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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Boiled Crawfish in the Dirty South, Y'all!

Just came back from a week long trip to New Orleans, LA (otherwise known at the Dirty South), visiting my brother, who has been working out of Louisiana for 10 years, but never visited New Orleans. The only southern City I've ever visited before now was Orlando, FL (Disney World) a few times, so this was my first REAL immersion into the southern environment, and, more importantly, the food.

As a religious watcher of the
Food Network (the real insipration for this blog), I have become somewhat familiar with what southern food is. I had tried Shrimp Gumbo, Jambalaya, and such before, but I had no idea what the real deal was like. As a semi-pro foodie, it is my solemn duty to be honest about my exeriences, even if you the reader may never visit or have the same experience. During my few days in New Orleans and the surrounding areas, I learned that crawfish can be served a million different ways, much like chicken is in the rest of the country. I saw every type of meal with an option for a crawfish substitution. I can't tell you how many signs I saw advertising 'Boiled Crawfish - $2.79/lb, Live - $1.79/lb'. If you don't know, they look like little lobsters (see pic), but has a little less flavor. I loved them in the dishes I got; it was a nice departure from shrimp. The overall service was great, depending on the price range, you know, southern hospiltality...at least for food. Can't say much for the cab drivers.

Since none of us had actually visited New Orleans before, we had to go by the 2 travel guidebooks I checked out from the library (Frommers and Eyewitness Travel). Both were great resources and did us no wrong with their recommendations. A couple of places were small, locals only types, with way too long of a wait, no matter how good the food was. Plus, their were severe thunderstorms almost every night that week, and we didn't feel like standing out in the rain for food we new nothing about. Sorry, readers, but even the best of us have breaking points. On more then 1 occaision, I feel we were suckered into some non-authentic places.

If you don't know the difference between a Cajun and a Creole, a Crawdad from a Crawfish, or a streetcar from a cablecar, just know this - New Orleans is more then just great food (although enjoying a beignets and cafe au lait at
Cafe du Monde is an experience hard to describe, but should be had by all). I went for the food, but left with a greater respect and understanding of life in the south. I wont get into Katrina, the French Quarter, or above ground cemetaries...you can read about that in any of the guidebooks. Instead, I simply want to impart upon my readers the enhanced experience one gets when an open food-mind is kept in the middle of this exotic place.

If you do get to visit, here are a few places we found that I recommend:
Muriel's, Zea's, and Randolph's at the Nottoway Plantation. Sorry I don't have more pic's for y'all (damn, now I'm saying it!) but I had to save the memory card for historic sites and 300 year old oak trees.

-Tom W Tell

1 comment:

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Joannah

    http://2gbmemory.net

    ReplyDelete

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