A Culinary Dream State

by Mike on March 21, 2012 · 6 comments

New Orleans, Week 1

It’s just our first week here in New Orleans, and I feel like I’m in some kind of culinary dream state. The food is rich — there is no way around that. But it digests well and makes me feel like I’m floating.

Grilled Gulf shrimp on potato salad and microgreens at Maurepas Foods in Bywater

For me, food is an event and I think that’s why I like it here so much. They know how to party, and they know how to put that party into the food. The food is larger than life. It’s a character in a book. You know it all by reputation before you even get here, and when you meet it? It doesn’t just exceed your expectations. It blows your mind.

Oyster salad at The Cake Café in Marigny

I love the history in the food as well. These recipes have been handed down through generations, and the techniques have become ingrained in the culture. Each gumbo, every jambalaya is a concoction that includes so many flavors, nuances and spices. Each bite sings. Each bite makes me want to sing.

Smoked chicken and ribs with mac and cheese at The Joint in Bywater

This food makes me even more of a chatterbox, if you can believe it. It’s so good I can’t stop talking about it in between bites. This food — it’s infused with a romance.

Lamb shank with cous cous, roasted pepper and eggplant at Fatoush in Bywater

There is a bacchanalian spirit that fuels this city, and it makes the food irresistible. You want more. You find yourself unable to say no. You can taste the voodoo, the hurricanes, the hard times, and jubilation in the food. It is emotional food, and I think that is the reason I find it so compelling, so complex, and so good.

Praline bacon at Elizabeth's Restaurant in Bywater, across the street from our house

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

RJ March 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Ohmigolly I just had a heart attack looking at all these photos! But I have died happy! LOL! Thanks for posting about the NOLA food, it’s always a surefire way to make folks jealous LOL!


Keex March 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm

“The food is larger than life. It’s a character in a book.” < LOVE THAT!
And… I'm hankerin' for that mac-n-cheese!


Angelique March 21, 2012 at 10:52 pm



J Watson March 21, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Just looking at the pictures makes me fatter! Enjoy it all!


Jen March 22, 2012 at 2:43 am

It looks like you’re making yourself at home with the food! Enjoy it while you’re here! Best wishes. Jen M


Hillary Cook March 23, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I just wanted to say this is a terrific blog and welcome to New Orleans. We really enjoyed the show yesterday. The cast is very talented and the show lived up to it’s hype.


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