Forget Mardi Gras, May is the prime time of year for visiting Louisiana. The weather is heating up, snoball stands are open, farmers markets are in full swing, and crawfish are at their peak. With crawfish season, comes the mother of all crawfish festivals, the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Held the first weekend every May, it's a three-day celebration of crawfish, cajun food, and culture. On our vist, we throughly enjoyed feasting on a variety of cajun cuisine, as well as taking in the spectacle set to the soundtrack of zydeco music and want to share why it's well worth planning a trip.
As the year winds to a close, we've been thinking a lot about where we've been this past year. Our conversations keep returning to food and these bright red crawfish called me to as the offbeat mascot of this holiday season.
One of our most salient memories from this past May was attending the Crawfish Festival in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, the self-proclaimed crawfish capital of the world. It was hot, humid and not a cloud in sight. We sipped daiquiris out of necessity, tapped our feet as Zydeco music filled the air, and sat down to a basket of some of the best crawfish we'd ever tasted. All the while, creating an unforgettable travel experience.
Where has your year taken you? What's the best meal you had in your travels? And, check out this post on Louisiana cuisine if this photo leaves you hungry.
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Not too long ago, we began our love affair with Louisiana, not in Louisiana itself, but at home in Seattle at a little food truck called Where Ya at Matt. We spent months on a diet rich in red beans, grits, fried shrimp and beignets, which made us crave it directly from its source. Luckily, a ridiculously cheap rental car deal led Austin and I to pay a visit to Louisiana this past spring. We set out on a week-long tasting adventure across the state, and while the foods that follow are now familiar friends, we imagined you might need a bit of a Cajun crash course.
New Orleans' culinary tradition is legendary. Spicy, flavorful and slightly intoxicating, just like the city itself. One man who carries on this culinary tradition is Donald Link, who just recently won a James Beard award for his restaurant, Cochon. Blending traditional New Orleanian fare with a modern culinary trends, Link has created new and exciting ways for the uninitiated and initiated, alike, to discover Cajun cuisine. On our recent trip to New Orleans, we headed straight to Cochon, but then turned to corner to discover its little brother, Butcher, tucked just down the street. A relaxed informal lunch spot, Butcher focuses on charcuterie and provided us a peek into what's new in New Orleans cuisine.
On our recent roadtrip through the southern United States, we made sure we spent a few days in New Orleans, home of po-boys, funky jazz, and perfect beignets. Our temporary home in the Big Easy was the Chimes Bed and Breakfast, a wonderful old house tucked near the Garden District and the St. Charles Streetcar line. We chose Chimes for it's location, but soon discovered oodles of other reasons it's a great place to stay. From well designed rooms to an affable host, it left no question in my mind that the Chimes is where I'll be the next time I'm in town.
During the summer in the South it's tough to get through the day. The sun, the brutal beast that she is, is really messing with your mojo. It's hot, like really hot, so hot that your brain stops working and there's no relief in sight. If you happen to be in New Orleans during the summer, you might spot a mass of locals perched on a bench and enjoying an icy treat that is a surefire way to beat the heat. Known in New Orleans as the snowball* this cup of shaved ice with syrup isn't a dessert, it's a survival skill.
*Admittedly, the proper spelling of snowball in this case is snoball, but I can't bring myself to spell it that way unless it's a proper noun.