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The New Orleans School of Cooking

nolacooking
We went to New Orleans in August because Mike had a convention to attend (not because we are gluttons for punishment!). While Mike was away I had to keep myself busy so I decided to take a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking. Every morning they hold a 3 hour session where you watch local dishes be prepared and then eat them. Our cook for the day was Miss Barbara a native of Louisiana. The menu was a cajun feast: chicken & andouille sausage gumbo, chicken & smoked sausage jambalaya, pina colada bread pudding with a whiskey sauce and pralines. Along with the lesson you learn about the differences in cajun and creole cooking styles and cultures.

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They may not be the most beautiful or colorful dishes but they sure tasted good. I left with a packet of recipes to try at home, a full stomach and a cold Abita beer. What a wonderful find.

Tip: make a reservation in advance and bring a coupon. You’ll find one in the visitors guide.

Website: http://www.neworleansschoolofcooking.com/

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Cafe Du Monde

cafe du monde
I arrived at Cafe Du Monde thinking we were walking into a tourist trap. I expected mediocre food for outrageous prices but knew this is something you just don’t skip when in New Orleans. We sat down at one of the many outdoor tables and a waitress came by and took our order… 2 orders of beignets and 2 cafe au lait. A few minutes later we were covered in powdered sugar and happy as clams. I was soo wrong about this place. The beignets were hot, light, fresh and under $2 for 3! They could be making so much more money – I would pay double.

Website: http://www.cafedumonde.com/

cafedumonde

Cafe Du Monde on Urbanspoon

NOLA Restaurant

nola
You can’t go to New Orleans and not eat at one of Emeril’s many restaurants. We decide to try NOLA located in the French Quarter. It’s a 3 story building so we needed to take an elevator to get to our table on the 2nd floor. Mike thought this was so cool. The cuisine is an updated twist on classic New Orleans fare. For my main course I chose the shrimp and grits and Mike ordered the hickory roasted duck for his. Our dinner arrived within minutes. No joke…in under 8. It kinda felt like a fast food joint it came so fast. I took a bite of my dish and it was delightful. Cheddar grits with smoked bacon and mushrooms topped with plump shrimp in a creole tomato glaze and a butter sauce. It was a salty, sweet slightly spicy masterpiece. Unfortunately, Mike’s meal wasn’t as good. His duck was cooked well and was smokey but the whiskey caramel glaze wasn’t really there which left the meat a bit dry. It was accompanied by cornbread pudding and a green bean/corn salad which were great. It would have been a knock out dish if only it had more sauce. Maybe they left something out in the rush to get it to our table? As soon as we placed our forks down our plates were whisked away and we were handed dessert menus. We didn’t order appetizers because we knew we wanted to have dessert. We went with the banana pudding layer cake and fancy coffee drinks with liqueur. Both were tasty but nothing to write home about. We paid the bill and were in and out within an hour. The evening felt rushed. It was as though they were in some kind of competition to see how many tables they could turn in a single night. In the end there were ups and downs during our NOLA visit so we left with mixed feelings.

shrimp duck

Rating:
Website: http://www.emerils.com/

NOLA Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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