Our first night out we walked up to Royal House Oyster Bar. Neither of us are seafood eaters which is a crime in a city like New Orleans. Despite my picky tendencies, I am willing to try most things- at least once. When the well-dressed gentleman behind the bar offered to ease me into eating oysters, I had to agree.
Being nomadic requires one tries new things.
Stepping through the doors of the restaurant we entered another world, the world of the Louisiana Creole! The bartender's sophistication created an elegant and fun dinning experience. First, the oyster was served on a cracker with a lot of hot sauce to cover-up the texture, then a larger oyster was plated with only a little bit of hot sauce. The first tasted like a mouthful of sea water, the second scared me into swallowing too quickly. Sadly, I didn’t make it to the third… But trying is what counts!
New Orleans is know for its food culture. There's no better guy than David of Free Walking Tours by Foot to show you around. He is a spirited, kind man and his love for New Orleans is intoxicating. You leave his tour hungry and feeling like a family member. He points out the great places to eat, telling tales of their history and surprising you with small samples here and there. Eventually, he sets you free upon the city to eat until you can barely walk home.
A friend of mine who I travelled with through Cambodia went to New Orleans for a conference and came back amazed at how unique the city was. Saying, she had never been anywhere so different and that it reminded her of Cambodia. I remember thinking what a crazy comparison that was, having only visited Cambodia myself.
While it may be an American city, New Orleans is a culture all of its own. In Cambodia and Thailand, I felt welcomed having been given the privilege to experience the homes and kitchens of locals, I felt that same honor in New Orleans.
Please share your stories of Nola in the comments below! I'd love to hear them.