Hello from The Crescent City, Readers!!
We arrived today and have already samples some delicious cuisine!
When we got to our hotel, our room wasn’t quite ready. As much as I prefer to settle in when I get somewhere, it was fine because I was hungry and eager to start exploring. Our hotel is minutes from everywhere in the Quarter, so we headed out and hit up Johnny Po’ Boys. This place has been a French Quarter staple since the 1950s and I can see why. The place is small, but the food is so good.
A Po’Boy is a New Orleans style sub sandwich. It contains meat of some sort–usually roast beef or seafood– and getting it “dressed” adds lettuce, tomatoes, dressing, and sometimes pickles and onions. The term originated in 1929, during the streetcar workers strike. The Martin Brothers owed a restaurant in New Orleans and would serve sandwiches to the strikers for free. The Martin brothers would refer to the workers as “poor boys.” The name stuck for the sandwiches and, in Louisiana dialect, came out pronounced “po’ boy.”
I got a shrimp po’ boy and my husband got a crawfish po’ boy. We took them to go and enjoyed them in Jackson Square Park with the sounds of jazz performances from the street artists on streets surrounding the square.
Later, for dinner, we went to The Gumbo Shop. My husband got a sampler platter with crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, and shrimp creole. It was all so, SO good!
I got the red beans and rice. Red beans and rice is a very traditional dish in New Orleans. It is also traditional to eat them on Monday and here’s why: Sunday dinner was usually ham. Then, Monday’s were wash day, so the leftover ham bone would simmer in a pot all day with the beans and seasoning while the women would do the wash. That may not be the way it is now, but the tradition stuck. I’ve made this dish at home many times, and this classic dish at The Gumbo Shop was so good.
Finally, we ended our first night here walking up and down Bourbon Street with our Hurricanes from Pat O’Briens. The Hurricane was invented at Pat O’Brien’s back in the early 1940s. I’ll let the menu I “borrowed” from the bar tell you:
I’ve never had a hurricane before and they are really good. REALLY sweet, but good. We took ours back to our room (because you can take alcohol to go in New Orleans) and sat on our balcony and people watched and listened to all the live music playing. And, boy, were there a lot of people to watch!
*I’m blogging from my phone, so please forgive typos and bad sentence structure!