Tag Archives: french quarter

Pirate’s Alley Cafe

Pirate Alley is an awesome little alley behind the church at Jackson Square in New Orleans’ French Quarter. We discovered the cafe there  back in 2009, and it’s the reason we love absinthe.

I don’t really write bar reviews, but this is a great place to have a drink. That’s all I got!

PIRATE’S ALLEY CAFE
622 Pirate Alley
New Orleans, LA 70116

The End Hot Sauce

Pepper Palace on Chartres Street in New Orleans sells a proprietary reaper pepper and habanero sauce called “The End.”

It’s probably the hottest sauce I’ve ever had, and I can fucking take the heat like a goddamn champ when it comes to spicy shit. I had to sign a waiver before trying it. Allow me to describe what happened:

I took a small plastic spoon of the shit, maybe a third of the size you get when you take a sample of ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Just a dot, really. I placed it on my tongue and my mouth lit up with heat. To my surprise it actually had a nice smoky flavor to it. I experienced a jolt of energy, as if I just slammed a shot of strong espresso. That vibrance lasted almost a half an hour. When I swallowed the stuff, it warmed the inside of my body, as if I could feel it making contact with every surface my digestive system from my mouth down to my stomach. Heartburn, almost. Slightly painful.

Luckily I didn’t get any on my lips, and most of it stayed on my tongue before going down. I also didn’t develop any hiccoughs, to my surprise. But I can tell you that this sauce is pure insanity. If you’ve got the balls, give it a try. On our trip to New Orleans, we tried a lot of so called “crazy spicy” sauces, made with ghost peppers and reapers, but nothing came close to this shit. Crazy.

In case you’re wondering, New Orleans is famous for hot sauce. There are dozens of majorly famous brands that call the region home, such as Tabasco, Crystal and Louisiana Hot (obviously). When you walk the streets here, you are bombarded with all sorts of hot sauces for sale. I love it.

Muriel’s

Muriel’s has a great jazz brunch, where a three piece band plays some nice tunes as you dig in. My wife and I loved this spot so much on our trip in 2009 that we went twice, and we even had the band play a request for us.

The restaurant is a beautiful converted townhouse near Jackson Square.

I started with a bloody. I love the addition of spicy pickled beans and okra in the bloodies down here.

And I also devoured some of their toasty, buttery table bread with whipped butter.

This place makes a great turtle soup, classically prepared with a drizzle of sherry at the end. Still as delicious as I remember it.

But I was really blown away by this stack of fried green tomatoes, shrimp and remoulade. I have a deep love for fried green tomatoes for some reason.

I ordered a pork chop for my entree. It was decent, but a little bit sweet. I guess since this was brunch, they were using more maple flavors in the preparation than savory flavors.

For dessert, I had a bite of my wife’s bread pudding. I loved it. I’m a big fan of bread pudding. It was soft inside, and caramelized on the outside. Perfect.

That about does it.

MURIEL’S
801 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70116

Cafe Du Monde

A must-do thing in New Orleans is to have a beignet (or three) at Cafe Du Monde. There’s always a massive line, so go later at night, after dinner (make this your dessert), and you should have no trouble seating yourself. Order three, have a chicory coffee and dig in. But don’t spill any of that sugar cocaine on your pants!

So delicious. Basically, these are French zeppole.

CAFE DU MONDE
800 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116

Red Fish Grill

It was our last night in New Orleans and I realized we hadn’t tried any jambalaya yet. We were snacking on oysters and sipping drinks at Red Fish Grill while waiting for our next dinner reservation when I saw jambalaya on the menu. I had to get it, despite knowing I had dinner in an hour.

It was filled with shrimp, andouille and chicken, and the rice had a perfect risotto type of texture and spread to it. Aside from the fact that the shrimp weren’t de-veined and de-pooped, this was an excellent dish. Not too salty, as these can sometimes become.

As for the oysters, very good. Crisp and fresh, but not quite as good as Legacy Kitchen.

RED FISH GRILL
115 Bourbon St
New Orleans, LA 70130

Legacy Kitchen’s Oyster Counter & Tap

My wife and I stopped in here for a quick dozen oysters and a drink before heading out for the evening in New Orleans.

I don’t know much about the restaurant other than it being connected to a hotel, but these were the freshest and best tasting gulf oysters on the half shell that we had in New Orleans on this trip.

LEGACY KITCHEN’S OYSTER COUNTER & TAP
817 Common St
New Orleans, LA 70112

Central Grocery

This legendary Italian deli in New Orleans is world famous for creating the muffuletta sandwich.

Muffuletta is technically a massive sesame seeded bread, but the name has been coopted here to describe this particular sandwich. When I first saw them back in 2009, I thought they were giant burgers.

So what exactly is in the sandwich? It’s essentially an Italian hero (high quality Italian meats and cheeses) on that circular shaped muffuletta bread, but with one special ringer: the magical olive and giardiniera salad (pickled cauliflower, hot peppers and carrots).

There are lots of joints serving this sandwich all over New Orleans, and even now in NYC.

But the one and only, the original, is Central Grocery. It’s either $10.95 (half) or $20.95 (whole). Below is a half on top, and a whole in my hand.

If you can’t find a place serving muffuletta near you, and if you can’t hop on a jet to NOLA, I highly suggest making one at home. Olive salads and giardiniera salads are usually available in jars at gourmet grocery stores. If you can’t find the bread, just slap those salads on top of a regular Italian hero and you’ll pretty much have it sorted out.

CENTRAL GROCERY
923 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70116

Clover Grill

When I first went to New Orleans in 2009, my wife and I walked by this little dive diner joint a bunch of times and kept contemplating going in to try a burger. It looks like just the kind of place where you might find something fantastic. A hidden gem, so to speak.

They even claim to have the best burger in the world.

The menu is actually funny to read. Check it out.

You can actually see the hubcaps they use.

So we had to get it.

But look at the menu description for the hot dog.

So we had to get it.

Well, despite all the excitement, these two items didn’t quite deliver. They were just okay. But I do love the atmosphere here – a very small old style diner, open 24 hours.

Even complete with slices of pie. Here’s the ice box key lime pie, which was actually great.

CLOVER GRILL
900 Bourbon St
New Orleans, LA 70116

Johnny’s Po-Boys

This’ll be a quick bang out review, since three of us split an oyster po-boy here just to make sure we got some of the local cuisine into our guts.

Here it is!

Unfortunately they forgot to add the sauce and the tomatoes/fixin’s (French style). I was bummed about that, but a little hot sauce went a long way to remedy that.

We also tried the gator sausage.

A bit underwhelming, possibly cut with pork, and it left me with some awful smelling burps until I ate something else. I’m sure you wanted to read that.

JOHNNY’S PO-BOYS
511 St Louis St
New Orleans, LA 70130

Galatoire’s

Of the seven cuts of steak I tried in New Orleans, the rib eye from Galatoire’s was the best.

It may not look like much from that shot, but it had a massive rib cap on it, and it was cooked perfectly from end to end with a great crust.

There was a little bit of bleed out, but it still remained extremely juicy. 9/10

Okay not that I got that out of the way, let’s talk about the rest of this kickass meal.

Excellent cocktails here, some signature, and many classic ones that are famous for the Big Easy.

This crab appetizer didn’t look like much either, and from the menu description it sounded like it would have been more than dressed lump crab on top of iceberg lettuce and garnished with tomato. Nonetheless it was delicious.

I tried a few versions of gumbo on my trip to New Orleans, but this one was the best. It was rich and thick, not overly salty, and had perfectly cooked duck and andouille within.

The Oysters Rockefeller were amazing. So much of that delicious “creamless” style creamed spinach. Pro-tip: if you’re going here to mimic a steakhouse meal experience, order this and skip out on getting the oysters app and creamed spinach side separately. This baby fulfills both very well.

The creamed spinach was kind of redundant at that point, but still really fucking tasty:

The Potatoes Au Gratin were excellent as well:

As were these Brabant Potatoes – very crisp:

The broccoli, on the other hand, completely phoned in. Lame. Simply steamed and flavored with some salt or butter.

But let me tell you, this Shrimp Étouffée was outstanding:

The shrimp were perfectly cooked. The sauce was incredible: smooth, perfectly velvety and nicely seasoned.

My wife ordered that, and I think the ultimate meal here would be to get the gumbo to start, the steak and etouffe to share as entrees with a side of Oysters Rockefeller, and you can finish up with this bread pudding for dessert:

That’s the perfect Louisiana meal.

GALATOIRE’S
209 Bourbon St
New Orleans, LA 70130