New Orleans. A place that is like a second home to me, and where I really became the person I am today. Growing up in Dallas, I had never really understood why people loved NOLA so much, but when I went to college there, I found out. It really is a magical place with amazing cuisine, delicious food, incredible culture, and some of the nicest people you will ever meet anywhere. The men aren't half bad either, but I'll save that for another blog. This city has an energy about it like none other. If you haven't been, you're missing out. Let's get to the reason you are here; the food. Of course, after living there for several years I have had more than my fair share of cajun/seafood. So I wanted to see what else NOLA had on it's menu.
I had of course heard amazing things about the food halls. In my short visit I managed to stop by all three halls. Pythian Market was by far my favorite. With the stance on being a #foodhallforall I really found myself at home there. Even though the Saints game was carrying on, Pythian was still calm and collected with a good crowd. The vendors were all different and each had their own atmosphere. We tried to eat from as many vendors as possible while there.
Of course I had to get a Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich from Dirty South Sammiches and a Pizza from Meribo Pizza. Both of which were favorites of mine. The Chicken & Waffles from Fete Au Fete was some of the best I've ever had. We ate as much as our stomachs would allow until we were absolutely stuffed. I even tried my first ever Pho-rito from Eat Well. When ranking this food hall compared to it's immediate competitors in New Orleans, Pythian gets top marks. Auction House Market was my second favorite with beautiful design and some of the best vanilla iced coffee I've had in years. We grabbed breakfast at Sola Deli, where I completely destroyed my Avocado Pesto, Prosciutto and Egg sandwich.
Outside of food halls you are probably wondering where we went for dinner. Our first night we spent stuffing our faces with the pork chops from Toups South. These were three of the biggest chops I had ever seen and they were seasoned to perfection. Our waiter tried to warn us that they would be salty. We said we thought it would be just fine. They were delicious!
Night two we got all dolled up and made our way to Jack Rose. A restaurant that looks like something out of my dreams. Art covers the walls and each room is filled with visual splendor. This of course is also mimicked in the food. I had the mushroom pasta, and though it was a small serving, it was amazing. The mile high pie was on my list purely for how beautiful it was, but my friend wanted something else. So we tried the grapefruit cake and were honestly so happy with the choice. I also had a Ruby Slipper to drink, and was thrilled with how tasty it was. I highly recommend Jack Rose for those visiting New Orleans. Just be prepared to pay a bit more.
If you didn't know already, it can get hot and muggy in NOLA. It can get humid to the point that you just want to die, but thankfully Drip Affogato Bar is a chilly little oasis that has lattes and ice cream. I spent a couple of hours there just cooling off. I enjoyed a lovely matcha latte, while delighting in a Vietnamese Coffee and Cookie Monster Ice Cream. Ten out of ten for sure when it comes to the best ice cream in the city.
On Tuesday it was time to fly back, but not before we stopped for breakfast at Willa Jean. We quickly ordered a couple lattes, and of course mine was matcha. After we ordered our entrees I scoped out the desserts and ordered almost all of them for the table. The blueberry ginger muffin was so fresh and massive. It looked like it had been baked in the biggest muffin tin in existence. The chocolate chip cookies are a must to order as well. SO SOFT and packed with chocolate. The highlight of breakfast, outside of the sweets, was the Tobasco Honey Chicken Biscuit my friend had. It was so delicious I was tempted to order one to go. I had the Croque Madame, which was also huge. My third friend had the Hangover Bowl, also massive, that was filled with the best brisket that was flavorful and juicy. Just what you would need after a night partying in New Orleans.
All in all, my experience in New Orleans was far too short and warrants another trip. I always get a bit sad leaving the city because I have such fond memories there. I was bummed for a week after being back in Dallas, but the great thing about being a travel blogger is I can always return.