USA Food Tour: Louisiana

When my dear friend Ashton chose New Orleans for her Bachelorette destination, I was beyond excited. The Big Easy has been on my “To Go” list for a number of years now and I was anxious to cross it off. So eight girls got together and planned a fabulous weekend to celebrate our friend’s upcoming nuptials.

The first excursion we chose was a historical cemetery tour. It was very interesting to learn not only about the historical aspects of the city, but also the famous people who chose Saint Louis Cemetery as their final resting place. Not to mention our guide was phenomenal. Fun fact, Nicholas Cage has his tomb set and ready to go for his afterlife.

One of our other excursions took us through the Bayou with Cajun Encounter Swamp Tours. Our guide was hilarious and kept us entertained as we made our way up the river and into the bayou. We saw alligator, wild pigs and piglets, miniature turtles, and the beautiful serene setting.

In addition to the scheduled excursion, we hopped around the French Quarter Festival. Skipped down Bourbon and Frenchman Street and window shopped through all the Antique shops. We settled in for a long afternoon at Pat O’Brien’s, stopped for a few drinks at the Carousel Bar, and even enjoyed a haunted cocktail at Mauriel’s.

Now onto the important part…the food. Louisiana is obviously known for their Cajun Creole spices. Which of course we all tried. One of my favorite meals was at the Royal Oyster House. First of all, the fact that they were able to accommodate 8 ladies during the heart of the French Quarter Festival without a reservation was amazing in itself. On top of that, the staff was super friendly and the building was beautiful. The details brought old and new into a very picturesque atmosphere. But I digress. We all had an array of New Orleans fare from gumbo, to fresh oysters, to my personal favorite… the Shrimp Po’Boy. This sandwich was so tasty, it hit every taste bud you would expect. Crusty roll, spicy aioli, seasoned, fried shrimp. MmmMmmm.

However, what I was truly most excited about, being the baker and sweets lover that I am, were the beignets. The golden brown pillows of deliciousness covered in powdered sugar. Every girl’s dream. Okay, maybe not every girl’s dream but it sure as hell was this girl’s! We finally made it to Cafe du Monde Saturday for a mid-afternoon snack. At first we were not really sure how everything was supposed to go. We waited in line for about 10-15 minutes until a table was ready for all 8 of us. A server came over to clear away the previous patrons powdery mess and quickly requested our orders. The menu is simple; beignets (which come in orders of 3) and coffee (hot, iced, or frozen). When we originally said we wanted 3 orders, the lady basically laughed at us. It did not take long for us to realize we should all have our own full order. Boy am I glad we did. The freshly made beignets were everything I dreamed of and more. I did buy a boxed mix to make at home…so stay tuned for that adventure.

New Orleans is a beautiful city. The french architecture, the music, and of course the food make it for a wonderful weekend getaway. There were so many more places that I took note for my next visit. I highly recommend it to an wanderer looking for a fun, energetic, yet historical destination. I can’t wait to go back!

A special thank you to all of the ladies for being wonderful travel companions. It made for an even better weekend in NOLA to celebrate Ashton!

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