Monday, April 23, 2012

The Luckiest

I write to you now, sitting at my desk at work (wildly behind on my to-do list) sleep deprived but still in a happy haze from the past 7 days of touring Ireland.  In a trip I can only describe as the best one ever, I happily explored the culturally rich and complicated lands of Northern Ireland then making my way to the magical and breathtaking landscapes of western/southern/central Ireland.  This, mixed with fun and interesting people (Australians, New Zealanders!), various kinds of food and drink, and charming little towns and smiling sheep dotting the landscape, laughing myself hoarse, dancing myself in circles, and generally taking enough pictures to max out all the memory cards known to man.


Here are some of the eye candy highlights!


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Orleans = Best Place in the World

Okay, that’s a pretty bold statement, but it does set up the following gratuitous photos of food with little else in or around them (or setting the scene, so you’ll have to rely on your imagination and the common knowledge of the socks-knocking-off-ness of this fair city).  On this my third trip to this place I spent even more time eating than virtually anything else.  7 days was just long enough to eat everything within sight.  If I am literally shaped like a Beignet next time you see me it was probably worth it.

Butcher, a butcher shop and sandwich place and Cochon, a trendy restaurant, in the Warehouse district quickly became my favorite spots (they are adjoined and have the same chef) when I stayed nearby three years ago.  I had been in NOLA just hours when I hit them up again, without disappointment!  Below a PB&J cookie.  YUM.


Poor Lauren the Pig.


I ate my muffalatta and citrus arugala salad on the concrete floor of the convention center while I shouted directions at the dudes hanging my sign.  “To the left… chomp chomp chomp (oh this is so salty and delicious, is that olive tapenade I’m tasting?)…. to the right… chomp chomp chomp”. 

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Then for dinner that same night I went to the Palace Cafe on Canal, one of the many Brennan family restaurants.

Turtle soup (the best one ever, better than commander’s palace) twice the cream, twice the sherry, twice the guilt about eating turtles.  (oh Delta Zetas, please forgive me).

Followed by a seared duck with live pate.  Or as I like to call it, fancy braunschweiger.

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local ABITA beer, and mango sorbet.  Heaven.

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The next day I had lovely slimy amazing oysters with a little gumbo on the side.

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Then shoe shopping (finally, this blog’s 1/3 namesake is getting some love).  I was also shopping for baby presents like nobody’s business but only managed to find 3098320498 different kinds of crocogator toys.  No thank you Louisiana.

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I treated myself to Brennan’s flagship restaurant in the french quarter one night (okay, work treated me).  The menu included a red skin potato and leek soup, mustardy greens salad, and some sort of fishy in baked/fried sauce thing that makes me wish I had figured out a way to steal the menu to remember it more properly.

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And of course Bananas foster.  When it was invented in the very room where you’re dining, how can you resist?

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There was also junk food to be had. 

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And fancy work dinners (Cafe Adelaide) with winos and scallops, the fish I could eat for a thousand years.

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Back to Cochon for Etouffe and lemon cream cake.

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And then we walked outside and found out that the Kentucky basketball team was staying in our hotel.  Woohoo, BEAT KU!


Later that week a post dinner snack at Cafe Du Monde.  Beignets are TOTALLY reminiscent of the Father McCarten Oktoberfest funnel cakes, am I right?  Or maybe just funnel cakes in general.  Deeee –lish!


And before heading off to the airport, I needed one more Butcher fix, and nothing says foodventurous like a Bacon Praline.  I could eat those every day.


And a greasy po-boy.  It needed a vegetable (and some hot sauce), but it was pretty darn yummy.


With all of this loveliness, it took my stomach several days to recover from all of the beautiful, terrible, abuse it received from me who threw out any rule on gluttony or sodium levels. 

Unfortunately my plan is to do the very same thing in Ireland! More travel recaps coming right up!