Mmmmm, food! For myself, there is nothing better than tasting the flavors of culinary worlds beyond the boundaries of home. Being a vegetarian (who occasionally eats fish), it is hard to find truly delectable foods. But, in New Orleans, this was not the case. Every single place my husband and I ate at (minus one which I cannot even recall the name of), was pure bliss for the taste buds! I would like to share my three favorite restaurants- and one world famous cafe- that I feel so blessed to have tasted of their efforts.
The first restaurant, if you find yourself in NOLA, you must eat at Jacque Imo’s. Every single person we met from NOLA recommended we eat here- so we thought that was enough reason to make the trip. I’m not going to lie, it’s a dive- you walk into the front room and you are in a “dive” bar full of color and character! Someone will likely meet you at the front entrance and lead you through the kitchen and into the “dining” area (watch out for the greasy floors- they are slippery). The tables are covered in tarp-like table clothes, your table will likely be lit by one of the many patron saint candles, and there is incredible original artwork hanging on the walls. I really do not know what else to say about Jacque Imo’s, other than the fact that the whole experience is surreal and the food will kick your socks off! My husband ordered the Crawfish Etouffee; I ordered the vegetarian coconut curry dish. We both left with happy bellies and our little taste buds will never forget Jacque Imo’s- go there!
The second restaurant I would like to highlight is Cafe Atchafalaya. Unfortunately, I only have the one photo from the interior (above left), but Sean and I thoroughly enjoyed our entire experience here. The first full day we spent in New Orleans was a Sunday- just a heads up, many restaurants in New Orleans are closed on Sundays. After a bit of searching, we found Cafe Atchafalaya open and decided to give it a whirl. It is located at the edge of Garden District and Uptown in a quaint little neighborhood. The interior is quite charming- the low lighting, tree mural on the wall and original black and white photographs made me feel at home. Our waitress was so friendly and the food is a gourmet take on the traditional creole cuisine New Orleans is famous for. Please, if you go to Atchafalaya, try the fried green tomatoes- the remoulade is phenomenal- and be sure to order a Sazerac (it’s a traditional southern cocktail made of Rye Whiskey, Absinthe and Peychaud’s Bitters). Above all else, the current owner is super-stellar! We went there another night to get a drink and he went out of his way to make us feel at home- he even made our Thanksgiving dinner reservation at Restaurant Cuvée (see photo of salad above) when we learned that Atchafalaya was closed on Thanksgiving. I highly recommend Cafe Atchafalaya for a great meal under a superb ambiance and a friendly staff!
For more information visit: http://www.cafeatchafalaya.com
At this point, I think it is best to take a break and continue in another entry- too much food for thought to fit all into one entry!