I loved the food in New Orleans. Most of it was intensely flavorful, totally diffrent from the food I usually eat, and actually lived up to the high reputation that it has.
Most of it, being the key word.
There were a few iconic N’Awlins eats that I just couldn’t seem to enjoy. These foods weren’t truly awful, they just paled in comparison to the shining stars that are the rest of New Orleans cuisine. I am bummed that I wasted stomach space on these items, and want to save you the same disappointment:
BLECH! Like cherry flavored cough syrup pumped full of ice and enough alcohol to make you go blind with one sip. Know what’s worse than getting so drunk off one drink you have to take a nap? Getting brain freeze along with it. I love booze and I love sweet drinks but this is a mucus-y saccharine concoction that makes Robitussin look like a gourmet treat. This was literally horrible and I couldn’t stand it – If you are not a fan of fake cherry flavoring, avoid this at ALL costs!
Raw gulf oysters
I hate myself for not liking these. I had many preparations of oysters in NOLA and while I found that I love them cooked, raw they don’t do it for me. They have a very muted, bland taste compared to the salty, briny east coast and creamy, buttery West coast oysters that I know and love. They are watery and extremely liquidy, and need massive amounts of horseradish to be anything other than palatable. I feel just dreadful for not loving them and, truth be told, when I make it back to New Orleans, I intend to try them yet again to see if I can grow accustomed to their mild flavors.
Court of Two Sisters
Form over function. This place has gotten rave reviews for its jazz brunch, and while its spicy turtle soup (like a very zesty Manhattan clam chowder) and King cake (doughnuts gone wild) are delicious, nothing else is memorable. The buffet is filled with New Orleans specialties, but they are not done well. They are made to please the masses, and as such, forgo any sense of seasoning or cooking methods. That’s a danger with buffets, but if you are a Creole joint, I expect to have some really pronounced flavor in most of your dishes. The surroundings are lovely, with expansive, elegant dining rooms and a gorgeous courtyard, and the service is quite good. They even have jazz musicians on Sunday, which make for a fantastic atmosphere. But for the money, you can do so much better.
Like, for example, the fabulous lunch you will read about tomorrow. Vampires, beware: garlic ahead.