Posts tagged ‘Johnnies Po Boy New Orleans’

Eatin’ in New Orleans 3

Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina prevented our n-teenth visit to the Crescent City. This year, on the tenth anniversary of the tragedy we again returned to one of our favorite spots in America to enjoy the city, the people, the art, but most importantly, the food. Like always, we sampled some new, some old, some cheap and some expensive. Like always, we were happy with the results.

No trip to New Orleans is complete without a shrimp po’ boy from Johnny’s. This has historically been our lunch upon arriving and this trip was no different. The shrimp is plump, fresh and nicely breaded. This is a crowded place, usually with a line out the door. The fine folks behind the counter hustle and you’ll be enjoying their fare in moments. Trust us, it will be worth the short wait.

Shortly after their opening, we visited G W Fins. Despite recommending it to a number of people that were seeking seafood in the city, we hadn’t been back. We figured it was time to see if the quality was still maintained and whether we were right to recommend it. The good news is that the quality of their offerings has remained top notch. The menu changes daily, so it is difficult to suggest an option. We both elected to have the three-course prix fix menu. Michele enjoyed the drum and Jeff loved the wasabi crusted Wahoo. Neither of us could resist the gumbo appetizer and pecan pie dessert. On the negative side, this was (when opened) one of the more elegant rooms in the city. We felt totally comfortable dressing for dinner. Ten years has changed that and vacation-wear was very much in bloom. Too bad. A well dress crowd in a dining room with this much panache really can elevate a dinner.

Cochon has gone on to win a James Beard award and fully packed reservations since our first few visits years ago. This is such a popular spot now, no reservations were available for any evening during our stay. We decided on a late lunch and all of the past memories immediately sprang back…the rustic charm, the laid-back atmosphere, the sharp staff, and the food! We started by splitting a crawfish pie. The crust was flaky and the inside was filled with buttery crawfish. Them, thar’ is good eats! Michele LOVED her Oyster & Bacon Sandwich. In fact, she is still talking about it. Quickly breaded and fried oysters were served on white bread. It seems simple, but it had miles of flavor. Jeff ordered the Louisiana Cochon, pulled pork meat that has been clumped into a patty and quick fried to stabilize the shape. It was served with cabbage and cracklins. Without a doubt, Cochon remains one of the top three restaurants in New Orleans. (Bayona and Restaurant August are 1 & 2, if you’re interested!)

Because we ate a late lunch and the evening weather had turned nasty, we decided to try a new place right across the street from the hotel. Kingfish Kitchen & Cocktails occupies a perfectly positioned corner of Chartres and Conti. We’re not really cocktail people, but this is one cocktail menu that could have changed us. Instead, Michele enjoyed her bowl of Sportsman’s Gumbo and Jeff could not say enough good about the Rabbit Cordon Bleu. Next time, when we are real hungry, we’re going to try this place again. We might even have a cocktail…or two!

We have been waiting to try Peche, the seafood sister of Cochon. It recently won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant and Best Chef in the South. This is a seafood place, but seafood from the waters around the New Orleans area. Like Borgne, the John Besh seafood establishment on Loyola, Peche relies on local fish to supply the menu. Michele could not pass-up the Smothered Catfish. It was everything you imagine in a southern fish dish, tender, flavorful, exciting. Jeff really enjoyed his ceviche-type fish appetizer. All in all, it was good, but not in the same stratosphere as Cochon.

New Orleans food. Just thinking about it makes us search Expedia for flight costs and room rates. We keep coming back because it is like no other place in America. If you’re going to this engaging city, check the listing of places on our blog page and plan on over eating. It will be worth it. Diet when you get home but please, indulge when in New Orleans. You will remember the meals for a lifetime! 511 St. Louis Street New Orleans, LA 70130 504-524-8129 808 Bienville Street New Orleans, LA 70112 504-581-3467 930 Tchoupitoulas Street New Orleans, LA 70130 504-588-2123 335 Chartres Street New Orleans, LA 70130 504-587-0908 800 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA 70130 504-322-1744


October 11, 2015 at 7:44 PM Leave a comment

Eatin’ in New Orleans

After Cleveland, our second favorite place to eat is New Orleans. We travel there yearly to relax, shop, check out art and of course eat. This year’s trip was no different. We were fortunate enough to revisit some old favorites and try the “hot” new spots. In a word, the food was great. If you’re thinking about a trip, here are a few new comments to go along with the NOLA page at this blog-site.

After arrival in the city, it has become a tradition to share a Shrimp Po’Boy at Johnnie’s on St. Louis. We order it “dressed” (with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise) and the shrimp is perfectly fried and tender to the bite. Wrapped in a fresh French bread section, this sandwich is a great way to put us in the New Orleans mood. Apparently, lots of other people agree. Johnnie’s is almost always packed to the door. Grab a seat in the front room to really enjoy the atmosphere.

Muriel’s is located on Jackson Square. Deep in the back they have a relaxing (and well air conditioned) bar. Inevitably, we end up there mid-way through a day of looking at the shops and galleries in the French Quarter. After a day at the French Market and an afternoon listening to an assortment of musicians at the Sachimo Summer Fest, we decided to have dinner there as well. Muriel’s is a beautiful place to eat with period décor and windows that look over the square. Their food is good and reasonably priced. Both of us started with soup (even though the humid day reached into the mid-90’s!) The Turtle Soup au Sherry and Seafood Gumbo were both excellent. Michele enjoyed her Pecan Crusted Puppy Drum but Jeff felt the Seafood Au Gratin was lacking some spunk. Desserts of Bread Pudding and Chocolate Brownies were tasty. In the center of the French Quarter, this is a convenient place, especially the bar. It comes in handy on hot days in New Orleans!

Breakfast? There is only one place. Coffee au Lait and Beignets at Café du Monde in the French Market. The coffee is blended with chicory and the “square doughnuts” are piled a mile high with powdered sugar. There is no better way to start a day, but probably not every day!

One lunch stop is always a must, Mr. B’s Bistro. Michele has the Seafood Gumbo, Jeff has the Gumbo Ya Ya. Warm crusty bread is the accompaniment. Dessert is Pecan Pie. All are excellent and we’ll be back next year for another bowl and a slice!

For the last few years, Rio Mar has been receiving a lot of media attention. Run by Adolfo Garcia, the Chef blends the foodstuffs ofLouisiana with his familial heritage in Spain to create sumptuous seafood ideas. This was our first visit here and will likely not be the last. Jeff started with the special watermellon crabmeat salad. It was cooling, sweet and flavorful. For dinner the Serrano-wrapped Tuna was perfect. The ham was cooked, but the buttery tuna was raw, both served on a chickpea puree. It was heaven. Michele felt like shrimp, as she rarely orders it outside of New Orleans. The Gulf Shrimp Arroz with saffron and garlic hit the spot. For dessert, the Gran Chocolate was surrounded by dulce de leche cream and finished a perfect, second day in New Orleans.

We had never really spent much time exploring Magazine Street. This six-mile avenue is filled with antique shops, boutiques of all stripes and eateries that serve everything from coffee to gourmet fare. We bought an all-day bus pass and plotted out stops along the road. After about three hours of walking and shopping in scores of establishments, we needed to get out of the heat. We had expected to stop in a tavern/bistro that looked interesting, but they were closed. Luckily, Lilette, the famous French restaurant was still open for lunch. We both ordered the cold corn broth with avocado and crabmeat and it was remarkable.  Jeff had a cold Belgian beer and it was the perfect refreshment for the sunny day and allowed us to continue our shopping journey on this new area (for us) of the city.

Our final dinner came as a surprise. Just before we left home we grabbed the “Best of…” issue of New Orleans Magazine. In it, James Corwell was named best New Chef for his work at Le Foret. A few months ago, Le Foret was picked by the magazine as Best New Restaurant. We were thinking of returning to MiLa or Cochon (our favorites from the last few trips) but instead decided to give Le Foret a try. We are glad we did, because now we have another favorite in the city. Michele started with the crabmeat salad, a beautiful heap of sweet meat that was gone in a flash. Jeff’s Le Foret Champignons was a sculpture of food. A gentle rigatoni-shaped shell was filled with pate de foie gras and capped with the top of a shitake mushroom. In the field below these faux mushrooms, was a dressing of pickled onions and watercress greens. Beautiful and delectable. The entrées were equally stunning. Michele had the grouper with crabmeat croquette and Jeff the duck, each a memorable meal. Dessert was a Coconut Cake, unbelievably moist and refreshing. Each detail of dining here was perfect, from the amuse bouche of duck pate sandwich and demitasse cup of gazpacho to the gift-wrapped Madeleine when leaving, the staff wants to assure you of a memorable time and that they did.

One word of warning. We were tricked and you could be too. The Soda Shop in the new World War II Museum advertises itself as John Besh’s. Inside the museum, Chef Besh does operate the American Sector restaurant, but is apparently just responsible for the creation of the ice-cream flavors at the Soda Shop. It’s too bad, because this could have been a great idea. We assumed this would be a 40’s-50’s Shoppe with jerks and table service. Instead, after a long wait in line and a longer wait for delivery of the snack, the expensive sodas are served in a plastic cup and the Sundays in a paper cup! The ice cream was OK, but certainly not worth the wait or price. If you want a Besh restaurant, try August or Lüke.

Another trip to our favorite city and another collection of great food stories to tell. We can’t wait to go back! 511 St. Louis New Orleans, LA 70130 504-524-8129 801 Chartres New Orleans, LA 70116 504-568-1855 Decatur Street New Orleans, LA 70116 Royal Street New Orleans, LA 70130 504-523-2078 South Peter Street New Orleans, LA 70103 504-525-3474 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA 70115 504-893-1636 Camp Street New Orleans, LA 70130 504-553-6738 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA 70130 504-527-6088

August 13, 2011 at 12:21 AM Leave a comment

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.