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Tony recently went to New Orleans to work, and I went with him to eat. We have a few friends planning trips there who asked for our recs and since society expects us to turn our lives into a free internet reality show & I’m a people pleaser, I decided to be a basic B and blog about it. BON APETIT (in no particular order):

{ even the potty at Turkey & the Wolf is terrific. but go for the sandwiches & consider the potty an added bonus ok? }

Turkey & the Wolf: When Bon Appétit names a sandwich place the best restaurant in America (you read that correctly – not lunch spot, restaurant), you get in line. And there will be a line. Unless you wait until they’re almost closed, like Tony and I did, so we didn’t have to wait. But after eating there, I can guarantee it is worth the wait & you will prob make like me and buy some Duke’s Mayo on Amazon to try (and fail) to replicate the beautiful memory at home. If you want to know why they’re the best restaurant in America, get the ham sandwich and the deviled eggs with fried chicken skins. If you’re at a place in your life where you can day drink, this is also a highly recommended choice.

{ post sandwich bliss }

August: The most gorgeous, elegant, memorable dining EXPERIENCE. So fancy, but not in a stuffy way – this was the most friendly, welcoming place we were lucky enough to stuff our faces at in the nicest clothes we packed. Dinner there feels like a black tie event being held in your honor. An actual job title is Captain, as in “Hello, welcome to August, I am your Captain.” So go JUST to hear that sentence out loud. Not to be missed: Potato crisp P&J oysters, blue crab truffle gnocchi, flounder Pontchartrain. I think we also tried to order a side of fries?

Balise: Great service, great vibe, great food, just great. Get the fries with aioli, grilled bread with homemade sea salt butter, baked mac & cheese, a fried chicken sandwich, lemon pie and chocolate creme brûlée BECAUSE YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE (and that life will prob get shorter the more you take my eating advice #butter #friedchickensandwich #sideoffriesplease #doyouhaveranchandisithomemade?)

Willa Jean: We went here several times because they serve a mean frosé, and I need a lot of that kind of magic in my life. Also magic: the pimento cheese and the fried chicken sandwich. I am a fried chicken sandwich connoisseur and this one was maybe the best one I’ve ever had in my life. Related: You can walk the streets with liquor, so live your best life and get a frosé to go! You can look like an aging sorority girl like me, but don’t worry, you’ll be too tipsy to care!

Southern Candymakers: Buy pralines for yourself and as a souvenir for everyone you love who was too stupid to not go on this culinary trip of a lifetime with you!

Lilette: It’s a restaurant in a place that looks like a house in our favorite neighborhood, the Garden District. Everyone we know from Louisiana told us to eat here, and they were correct. Get the truffle parmesan toast, the gnocchi, the crab claws and a side of fries. And dessert. ALWAYS DESSERT. I dream of their Nutella Custard.

Sylvain: I read they have “Champagne & Fries” on their menu and literally walked out the door at that very moment, all the way over there by myself in the dark (Tony was shooting, and I wanted champagne and fries. As a young-ish woman/older millennial this is generally not an advisable life choice.) But eating a “Chick-Syl-Vain” sandwich at their beautiful brass bar solo? In addition to champagne & fries & also a No Fun cocktail, which is in fact THE most fun cocktail I’ve ever sipped in my life? ADVISABLE.

Surrey’s Cafe: THIS BREAKFAST IS NO JOKE DO NOT MISS THIS PLACE I AM NOT F’ING AROUND. It’s a big menu, which you’ll have time to peruse while you wait in the long line. (There are always lines for food in New Orleans, just resign yourself to this fact, OK.) Or just trust us and get ALL of the following: Shrimp & grits, bananas foster french toast, biscuits & gravy, side of avocado slices so you can pretend you’re a healthy person even though you’ve had fried chicken sandwiches every single day of your trip. After you clean your plate(s), you will be so full you’ll think you’ll barf for the rest of the day, but you won’t, and you also will not regret it. (Then you’ll eventually get hungry again & sniff out another fried chicken sandwich somewhere new.) SO GOOD SO GOOD SO GOOD.

La Petite Grocery: Ate here Easter Sunday brunch & worshipped the blue crab beignets, deviled eggs, hand cut fries, B.E.L.T. (because it should be a life rule to order anything with a fried green tomato in it) and Pisco Sour. Go here and get 17046 orders of the blue crab beignets I repeat BLUE CRAB BEIGNETS.

Marjie’s Grill: Your Lyft driver will try to convince you there are no restaurants here and it’s not a good idea to get out of the car, but don’t listen! This place is brand new-ish and The New York Times loves it as much as we do! Get out of the car, go in and have the time of your life snacking on things called “Fresh Cracklin,” as well as grilled shishito peppers, popcorn rice, Hank’s Hushpuppies and cornmeal crusted yardbird (are you picking up that fried chicken is a thing for me?) Drinking the Good Hearted Woman made my heart feel so good. Also, they have a painting of a unicorn in the bathroom that is A+.

BONUS FEATURES:

Live Jazz at The Ritz-Carlton: You don’t have to stay at The Ritz-Carlton to go hear Jeremy Davenport and his band bring you to tears, you feel so happy and alive listening to them play jazz. You can also get up and dance, but there was a pro dance competition happening that weekend and so pretty much all the people on the dance floor were pros (and I also had had more cocktails than my weeknight norm at that point in our night), so I pretended to be Ginger Rogers on a break and just watched.

{ post-jazz selfie that is as blurry as my brain pickled in cocktails }

Hitch a ride to Frenchmen Street for live music heaven, and keep popping into different spots until you find a brass band & experience what pure joy feels like.

Make like Beyonce and buy some Krewe sunglasses, if your husband doesn’t say “No, those are too expensive for sunglasses.”

Tour Lafayette Cemetery #1. Great for baby name inspo (even if you’re not pregnant, which I am not if all of the above booze references did not already make that clear). Or you can be a garbage person & get Instagram pics which I definitely DID NOT DO.

We drove ALL the way out to Bacchanal because we heard it was paradise, but the line was too long so we drove ALL the way back. Please go and make me jealous with your stories of wine and live music in the dreamy backyard.

I am well aware that dining in NoLa is nothing short of a spiritual experience & thus a heated topic. What spots did I miss because Hollywood is mostly the worst and I am ready to move here!!!!!!!!

P.S. I could have a doctorate in internet research if that were a thing & not a contributor to depression, here are the guides I curated our meal choices/activities/shopping from:

This one from Vogue

Another one from Vogue

Another one from Vogue because I’m as pretentious as I am basic

MyDomaine

MyDomaine again for same reasons as Vogue

Southern Living

Eater New Orleans

Conde Nast Traveler

The New York Times


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