Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A food lover's paradise: New Orleans (Post #2)

On Friday I enjoyed lunch at Napoleon House in the French Quarter with Sandy and her sister Jen. This amazing restaurant has been there since 1797. 1797! However, it gets even better when you try the food. It's classic New Orleans with one exceptional difference- they have vegetables. Often New Orleans restaurants, especially those in the touristy Quarter, only focus on the main local specialties and don't go out of their way to help diners have a rounded meal. Napoleon House not only has delicious healthy dishes along with their local specialties but is surprisingly affordable. A perfect combination!

Napoleon House (Friday lunch)

The restaurant sits on the corner of Chartres and St. Louis streets in the French Quarter. It's worn facade warms up considerable once you step inside. Snag a table by the open air windows for supreme people watching.

 I enjoyed a muffaletta- well, actually a quarter muffaletta- at Napoleon House. This New Orleans specialty is enormously filling when enjoyed in its entirety, which consists of four wedges similar to the one pictured. It consists of ham, pastrami, salami, swiss cheese, provolone cheese, and olive salad on Italian loaf bread. Napoleon House's version of this classic sandwich is known as one of the best in the city. (See recipe below for a make-at-home version!)

Along with my sandwich I enjoyed a rare treat in New Orleans- a fabulous side salad! This Greek salad featured spinach, red onion, roasted red peppers, feta cheese, kalamata olives and sesame seeds. The combo quarter muffaletta and side salad made a perfect lunch!

Sandy enjoyed a ham po-boy and a side of jambalaya. The po-boy consisted of fresh deli ham, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and mayo. This combo is known as "dressed" in New Orleans. The jambalaya, or "dirty rice" as Northerners often call it, had andouille sausage and chicken, and made for a delicious side dish.

We sat outside in the restaurant's courtyard. The courtyard is a wonderful New Orleans tradition that you can find at many New Orleans establishments. Courtyards are an oasis of quiet within the French Quarter, and allow guests to enjoy their meals outdoors away from traffic and other street hubbub.

After lunch I enjoyed some time bumbling around the French Quarter before meeting back up with the ladies after their walking tour. I decided to go back to the Napoleon House in the late afternoon for their famous cocktail called the Pim's Cup. The Pim's Cup was created in England in 1840 and has since been Napoleon House's signature cocktail. It is refreshing and delicious!

Here is the recipe:
Fill a tall 12 oz glass with ice and add 1 1/4 oz. Pimm's #1 and 3 oz lemonade.
Then top off with 7up.
Garnish with cucumber.

If you're ever in the French Quarter I sincerely recommend this restaurant! But, if you can't make it for a while, spoil yourself with a Pim's Cup and muffaletta, take your meal outdoors, and pretend like you're in the Big Easy!

Italian meats and melted cheese topped with pickled vegetables transport you to the Big Easy! 
Serves 2

1 loaf fresh Italian bread, round if possible
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz. salami, thinly sliced
4 oz. ham, thinly sliced
2 oz. pastrami, thinly sliced (optional)
4slices provolone cheese
4 slices swiss cheese
1/2 cup giardiniera (pickled vegetables, find it by the pickles)

Preheat oven to 350. 

Cut bread in half through the middle. Arrange the sliced meats on the bottom half of the bread, top with giardiniera, and then top with cheeses. Place top half of bread on sandwich and place on a cookie sheet in the oven for five minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is crisp. Enjoy!

Recipe author: Sarah Saubert

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