Last week, I had a whirlwind business trip to New Orleans - one of my favorite places to eat - and I tried to fit in as many new tastes as possible. Here were my favorite bites:
For lunch, go Green Goddess in the French Quarter. Sit at an outdoor table on quaint Exchange Street and bask in the feel. The menu is one of the few in town that offer amazing healthy and vegetarian options. Naturally, I veered away from that. I had a cool watermelon gazpacho, these decadent duck confit tacos and a side of Manchego cheese grits. Don't judge.
|Duck Confit Tacos at Green Goddess (photo: Tammy Gordon)|
My favorite dinner was at Herbsaint, where sans reservation I pulled up a chair at the bar and sampled small plates from a spicy gumbo to a rich gnocchi Bolognese. But, my favorite bite was this butter poached Gulf tuna. If it's on the menu when you visit, you have to try it.
|Butter Poached Gulf Tuna at Herbsaint (photo: Tammy Gordon)|
After dinner, we wanted a little bit more New Orleans. We went to a well known joint that shall not be named an ordered up the worst Manhattan I've ever tasted. After tweeting our DC bar guru, Jeff Faile, we stepped away from the offending glass and hopped a cab two miles away to uncharted territory - Cure. Bartender Ryan immediately rectified the situation, serving one of the best Manhattans of my life. He and his wife are recent New Orleans transplants, having just moved from... Manhattan (where he was at Spotted Pig for years.) Stop by and see him - and trust in his suggestions. Cure is legit.
|Manhattan at Cure in New Orleans (photo: Tammy Gordon)|
As a Tampa native, I feel it's my responsibility to try Cuban sandwiches wherever I see them on the menu. At Cochon Butcher, everything on the menu looked so good, I was tempted elsewhere. But the Cuban was a reward with crunchy pressed bread encompassing roast pork, pickles and cheese... but with enough of their own twists to not make it a copy. I actually liked Butcher better than I liked my dinner at Cochon (though it was still good... I mean, I had a fried oyster bacon sandwich.)
|Cuban Sandwiches at Cochon Butcher (photo: Tammy Gordon)|
And, of course, you have to go to Cafe du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait!