Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Orleans-Travel Adventures With Foods


bread pudding

Cajun sausages pizza

crawfish etoufee and Natchitoches beef and pork pie

Creole catfish

alligator burger



shrimp burger

shrimp etoufee

shrimp po'boy

When you travel, there are many choices that you need to make along the way. One of them is to determine how adventuresome you'll be in what you eat.  A factor that you may face is any form of medical or religious/philosophical dietary restriction(s).  Once you get beyond that point, the choice is yours, my friend.  Yes, there are safety of preparation issues and they should be taken seriously.  Nothing is worse than becoming seriously ill in a place far from home. Then there is the factor of personal preference-here is where you have the chance to stretch your wings and go beyond your present culinary horizon. Decisions!

As I have no medical or religious restrictions for the foods that I try, I found New Orleans an interesting place to experiment with foods. I had had gumbo, alligator, and po'boys before, but I wanted to see how people in New Orleans did them. Etoufees, crawfish,and beignettes were new to me-something to be anticipated. Besides that,  I'd never experienced either Creole or Cajun cooking in their place of origin, so I was eager to give both a try.

The photos you see in this post are foods of New Orleans that I sampled and savored. I found each of the dishes delicious in its own way. The most difficult part of the experiment for me was, once I had found a dish I really enjoyed, to force myself to vary my explorations and try something new.  I ended up cheating a bit in the process by ordering the same dish in another location "for the sake of comparison". That was the other fun part of the food exploration-changes in venue.  None of the places I sampled from were four star restaurants.  They ranged from neighborhood outdoor cafes to a blues music-themed restaurant whose entrance was hidden in a long alley surrounded by vibrant murals. I was not disappointed by any of my eating experiences and came across many pleasant surprises. As a visitor, I was one to step off of the beaten path and savored New Orleans. Food chains were not my goal, I could experience them at home. Local and authentic were the two criteria, especially in a city with access to fresh sea food. Excellent!

Thanks for visiting, feel free to drop by the Tavern again. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

New Orleans Wedding Street Dance With Jazz Band

One of the things that made New Orleans exciting was the live music that was found everywhere. In fact no matter where you went or what time of day or night, there was always the sound of music somewhere nearby. As we were sitting at an outdoor table on a side street in New Orleans one early evening, the sounds of a jazz band started to fill the air.  In a little while, a formally dressed bride and groom danced down the street followed by a band in uniform. People started to line the streets and savor the moment. Soon the rest of the wedding participants followed the band smiling, waving, with drinks in hand. We finished our meal and rounded the block, only to find the streets lined, people spilling from bars and restaurants as the wedding couple danced on to the band sounds as they traveled around the block.  Let the good times roll!

In other posts I've mentioned that I am hesitant to be intrusive in the lives of the people who live in the community that I'm visiting.  After all, if I were having a family event, I wouldn't want a stranger to start taking photos.  The act would change the mood of the event and make some self-conscious.  This was definitely not an issue with this couple.  They were in love, celebrating that relationship publicly and wanted everyone to know it. Perfect strangers were welcome to raise either a cup in toast, a camera to capture the moment, or both. The whole event wast totally uninhibited. It was a truly spontaneous and fun time for those of us who knew no one involved, but were still invited to share in the good times.  New Orleans at its best!

Thanks for visiting.  I hope that you enjoyed your glimpse of New Orleans and will stop by the blog again sometime. I have many more shots of New Orleans to share.  In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Take Me To The Mardi Gras!

One of the many faces of the lively, spontaneous city of New Orleans is Mardi Gras.  Actually, after my visit to Mardi Gras World I realize that the celebration that takes place on Fat Tuesday (the Cristian day that is the day before the forty days called "Lent" in which the devout give up one of their favorite things in life) is far from spontaneous.  The Mardi Gras krews (organizations) spend the whole year preparing for this celebration. As I wandered through the gigantic warehouse and saw hundreds of figures being repaired, transformed, or created, I gained a small understanding of the immensity of the project. The ultimate goal of  the myriad of activities is to" Let the good times roll!" Truly amazing.

I found it interesting that the people of New Orleans are willing to share "the nitty gritty" of behind the scenes of Mardi Gras as well as the celebration itself.  As an outsider, it is always a pleasure to get beyond surface impressions and gain insights of behind the scenes of a cultural event. You might be interested in this link: http://www.mardigrasworld.com/tours/about-us/

I hope that you enjoyed these glimpses of a very unique world.  Please feel free to stop by the Tavern again.  In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bourbon Street (New Orleans) on an Early Saturday Night

Let me begin by saying the images in this post are the censored version. Even in broad daylight at 7PM on a Saturday night the only rule seemed to be , "There are no rules". Bourbon Street was blocked off from traffic and turned into a pedestrian heaven.  Groups of people cruised searching for excitement with giant alcoholic drinks openly in hand. Scantily covered dancers stood in doorways .  Sounds of live and recorded music filled the air.  Street performers did their busking in whatever manner fit their styles. The attitude was, Anything that happens on Bourbon Street stays on Bourbon Street, so let the good times roll". The first EMT van  flashed its lights as it wove its way through the crowds to give needed assistance. Later, darkness would come and the street would take on a much more frentic atmosphere.

This is my first post in New Orleans, but not my last.  The Crescent City wears many different faces, this is just one of them.  Those who wandered around Bourbon Street later on might have had a difficult time remembering them the next day.

Thank you for visiting the Tavern.  Please stop in another time. In the meantime, may your travels be both interesting and enjoyable (mine in New Orleans certainly has been so far).