The ABC’s of N’awlins Cuisine

It only makes sense for me to blog about food while I’m in this city. Mostly because the cuisine here consists of some of the most unique dishes in America. And also because I just love food. My roommate, who is a law student, sometimes comes with me to dinner and drinks with the other dietetic interns. On many occasion she has asked us if we “seriously talk about anything other than food”. Nope. Food is what we do. And I’m sure that the world-renowned cuisine of New Orleans played a part in bringing us all here.

While on my run today my mind was wandering to it’s usual subject – need I say what this is? I started brainstorming through the alphabet trying to come up with a classic New Orleans dish for each letter. I think I did it! Obviously there are way more than 26 classic dishes but I want to introduce you all to some of the best, a few letters at a time.

A is for Alligator Sausage. Try it smoked, on a pizza, in a po’boy, or even an alligator sausage cheesecake! In my opinion, no matter how you try it, it’s going to be good. I think it does have a very distinct flavor. Finally a dish that you can say does not just “taste like chicken”! It’s also leaner than it’s pork sausage alternative. Hah – you really can find the nutritional information for anything on My Fitness Pal!

2 oz Cajun Gator Sausage – 70 cal, 2.0 g fat, 11.0 g protein

2 oz Cajun Andouille Pork Sausage – 160 cal, 11 g fat, 15 g protein

B is for Beignets and Bananas Foster.

I’ve talked about beignets in a previous blog post. I’ll spare you the nutritional information of this Cafè Du Monde classic French “fritter”, but beignets are just good for your soul. Some people say they’re over-rated, I beg to differ. If you ask me, not enough good things can ever be said about a deep fried dough ball caked in powdered sugar.

Bananas foster is a well-known specialty dessert with a not-so-well-known origin. Surprise! It was created right here in The Crescent City! Everyone who loves this dessert owes a big “thank you” to Paul Blangè, who created this masterpiece in 1951 at Brennan’s Restaurant in NOLA. This restaurant is still a huge French Quarter attraction and the Brennan family also owns Commander’s Palace – the famous garden district restaurant. I haven’t had the opportunity to try this dish in it’s native form since I’ve been here. I have gotten to try it on french toast though! Who said you can’t have dessert for breakfast anyway?

Drooling yet?

Drooling yet?

C is for Crawfish.

My feelings while waiting  for crawfish season are comparable to the excitement and anticipation that a 5 year old experiences between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Apparently I’m going to be teased by off-season crawfish until late-February. You may call me a food snob, but I do refuse to eat them until their respected season. I am sure I will not be let down when I finally get to taste one. Although, I am still weary about the idea of crustaceans being served without Old Bay. Isn’t that, like, sacrilegious or something?

New “post” = new posts!

By “post” I mean location — New Orleans!! The blogging hiatus is over. Phew, that was a long 7 months! Lost in the excitement of my last semester of college, my (in my mind) LAST summer of freedom, my birthday, and my move to the Big Easy, I gave up blogging. And I really want it back. Of course, so much has happened over the past month since I moved and I will catch you up on that later. For now, lets focus on whats important: IT’S NATIONAL CHEESEBURGER DAY!

Yes, we all know cheeseburgers take a lot of heat for the declining poor health of America, but everything in moderation, right? It’s human nature to crave meat. After all, it’s how we survived for hundreds of thousands of years, before the invention of Taco Bell. And, at least for me, once the meat craving hits nothing is right in the world until I get my hands on a big juicy cheeseburger – or at least a variation of one. Since I’ve been in New Orleans, I’ve only had this insatiable craving once, since my mind is still overwhelmed by the amount of fresh oysters I can get daily. But at that point, a burger was all I wanted. So I asked my native friends for a few suggestions and all fingers pointed to The Company Burger. I had yet to venture down the street where Company Burger is, but I will definitely be heading that way more often. The place is kind of tucked away into a strip plaza, next to a gym – how’s that for some irony. I did really love it, though! Their variety was delightfully surprising and I think they offer just enough to satisfy everyone, but not too many options to overwhelm you. I for one know I am the type of person who is entirely overwhelmed by most burger joints. Oh sorry, waitress, you’ll have to come back a sixth time because I’m still reviewing the 80 types of cheese you offer. No one wants that. And The Company Burger keeps it simple, yet delicious. Everyone give it a shot!

My meal: Lamb burger, sweet potato fries, ginger peach rum tea (their cocktails aren’t half bad either!)

Oh! And an added bonus: they have a really awesome homemade mayo bar!