On the drive down to New Orleans, we were making great time so we decided to make a quick dinner stop at Prejean’s in Lafayette, Louisiana for some authentic cajun cuisine.
I’ll be honest, Prejean’s was a little bit on the touristy side of things; however, the food did not disappoint. The freshly baked garlic rolls brought immediately to our table, Andy’s Catfish Prejean (perfectly juicy fried catfish), and my Crawfish Half-n-Half (half crawfish étouffée, half fried crawfish tails). Once we were sufficiently stuffed, we headed out to finish the last leg of our drive into New Orleans.
What a city - filled with vibrant colors, music, and the food! Oh, the food. Where do I start?
I love the architecture of this city. The French Quarter is so fun to walk around to look at all the colorful buildings. The Garden District has a wealth of quintessential Victorian homes with white picket fences, wraparound porches, and beautifully intricate balconies. We also took the Canal - Algiers Ferry over to Algiers Point to take a little stroll around the charming little historical homes in that neighborhood.
Now let’s talk about that food. I’ve stuffed myself silly with the incredible flavors of New Orleans in the last 2 days.
Fried shrimp po’boys, muffulettas, pork belly sandwiches, hot roast beef and gravy po’boys… New Orleans is a sandwich lover’s dream.
And I can’t forget the world-famous beignets from Cafe du Monde (which also happens to serve quite the tasty iced coffee.). Every bite I took caused a powdered sugar cloud to explode everywhere - I think I’m still trying to get powdered sugar out of my phone. Totally worth it.
A couple standout places we ate:
I can’t say enough great things about this place. I came across the fancier Cochon restaurant, but thought it was unfortunately out of our budget. Luckily, I then found Cochon Butcher which was just around the corner, and whose menu made me drool at first glance. It’s a simple setup in the middle of a warehouse district not too far from the French Quarter, with cured meats hanging on the walls.
We sat outside at one of the three outside bar tables (we’ve been treated to a lot of outdoor patios, thanks to Juliet). Ordered the pork belly sandwich, the cuban sandwich, pancetta mac-n-cheese, and the hot boudin.
First time eating boudin! I liked it, but was more excited about the hot mustard flavor than the sausage itself, to be entirely honest.
Parkway Bakery and Tavern.
Parkway prides itself as the place that invented the Poor Boy sandwich, otherwise known as the po’boy, which started out as simply a baked loaf of bread filled with some potatoes and beef gravy. Now the bakery serves all types of different po’boys, but is well known for its hot roast beef, as well as the Parkway Surf’n’Turf - hot roast beef + fried shrimp + gravy.
The restaurant is a little far from the French Quarter, and in a quiet, slightly run down neighborhood, but once you pull up to it, you know you’re in the right place. It has a huge indoor seating area, as well as endless long tables set up under a tent outside for seating. Sandwiches are not expensive, $7 or $8 for a regular size po’boy.
The Gazebo Cafe.
We stopped here mostly to recover from the extreme heat and humidity, but it ended up being a great first introduction to New Orlean’s sandwiches. A fried shrimp po’boy and a muffuletta later, we were re-energized and ready to hit the French Market just down the block.
Creole Gardens Inn.
I also can’t forget to mention the charming guesthouse that we have been staying in the last few days. Creole Gardens Inn is a bed and breakfast in the Lower Garden District, just a quick drive (or streetcar ride) away from the French Quarter as well as the Garden District.
It’s the cutest Victorian mansion (from 1849) with the requisite rocking chairs on the front porch. You can stay in one of the mansion suites, or there are a series of servant’s quarter cottages behind the main building, where we chose to stay. The colors are so much fun.
Our room is small and simple, but spotlessly clean and up-to-date in every way necessary. A/C and ceiling fan that keep it more than cool, a clean blue and white bathroom with actual water pressure, more outlets than I can count, and free wi-fi!
The BEST thing about this place: it’s dog friendly! Juliet is having a blast sniffing around.
Even better, breakfast is a hot southern breakfast every morning, made to order: grits, eggs, bacon, sausage. Breakfast is served in the mansion house in a high ceiling-ed ballroom with sunny yellow walls and beautiful art/photography.
New Orleans, it’s been fantastic. I’ll definitely be back! Off to Atlanta tomorrow!