Tourists visit New Orleans to eat, drink and be merry. On every corner there’s a place to “do dat”. While tourists flock to the world famous restaurants of New Orleans, locals have their favorite neighborhood haunts. That is not to say they don’t frequent the more renowned ones, they do; however New Orleans is about neighborhoods and a sense of belonging. Mostly we ate in the Garden District area. Some restaurants there are expensive; some are funky and fun but all are loud! Since I love to eat, the subject of Part III of New Orleans in July will be a few places my son Steve Hemperley’s family and I ate on my recent visit.
Early Saturday afternoon when we arrived, everyone else had already eaten or were running errands so Steve took me to GG’s Dine-O-Rama located at 3100 Magazine Street. GG’s specializes in homemade, fresh and unique recipes made from scratch. They offer fine dining or a casual menu with your choice of seating; inside or out. He and I opted to dine on the sidewalk cooled by a mister fan and watch the activity along Magazine Street. I ordered the St. Patty’s Day Massacre which was shaved corned beef, Swiss cheese, French fries, ancho-honey slaw, 1000 Island Dressing, Creole mustard on pumpernickle rye bread. It was huge!! And I would have never thought of placing the home-made fries IN the sandwich. I cannot remember what Steve ordered (probably something health!) but I was on holiday and not counting calories. Mine was delicious and since I wasn’t able to eat it all, the rest came home in a doggie bag to be savored at another time.
That night Steve had marinated duck breasts to grill. Tucker made duck poppers by placing cream cheese and a bit of jalapeno pepper inside before wrapping the breast in bacon. Steve grilled them and talk about good!
I taught Max how to make a coconut cake. The cake was drenched in coconut milk and condensed milk and topped with Cool Whip and fresh coconut.
I would give the Hemperley’s kitchen a five star rating!
For lunch the next day, Steve, Andrea and I went to Tracey’s Bar and Restaurant on the corner of Magazine and Third Street. It specializes in Po-boys, sandwiches, and fried seafood, and sides such as cheese fries, boudin balls, and fried okra, etc. It has been in business since 1949 and is dubbed The Original Irish Channel Bar.
The ceiling is covered in New Orleans decorated umbrellas. The World Cup Soccer final game was drawing a huge crowd who had come to watch on one of the 20 TVs that show nothing but sporting events. We opted to finishing watching the game at home.
On Monday, Tucker, Max and I had lunch at The American Sector Restaurant of the World War II Museum where Chef John Besh puts his twist on American cooking.
That night the family went out to Pascal’s Manale, a restaurant known as the “Home of the Original BBQ Shrimp”. Located at 1838 Napoleon Avenue, it specializes in seafood, Italian dishes and steaks.
From Pascal’s Manale Restaurant & Bar website
Andrea and Max at Pascal’s Manale
Dinner began with an appetizer of oysters on the half-shell. Some in the group ate steak, veal, or BBQ shrimp. I opted for Chicken Bordelaise. Max and I finished off dinner with a scrumptious bread pudding.
Andrea invited the boys and me to meet her for lunch at the Weston Hotel in Canal Place on Tuesday. The River 127 located on the 11th floor has a spectacular view of the river with barges, paddle wheels, and other river traffic. I had intended to make lots of pictures however as soon as we were seated a squall came through and the magic of the moment was gone! Following a delicious lunch, Tucker, Max and I headed for the nearby Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium where we learned about the most ferocious diner in New Orleans…… the almighty Termite!!!
Before heading home, we stopped on St. Charles Avenue for pralines.
That night we ate at Dat Dog on Foret where Emy works. It is such a fun place, bright and colorful with any type of hotdog you can imagine. None of which you would find in North Louisiana!
From Feret-Dat Dog website
Their menu is imaginative with vegan, spicy chipotle, turducken, duck, crawfish and alligator among other specialties. The night we were there was Trivia night and the place was jumping!
Max’s Alligator Dog
Cheese Fries, anyone?
Or something from the bar?
By Wednesday I was pooped and opted to stay home and rest. Emy and Tucker told me that some of their fondest memories had been that of eating chicken and dumplings at my house when I lived in Covington. I rested most of the day and then prepared a huge pot of chicken and dumplings with a salad for dinner. It must have been good since there was none left.
The next night, Steve grilled venison burgers for a couple of Emy and Tucker’s friends and the rest of the family. Needless to say it was another gastronomic delight.
Wow! What a food binge I had been on! If you would like an and epicurean experience such as this, then try New Orleans ‘cause dat’s the place to do it!
(For more information on any of these restaurants, check out their websites or Face Book page.)