For our final night in New Orleans, we went to Atchafalaya in the garden district. It turned out to be the best meal we had in the Crescent City. Better than Emeril’s, better than Bayona.
Our main server was Darien and she provided expert advice as we debated between a few possibilities on the menu. After some hesitation we finally settled in favor of ordering an appetizer. It was the last big blowout in the Big Easy and, hell, I DID run a marathon that morning. We had fried green tomatoes with crab topping that exemplified decadence… And that only carried on to the rest of the meal.
Mom couldn’t recall ever actually having fried green tomatoes; I think I may have had some in my Carolina days but can’t say for sure. But I can say these particular fried green tomatoes would’ve made Fannie Flagg envious. They were so good and inspiring that Mom has vowed to make Fried Green Tomatoes her new go-to try when we see it on a menu in the hopes of capturing even a fraction of the goodness.
As for entrees, mom had a risotto with lump crap cakes and I had Darien’s recommended red snapper. There was a lemony zest to the risotto and the snapper had drenched all accoutrements in bacon grease. I’m not normally a bacon guy but hot damn that was a good fish dish.
And for our final treat we decided to do dessert. Though Darien tempted us with a description of the night’s pastry special, we just couldn’t wrap our heads around a blue cheese flan. She insisted she didn’t particularly like blue cheese or flan but loved this dessert. Still we couldn’t be sold, fearful our last dessert would be a disaster if we opted for the flan. We went with the sure to be good seasonal bread pudding.
To our utter delight, Darien brought us both the bread pudding and the flan. And thank goodness she did! While the bread pudding was delicious, the blue cheese flan was such a surprise and so unbelievably good that it vaulted one the top desserts I’ve ever had chart. It tasted like what I imagine the gods might have eaten on Mount Olympus in times of old.
Thus this running website has taken a small detour into a “foodie” porn site. Despite clocking 26.2 miles that morning, today the food hangover sets in. I have zero regrets on the NOLA culinary tour but I do need to rally once we return home this afternoon and start anew a training run regimen. To be honest, the food and fun I got to share with Mom makes any extra mileage necessary this week completely worthwhile.
And so as the final countdown to Antarctica plays out, there are miles to go, duffle bags to pack, and visions of blue cheese flan to dance in my head.
Post script: I’ve gone back into the last few days and added in the photos I couldn’t upload with limited internet access at the hotel. As a result, today’s post is a bit of a wrap-up and remix of the weekend’s foot and food marathons.
To close out then, here are a few random photos I couldn’t figure out where to put but wanted to include for posterity’s sake: