Monday, December 15, 2014

Eating BIG in New Orleans Pt. 3

Eating like a local:
Regional food specialties
- Back to my favorite city in the USA to eat out in.

Another year, another bachelor party in the Big Easy. Starting to lose count on how many times I've been here but it never fails when it comes to food and fun. Lots of both were had on this quick four day trip that resulted in a nice sampling of some spots both in and away from the French Quarter. There was about 13 of us and we rented a really nice spot just off Frenchman on Chartres, ended up being a great location and a place I'd stay in or near again. I had a day and a half before everyone else got there so I rented a car and managed to squeeze some spots in with my buddy before the festivities began. When they did begin food was pretty much second fiddle but that doesn't mean I didn't put another nice dent into the scene. I managed to squeeze in handful of po' boys, a couple Vietnamese favorites, do a mini sno-ball tour, and also hit up some longtime locally loved stops both in and away from the Quarter. All this with a trip to Cajun Country squeezed in. Louisiana, I love you.

Street Musicians putting in work, don't be the derp that doesn't throw a couple bucks in.

Bevi Seafood Company

Metairie, LA

I had commented on an article over at SE about the best po boys in NOLA, in it I mentioned I was a big fan of the roast beef po boy from R&O's in the neighboring town of Metairie (Check Pt. 2). I followed that with a comment on how I planned to get back on this trip The author emailed me back asking if I wanted to meet up with him for some of his favorites, that didn't happen as our schedules didn't work out but he did suggest this locally loved spot for what may be the best roast beef po boy in the area. It didn't disappoint, so I heard all of the sandwiches here are a step above the rest and that was the case with the roast beef that was cooked just to the point where it was still sliceable yet the meat easily fell apart when bitten into. Add that to the amazing sesame seed studded bread and you got a delectable sandwich.

Roast Beef Po Boy

Killer Poboys

Located in the back of the Erin Rose Bar in the French Quarter

These guys have taken the city by storm with their ever changing menu of internationally inspired chef driven po boys. Situated in the back of a small Irish bar just off Bourbon street they've always got a crowd there these days. Expect them to open their own brick and mortar soon. In the meantime they're putting out some really exceptional stuff including the best meatloaf sandwich I've ever ate to date. Consisting of Boudreaux's BBQ Sauce, Killer Pickles, House Ranch made with dill I considered ordering another as soon as I was done. It was that good.

Meatloaf Po Boy

Quarter Grocery

French Quarter

Some online searching for readily available red beans and rice led me to this place. Like many of the corner stores in the Quarter this is a Vietnamese owned spot that sells food made to order along with groceries and booze. I ended up here a couple times as it was a short 10 minute walk from our rental. The guy was really friendly and remembered me each visit following the initial one. Along with some solid shrimp po boys they make some of the best red beans and rice in the city, and its available daily. I don't know what they put in their recipes down there (Salt Pork?) but you just cant find dishes like this outside of Louisiana. I brought an order back on the plane for lunch later that day.

Shrimp Po Boy

Red Beans and Rice

Gene's Po Boy

Marginy Neighborhood

Those that like to get a taste of the locals favorites need to remember this place. I thought it was one of if not the best non-seafood po boys in the city. Not for the faint of heart at night this 24 hour stand is in an ever changing neighborhood and it can get rowdy after hours. All they offer is roast beef and their signature hot sausage po boy.

a peak inside

We were there late, though it was a quiet night, and we came for the hot sausage. You want it with cheese and you want them to add fried onions on top of everything else (Lettuce, Mayo). The result is part po boy, part breakfast sandwich, part cheesesteak and all muscle. It's not for those with a weak stomach and best eaten while inebriated. Check and check.

Hot Sausage with Cheese, add fried onions


Verti Marte

French Quarter

Speaking of po boys not for the weak, this 24 hour stop has another one. The menu here reads like a short story, they have a ton of stuff and are cooking at all hours of the day. A short walk from our rental I made my way here with a friend around 4am one night, I was in much better shape than him hence the ability to take a picture that didn't look like it was what he was seeing. Though the sandwich seemed to help him sober up a bit. Their signature eat is made with "a medley of grilled ham, turkey & shrimp, Swiss & American cheese accompanied by grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, on grilled french bread with our original "wow sauce." Wow is right, I need some sleep.

"All That Jazz" Po Boy

Pandora's Sno Balls

City Park Neighborhood

I'm a big fan of Italian ice, growing up I always wanted it over ice cream. Since it was in the low 90's temp wise I decided to scope out some of New Orleans' favorite snoball stands. Sno(w)balls are a summertime favorite of most anyone who grew up here. They can be found on what seems like every corner. Pandora came praised so I stopped by to try a tutti frutti (too sweet) and also a half sack of "Hots." The tamales were pretty tasty and would be a regular snack for me if I was a local.

Tutti Frutti and 1/2 dozen Hot Tamales

Williams Plum Street Sno-Balls

Audubon Neighborhood

I'd read a list of the best flavors in town and the fresh mint from this spot got lots of love. Known for the fact they serve they're regular sized snoballs in a Chinese takeout container they also make a mean creamed mint concontion. I found the best flavors in town tend to be made with cream on top of the flavored syrup. Check out this Southern Foodways spotlight HERE.

 Frozen Mint Snowball (Extra Refreshing)

Sal's Sno-Balls in Meteraie - By this point I was loving me some sno-balls

Pho Bistreaux


It's getting to the point where I need to start checking out Nola's Vietnamese dining scene as it's kind of an unknown amongst tourists. For those unfamiliar the Vietnamese came to town a few decades back to work on shrimp boats and have since started their own communities down there. I didn't have the time to get down to the riverbank towns but sought out a couple Viet bites while waiting for my friends flight to touchdown. This is a newer spot and seems to be very popular with the second and third generation of Vietnamese people in town. Lots of young folks, many of them taking pics of their food for instagram and why not when they're putting out bites like these sliders seen below. Just a typical bbq pork bun but the quality of ingredients make them a must, perfect hot weather snack.

BBQ Pork Sliders

Lily's Cafe

Lower Garden District

Aside from my trip to Mo Pho seen in Pt. 2 (Best New Restaurant of 2014) I had never had pho in Nola. Despite it being 90+ outside I decided I had to try the signature bowl from this popular Top Chef hangout. I guess Padma, Tom and the producers were regulars here during the shows filming in New Orleans. According to the reviews online this place makes one of the best unconventional bowls of pho in town. In an homage to both their heritage and also the abundance of fresh gulf shrimp available they make a spicy shrimp pho. The broth is made with potent shrimp stock that will put tears in your eyes while bringing joy to your stomach. I absolutely loved this and ate damn near every drop. Service was extra friendly, I can see it being in my rotation for every trip from here on in.

Spicy Shrimp Pho

Manchu Food Store 

 Seventh Ward

I missed my chance to get to the famous Willie Mae's Scotch House when I messed up the hours of the place. I arrived onsite just as they were closing. The smell on the street made the crave for fried chicken real so I went ahead and rode over to this all in one recommended by a local on the street after he saw I just missed getting in.


This place is a Vietnamese owned store pushing booze and Chinese food. Located in an eccentric part of town there was a party going on in the parking lot but no one seemed to mind my presence. Just a few local cuties sending smiles my way that were there for the same reason as me . That reason was their fried chicken wing plate. It ended up being about as good as you'd expect for $5. Well fried wings with some fried rice did the trick before heading back to the airport to grab my buddy.

Waiting on my number

Boones Farm and Mad Dog drinkers are good to go

Chicken Wing Plate

Harbor House Seafood

Kenner, LA

Upon pickup I decided we'd try this locally loved spot for some seafood for dinner. I guess the town of Kenner (where the airport's at) is a seafood centric town and there's quite a few places like this that double as both a market and restaurant. From what I read online Harbor House is one of the most popular and luckily for us we just beat the rush. Crawfish season was not in swing so we went with a plate of boiled shrimp to start. Never a bad thing.

Shrimp Boil with Hot Sausage

My friend had a plate of oysters and I went with one of the specials. The fried red snapper filets topped with crabmeat sauce served with Cajun corn, smashed potatoes and garlic bread was about as much as I could ask for $16. Like almost every meal I've ate in-state, it more than did the trick.

Fried Snapper Filets with a Creamy Crabmeat Sauce

Random Stops and Shots in Town

Walking around

Drinks and Oysters at Cooter Brown's on the other side of town

Muffaletta from Matassa's Market (Check Pt. 2)

Gator Tour requested by the future groom (about 40 minutes outside the city)

Please feed the animals

Outside the Casino

Manning's Seafood Gumbo - Not bad, good place to watch football and pay homage to the first family of New Orleans.

Royal House

French Quarter

After we spent one of the mornings on the gator tour we had requests of oysters and someone mentioned Acme. This is where I step in and say hell no, we're going to Royal House please follow me. I cant vouch for the rest of the food as those that ordered stuff that weren't oysters weren't happy but I warned them about that. I think this is your best bet for raw seafood in the FQ. It's been great every-time I've been in and if you sit at the bar and tell them you're from the 'hood you'll get 20% off your total. The oysters were as fresh as ever on this particular trip.

Image Image
Raw Gulf Oysters and an assortment of their grilled offerings

K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen

French Quarter

Last meal of the trip was at an old New Orleans favorite. Chef Paul Prudhomme is often considered the Godfather of Louisiana cooking. Long before Emeril made a name for himself this guy was at the forefront of getting word out on the bounty of amazing food being made in-state. In fact I can attribute my love for all things Cajun and Creole to him as I remember reading my parents cookbooks of his back in early days of high school. I wouldn't of picked this place as it's been around for a while and there's still other spots I wanted to take the group but this was one of a few spots that could sit all of us at the same table. In the end it was one of the best meals I had all year. Perfectly executed and enjoyed amongst some great company. The drum was out of this world, I should've known that the man that made blackening a thing would be putting out one of the best variations of it I've ever ate. Fom the food to the service, everything was flawless. Long live New Orleans.

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Turkey Meatball Soup and Blackened Louisiana Drumfish cooked in a Cast Iron Skillet. Served with Drawn Butter, Potatoes and Veggies.

That's it for this trip...See ya next time.

Note: Check out Part One and Part Two 

Bevi Seafood Co
4701 Airline Drive
Metairie, LA 70001
(504) 885-500

Killer Po Boys
811 Conti Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 252-6745

Quarter Grocery
836 Burgundy Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 529-2702

Gene's Po-Boy's
1040 Elysian Fields Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 943-3861

Verti Marte
1201 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 525-4767

Pandora's Snowballs
901 N Carrollton Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 486-8644

Williams Plum Street Snoball
300 Burdette St
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 866-7996

Sal's Sno-Ball Stand
1823 Metairie Avenue
Metairie, LA 70005
(504) 666-1823

Lily's Cafe
1813 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 599-9999

Pho Bistreaux
1200 South Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 304-8334

Manchu Food Store & Chinese Kitchen
1413 N Claiborne Ave
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 947-5507

Harbor House Seafood & Oyster Bar
3203 Williams Boulevard
Kenner, LA 70065
(504) 443-6454

Royal House
441 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 528-2601

K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen
416 Chartres Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 596-2530

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