Mike and I celebrated my birthday in New Orleans two weekends ago, and it was one of my best birthdays to date. We usually stay put, throwing a party or going out to dinner. It was so much nicer to say an official goodbye to the holidays and a hello to a new age in a fun city with room service and naps, let me tell you. (Recommend it to everyone!) And it was Mike's first time in the French Quarter, so it was a blast to be somewhere we'd never been together.
It was a quick trip. We got into town late Thursday night and left after breakfast on Sunday, but we crammed a lot of fun into those few days.
We ate incredible food, too, and our two favorites happened to be one high-end joint and one low-end one, both so delicious that I have to recommendt them to you for your next Nola trip.
1. Fancy: John Besh's August
I don't mind splurging on meals every now and then. If a meal is outstanding, I'm okay dropping a few bucks on it. My least favorite thing, though, is when we splurge on a meal and it's just so-so or even totally underwhelming. August was recommended, but it's pricey (even for lunch, which is my usual cut-some-dollars-from-the-bill trick), so I was a little weary. And it was a birthday lunch! I wanted it to be fantastic.
Oh, but it was.
No pictures of food! Because I was too busy eating it all.
Mike and I split the gnocchi with blue crab and black truffle, and this may go down as one of the best dishes I've ever had. All other gnocchi is ruined! (Not really, I'll still eat you, gnocchi.) It was just amazing.
Mike got trout and I got the filet, and they were both equally delicious. Everything was just all-around outstanding. We were stuffed and couldn't eat another bite or we would have tried a dessert. Mike did have his eye on the banana pudding, so another time. Maybe just for dessert and cocktails, another don't-spend-all-your-money trick.
After lunch we took naps. Also recommended.
2. Not-So Fancy: Johnny's Po Boys
We had an hour to kill between our swamp tour and our cocktail tour on Saturday, and we wanted somewhere to eat that would be fast, delicious, and a short walk from where both tours met. We used Yelp! and picked Johnny's.
(That's Mike in line! I made him wait in all the lines. Birthday perk.)
It took a while to get our food, so we had to have a couple beers. (Practically forced to!) I got the blackened chicken po boy, and it really was the best sandwich/po boy I've ever had. It was just so flavorful, the bread warm and buttery, and while it was huge, and I couldn't imagine finishing it when it arrived, I nearly did.
It's a good thing that place isn't anywhere near me, or I'd be in some serious trouble.
It might be our first stop when we return, though.