Thursday, December 7, 2023

and continue to eat

 so we continue our way eating through New Orleans... with winners and losers along the way. 

A lot of stories and many bowls of gumbo served from luke warm to truly hot... a friend told us her grandma always asked for the server to "dig deep" when she wanted her soup served hot .... a trick we found to work exceptionally well for us! (thanks Shari!)

So as I mentioned in the last post - 

"We are off to the first place I ever ate in New Orleans - Tujague's.  The very first time I traveled to New Orleans my mother and I were doing a trip up the River Road from plantation B&B to B&B... all the way to Natchez.  We returned to N.O.La. for five days at the end of the trip. On the night we arrived we stayed near the airport because we had picked up a car but we wanted to go into town for dinner. So we took a cab and the driver told us he had a recommendation and a coupon for two for one- no strings... and so we went to Tujague's that evening and I fell in love with New Orleans cooking. that was in May 1990.  The place was founded in 1856 and in 2013 they gave up their traditional single menu to include an ala carte selection as well.  In recent years they moved from their original location (seen in my photos from years earlier).  So tonight will be an adventure and a trip down memory lane!"

The Tujague"s I went to was right across the street from the French Market and Cafe Du Monde... the move to new quarters which only took place a few years ago has them moved east along Decatur to Chartres Street... 

And guess what- the food is still good- and our serve was exemplary but our experience was not- 

Here is my social media post from the evening- 

A tale of zero stars and five stars. Our fabulous server Chipo could not have been any more attentive and warm. Unfortunately her manager and his systems failed her every effort to create a perfect experience for us. Good to excellent food (except for the appetizers which were getting colder by the minute as we waited and waited and waited for the bottle of wine we ordered even before Chibo took our food orders.) Why? Because the manager was the only one with a key to the third floor wine room and he just couldn't be bothered. We asked Chipo who repeatedly said she had asked the manager and her team member said the same. Finally, after food was served, I went to the front desk and said "we have food getting cold in front of us and we are still waiting on our wine." The dude at the front said the same thing- that the manager had been informed of our order. When the jerk finally showed up he said the food was served when it was hot - no argument there - but we were still waiting on the wine. He NEVER APOLOGIZED FOR HIS RIDICULOUS DELAY in bringing the wine to our table. He just told us how it was on the third floor - so what. They even had an elevator so he could have been up there and back in like five minutes not twenty plus. Absolutely outrageous policy. It wasn't even a couple of hundred dollar Bordeaux or anything particularly fancy (given our years of collecting the wine likely cost them less than $20 bucks given what the retail price.) It was not a grand cru or premier cru just a village level white burg from a lesser known producer repped by the fabulous North Berkeley. So Chipo gets five stars, the manager gets zero stars. Food gets four stars. So be forewarned. This place has good things but is extremely poorly run making the servers' jobs so much more difficult. Wish they had a Christopher Gerber or Cara Sandoval in the FOH. I'm embarrassed for the owners. What a jerk. If you can't trust your servers to serve bottles under $100 you need a better screening process. Give them the tools to enhance the diners experiences. I don't usually post publicly but this one is going 100% open. Guys like this shouldn't be in positions like he holds. Poor reflection on the ownership group. Any of my Chicago restaurant business buds would have been horrified. Go Chipo, I'd be happy to be your customer anytime.

but as I said the food was good- so it was a shame about the service.... but we managed to get over it by the time of our next meal  LOL

Which was lunch at long time favorite of mine - Napoleon House an old favorite (as well as one of the oldest in New Orleans) Napoleon House. We tried the gumbo, jambalaya, shrimp po-boy, a quarter muffaletta, and shrimp remoulade.  Their muffaletta has long been my favorite. I ate it the first time I was here @1990 when my mother and I were exploring this part of the country on a "girl trip" going up the river road to Natchez and then spending four days in NOLa.

shrimp remoulade on avocado  YUM and a shared quarter of a muffaletta that was so good we retuned on our way out of town for more!

Always a good choice so we made it there three times in eight days on this trip- eating our way through the menu pretty extensively.

That night we had dinner at a non cajun non creole place called Maypop. I liked it very much,  Phil not so much.

Meanwhile, we were walking in the Vieux Carre as my grandfather always referred wistfully to the French Quarter of  New Orleans. 

The next day we went to the WWII museum and had lunch there- at the much better than it needed to be museum restaurant.  

Then we toured a part of the museum and did the film but we will need to return because we did not get through even half the excellent museum. 

That night we went to dinner at another favorite of prior visits to NOLa - GW Fin's 

My social media review: The grand finale dinner here in NOLa. Every dish was superb, made with a deft hand.  I figured I must have died when the dessert came out. I ♥️♥️♥️ice cream and an ice cream cake/pie with malt and salted caramel was clearly only served in heaven. The halibut and scallops resting on a flavorful risotto was fabulous and the two appetizers - lobster dumplings and blue-fin tuna toro poke were just what we wanted (lobster dumplings are an every visit thing here for us.) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Then we went back to the hotel to pack and in the morning we headed to Napoleon House for one last quick meal before heading to the airport. 

A terrific trip- long awaited but ultimately really enjoyable - we both love New Orleans and were thrilled to be back there after so many aborted plans.  Next we are home for a bit more than two weeks to pack and ready ourselves for the mover to Spain.  Our visas arrived on Saturday 12/2 and Tim photographed them and texted them to us on 12/3.  We arrived back in Chicago on 12/6. Thrilled that our first barrier to living in Spain has been met... now on to getting a residence card and a TIE (don't ask me what it is - I just know we need it and have to get fingerprinted for it and go to the police station to fill out paperwork.... so stay tuned... more to follow.

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