Traveling: 1000 Places: #1 – The New Orleans Restaurant Scene

If you haven’t noticed, I am slightly obsessed with traveling. In the country, out of the country, in Louisiana, even in New Orleans, I love touring, history, experiencing new thrills. One of the books I read that helps me pick amazing places is 1000 Places To See Before You Die. I thought I’d do a themed category called 1000 Places, where I document each of the places from the book that I’ve been. Currently, I rest at 43/1000 using the updated book. The new book has about 200 new places. How did they add 200 new places without deleting any of the old places? By combining places. For example, in the old book, five entries were Anne Frank House, Canal Cruises, Red-Light District, Rijksmuseum, and Van Gogh Museum. In the new book, they combined all of these into one entry: Amsterdam. Right there, I lost four entries I had. But I am okay with this…I would rather have 200 new and exciting places to challenge myself to visit!

These entries will be randomly chosen, based on what I feel like writing about. So my first one will be near and dear to my heart: The New Orleans Restaurant Scene.

Although I do like to try new restaurants, I tend to be leery about them. I have my favorites and have been to enough duds to make me scared to try new things. But when a few months ago, my husband randomly suggested Cowbell as our post-outing in New Orleans meal, I decided to give it a go.

I have never made such an amazing decision in my life.

We started off with homemade macaroni and cheese with lobster. I admit, I am a Velveeta girl. This white cheddar macaroni makes Velveeta look like a 4 year old created it. So creamy and delicious, with the slightest hint of jalapenos…my taste buds were in heaven. The lobster gave it this amazing flavor, an extra saltiness that enhanced the dish. I then ordered a steak, with asparagus, plain macaroni and cheese, and red onion rings. The steak was perfectly cooked medium, and the asparagus were remarkably flavorful. The additional macaroni only made me giddy, and the onion rings were crispy perfection. My husband got a hamburger and fries. I decided to try a few fries…and I felt like my world stopped for a minute and a whole new one opened up. Homemade, hand cut, perfectly salted. I have, quite simply, never in my life had fries that remarkable. Then, there was this sauce, Agogo they call it (sriracha and homemade mayonnaise, mostly). I want to use it as a shampoo and just dip myself in it, that’s how amazing it was.

Cowbell

The most delicious burger, fries, and sauce at Cowbell

Cowbell

Amazing steak, macaroni and cheese, asparagus, and red onion rings at Cowbell

The next time we went, I opted for the hamburger. I have not had a hamburger since 2001. Not once. But his burger looked so delicious that I knew I had to eat it. There is a topping of mushrooms and onions compote simmered in a zinfandel wine sauce. That, along with the agogo sauce, coupled with the fries and the macaroni…I could probably eat here for the rest of my life and never complain.

The rest of the menu looks amazing as well. But I can’t get past this burger and fries.

According to the book, restaurants to try in New Orleans include Emeril’s, Commander’s Palace, and Herbsaint. I have been to all three, and I must agree.

Best chicken in waffles I’ve ever had? Emeril’s.

Emeril's Restaurant

Emeril's Restaurant

Chicken and Waffles at Emeril's

Chicken and Waffles at Emeril's

Amazing mushroom gumbo (I don’t even like gumbo normally) with 75¢ martinis? Commander’s Palace.

Commander's Palace

Commander's Palace

Chicken and Mushroom Gumbo at Commander's Palace

Chicken and Mushroom Gumbo at Commander's Palace

The best, most perfectly cooked steak, with delicious fries with béarnaise sauce and gnocchi to die for? Herbsaint. Though they are all pricey, I would go back to Herbsaint in a second. I would go back to any of them, but Herbsaint for sure.

Herbsaint

Herbsaint

Herbsaint

Kurt enjoying a beer at Herbsaint

And, of course, Cowbell. Always Cowbell.

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