So, I'm back from New Orleans! Everyone says the food is so good there! Being a food-a-holic I was so excited to visit. I enjoy few things more than cramming my face with food and drink.
My first disappointment was with Hurricanes. What is the big deal? It's a bunch of different types of alcohol with a splash of juice. For some reason I was picturing something that tasted good. It did, however, knock me on my ass, so perhaps that's why it's called a hurricane.
My second disappointment was the smell, the crowds, the noisiness, the frat-party feel of Bourbon St. and so on, the rather mundane quality of the city. I was really expecting something wowsers the way people describe it. Perhaps if I spent more time in the Garden District and less in the French Quarter I would have liked it more. I love Savannah, which seems to me a similar Southern city without the madness of Nola.
The main reason I'd visit New Orleans again is the food. I was so disappointed- everyone had whipped me up into a salivating mess of expectation. I guess they forgot that I'm vegetarian and don't like fried food. So all the alligator corn dogs, po'boys, crawfish etoue, jambalaya, and fried tennis shoes (that's what it smelled like) didn't suffice. And the things I did have were not that great - over/undercooked, bland, unexceptional.
That is... until I got back out to the Garden District and visited Juan's Flying Burrito. In a word, this place is AWESOME. It was full of locals, rather than tourists, and it was hidden away in a colorful but quiet little neighborhood. It offers fantastic drinks - a good range of beer, some fun fruity drinks, and so on. Although small, it consists of two bustling eating sections plus an outdoor garden, which is where we ate. Our waitress was kick-ass and we wanted to adopt her. She was friendly, patient, down-to-earth, joked with us and was just a sort of tattooed goddess of niceness.
|Look, I had only my phone, I was drinking, and it was at night. This is the best I could do.|
But you have to try the Mardi Gras Indian Tacos. And this is what we're going to call this week's Saturday Sandwich- since it is neither Saturday nor a Sandwich. It doesn't matter; it's delicious.
|This is a better image from Fleur de Moi|
Ingredients: roasted corn, pinto beans, and grilled squash with jack and cheddar cheese, and spicy slaw on grilled corn tortillas. If you are a big fan of pupusas (Salvadoran) with the spicy salsa and slaw, you will love these tacos. I like food that clears out your nasal passages a little and I love tacos.
To make great tasting tacos: you can make the tortilla from scratch. Or, you can buy corn (not flour) tortillas and lightly grill them. I generally fry them and either way is fine: 1 tbsp cooking oil, heat to high, add a dash of salt, and lightly cook on each side, using tongs. Drain on a paper towel and let cool. The tortilla should be cooked but not yet crispy.
To make spicy slaw: I don't have their recipe - but here is one way to make spicy slaw.. chop 1 head of red cabbage, thinly slice one red onion, slice one red chile. Mix together with mustard and celery seed, a tablespoon of cider vinegar, the juice of about 1 lime and 1 lemon, salt and pepper, a splash of hot sauce (and to soften the blow you can add a pinch of sugar and a tbsp of sour cream).
Bon appetit! Laissez le bon temps roulez!