From New Orleans with Love!

This is it!  Never was I so happy to be eating a meal, and never was I so sad I did, than eating these little alien babies right here!  But let me start at the beginning.  I went down to New Orleans for work.  I was presenting at a conference about transportation planning, and once I made my presentation I was able to go to other sessions, and the way the conference was structured we were on our own for the evenings.  I had a blast, and walked my feet right off.  I went to several New Orleans Institutions for food and drink.  Mulates, Bourbon House, Mothers, and finally I felt like my time was good, but I hadn’t had that quintessential NOLA experience of the “Crawfish Boil”.  I kept looking for it, but no luck.  I thought everywhere had ’em, I was wrong.  What I didn’t stop to consider was perhaps there is a reason they don’t…

So it was my last night and I knew a lot of the places near the hotel didn’t have them.  So I went up to the Concierge and asked where to find some boiled crawfish for my last meal in NOLA.  Well after a few phone calls he finally found the Market Cafe.  It was about a mile walk on the western edge of the quarter to get to the restaurant.  On my way I passed the Governor’s Mansion, Not the current governor, but the French one from about 1765.  It was a fantastic structure and looked like someone dropped a piece of France out of a space ship and it landed on the banks of the Mississippi.

On my way I passed the Jackson Brew Pub which looked like it was located in a converted office building, kind of cheesy and uninspired and after the mediocre beers I had that afternoon at the George Biersch Brewery, I thought no thanks.  So I kept walking.  I passed the Bubba Gump Fish House.  I wish I had stopped in there and eaten, but I was on a quest to find the real NOLA before I had to leave the next morning at 4am.

So I made my way to the Market Cafe.  It was actually on the other side of the French Quarter in the area we called the French Market.   It was a good place, with a Jazz Band playing on the patio and a waiter straight out of Brooklyn.  So I place my order and get my fish.  This is where the four day odyssey begins.  See the fish were OK, but my body decided to rebel.  I had force fed it fish, alligator, and beer for the last three nights and had been on the road for the better part of 10 days and my stomach had had enough!

Oh sure the Abita Beer was great, and the Bread Pudding was out of this world, but my stomach didn’t care.  It said enough! And when your stomach says enough, it really is the boss.  Well I won’t go into all the gory details, but suffice it to say I never got too far away from a bathroom.  I regret eating those crawfish but I don’t regret any of the rest of it.  NOLA was the bomb, and I can’t wait to get back there!

-Don

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15 Comments on “From New Orleans with Love!”

  1. April 20, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Yes, you went from those crawfish, to an airplane, to my house, so I had a ringside seat to this epic battle. But I have to say you held your own against the alien babies, Don.

    The sad thing is how excited you were to be eating them – you even texted me a picture and I could see you wearing a lobster bib and rubbing your hands together over their steaming little corpses. From such a high to such a low. But you survived and they didn’t, so Don=1, Alien Babies=0.

    • Don
      April 20, 2010 at 11:01 am #

      Yes, but as with any epic battle you never win without paying a hefty price. I’ll get back to you on your plumbing bill…

  2. April 20, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    I’m not a huge fan of Abita…but I would love to go to New Orleans. I love trying new food and seeing new places. The pic of those crawdads looks delicious.

    What do you do for a living to travel so much? I think you told me before but it slips the brain right now.

    • April 20, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

      He sells shower curtain rings.

    • Don
      April 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

      Contrary to my brother’s reply Nate, I may look like John Candy’s character in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, but I do not sell Shower Curtain Rings. Although I’m still laughing at that one! Way to go Jim. I am a Transportation Planner and was presenting at a session at the American Planning Association’s National Conference. It was a great conference, but NOLA was much more interesting. It’s like what we said in my Mulate’s Post, Abita fits the place, so if you were there you would drink it and appreciate it.

      • April 21, 2010 at 11:41 am #

        Planes Trains and Automobiles…aghh…they just don’t make good movies like that anymore.
        A transportation planner. Interesting. I have yet to settle into a vocation (its a long story), but am quite ready to. If you ever are brought to Toledo, OH. Let me know.

        • Don
          April 21, 2010 at 11:44 am #

          I though you were a brewer and brewery owner. Everyone has to have a day job before they make it big.

  3. Katie Pizzuto
    April 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    YUMMMMM! I’m so hungry right now! Makes me happy to know Spring and warm weather are here, so I can grill and smoke stuff without having to run out into the snow in my flip flops, LOL. Sorry to hear about the “trouble” Don, but don’t give up on the aliens….try and try again! And how dare you visit Jersey without telling me!

    • April 20, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

      I was thinking the same thing, Katie – shame on him!!

    • Don
      April 20, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

      Jim, I thought it was you that pointed out as we sped by…That is where Katie lives. Seriously we were totally slammed for time otherwise we would have made a point to get together. I’m thinking there will be other times though, and then for sure. By the way that first part really did happen…Send truffles my way 🙂

    • April 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

      Listen, truffle hound, don’t be throwing me under the bus for a handful of sweets!

      Actually, Katie, I thought about meeting up with you when Don was here, but it was a whirlwind and the idea blew out of my feeble little mind. Hopefully next time Don comes out we’ll have a softer schedule and we won’t be trying to conquer the world. Hopefully, we will have already conquered it! 8)

      • Don
        April 20, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

        Actually Jim, I am now just noticing that Katie said how dare I visit without “TELLING” her. Perhaps she would have made plans to be away to avoid the pop over! 😉
        And I would throw you under a crane if it meant I got the truffles.

      • Katie Pizzuto
        April 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

        It’s OK, you’re forgiven….technically, my family was up visiting from Miami for my kid’s birthday, so I would’ve had to turn down a beer/whiskey invite anyway, and then I would’ve felt miserable about missing it, then blamed both of you for terrible timing, resented my family for being here, wished my kid had been born a week earlier….jesus, what a clusterfuck that would’ve been. You see…you actually saved me 2 years of therapy. But next time, no excuses….or no truffles!

      • April 20, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

        Deal!

      • Don
        April 20, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

        BTW, Katie, I have had good Alien Babies before in all places Portland, Oregon. They just overspiced the hell out of these guys. Way too salty, and kind of ruined their flavor, then there was the whole attack of my lower intestine I could have done without. So I am undaunted, and will quest again for them next time I’m in the deep south.

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