So Mardi Gras. I have a lot of catching up with the Food Pimp and the Food Ho to do.
We flew out Feb 2 - Saturday. Our connecting flight was Houston. So we had a bit of time to kill. We wanted to sit and have a beer and some dinner. The only "restaurant" was Pappadeux - some "cajun" place. Oh god, we weren't going to expect much. So we had to go up to the restaurant. It's like one story up from the terminal. We walked in, and it was full. There was a wait. So the bar was nice and round. There were two bar stools at the end. We slipped in. The FP ordered beer, I had water. I was still feeling a little shitty from the night before. We went to the Whistle Stop for "a few beers" which ended up being several beers for 6 hours. So we looked at the menu, burgers, salads, fried seafood, etouffee and other cajun stuff. I said, I didn't want any cajun food, because I didn't want to be disappointed. So I got a burger. The Food Pimp got crawfish etouffee. We made a joke about whether it would be chinese crawfish. So our food came. Mine was passable, not too great, but ok. The crawfish etouffee was delicious! It had that rich, buttery tasting sauce. The crawfish were added towards the end, so they weren't all shriveled, rubbery and flavorless. And they seemed like real crawfish too! I stand very corrected.
So we hopped on the plane for a very short flight. Next thing we know, we're in New Orleans. We are home.
We went out to the curb, and it was humid. It felt like nola...The FP called our good buddy, I'll call him, Cuban White Sauce, CWS. So he picked us up. God it was so good to see him in New Orleans! Off we went to Molly's. We were in the car, talking and looking, and it was just like, oh, we're in Metry going to the quarter. No big deal like I thought it would be. We got to Esplanade, and there were some houses that still had the spray painted X on the front. Weird. But, it was a city, and it was Saturday night before Mardi Gras. People were out. We hadn't been back for almost 2 1/2 years, but it was just normal. We parked, then we went in to Molly's. Got drinks. 3 Kettle and sodas. Delicious. I was finally ready for a drink. We went to the back and sat on the stools next to the bathroom. We chatted. It was the calm before the storm. CWS needed to eat, so we went next door to Coop's Place. With our drinks. We just walked out with them, walked in with them. No one stopped us, yelled at us. Yeah, that's how it should be - for those of us who can handle our liquor.
Coop's Place. What a place. It's open 24/7. It's dark, dingy, a dive bar and restaurant. But the food. I can't tell you how good it is. You wouldn't believe me. Good cheap New Orleans cuisine. CWS got a cup of gumbo and a cup of jambalaya. We got 3 more vodka sodas. He tasted both, and made us taste it because it was so delicious. The gumbo was smooth and dark and meaty. Too much file though. I like to add my own file, personally, but that was the only problem. What is file, some of you might ask? It's sasafras. It's used in gumbo for flavoring and thickening. The jambalaya - the rice had soaked up all the chickeny sausagey vegetabley flavor, it was so good. I was pissed that I wasn't hungry.
So we finished and went back to Molly's. It was starting to pick up. Prime time. I think the first person we saw was Hipster Cowboy. Man, another great guy, long time no see. A minute later, who happens to be walking down the sidewalk - El Jeffe - the owner of Vega, just off work. Now it was a party! Here's where it started to get weird. PTG (Piercing Tattoo Glasses) walked up. It was turning out to be a real reunion. The drinks were flowing, I don't even know what we were talking about. All I know is that before I finished a drink, someone was handing me another. Then, here's the real surreal part, our friends from San Diego show up!!! They are at Molly's. How bizarre. So then, Big Gay Notgay Tut drives by. The Food Pimp jumps in the car, and they find a parking space. Then everyone was there. Drinking. A little later Chelsea Bradshaw shows up with her friend. They're dressed as synchronized swimmers, cause it's Mardi Gras! Actually, they were at Mom's ball. For some reason, Chelsea's got a crush on CWS, so she left early to see him. Why do girls who can get pretty much anyone have to have the one guy they can't get? Us other girls settle for the first cute guy who talks to them...(actually I think the Food Pimp was the first guy who talked to me who was a bigger Cure fan than me, that was a real turn on).
Anyway, we went to Mimi's. That was weird. The Food Pimp helped open the upstairs kitchen. We looked at the menu. Some of the stuff he did was still on it. It was cool to show Jesus Arcade and Always Ready For a Drink Mimi's. We got back to our friend's house at 5 am. We had to hop the fence. It was funny. Someone was really pissed about it though.
The next morning, the FP and I got up around 10:30 and walked around the old neighborhood. We went to CC's and got an iced coffee. They really know good iced coffee. They use the cold drip system, of which I'm a big advocate. We saw our old place on Magazine street. It was partly repainted. Still looked like a piece of shit. But it used to be our piece of shit.
We went back, everyone was still snoozing. So we went up to St. Charles street to catch the parades and meet Miss DC. It was Mardi Gras! All those people with food made me hungry. I wanted to steal something from one of those card tables piled high with poboys, Popeye's chicken, red beans and rice, etc. I didn't.
We ended up at the Delachaise. Still looked like a dilapidated piece of shit bar. Which is why I loved it. We walked in. There was Noneck at the other end of the bar. We ordered drinks, then we went and said hi. He looked up, said, hi, how's San Diego. End of conversation. I fucking helped this guy open and get the kitchen started and he can't have a 3 minute convo with us!!! Oh yeah, it was like 12 and he must have still been sober. He doesn't talk until he's knocked back a few drinks.
We saw Peewee. He was a little more excited to see us. He said hi, said he was working on stuff, but he'd come sit with us in a bit. We sat, watched the parade from inside. Finally Miss DC shows up with her friend. It was good to see her. We ordered more drinks, shot the shit. Our SD contingent showed up. They needed to eat, so they wandered off. I needed to eat too, so I got a philly cheesesteak and an Italian sausage from the stand in the gas station parking lot, both with onions and peppers of course. We split them both. It was delish, just like always. The cheesesteak was moist, but the bun didn't disintegrate like they sometimes do. I love those carts.
We went back in, threw back a few Pimm's cups. We finished the bottle of Pimm's.Miss DC ordered fries. These are thin handcut fries - fried in - duck fat! Yes, duck fat. They were delicious. The Food Pimp stopped the chef and talked to him. The Food Pimp reads the New Orleans Food messageboards, so he knows all about the Delachaise. He said how the guy was a celebrity. So the chef sends us out an amuse bouche. Proscuitto, rolled with a goat cheese fig filling soaked in bourbon. It was disgusting. No offense to the guy, I'm sure everything else is delicious. It's just that it was all soft, except for fig seeds, and it was sweet and creamy and bourbony. Gross. I don't like to remember that taste. No offense, I just thought it was gross.
It was getting time to head to Napoleon Avenue for Bacchus. There were crawfish waiting for us.
On the way there, we finally met up with our SD friends. They were at Superior Grill the whole time! They needed to sit and eat at a restaurant, so that was one of the only places around. Of course, the wait was horrendous. So we were off.
First thing when we got to Container Girl's dad's house, and we saw the King of Couches talking to some people. The FP and I ran and jumped on him, interrupting the conversation. Then we found Container Girl. Goddamn. I couldn't believe it was her. So we went for the crawfish, but there weren't many left. They were already getting cold, but we got a few, and a potato or two. They tasted good, anyway. Oh well, the King was going to drop another batch after the parade.
to be continued.........
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