As we said when we started this series, we will be including some posts that feature the local food and music from other cities when our travels take us out of CLE. Well, this is the first OOT edition:
Last weekend, one of my best friends from high school got married in the Biggg Easy. I decided to go down a couple of days early with a close friend from college to get a bigger and broader taste of the city.
Unfortunately, we were on a pretty tight budget AND schedule so I wasn’t able to experience some of the key restaurants, jazz joints, and other notable spots. However, it was an AMAZING weekend and an absolutely beautiful wedding. My belly and ears were pleased with all the love they got and my friend found something incredibly special that – as corny as this may sound – genuinely fills my heart with joy and gratitude. ❤
The food was GLORIOUS. It happened to be Oyster Fest that weekend and checking it out was one of the best decisions we made. The Crawfish Beignet (pictured below from Katie’s Restaurant) was filled with flavor and had the perfect combination of textures. Despite it being pretty rainy and muddy, enjoying a delicious bowl of seafood gumbo right by the Mississippi River was an experience I will never forget.
I could go on and on and on about all the food I had, but I will try to not get too carried away and wrap this up. Here is a list of my favorites (in addition to the Oyster Fest finds):
- French Market Oysters on the Half Shell: We got them twice. The dude (green bandanna below) shucking them had this smile-inducing, life-loving positive energy that I wish all of you could witness.
- French Market Muffuletta: I already love them and this one definitely lived up to my NOLA-Muffuletta expectations.
- Alligator (NOLA) Po-Boy Bourbon Street: I forgot to take a picture, but it was delicious – take my word for it.
- THE WEDDING FOOD: The rehearsal din was at The Bourbon House and the Reception (Southern Oaks Plantation) featured rounds on rounds on rounds of exceptional little bites, ‘wiches, and Hors d’oeuvres. I was in foodie paradise, to say the least.
- Beignets at Cafe Du Monde: Obviously, this was a must and for very good reason.
It was tough to limit what pictures to include as well, but here they are:
Even though I REALLY wanted to check out Preservation Hall and Tipitina’s AND it would have been very cool to dig some genuine zydeco, I still got to hear some solid grooves. While simply walking around the French Quarter, we were treated to a handful of talented street musicians, stopped into a few bars with live jazz bands, and enjoyed the overflowing tunes of cafe patio bands as we slowly passed by. The cafes by the French Market always had two bands going – one more bluesy and one more jazzy. Although the majority of Bourbon Street bumped mainstream country/pop/rap and it’s not typically my thing, I did enjoy it thoroughly when we were out on the town. I wish I could have gotten more footage, but here are some pictures and short video clips of two very unique (and not what I expected for NOLA) street musicians.
If you haven’t visited this friendly and vibrant city yet, do it if you get the chance! If you have, what’s your favorite food and/or music spot?