What a wonderful time to be exploring this vast country! I have three months left of work before I get ready to move to Boston. I decided I needed something to get me through these last few months, so I planned myself an epic getaway.
Over the next week or so, you can expect to hear all about the amazing food I eat while I travel through New Orleans and Lafayette, LA and then Boston and New York. All of these places are ones I have never even been to before or have only seen minimally. Needless to say, my mind and stomach were ready for this adventure.
The first stop of my multi-state tour was to New Orleans, LA. My aunt lived in Lafayette, LA for my entire life until I was in college, and I had never been down to visit. She and my uncle recently moved back, so I took this opportunity to come visit them and see Louisiana.
I got on a plane to New Orleans yesterday fully ready for some Cajun food. I was starving when I got off the plane after a few delays. The flight extended into when I normally would have eaten lunch, especially with the time change. We headed straight to the French Quarter where a festival was happening. Before we could explore, I needed some food and a cold glass of water. I was dehydrated from a long morning of travel, and it was hot and humid. I was feeling gross and sweaty already. I was already over New Orleans before I even had a chance to see it.
We popped into a restaurant at the beginning of Bourbon St: Red Fish Grill. It was a huge restaurant with a cool aesthetic. I was mostly looking forward to an air conditioned place to sit down and get some water, but I was also very hungry.
Our waiter could not have been more New Orleans down to his accent. I had a slight difficulty understanding him, but he was lively and so passionate about his work. He was so knowledgeable about Cajun food and the restaurant’s menu. Even though I had been looking over the menu, his overview of it made me decide what to get. I wanted to try the best of what Cajun food has to offer, and I must say I got a great introduction.
My dad said I should try some alligator when I was here if I could. So, we ordered an appetizer of alligator boudin balls at our waiter’s recommendation. Boudin is a sausage-like meat product made with meat, rice, onions, green peppers, and seasoning (a Louisiana specialty). This restaurant adds alligator meat to the boudin mix, rolls them into balls, and then breads and fries them. These boudin balls are served over a mustard sauce and topped with a strawberry pepper jelly.
I fell in love with this dish. The filling was so delicious with beautiful flavors. Cajun seasoning truly is in a league of its own. This was a nice treat while I sipped on cold water and a cranberry mint lemonade.
Then, I learned about BBQ oysters and how that is another popular food in New Orleans. In DC, raw oysters bars are very popular, so I had never heard of eating fried oysters with BBQ sauce. Since that seemed to be a very New Orleans thing, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and get a BBQ oyster po-boy with a side of Creole potato salad.
Let me just say, this sandwich was the bomb. It put all the other po-boys I have ever had to shame starting with that perfect crusty French bread. Bread really makes a sandwich, and no other po-boy I’ve eaten had bread nearly as good as this.
The other components of the sandwich were also delicious. The oysters were well-fried, and I enjoyed the varying textures in this sandwich. The BBQ sauce was tangy with hint of spice. I could absolutely tell there was Tabasco sauce in it, which was a pleasant surprise. I don’t think hot sauce when I think of BBQ sauce, but Tabasco is a Louisiana product after all. I could eat this sandwich 100 times, and I still won’t get tired of it.
After lunch, we tried exploring the French Quarter Festival I felt better after some food and water. I needed that re-fueling. I was still rather tired from traveling.
If I am being honest, I was not overly impressed with the French Quarter. It was hot and full of drunk people. I think I would have enjoyed it more had it not been a festival day. If it had been a more quiet day, I think I would have enjoyed walking around and seeing some of the shops.
Bourbon St. is mostly just a row of daiquiri shops and bars. The other streets around it have much nicer shops and restaurants. I was hot and exhausted from a long day of travel. I don’t regret going into the French Quarter though, because I got an amazing Cajun meal. The food is what I care about when I travel. I make plans to eat and then find things to do in between meals. So, yesterday I started my trip with a good meal and felt satisfied already with my New Orleans experience.
*This post reflect my honest views. I did not receive any compensation or other incentives to post this review.
Red Fish Grill
115 Bourbon St.
New Orleans, LA 70130