Wednesday, January 30, 2013


French Press French Toast & Breakfast Sandwich

Wednesday, 16 January 2013 – First up, here are some fun facts about Lafayette!
  • Lafayette is the center of Cajun culture in Louisiana and the United States (this is different to Creole which is mainly found in New Orleans).
  • Cajun food is rural, more seasoned, sometimes spicy, and tends to be heartier - game food is the basis rabbit, hog, duck etc
  • Lafayette is said to have more restaurants per capita than any other American city
It was still damp outside but we had slept well and very comfortably in our Loft 7. During his Lafayette wander the day before, Justyn had discovered a great little café for our breakfast, so after rugging up against the 3oC weather outside we walked a few blocks to the French Press Bakery. We were warmly welcomed inside and had our very first decent cup of restaurant tea (our first decent cup was with Kay & Dave!). My selection was very easy – the French Press French Toast which was cream cheese and banana stuffed french toast with berry-champagne compote for me please! Justyn went with the Breakfast Sandwich which had eggs, avocado, bacon, tomato, spicy chipotle aioli and choice of cheddar, swiss, or goat cheese in a spinach wrap and served with cheddar grits – also delicious! Wandering back to the loft, we passed a ‘chain gang’ which was a group of prisoners cleaning up the streets of Lafayette wearing bright orange jumpsuits with black and white striped pants accompanied by the tiniest female guard – one of those sights you just never see in Sydney!! Our destination today was New Orleans and while it was only about 2 hours away, we wanted to stop in Baton Rouge and at an outlet mall along the way. But first a Lafayette magnet! Perhaps the Lafayette Visitor Centre would have them? Nooooooooo – and no souvenirs there at all but if we were interested in duck hunting then they could assist us with the appropriate licence…. Thanks but not this trip!
Across the road was a Walmat – with an odd fascination of this conglomerate, we detoured into the Walmat – perhaps they might have a magnet?? No magnets but it was a bit of an eye-opening visit as it turned out to be in not a great part of town… We did get a Louisiana 2013 calendar though! Spinning the wheels on the White Kitty, we jumped on the I 10 WB again and headed for Baton Rouge. This part of the journey took us into the Atchafalaya area and onto the Basin Bridge which is a pair of parallel bridges with a total length of 29.290 kilometres or 18.2 miles, it is the fourteenth longest bridge in the world by total length!
Atchafalaya Basin Bridge (aka Long Ass Bridge)
The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is apparently also known as the ‘Long Ass Bridge’ which was very apparent when we came across an accident on the other bridge (going EB) not long after starting on it where a truck cabin was burnt out and the traffic backed up behind it went for about 15 miles! With no place to turn around and stuck with trucks, cars, pickups and trailers, it was a very looooong wait for those people heading eastbound and we were very lucky that it wasn’t on our bridge side! Baton Rouge was upon us not long after the Basin Bridge but the weather and time wasn’t on our side so we decided to continue on the I 10 WB to the Tanger Outlet Mall in Gonzales. It wasn’t busy so we gave ourselves 2 hours to shop and dine before we had to have the White Kitty back at the hire car at the New Orleans airport. And shop we did! Woo hoo – gotta love an outlet mall – and gotta love an outlet mall with a Cracker Barrel! If you read my last blog of our trip to the US in 2010 (Life Begins at 40 Rollercoasters) you will know of my fascination with the Cracker Barrel. Where else can you have breakfast at 3pm in the afternoon! And not just any breakfast…. Try the Sunrise Sampler (which I did) – two eggs cooked to order with grits, sawmill gravy and homemade buttermilk biscuits along with real butter and the best preserves, jam n' apple butter, served with fried apples, hashbrown casserole and a sampling of smoked sausage, country ham and thick-sliced bacon. And the bottomless soda of course! Justyn kept it simple and went for the Homemade Beef Stew and coleslaw with corn muffins. But no magnet!
Cracker Barrel feast!
We now had an hour to return the White Kitty to the NOLA airport and roadworks and Simon did their very best to challenge that timing and our stress levels! We finally made it, jumped into the shuttle to the airport then to another shuttle to take us to our hotel in New Orleans. Phew! Mum and dad were also arriving in New Orleans today and we found that they had already checked into their room at the Le Marais in the French Quarter. After dropping our bags off in the room, we met them for a couple of cocktails and beers in the hotel bar and a catch up of each other’s travels prior to meeting in NOLA.
We left the dinner decision up to Justyn who took us to SoBou (which stands for South of Bourbon Street). What a great restaurant – they describe themselves as “A Spirited Restaurant”– it was like a creole tapas so we could order lots of small plates and share. And share we did – pork crackling, a divine apple & pear salad with green apples, poached asian pears, autumn greens, camembert cheese & salted pecan tuile, with muscadine wine vinaigrette, crispy oyster tacos, duck debris & butternut beignets, crispy fried chicken, creole mac ‘n cheese and a foie gras burger. All great dishes – no duds!
Chocolate Coma Bar, SoBou NOLA
Creole Mac 'n Cheese & Fried Chicken
For dessert we indulged in a chocolate coma bar which was a flourless dark chocolate torte with white chocolate mousse, candied pecans & sea salt caramel covered in milk chocolate and served with a shot of chicory coffee shake, the ‘dark and stormy banana rum cake’ and the sweet caprese which was sugarcane soaked navel oranges, citrus vanilla bean panna cotta, fresh mint with Steen’s cane syrup and balsamic reduction – mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wandering back to our hotel, we headed up to bed but Justyn went for a wander to the infamous Bourbon Street and to find his NOLA bearings – he wasn’t gone for long as even though it was a week night, Bourbon Street was apparently living up to its reputation!!

No comments:

Post a Comment