Monday, July 24, 2017

What I've Been Eating - Road Trip Eats - Charleston & NOLA

Yum

"Where did you go on your honeymoon??" Erm, well, nowhere yet. Kind of. This is the question people keep asking us. Unfortunately, living 2000 miles away from where we had our wedding, meant most of our vacation time went to being home to prep for the wedding itself, leaving no time for vacation.

However, we did drive from Massachusetts to Texas, and made two longer stops along the way. One was our favorite city to visit together, New Orleans, and the other was a new city: Charleston. And of course, I documented the best bites we had along the way.


Charleston



225 Meeting St, Charleston, SC


I was a bit taken aback by how oppressive the heat in Charleston is--yes, I live in Texas, and yes, I survive 100 degree summers on the regular. But the humidity here was way worse. After wandering around for the morning, we needed to have a stop for a cold drink. 

You won't find silly wine cocktails here. Even this rose was less on the sweet side. However, you can do wine tastings with their knowlegeable staff and find the best wine to sip while you take a break from the heat. The decor is adorably rustic and they offer a few small bites to pair with your wine.

49 S Market St, Charleston, SC




THANK YOU Trip Advisor for sending us to this adorable little lunch spot! Right across from Charleston's famous open air market is this foodie haven. We started with some delicious cocktails--I got a peach Kentucky mule that was incredible--and a bowl of she-crab soup. For our main courses my husband got a Monte Cristo and I got Carolina Crab Cakes and a side salad of watermelon and goat cheese.

I don't think these tasty bites were on our plate for more than a few minutes. Despite the heat, we left with full, happy bellies. This is a must-stop if you're at the market around lunch time!


10475 US-78, Summerville, SC



All you can eat BBQ? Hells to the yes. While Kelly's didn't totally blow us away (we live in Texas now, our bar is set pretty high) you really can't go wrong with a BBQ buffet. I would suggest not sliding in 20 minutes before close, as I am sure the meat would have been a bit jucier if it was fresher. I'm also kicking myself for not realizing they had Carolina BBQ sauce to pour over everything. The mustard based sauce is so different than anything we have in TX that I regret not tracking down a bottle before we hit the road.

The sides were pretty good, and I was pleasantly surprised by the fried chicken. My favorite part of the buffet was the dessert bar! At least two crumbles and a froyo machine. Win.


New Orleans



741 Royal St, New Orleans, LA


The last time we were in New Orleans we had the most amazing crawfish etouffe at a place we only vaguely could remember the name of... and after a few missteps (Antoine's is a whole other restaurant, need the pere!) we finally found it. Since crawfish season had just passed, the etouffe wasn't QUITE as good as we remembered, but it still was pretty delicious.

We started with the fried cheese and a few potent bloody marys. This is an older place, and I feel like it could definitely benefit from a facelift of sorts, but it is still our favorite lunch spot in NOLA. Stick to the seafood and you'll be quite happy.


 Cafe Beignet New Orleans
600 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 



Now that we've been to the city a few times, we can skip the touristy spots like Cafe du Monde and check out the more hidden gems for our favorite local NOLA fare. While Cafe Beignet isn't quite "hidden" as it's a ways up the street from the French Market and right near the harbor (with other locations in town as well), the few times we popped in it wasn't as busy as its more famous counterpart. The beignets are just as good, and this place serves drinks while live music plays. If you're looking for a tasty treat without the long line, Cafe Beignet is your place.

Bevi Seafood Co
236 N Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA


This is now our must-stop seafood spot in New Orleans, as recommended to us by our friends who have lived in the area for about 5 years now. Killer Poboys is still my favorite Poboy spot, but Bevi has a solid Poboy menu themselves. What I really love here is the crawfish. Even though we were off-season, they were still mighty tasty. My first taste of crawfish was in Texas, at a Vietnamese-style joint that cooks the mudbugs in BUTTER. Sooo I'm always a little disappointed when the traditional boils don't come drenched in the stuff. Not at Bevi--their spice blend is so perfect that I don't even miss it. 

As we said goodbye to the NOLA skyline I lamented not making this a stop, and my lovely husband turned around and got us a to go order. I ate crawfish in the car, and it was marvelous.


Steamboat Natchez
600 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA

This was our date night activity. It might seem cheesy, but a nighttime dinner cruise on the Mississippi was just too good to pass up. It was about $162 for the two of us, with dinner included. You can forgo the dinner if you choose for a cheaper ticket. Drinks will cost extra, but I was pleasantly surprised by the variety and quality of the food served. I always go bananas at buffets, so I filled my plate with a little bit of everything, and there was not one disappointing item at the buffet. The prime rib with horseradish sauce was excellent, as were all accompanying sides. If you want a nice bite of NOLA flavors with a lovely sunset cruise down the Mississippi River, definitely check it out!

 J's Seafood Dock At the French Market
2 French Market Pl.New Orleans, LA


Finally, this is another spot I always need to stop at in New Orleans. Fresh oysters, shucked right in front of you as you take a break from shopping the French Market. The "Bad Motha Shucka" will sing and entertain as he cracks open fresh Gulf oysters. These things are perfect, with just a little bit of horseradish and lemon they go down quite easy. I tried them on a cracker for the first time and that added a nice little crunch for those unsure of the texture of a fresh live oyster. I get a half dozen for lunch and leave NOLA a happy lady.

Have you been to Charleston or New Orleans? Tell me about it in the comments!

6 comments:

  1. Humidity in the Carolinas is nothing to mess around with! I've been to Charleston many times but have always wanted to visited New Orleans! Will have to refer back to your recommendations when I go :)

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  2. How fun to have a post like this. We traveled through the same areas last year but didn't get to experience all of that wonderful cuisine like you did.

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  3. That was fun! I would eat every single one of these dishes, especially the oysters! Oh, an the Beignets. Mmm.

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  4. Nola seriously has the best eats! I am so jealous. This all looks incredible.

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  5. New Orleans is definitely on my list! Will pin this for future. You seem to have lot of fun exploring.

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  6. ahhh pinning for future trips to NOLA or Charleston!

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