Last Saturday we took a flight to Nawlins. That would be New Orleans, Louisiana, or NOLA for short. Our reason for coming here was to catch the NCL Star for a cruise around the Western Caribbean, which we’ll get to in subsequent blogs.
This is something like my sixth or seventh trip to this great little city. The food is usually good (however you’ll see today that you can, if fact, get a less than stellar meal here) and the photographic opportunities are tremendous. The people alone make NOLA a street photographer’s paradise.
Now, about that rather disappointing meal. After a little internet research, I decided to try something new. Big mistake. The restaurant was Pierre Maspero’s, and it had some pretty good write-ups. So much for the internet. Ursula ordered a trio New Orleans sampler that included shrimp étouffée, red beans and rice, and gumbo. The étouffée had little in the way of crawfish, the red beans and rice had even less in the way of sausage and meats, the gumbo was almost entirely broth, the portions were small, and the whole things was neither spicy nor served piping hot as one would expect. Even the French baguette was disappointingly stale.
My experience was a disaster. I ordered a seafood platter of fried oysters (the only thing exceptional about this place other than the alligator appetizer), battered catfish, fries, and hush puppies. Again, the food was lukewarm. The catfish coating was so soft and spongy that I sent it all back for a retry. It came back only marginally better. Let’s face it, Southern-style cooking demands catfish be coated in cornmeal. I should have been tipped off by the beer batter. Next time I won’t repeat that mistake.
The fried alligator was great, however. And the accompanying remoulade sauce was a nice touch.
I will conceded, however, that ambience is in abundance at Pierre Maspero’s. The wait staff are eager and friendly. The dining room is absolutely charming. Alas, charm and friendliness do not tickle the tongue or sate the stomach.
Now for a few more snaps of Nawlins: