Monday, May 19, 2014

They're BAAAAAaaaaaack!

Mittens got adopted over the weekend!  Yay Miss Mittens!  They asked me to take her brothers for the week so today we have My Little Blackbird and Mausers again!  Yay kittens!

But where I have I been?  
Road trip to The Cresent City!  Hell ya!  Every so often, we just have to go up North and get us the second best food on the planet.  France, truly, has the very best food in the entire world.  Everything you've ever heard about the cuisine is absolutely 100% true.  The difference is in the quality of the ingredients and in France, that shit matters.  It matters a lot.  In Europe, potatoes have a flavor.  And it's a different flavor as you travel around because the varieties are all different.  Carrots are delicious in Europe.  They suck here.  They also use a different wheat in France, and yup, it for sure makes me sick within 20 minutes.  Tested it.  Had to run back to our flat (airbnb for the win!) before spouse could pay the bill but it dissolves on your tongue like cotton candy.  You know where else you can get amazing French bread like that?  New Orleans and Vietnam. 
Remember, back in the day, France owned Vietnam.  Go try a bánh mì and I guarantee your mouth will love you forever.
So anyway--ROAD TRIP!

Well, that's something you don't see everyday. 

The best part of vacationing in May is EVERYTHING is in bloom!  Even the freakin' desert blooms in May.  Speaking of, best place for produce in the U.S.?  California.  I've never had such good fruit in veggies in the United States outside California.  They still grow them for flavor, not ease of transport.
So here's the highway.  Just blooming away

I should probably point out, that I didn't use my real camera even once on this trip. NOT AT ALL!  OMG!  
But I do have a New Orleans section in my store so go there and see my art.  Why?  Well, the first night, it was pouring rain (and there's nothing worse than puddles in The French Quarter.  Oh, you KNOW that water is funky!) so no camera the first night, and then, I just wanted to eat and relax, not be so focused.
 Get it?  Focused?

 That's as arty as we're going to get, LOL

Check this out!  Mr B's Bistro and this is the grilled pork belly appetizer with apricots! It was seared to perfection with a hint of smoke!  Absolutely melted in my mouth!  So good!

Here's the menu

This was the bacon wrapped shrimp and grits.  Mr B, you had me at, "bacon."  These are the best grits I've ever had.  They were smooth, entirely lacked that hominy flavor, and we just creamy with cheese.  Notice the bits of bacon on top?  Amazing!

The 2nd night we ate at Louisiana Bistro

 This is a small, charming little place, only open for dinner.

 Boudin Balls to start!

 Drum Pontchartrain, very nice.  You notice, they got the green beans right.  Nothing I hate worse than a restaurant that puts on airs and called them, "harticot verts," and then you just get a serving of plain old regular green beans.  Yeah, New Orleans got it together PLUS they aren't pretentious!

For the record,
my green beans in Paris.  Harticot freakin' verts!  

Now spouse had ice cream for dessert.  Oh sorry, cheese cake ice cream with a balsamic dressing.  I tasted it.  It was kinda weird but I'm not a huge vinegar fan.  It was akin to maybe a lemon sauce kinda.  But my taste-buds kept thinking, "sushi?"  and, "salad?"  It was edible, don't get me wrong, but ice cream isn't my thing anyway so this was no big thing to me.  Don't let my opinion stand in your way should you see it on a menu.

Hey look!  Someone got married!  Cops with sirens lead the parade and the whole wedding party marched on down the street waving and smiling!  

Hey!  I bought a bracelet from a big ol' voodoo guy at the French Market.  I already know I'm dying, I'm ok with it.  We all have to go sometime.  Sure, I'd like a long life but what can you do? The bracelet makes me happy.  My little joke on death.  Like, "Hey!  I see you!"

The French Quarter is so historic and just so charming.   Ok, yes, Bourbon Street reeks of sour dumpster/vomit/alcohol, but it's so amazing walking the streets.

Now, a lot of these are actually rental spaces for tourists.  So if you're thinking of going, check these out on Tripadvisor and pick a pretty one.  We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton though.  Just as close but also very very clean.  Something about being out there all day, you just don't want to see a speck of dirt when you come back.  And can you imagine, the amount of tourist in sandals?  Ugh!  We wanted hipboots, LOL!  All in all, I only saw 3 steaming puddles of vomit the whole trip.  

All the lights are real gas lighting.  See the gas line going to the porch light?

Of course!

And then where?  How about this converted old jail?
For absinthe!
Ah, the green fairy!  I love absinthe spoons!  Some are so pretty!  So here it is, the sugar being dissolved.

 all finished

 you better like licorice