Friday, September 02, 2005

A Toast to New Orleans

I know it is too soon to write an obituary for New Orleans. Having made my fourth visit there this past spring, the fresh memories of a great city compound the sadness I feel seeing it under water and its people in despair. There is much I love about the city, but for me, New Orleans is more than anything about the food.

In one week in April...
...I took a culinary history walking tour of the French Quarter
...had beignets and coffee at Cafe du Monde 5 times and
...a big, greasy breakfast at Mother's another morning and
...atmospheric dinners at Broussard's, Arnaud's and Court of Two Sisters and
...not so fancy red beans and rice, jambalaya, gumbo and shrimp creole at the Gumbo Shop and Bon Ton Cafe and
...a shrimp po-boy and Abita beer at Bruning's overlooking Lake Ponchartrain and
...a muffaletta from Central Grocery

Of course there were the evenings drinking at the Monteleone's carousel bar, and listening to the incredible Zydeco accordianist Duane Dopsie and inveterate blues singer Big Al Carson on Bourbon Street.

There are many New Orleans cookbooks. The one I own is by the Gumbo Shop. While the restaurant itself is dependable but not exceptional, the cookbook is excellent; beautifully designed, with great photography, and the recipes are fabulous.



So here's to New Orleans. I know I'll be back.