It’s not often that we take a trip as a family. Far less a road trip crossing 4 states and 900 miles by car with 5 people in tow. Yet that’s exactly what we did last month shown in these 50 Photos of our trip to New Orleans! A little background info: mom’s birthday is Dec. 28, 3 days after Christmas; and she doesn’t really care for presents, her motto is:
“show me you love me with actions, not with gifts”
So we went to New Orleans!
We rented out THIS home! It was 4 miles away from the French Quarter, roomy, and old! The first impressions were the really wide hallways, high ceilings, and vintage armchairs. Late 1800’s influences were everywhere in the house. Our hosts were excellent people! We quickly experienced that Southern Hospitality I heard so much about as a kid in high school french class.
At Cafe Du Monde! I’ve been hearing about this place since French 1 in 6th grade. The lines were long but moved relatively fast. It’s a cash only place, and once you sit down, you order the traditional, and only items on the menu: Beignets and Cafe au lait.
Beignets arrived! Doused in a mountain of powdered sugar. Makes you think of that one scene in Scarface…
Morning Call Cafe is an open secret our Uber Driver told us the night before. The beignets are just as good as Cafe Du Monde’s without the lines. It also has a bigger selection, where we actually had breakfast one morning before going to the museum.
Love vintage uniforms.
And I swear Alice Cooper was serving tables behind us.
New Orleans Museum of Art grounds.
We were at the sculpture garden….little girl was sniffing metallic butts.
East of the Mississippi exhibit 19th century American Landscape Photography.
My mom the birthday girl.
The French Market
Market Street Cafe is this little cafe in the middle of two one way streets. It was in the 40’s so we sat inside, they had spot heaters to warm us
and ate the best Alligator Fritters & remoulade I’ve ever tasted!
Around the French Quarter
Ok so in 1906 Central Grocery started on Decatur Street. Arguably, their greatest contribution to the food world is the Muffuletta: a sandwich with layers of marinated olive salad, salami, ham, Swiss cheese, provolone, and mortadella. The sandwich itself is about 10 inches wide, its huge!
It will make its way to the blog soon enough! This whole trip has been about eating our way through New Orleans, and there are plenty of other recipes to showcase.
Canal and Frenchmen Streets
On our way to Bourbon Street!
We had these Crab Eggs Benedict for brunch on day 3. What an insane combination of flavors: sweet crab, creamy hollandaise melted into it, over poached eggs and canadian bacon. It’s the bayou’s interpretation of the classic eggs benedict.
It was rich, and unctuous and memorable.
My family. Toasting to mom’s birthday.
Nola is a music town! The birthplace of Jazz. This was taken in Frenchmen Street, home of the best music clubs in the city ie: The Spotted Cat Club, where some of the best jazz is played in the city. This lamppost covered in staples spoke to how many posters were stapled to it over time to announce music shows.
If you’re there, you have to try the boudin balls!
And the Sazerac.
The street was abuzz with tourists, and you could barely walk the street with how many people were there. When I asked a local if this was their busy season, they said no! It’s coming up during Mardi Gras, where foot traffic doubles and the locals that can leave the city because of the influx of tourists.
Jambalaya! For me this carries a lot of significance because it was the first jambalaya I ate that i had not cooked. And it was authentic! As a Cuban and as a chef, I learned about Cajun and Creole cuisine through learning French in school, it was not my native culture. This being the first time I get to be in New Orleans, I’ve come to taste what I read so much about in cookbooks and learning from storied chefs, mainly Paul Prudhomme, who taught one of my professors in Le Cordon Bleu.
I made a Breakfast Jambalaya a while back and will make this dish soon too!
Blueberry Lemon Cake: light and summery, the flavors of the cake carry the sweetness of the blueberries and acidity of the lemon. Fresh creme chantilly helps to balance out both flavors.
So this I had to try out of curiosity. Its almost like a bloody mary + margarita + oyster. The rim is coated in cajun salt, the mix is basically a bloody mary minus celery, and you get a fresh oyster in the glass. The bartender called it an oyster shooter, and she said it was a palate opener cocktail.
Cemetery in NOLA. Driving to the house for the first time and exploring the neighborhood, I was struck at how close the tombstones were to houses and parks. I wasnt used to that. In Miami for example we treat death as something to be sequestered, cemeteries are in farther parts of the city. Here, it was included in the daily life, I saw people walking their dogs and mothers pushing babies in their strollers past the tombstones to go into the grocery store. Death is just another part of life to the people of New Orleans, and even the tombstones are decorated in vibrant colors.
Jean Lafitte’s Absinthe house
Trying out masks for Carnival
It was really difficult whittling down the photos to showcase. In 3 days I took over 2000 photos and there was so much more to capture! Overall, it was an amazing trip to be able to share with my mom and my brother a new city and one I’ll remember forever! Being able to see my mom laugh, try on silly masks with them on her birthday and just eat good food along the way was and experience worth documenting and celebrating.
So the question then becomes, where to next!?