Category Archives: louisiana

Mardi Gras Dinner Party

For the past few years, I’ve looked at the calendar the night before Mardi Gras and swore that the next year, I would remember to invite people over for a dinner party. This year we finally did.

Mardi Gras Dinner

Our menu:

Muffaletta Spread  *  Fried Peanuts  *  Pickled Okra
Raw Oysters  *  Grilled Oysters
Jambalaya (with andouille, chicken, and shrimp)
Bananas Foster  *  King Cake

(Who doesn’t want two desserts?)

This was a low-stress meal. The jambalaya comes together in under and hour and requires no fussing or fancy plating; I did the chopping ahead of time and started cooking while we drank cocktails and ate snacks. Our guests brought a ton of oysters and a pitcher of hurricanes.


Southern Breakfasts

One of the highlights of my trip to New Orleans was breakfast. We discovered a restaurant called Mother’s up the street from our hotel – it was a cute place with counter service and maybe 25 seats. They had a great early bird breakfast special of eggs, grits, sausage, a biscuit and coffee or OJ. In general, the breakfasts we ate were very different than those up north – hearty and not afraid of meaty components like gravy and ‘debris‘.

When I got back and showed Jeremy all the delicious meals we’d eaten, we were both starving and in the mood for a hearty breakfast. So we headed to the Classic Cafe, where we found the biscuits and gravy even better than before – they’re now making the gravy in house and it’s delicious.

Southern Breakfasts
(Part of) the early bird special at Mother’s, Biscuits and Gravy at the Classic Cafe

A few weeks later and I’m back to my usual breakfasts of homemade yogurt or muffins. But I still get hungry when I see these photos.

Mother’s Restaurant
Map Marker 401 Poydras St., New Orleans LA

Classic Cafe
Map Marker 865 Westminster St., Providence RI

NOLA – Acme Oyster House

Last week, I traveled to New Orleans for work. We were at a convention, working hard all day, so when night came we were hungry and ready for a beer!

One of my favorite restaurants we visited was Acme Oyster House. I read about it on when looking for boiled crawfish, something I’d eaten last time I was in southern Louisiana. We almost left when we saw the long line for a table, but changed our minds when we realized we’d be able to have a beer while waiting in line. Soon, we were sitting inside and ready to order just about everything on the menu.

First, fried catfish. I usually don’t gravitate towards fish choices on menus, but this was amazing. It tasted like it was breaded in cornmeal, and the texture was perfect. So were the accompanying hush puppies.

Catfish and Crawfish at Acme Oyster House
Catfish and Crawfish at Acme Oyster House

Then, some oysters. I usually go for raw, but the chargrilled variety they serve, plump from the heat and spicy with garlic and cheese, were enough to convince me that raw’s not the only way to go.

Next, the reason I came – crawfish. We ordered two plates and they were so good we instantly ordered two more. If you haven’t eaten crawfish, they’re somewhere between a shrimp and a lobster, and the boiled crawfish they serve in Louisiana are soaked through with a spicyness that render them completely addictive. As with any other shelled creature, there’s a trick to eating crawfish. Check out the instructions halfway down this page.

Acme is conveniently located and has reasonable prices compared to most restaurants in the French Quarter. It’s informal and has a vibrant atmosphere. Next time I’m in New Orleans, I’ll be ready for a return visit.

Acme Oyster House
Map Marker 724 Iberville St., New Orleans, LA