New Orleans Wrap-Up

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Just to bring some closure to the whole New Orleans experience, an experience that we loved, I thought I’d do a tie-it-up-with-a-bow wrap-up post for you to bookmark for your next trip there. To review: you must visit Cafe du Monde and Commander’s Palace (as all the guidebooks will tell you). Off the beaten path, you must go listen to music on Frenchmen St. (skip Bourbon Street. Really.) and, during the day, if you’re schvitzing, cool off with a Pimm’s Cup at Napoleon House or a Sno-Bliz at Hansen’s. Meal-wise, you’re not allowed to miss Cochon. Make sure to drink a Sazerac at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop and Bar. And, if you have some extra meals to figure out, do visit Mandina’s, The Green Goddess and/or The Camellia Grill (depending on what you’re craving). And if you don’t have a trip planned yet, go next year for JazzFest. We’re planning to go then too.

A Crawfish Boil (Plus: How To Eat A Crawfish)

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There are two types of people in this world: those who like to work for their food and those who don’t.

People who like to work for their food are often fond of shellfish (cracking lobster claws, picking meat out of crab legs, peeling the shells off shrimp) and these people are often the ones who, when they eat a roasted chicken, identify and devour every last edible morsel. I’m not one of those people.

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The Sazerac

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When in New Orleans, you should drink a Sazerac. I didn’t know this until I went with Pim to dinner at a place called Mandina’s (more on that tomorrow) and she ordered one. Pim’s Sazerac was so good–it’s made with Rye whiskey, absinthe or Herbsaint (an anise-flavor liqueur, like Pernod), and bitters–I made a mental note to order one the next night with Craig so he could experience it too.

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Our Louisiana Seafood Adventure

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When the BP oil spill happened, newscasters and journalists alike spoke of the devastating effect this would have on the Louisiana seafood industry. For most of us, that industry was just an abstraction. We imagined men and women in boats or on docks, but we didn’t have any specific images in our heads (except the ones that we saw on TV). Which is why I jumped at the opportunity to join a trip arranged by the Louisiana Seafood Board to meet the men and women who were most affected by what happened in the Gulf. This is the story of what I encountered.

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Commander’s Palace (New Orleans)

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Restaurants that are institutions don’t have to be good. Before it closed, Tavern on the Green in New York was like that. You didn’t go for the food–no, you definitely didn’t go for the food–you went for the chandeliers, for the topiary, for the chintzy souvenirs you could buy in the gift shop.

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Cafe du Monde (New Orleans)

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When you arrive in New Orleans, the first place that you’ll probably go is Cafe du Monde. There are a few reasons for this: (1) it’s open 24 hours; (2) it’s a New Orleans mecca, for locals and tourists alike; and (3) the beignets that they serve there are so dang good, they’ll haunt your dreams.

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