Taste of the South
One of my favorite things to do when I am in the south is eat! The food is so amazing, that you almost need a plan or a checklist, lol. Here are a few southern staples that you need to try; and a few helpful hints to help you find the best places to eat.
We we’re lucky enough to be in Mississippi during crawfish season, which is in the spring. Although I have been traveling to Biloxi for many years, I had never tried crawfish…till now!
First of all, let me say that they look exactly like tiny lobsters…exactly! They kind of have a bit of a lobstery ish taste too.
There is a trick to eating them that I picked up right away; my land locked friend from Arizona, wasn’t such a quick learner, Staci, I am talking to you!
You twist the tail from the body and you pinch and suck the tail in your mouth. The local guys we were with sucked on the heads too, but I kept my focus on the tails…mmm ok, that may have taken an unintentional inappropriate turn, but let’s stay focused here, lol.
They are cooked in spices with potatoes and corn. These weren’t too spicy, I thought they had a bit of a kick to them, but keep in mind that I am Acadian, so the spiciest spice growing up was pepper, lol. The Cajuns didn’t get their love of spices from their Northern cousins.
We finished off our crawfish lunch with some bread pudding. To be honest I’ve never been interested in bread pudding, because it doesn’t contain chocolate, lol, but the locals we were with insisted we have some. And I have to report that it was one the most delicious things I have ever tasted! And it turns out, as per my mom, that bread pudding is an Acadian thing, so that may be something the Cajuns brought with them when they migrated south?
One of my best travel trips for finding great places to eat is to ask the locals. On this trip our service techs invited us to lunch, as we walked out, the receptionist whispered, it’s a dive, but they have good food. I love dives, so off we went! And now I can check off crawfish and bread pudding off my list.
This place wasn’t fancy, but it was full, which is always a great sign. I can say it’s my favorite crawfish place!!! (and my first and only, lol)
No one does BBQ like the south, obvs. We’ve been going to this next place for years. It’s called The Shed and it is literally a series of sheds.
This is another, not fancy place; but it has become one of our favorite places to go.
If you ever find yourself in the south, ask a local where their favorite bbq place is, they will most likely tell you they make the best and they are probably not lying, but they will point you in the right direction. Southerners are a lot like Maritimers, they are super friendly and hospitable.
In New Orleans we asked the concierge at our hotel for “a good” breakfast place; he said, I know a good place, but it isn’t fancy. It sounded like we were in for another dive. Another helpful travel tip, is be best buddies with your hotel’s concierge and don’t forget to give him a tip!! No one likes a cheapskates lol.
This place was called Hobnobbers; you have to walk through a grungy bar to get to it. The only people there when we arrived were, a lady of the evening and what looked like her John, see the man above and the lady in white fishnets, you can see her legs.
As soon as we sat down, the place quickly filled up. Staci ordered some grits, so we could check them off our list. I have tasted them before and I am not a super fan. They look like mashed potatoes, these were served with butter. If you haven’t tried them, you need to because it’s such a southern staple. Side note, our breakfast was really good and cheap!
Crab, Shrimp and Oysters
Another way that the Canadian Maritimers are similar to the Southerners is their love and abundance of fresh seafood!
On this trip, we literally had crab cakes every night. We were on the hunt for the best ones, it seemed like a fun and tasty challenge!
Ah…so many crab cakes, so little time. You can even have crab cakes, topped with crab! You can actually get anything topped with crab; if given the option, go for it!! Most are served with a remoulade sauce, which is mayonnaise based.
The French Quarter has so many amazing restaurants, I always try to go to Bourbon House on Bourbon St when I am in New Orleans. Get the crab cakes! Lol and save room for desert; get the pecan chocolate crunch, it’s to die for!
One of the fun things about the French Quarter is happening upon amazing restaurants. Before we left New Orleans we realized we hadn’t had any oysters yet; we looked up and saw the sign for Royal House Oyster Bar; it seemed like destiny, lol, so we went in.
Another cool thing about restaurants in New Orleans is that they can look small from the street, but then open up to a large outdoor courtyard. This places looked ordinary, until we were seated on the second level.
Our table overlooked Royal St, even though you are close to Bourbon St, the vibe here was super chill and quaint. We even saw another wedding procession, which is a parade, while we were there; there is always something interesting to see!
I don’t love raw oysters, but I do love charbroiled oysters! These were amazing!! Garlic, butter, breadcrumbs and a bit of cheese, what’s not to love? Even if you don’t think you like oysters, you need to try these. Most restaurants serve them, try them!!
Beignets are basically donut dough drenched with icing sugar and they are sinfully delish!!! Note to self, don’t wear black, you will get icing sugar all over yourself.
The most famous place to eat beignets in New Orleans is Cafe du Monde. You order then try to find a table; actually, you wait in line, then order and then try to find a table.
We didn’t get any on this trip because the lines were insane; we walked by a few times and each time the line was longer than the previous. Although Cafe du Monde makes amazing beignets, I know that they are not the only beignets in town; on my next visit, I am going to find a new spot and give them a try.
If you have the patience, or if you are up early, go to Cafe Du Monde, they will melt in your mouth. I will let you know if I discover a place just as good, with less people.
I don’t know about you, but this post has made me hungry!! Lol. I should probably have mentioned a bit of history, in case you aren’t aware. Cajuns that our found in Louisiana and Mississippi originate from Acadians from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in Canada.
I hope you enjoyed this post, thanks for reading all the way to the end! My next post maybe about bunnies?? Stay tuned!