Our weekend started on Thursday, actually.
Thursday night we went to a beer dinner hosted by Donald Link, chef/owner of Cochon and Herbsaint, at his event space (Calcasieu). It was designed to showcase local/regional brewers: NOLA Brewing, Heiner Brau, Bayou Teche, Lazy Magnolia, and Abita, of course.
1st Course: an Amuse of a Veal & Apple Pig in a Blanket with beer ketchup and the Cochon-Abita mustard. Paired with NOLA Houpitoulas IPA
2nd Course: Mixed Greens with Blueberries, Malt Vinaigrette, and Heiner Brau tea eggs. Paired with Heiner Brau Kolsch. The Kolsch was really excellent. We were sitting with Frank, the marketing guy from Heiner Brau, who was a very gregarious fellow who obviously loved his job, the beer, and New Orleans.
3rd Course: Louisiana Seafood Bouillabaisse with Fried Hop Rouille. Paired with Abita Jackamo IPA
4th Course: BBQ Pork Belly, Beer Battered Onion Ring, and NOLA Hurricane Saison Braised Greens. Paired with NOLA Hurricane Saison.
5th Course: Smoked Quail stuffed with headcheese. Paired with Bayou Teche Bouchanee (Smoked Hefeweizen)- this was the complete and total highlight of the evening. The beer was so good, as was the quail. We sat next to the founders of Bayou Teche, which is very new and definitely a very small family operation. They were delightful.
6th Course: (Dessert) Sweet Potato Barley Custard with Lazy Magnolia Jefferson Sweet Potato Stout.
All in all, lots of fun- cool beer people (brewers, owners, marketers, distributors) and good food and beer.
Friday we went to a VIP beer tasting event at NOLA Brewing- a great time with many different brewers and homebrewers and beer distributors and beer stores and pubs. Drank lots of beer. Ate awesome sausage and jambalaya from Crescent Pies & Sausage. Talked to people we'd met before and talked to new people. Stumbled home. I may elucidate further on the details of this event in another entry, but this is getting pretty long winded as it is.
Oh, also on Friday, I went to Elizabeth's in the Bywater and had some sweet tea, fried boudin balls, and a cochon de lait po'boy. Yum. And on Thursday before the beer dinner, I'd wandered around the Marigny and Frenchmen Street and Esplanade. Ended up at the Marigny Brasserie, where I had $2.00 bloody marys and Eggs Marigny, which were like eggs benadict except instead of english muffins, there were fried green tomatoes. And instead of canadian bacon, there was some sort of awesome artichoke remoulade. And instead of homefries, there were grits.
Saturday, we dragged our butts out of bed to get to the Farmer's Market. We got some dairy and eggs from the goat milk place, some shrimp from the shrimp lady, and other various fruits and vegetables.
Had a lovely lunch and a wander uptown around Prytania. We went to St. James Cheese Company for lunch, and it was delicious! We each had a sandwich on the specials board- Tom's was called the Firecracker, a spicy pressed cheese sandwich with tomatoes and slivered almonds. I had a pork belly sandwich on ciabatta that had this lovely soft cheese (don't know which kind, but it was cows milk, and flavorful but mild.) Simple salad deliciously and judiciously dressed rounded out the meal (you can also opt for potato chips.)
Great food, great staff and service. You place your order and pay, then are given a number and then your meal is delivered to the table. We had iced tea (unsweetened) but they looked to have a wide variety of beers as well as soft drinks.
After eating (and purchasing some cheese to take home, of course) we wandered down to the Creole Creamery. I got the Creole Cream Cheese ice cream as well as the Caramel Chicory Chocolate (also, very useful to a chocoholic like myself, they have all the chocolate ice creams listed separately as well as located in their own cooler). Tom had the Black & Gold and the Bananas Foster. We couldn't finish, so we brought the rest home for later (thankfully, minimal meltage.)
I made a chicken curry stew made from previous weeks' farmers market finds- chicken legs, potatoes, and turnips. Braised it all up in curried yogurt sauce. Pretty tasty.
Sunday- slept in like nobody's business, puttered about the house most of the day. Tom made a crumble from blackberries, blueberries, and peaches from the farmers market, and I made shrimp and grits- and I will tell you, they were TASTY.
Then I created this blog, and not long after that, this long ass post.