I know food in all cultures is an important part of family and community. But food in South Louisiana isn't just a part, it IS family and community — kinda like the food-centric Italians or French.
As I said before, I'm an Air Force brat. That means, after living in seven different states by the time I was 25, my community is basically my mom, dad and sister. Yes, that's pretty darn small. I've picked up a few friends-that-are-family along the way. And I found some here. And this family is teaching me a whole lot about South Louisiana food and what it means to be true friends.
Matter of fact, they invited me to my first crawfish boil. And, surprisingly, this I-hate-all-things-fishy girl didn't puke. He makes first-class gumbo, jambalaya and anything Cajun and does it up like Cajuns do . . . . with friends and fun.
But anyway, all that backstory to say we all went to New Orleans this weekend for a kid-free night. We had dinner at Tableau in the Quarter. And, not surprisingly, there really were no vegetarian options other than piecing together vegetable sides. The other option when there are no vegetarian entrées is ordering a meat dish without the meat. But I find the meat is usually an important flavor in that particular recipe . . . so taking that away usually results in a a flat taste that doesn't play to the strengths of the vegetables and other ingredients that are left. But the Bleu Cheese salad was awesome and strange with a huge chunk of bleu cheese on toast. And the company made the really slow service totally tolerable.
After dinner we hit one of their favorite spots — the Davenport Lounge in the Ritz for drinks and jazz. I love the ambiance of this lounge, not just for the music but because it was clean with comfortable seating with no one puking next to me. AND I discovered a Pimm's Cup. Now, I know this sounds like no big deal. But I totally hate alcohol. Not because of moral reasons, I just think it tastes like hair spray. But my friend gave me a taste and this refreshing cucumber, strawberry, soda and gin drink from Britain is amazing. She says the Carousel Bar in Hotel Monteleone also has good ones.
So a toast to my Cajun family, the Davenport Lounge and Pimm's Cups.