Day 5 – And We Ate



…our apologies for the delayed post…we experienced loss of internet connection mid-trip…

The Crescent City Farmers Market was the first stop on our “day off” itinerary. There we were met by Poppy Tooker, the Slow Food Convivum Leader for Louisiana, who gave us her always entertaining background on the market’s history. Darin, the Palace Cafe chef we had the cheap oakley sunglasses pleasure of working with at Emergency Communities, channeled his inner pastry chef and created a birthday cake for Ms.Tookers “15th” birthday. So we started our day with cake. Not a bad way to begin!

For the next hour, the group enjoyed the offerings of the vibrant Tuesday market. Fresh guava juice, salty boiled peanuts, crabcakes by cooks from Brennan’s, pesto in all shades of green and a lovely queso fresco by Donna Blanca cheeses. After a quick hello to the high school students from Lusher, we broke off our many animated conversations with the engaging market vendors and headed to lunch.

At ease within the muted green dining room of Herbsaint, we enjoyed a relaxing meal that began with tarragon speckled frog’s legs; segued into handmade noodles with guanciale and deep-fried eggs; and wound down with pressed pork sandwiches and fiery fillets of catfish. Plus enough iced tea to rehydrate us from the inferno that was the Camp Hope kitchen.

We gave ourselves the opportunity to gain our appetites back and strolled into the French Quarter where we were greeted by Gerald Patout, curator of the What’s Cookin’ exhibit at the New Orleans Historic Collection. Amid lush red walls and gorgeous antique food graphics, Gerald gave us his unique insight into the cookbook collection housed within the exhibit. It’s safe to say that New Orlean’s culinary roots run deep into French soil.

With a few hours to spend in the Quarter, chicory coffee and beignets were a must try for some while the ubiquitous Hurricane was on others’ agenda. As the sun set and a cool breeze swept up Royal Street, the group headed off to Mid-City where a buffet of not-so-typical bowling alley fare awaited us.

Rock n’ Bowl heralded its triumphant opening earlier this year and has been serving up its patented blend of bowling, beer and bands to those in the know. As the ringers threw spares, the rest of us noshed on crawfish etouffe, boudin and the New Orlean’s classic, red beans n’ rice. Not a stale hot-dog, soggy kernel of popcorn or greasy burger in sight. Only in New Orleans! And a perfect way to unwind and re-energize for the work left to be done.

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