Favorite Eats from the Big Easy

I’m not a native, but I can relate when Billie Holiday asks, “Do you know what it means, to miss New Orleans?”.  It’s been 2 years since I visited on of my favorite cities.  Thank god we’re heading out early tomorrow morning for what will be my 7th visit to the crescent city for Jazz Fest.

If you’ve never been, the food in New Orleans is some of the best in the world.  Today Eat by Stars looks at five classic New Orleans dishes.

While in the French Quarter I won’t have access to nutritional information, so I’ll assign stars using only my reason and wits.  While I still have them….

(Prep style and serving size can greatly affect the healthfulness of these choices)

Crawfish Boil 

Like most everything from Cajun/creole country, a crawfish boil has a mess of goodies mixed together.  You’ll find it chock full of veggies, especially corn and potatoes.  And like most crustaceans, crawfish meat is fairly lean.   If you’re ever at a proper, newspaper on the table, crawfish boil, enjoy to your heart’s content.  Sucking the head is optional.


My favorite.  And, depending on the serving size, a decent option.  Jambalaya packs in lots of veggies and various protein sources.  The tomato based broth is also a plus. A considerable drawback is the white rice.  And potentially a good deal of salt.

Seafood Gumbo 

Gumbo is like soup.  I understand this may deeply offend natives of Louisiana, but it’s the easiest reference point for the uninititated.  The base is a broth which is thickened by a roux (a combo of butter/oil and flour).  That puts it somewhere between broth and cream-based traditional soups.  Most gumbos go heavy on the veggies and seafood so that puts it in solid 3 star territory.

Shrimp Po’Boy 

Three problems: the fried shrimp, the remoulade sauce, the white bread roll.  The fired shrimp is manageable and the mayonnaise based remoulade can be mitigated by asking for a small slather.  But the white bread roll is hard to spin.  And, as always, the roll makes the sandwich.

Red Beans and Rice 

It has protein packed beans going for it, but the white rice hurts.   The lack of veggies knocks it below the jambalaya.  And, if memory serves, there’s more going on in those beans.  I seem to remember bacon grease…

Any true Louisianans feel free to tell educate me where I’ve gone embarrassingly astray.  


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