Saturday, January 3, 2009

Thus Spoke Arthur Matluck

If it isn't fried, covered with powdered sugar, or stuffed in innards, they just don't eat it.

After the Commander's Palace, back to the French Quarter, a little shopping , a three man Hanukkah parade complete with music and menorahs, and Johnny's Po Boys. Johnny's ran out of oysters, but the shrimp were fresh gulf ... you could tell. Later that evening, onto Mother's for Mae's file gumbo, crawfish etoufee, fried oysters, and the second bread pudding of the day which was free, no less. This was real New Orleans (not the free part). I would have had a Po Boy but they ran out of bread.

Monday morning and onto Cafe du Monde for coffee and beignets. Powdered sugar all over the floor. For our frigid friends: it looked good for skiing. This was tasty and good for a long car ride.

Next stop: Poche's Country Market in Breaux Bridge. I had my first boudin. A casing stuffed with meat, organs, whatever, and rice. If I have to ask what parts am I not supposed to eat, it drops several places on my must have list. I tasted the best crawfish etoufee ever. This was a cafeteria set up in a real Cajun country sore. Cool! That was also my last boudin. And they ran out of t-shirts.

That night dinner at Randol's - crabcake appetizer, a fried crawfish platter, bread pudding, a couple of cocktails, and if that sounds like a lot, it was. I paid the price the next day. Dinner was very good, live Cajun music, and lots of people dancing the "Cajun two-step."

And then Tuesday, the most fascinating day of the trip: T-Coons for breakfast, which turned out to be a different style of begniet; next, to Bourque's market ... all kinds of regional specialties, most of which I can smell today when I open the fridge; onto two specialty meat/Cajun/smoke house stores, almost side by side and had been competitors for years; two shacks (really): Andre's whose specialty is curious pig parts, like lips and tails; and Doris', which sells tamales. Which are actually pretty good. That night it was dinner in Pensacola at McGuire's Pub, a touristy place A 3/4 pound over cooked burger, poor service. I could have gotten that at home.

Next day to Bradley's Country store for fresh and smoked sausage, both with good texture and seasoned perfectly. Brought six links home and just had them grilled for supper tonight, along with pickled quail eggs. This is another real country store in a beautiful part of Florida. And then the second stop at Pearl Country store to bring home some 'que for the family on New Year's day. This is good stuff and only 206 miles from here. But please note that this was a two stopper.

And then home. This trip was just fascinating. Well planned, well thought out, interesting all the way. I am glad that I took the journey.

You cannot take a trip through this part of the United States without noting the terrible devistation wrought by Katrina. Biloxi, along Highway 90, is being rebuilt. Lots of casinos, beautiful beaches, and lots of construction. New Orleans will take decades to rebuild, the destruction being so widespread. Neighborhoods gone, wrecked and abandoned houses everywhere. It truly is a shame.

A good trip, well done, and even the boudin tastes better when you share it with your son.

No comments: