Monday, June 6, 2011

Miss me?

What, you didn't even realize I was gone?! That is soooo rude.

Just kidding. That means the shop was in good hands (a big thanks to Rachael and Sara for holding down the fort). I didn't even call the girls a million times like everyone thought I would. Mostly because my hands and mouth were occupied for four solid days.

Okay, here's the back story. Right around the time I was planning the Rose Cottage event, Shana (from Make Up by Sha) propositioned me with a trip to New Orleans. Usually I would have made up an excuse not to go because I'm a workaholic who doesn't like to have fun, BUT she caught me at a weak moment. I was exhausted. And we would be traveling right after my birthday (so I could rationalize the trip as a present to myself). AND -- this was the main selling point -- we would be going with a small group of my favorite Jersey City folks to conduct an informal tasting trip of the local cuisine. A food vacation? Count me in.

So fast forward to last week. I flew out on Memorial Day and met up with everyone. And this was the first meal we ate:

(Omelet with cheese and turkey bacon topped with chili and a side of hash browns)

Seriously, that's how I started my trip. And it didn't stop. If I could say anything about New Orleans it's that it is hard -- ridiculously hard -- to have a bad meal. From fresh oysters and oyster shooters to po boys and deconstructed crawfish salad at August, New Orleans is a food paradise.

(I was stuffed from breakfast, but still managed to choke down some of this on the walk through the Garden District.)

In addition to the phenomenal food, the architecture and design is pretty inspiring. The French Quarter is studded with brightly-colored homes and intricate detailing. In between eating and sleeping we roamed the streets like a hungry pack of wolves, devouring the local culture.

(The repurposed factory buildings on the way to Cochon Butcher reminded me of Jersey City.)

The "special donuts" (as we heard a Mom at the pool call them) and frozen coffee from Du Monde became a daily ritual that now has me going through powdered sugar withdrawal.

A shot from inside Central Grocery, home of the we-can-smuggle-this-back-on-the-plane muffuletta:

And of course there was more eating. By the time it was time to fly home I contemplated buying an extra seat. I'm still digesting (and planning a return flight).
(Jacques-Imos Cafe, where the sign out front says it all.)

(Translation: If you want more good than you can eat, a friendly waitress and a chef who walks around and greets all the tables then come inside. If you're a stupid tourist, go away.)

(Sipping on a frozen Irish Coffee inside the Erin Rose. Check out that sexy Kanibal Home tote bag! Ask for Jeff -- the best bartender ever. He'll feed the jukebox as long as you pick the right tunes. Hint: He loves Pat Benatar's "Love Is A Battlefield".)

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