Saturday night I ended up with e_ticket and company at Adolfo's over on the east side of the French Quarter. It's kind of a hole-in-the-wall: small, noisy, downscale ambiance, cash-only, doesn't take reservations, and there's generally a pretty long wait to get in. But the food is really, really good. There were a couple appetizers that got passed around, but mostly the menu is pick a meat, pick a sauce to go on it, and pick whether you want pasta or salad. That's it. (And on the salad, you can get vinaigrette or remoulade. The end.) I had flounder with the two-sauce option, which was half, um... crab-caper something, and half lemon spinach something. It left me with that dining dilemma of "which bit do I end with?" and it was lovely. Somebody had a steak with some kind of rum sauce that I got a taste of, and that was also excellent.
On Sunday night, goddessdster and I went to a barbecue place called Squeal, which could be the only part of the pig that doesn't get used there. We had two appetizers. Boudin balls are sausage and rice rolled into a ball and fried, with remoulade sauce. I gather boudin can be dull if it's done poorly, but this was not. At all. We also had black-eyed pea eggrolls. Eggrolls get crossed into non-asian fusion cuisine a lot, and it doesn't always work, but these really did. And for my entree, I had a "squeal pie", which their menu describes as "Layers of pulled pork, corn maque choux, andouille mashed potatoes and topped with cheddar cheese." So sort of like what Patton Oswalt calls KFC's "sadness bowl", except filled with yum and wow.
And then we got gelato from La Divina. I tried many things, indecisively, and ended up getting a half-and-half dark chocolate and bourbon pecan, which is a combo that I will certainly recommend.
The last night I was there, Thursday, I felt like I had exhausted the decent options at the food court, so I put a little more effort into finding someplace cheap and recommended within easy walking distance, and found Cochon Butcher. This turns out to be a bar/shop attached to a much fancier restaurant named simply Cochon. I got a pork-belly sandwich, which was excellent if a little heavy on the cucumber. I also had a broccoli salad with a "broken vinaigrette bagna cauda" sauce, which was remarkable on account of having a really unusual set of flavors, almost... resin-y? I actually asked what was in it afterwards, and it didn't have anything strange, so I don't know what it was. Maybe fresh anchovies, or the olive oil they use? Anyway, I liked it. But the other thing I had was an order of pancetta mac-and-cheese, which was to DIE for. ZOMG sooo good. And of course I had to try the bacon praline, which was honestly merely fine. I'm sure it's amazing if you've never had something like that before, but the bacon could have been more crispy, less chewy, and I think the praline muted it a bit; I'd lean toward something a little more toffee-ish to pair with the bacon.
Friday I had to check out of my room by noon, but wasn't heading to the airport until 1:30, so I decided to wander around the French Quarter and get some sightseeing in while looking for lunch. I found a decent shwarma wrap at a bar, but I also ran across a Pinkberry frozen yogurt on the way there. So I definitely had to go back and try it to see what all the hype was about. And I have to say: I get it. I didn't even get any toppings (and they have very swank toppings). The salty caramel flavor didn't really do it for me, and the pomegranate was a little too tart, but the mango was really nice. And then the counter girl suggested mango-pomegranate swirl, and THAT was for sure the way to go. What I really like about it is that it's only a little bit sweet. I think there's a Pinkberry here in Denver, but it's way down by Cherry Creek or something. But it may be worth a special trip...