the youngest couple in the whole restaurant. We stayed just long enough to have a cup of tea and then hauled ass out of there.

Another friend had suggested Court of Two Sisters for their Jazz Brunch (Hi Danielle!!) and we just happened to be two blocks away.

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This was much more our style.

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We were sat outside in this beautiful courtyard that a live band playing jazz and a beautiful fountain within eye sight.

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Honestly the actual food on the buffet was nothing to rave about, but the atmosphere more than made up for it.

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I started with a plate from the cold side of the buffet and loaded up on fruit and sampled a few of the salads.

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Then went back for some hot items.

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Derek had one of the New Orleans Seafood Omelets which was an omelet packed full of a creole seafood mix.

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I had a bite and it was interesting, but nothing I would order everyday.

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There was a dessert station which I grabbed a little sample of everything, but only had a bite or so of what you see.

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When we first confirmed New Orleans as our user group location for 2010 we did so soley based on the hotel’s proposal. They had the best rates and we knew from past experience the hotel could deliver on what we needed.

It just so happened that the weekend in which we could lock the best rates also happened to be the weekend of the French Quarter Festival – a fact we didn’t discover until clients were calling to let us know the hotel had sold out the Saturday night of the conference. Ooopss…

Thankfully I was still able to secure that extra night for our hotel and it was really perfect timing that Derek and I were able to check out the festival that sprawled all over the French Quarter and featured local jazz artists.

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Derek had not had the pleasure of visiting Cafe Du Monde since his arrival. I told him we were not allowed to leave New Orleans until he had a hotel beignet from Cafe Du Monde.

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He loved it just as much as I did.

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I had 1/2 of one of his beignets. They were so warm and doughy – absolute perfection!

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I also nibbled on some praline samples on the street.

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A few readers had reccommended Central Grocery Co for their original Muffalatas.

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In fact the only thing on the menu was Muffalatas and the line went out the door. This is how I knew we were in the right place.

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I had got out of line for a second to tour the back of the store and check out what the muffalata looked like. As I was doing so this sweet old couple was finishing off half of their muffalata and told me they couldn’t finish the other half. They asked me if I wanted it and it seemed silly to say no. I wouldn’t want to let good food go to waste, would I? πŸ˜‰

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The half size was the perfect portion for Derek and I to split.

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The Muffalata was amazing. It was the perfect balance of saltiness without being terribly overwelming. Yum, Yum, and more Yum!!

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After our lunch Derek and I strolled through the artists featured at the festival.

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We thought it would be fun to get our caricature done.

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What do you think? Does it look like us?

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After a couple of miles of walking I dug into a pear I had in my bag.

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Our choice for dinner was another reader reccomendation – The Green Goddess.

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I think I was burning myself out on creole seafood and The Green Goddess seemed to be a one of a kind in New Orleans. It’s a small restaurant with only half a dozen tables or so and offers a unique menu of specialties that seem to think outside the box.

We waited about an hour for our table, but the wait was worth it. Our server was kind and attentive. We had the perfect view of the tiny kitchen where all of our food was being prepared, and the chef greeted us with each of our courses.

The personal attention of the chef was probably the best part of the meal. We ordered the tasting menu which was a 5 course meal featuring 5 of the chef’s specialities. The chef was enthusiastic about each course and was happy to explain the thought and flavors behind each and everyone of them. I presented him with my business card and towards the end of the evening he would ask ‘how the blogger was doing.’ πŸ™‚

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Derek and I were pretty chilly once we were seated so we each began our meal with a nice hot tea.

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The chef had selected a black mango tea for me. He stated that the bold mango tea would be the perfect pairing with the tasting selections.

The first course of our tasting menu was a Roasted Eggplant & White Anchovy Bruschetta.

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As soon as the plate was sat down Derek looked at me and said ‘I’m not eating that.” I guess the anchovy scared him? However, it only intrigued me more. The anchovy added a nice salty flavor the creamy sweetness of the eggplant. I enjoyed the ‘out-of-the-box’ approach to traditional bruschetta and consumed two of the bruschettas myself.

The second course was titled Snail, Tails, & Tasso – a saute of freshwater crawfish, snails, and ham with wild herbs over polenta.

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Again Derek was a bit apprehensive about the snails, but I encouraged him to try it and he loved it. Both of us really enjoyed the mushy polenta and made sure to have a little polenta in every bite.

Our third course was a beautiful presented Warm Andalusian Goat Cheese Salad.

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This dish was beautiful, flavorful, and delicious. However, if I had one critique it would be that this dish needed crackers. The large serving of goat cheese was a bit strong on its own and I believe I nice crunchy cracker would have easily balanced that out.

The fourth course was by far our favorite. “The Old-Fashioned” Gulf Fish Meuniere is a pan-seared Lousiana fish with yucca cake, sea beans (only the chef informed us they were out of sea beans and I can’t what the substitute was), and a bourbon brown butter sauce.

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Wow! All I can say is wow! Everything about this dish was perfect and we made sure to offer up our compliments to the chef 10 times over on this one.

Our final course of the tasting menu was the Strawberries & Cream Ice Cream Terrine which featured fresh mint from the chef’s personal garden.

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If you put strawberries in anything then you already have my full attention. This dessert was creamy and sweet and the additional mint gave it that little extra something.

As a thank you for splitting the 5 course tasting menu with me, I ordered Derek the Bacon Sundae that he had been cooing over on the menu.

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The bacon sundae consisted of pecan praline ice cream with a creamy bacon caramel sauce and whipped cream. There are really no words for how tasty this combination was. The praline ice cream was rich, creamy, and amazing. And the bacon was a surprisingly amazing addition to the sundae. This sundae was in no words healthy, but how many times am I going to be able to try a bacon sundae? πŸ˜‰

Since we had split the courses we both left the restaurant pleasantly full, but not overly stuffed. It was also ironically one of the cheapest dinners thus far on our New Orleans adventure. The whole tasting was only only $55. Of course neither of us ordered an alcoholic beverages, which usually are the largest $$ add ons. πŸ™‚

If you are looking for a dining experience when you head to New Orleans I highly suggest checking out The Green Goddess. I would go early and with an open mind. Don’t expect a quick meal, but definitely expect a good one. πŸ™‚

Alright, folks. THis has been a very, very long post so I will be back later with the last of our New Orleans adventures.

Adios!

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 britchickruns April 11, 2010 at 3:18 pm

New Orleans looks AWESOME!! I saw it on Iowa Girl Eats the other week and thought it then too – you’ve just increased my [very big] desire to visit there! The food looks AMAZING especially that dinner! J’adore anchovies πŸ™‚
I can’t wait for the last recap!

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2 Carly @ carlysharec.com April 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm

It’s been such a pleasure to follow your journey in New Orleans. I first visited New Orleans at the beginning of 2009 on a business trip, and instantly fell in love with everything … the people, the food, the culture, and of course Bourbon Street! Your journeys have served to make me want to go back even more. πŸ™‚

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3 Melissa S. April 11, 2010 at 4:00 pm

What fun!!! I seriously need to get to New Orleans!

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4 Michelle April 11, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I dont think I would have tried the bruschetta either! Looks like you guys had a great time. I love your dress too where did you get it?

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5 Meghann April 11, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Its from Express. I bought it last August.

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6 poiseinparma April 11, 2010 at 4:33 pm

You last few posts have made me want to book a flight to NOLA as soon as possible! Looks like you guys had a great time and that your conference was a success. Hope you get a few moments of down time before the work week hits again!

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7 Diana April 11, 2010 at 4:45 pm

New Orleans seems like it’s such an interesting place. I would totally love to go there. πŸ™‚

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8 midgetkeeper April 11, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I am enjoying looking at your pictures of New Orleans so much, takes me right back.

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9 Ellen April 11, 2010 at 4:48 pm

mmm the mystery vegetables in the gulf fish dish look like fiddlehead ferns πŸ™‚ you’ve convinced me that i need to go to new orleans asap! looks like fun.

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10 Meghann April 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm

You’re right! Thats what it was

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11 Erin April 11, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I love being able to eat on the patio — walking to church this morning, every restaurant and cafe with outdoor seating was absolutely packed. It was nice to see. You know spring is really here!

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12 christina cadden April 11, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Looks like a lot of fun.

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13 thewhatkateateblog April 11, 2010 at 5:13 pm

It looks like you really enjoyed New Orleans – I definitely need to put this stop on my must-see list!

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14 Alyssa April 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm

So glad you guys had an awesome time! Props to you both for being adventurous eaters. I’m going to agree with Derek on the anchovy dish … the site of it on the bruschetta is kind of creepy πŸ™‚

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15 Amanda April 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Looks like you had a fantastic time and perfect weather! I’m so glad you enjoyed the Green Goddess, as a (then) vegetarian it was the only meal I truly enjoyed during my trip to NOLA – and the interaction with the chef really took it over the top!

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16 Kath April 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm

I went to almost all of those same restaurants when I was in NOLA πŸ™‚

Good for you for trying the fishies!

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17 Britt @ Runnerbelle April 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Love French Quarter Fest!!! Looks like you two had a great time. Glad you got to try a muffaletta from the Central Grocery too.

Hhhmm… I think I need to book a trip to NOLA to visit friends and get my NOLA fix.

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18 Lauren @ Eater not a runner April 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Ahhh love new orleans! Glad you had such a great trip!!

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19 Lisa (bakebikeblog) April 11, 2010 at 6:05 pm

What a fantastic looking day! It all looks so fun πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

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20 Zelda April 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm

I think I’ve seen the same street performers. Were they absolutely hilarious? I remember them dancing then cracking jokes. I think the name was Dragon Master Showcase.

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21 runningwithsass April 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm

so glad yall enjoyed yourself! the street performer acrobat guys right by cafe du monde you had pics of have been doing that for YEARS. I chatted with them a few weeks ago when visiting family, they are the same guys who were there when I used to go eat with my family when I was in high school. bet it’s an interesting life!

Jazz brunch is amazing. there are several restaurants and hotels there that do it. the one at the intercontinental hotel is really really good if you even go back!

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22 Julie @ Pickley Pear April 11, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Great looking food! NOLA is definitely eccentric and you must keep your options open. Looks like a fab trip to me!

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23 chasingthenow April 11, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Okay, you’ve convinced me I need to visit New Orleans soon! πŸ™‚ Looks like my kind of place and so much fun!!!

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24 mishmashcat April 11, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I’m totally with you on the anchovies! I would have dug right in πŸ™‚

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25 Evan Thomas April 11, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Dear God the bacon sundae sounds magnificent!

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26 Deva (Voracious Vorilee) April 11, 2010 at 7:59 pm

The strawberry ice cream dish looks and sounds creamy and amazing. It sounds like you really enjoyed NOLA!

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27 Jenna April 11, 2010 at 8:30 pm

looks like soooo much fun!

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28 Carolyn @ lovinlosing.com April 11, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I saw those “break dancers” when we were down there in September and they were awesome! Did you know they competed on America’s Got Talent?

I’m gonna have to try the Green Goddess next time I’m down there.

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29 Rachel April 11, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Thanks for sharing your NOLA adventures and eats! It looks and sounds like you had a fabulous time. Way to go on being adventurous with your eating! I don’t know if I could have tried some of those dishes at Green Goddess πŸ™‚ Hope you had a good trip home and are relaxing before the work week!

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30 dianacheung April 11, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Holy shizzle! I might save this post for when I go to New Orleans!!! From the eats to the jazz you did it all girl!!!! I’m still drooling over all the pics…I might have to reread it..haha. BTW I HEART man v food so I LOVE how you know what that show is!! IT’s soo “not healthy”

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31 Sarah April 12, 2010 at 11:56 am

That tasting looks like so much fun! Did the restaurant offer any vegetarian options?

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