All I did in New Orleans over the holidays was eat too much, drink too often and poop too little, which should come of a surprise to no one. Here's the weirdest, oddest and best of the best of what made it into my mouth:
1. Oysters Rockefeller at Antoine's. The restaurant claims to have invented them, which should be a guilty confession instead of a celebration. The recipe: they take a glorious, plump oyster and put a frosting-like paste of dirty spinach water and celery on top. All-around terrible.
2. Wood Roasted Goat Shakshuka-Style at Domenica. I've had better goat, which is both true and so fulfillingly pompous to say out loud, but all in all, the restaurant was great with a capital great. The Herb Roasted Pork Rib appetizer was the best thing I ate all week long — these people could apparently hold their horses long enough to take a photo, whereas i had to stuff meat in my face immediately — and their bread was so fantastic that we continued to bring it up a week later. Also, the waiter looked like he could have been any of our hypothetical Jewish cousin, brother or boyfriend, which is always a welcomed omen on Christmas.
3. Beignets at Cafe Du Monde. I ate so many of these as a late-night drunken starving snack that my black pants looked like a night sky filled with powdered sugar stars, but the communal low that followed was unlike any other post-pastry depression I've ever experienced. I've never felt so sick so immediately soon after eating something. We're still not sure if my boyfriend yakked in the bathroom or not. (Those are separate thoughts, but you start to get the picture when I throw 'em together.) In memory, it mars the perfection of eating a fresh pile of hot, puffy doughnuts while still blurry-eyed from hours of boozing, but for those perfect three minutes of going to town on pastries like the world is on the verge of a dessert apocalypse and i'm our only hope, it was heaven on soon-to-be-destroyed earth.
4. Bread Pudding Souffle at Commander's Palace. As a self-proclaimed dessert disliker, I prefer neither bread pudding nor pudding itself, but even I have to let it be known that this shit was fantastic. And, to make it even better, they pour on some white, creamy frosting sauce some that, so help me god, if any man with half a brain is ever granted three wishes, he damn well better swap this shit in for semen for himself and all of his friends. The entire meal was phenomenal, and we saved the shit out of the best for last by coming here before going home. My first thought when our flight out got cancelled was to head back here straight from the airport, but, unfortunately, I got vetoed. Dinner of movie theatre popcorn and a jumbo Diet Coke, though, was a close second.
5. Alligator and Ostrich Jerky at the Honey Island Swamp gift shop: Was on a bit of a "jerky kick" last week (don't ask, I've since had both a "sardine kick" and a "yam noodle kick" since then, blame the ADD) and grabbed these as a snack for the bus ride instead of shoving a frozen chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich in my face. Alligator, good; Ostrich, eyugh. Also: I saw a swamp!
6. Turtle Soup at Brennan's. Turtle soup. Seriously. In addition to hollandaise-drenched everything and Bananas Foster, the restaurant specializes in the shelled-reptile soup, which, in retrospect, is crazy suspicious. It was pretty meh on the meh scale, which is an accomplishment considering the color is the same of New York subway track sludge and the meat tastes just like plain chicken, but the bowl we wound up trying at Commander's blew this dish of critter goop out of the water.
7. BBQ Shrimp at Deanie's Seafood. After hours of iPhone research on where I could get some crawfish after an early Mufaletta lunch (more on that later), I found out they're out of season, which halfway explained why every piece of fish in the entire town was fried. I wound up dragging my hungover and stuffed significant other to the cab driver-recommended Deanie's, where I proceeded to eat a bowl of the oiliest, greasiest peel-apart crustaceans while he watched SportsCenter. Sometimes, you just gotta make that last meal count. Sadly, we got stranded in town and that last meal ended up being a hotel breakfast buffet with spoiled milk and slimy sausages, but we'll just pretend we ended on this fishy high note.