Full circle, back to New Orleans and some great food this time !

My last night on the road was back in a Motel 6, an original design version, which gave me the chance to see the difference between a bog standard and newly designed room, which I had been mostly staying in for most of the trip. This room had the bare essentials, and although the clean lines and jazzy colours were missing it was still an OK place to stay and ticked all the boxes after a long ride.

The staff though were fantastic. When I asked where it is I should eat that night, not only did they come up with a load of suggestions, they were also enthusiastic about their local food, and had gone to the trouble to try to get in contact with a local wise woman who foraged and used herbs from the landscape to come see me. It didn’t work out as I had to get back on the road early the next morning, but I appreciated the effort they had gone to.

Supper - a mile down the road – an unbelievable $10 later, but almost worth it just to chat to Daniel the taxi driver. I thought he was as mad as a rattlesnake, but had some great stories to tell. He had spent time in the army and was from a family of racehorse breeders, as well as being a bit of an expert in Tai Kwan Do, well he said so anyway – and with all those tattoos and general demeanor I certainly wasn’t going to argue.

The restaurant was empty but did have a key difference – it served vegetables! The meal was a bit topsy turvy with alligator tail starter being served ¾ way through the main course, but all was excused as the soup – a seafood bisque was absolutely stunning. One of the best dishes I’ve had since being in America. Truly stunning mix of depth, spice, fresh seafood and seasoning. I loved it.

A Po-boy in New Orleans ... basically a huge filled french bread sandwich
Leaving Alexandria a bit sad as it was the last leg of the road trip I was still looking forward to getting back to the wonderfully colourful New Orleans. This time I was determined to do it right. No more messing around in tourist restaurants that were serving half hearted slop. I was up for the real deal. Half a dozen oysters and a margarita later the friendly bar man I had plonked myself in front of had recommended half a dozen places with Bayona right at the top. Reservation made, job done.

It was as good as I had hoped. And I certainly had high hopes for this restaurant that has been rated in the top 50 in the world. Cocktail was delicious, service friendly, quirky and prompt. Food all fantastic, flavoursome with a Cajun kick to it all. Just what I had been waiting for. I didn’t take any pictures though as it seemed inappropriate in such a reserved setting. It’s all going to just have to stay in my memory – all I can say is that if you’re in the area then go. I would.  

I think I’ve written enough about New Orleans from when I first stayed there at the beginning of the trip. I did end up on Frenchman street after dinner for a quick drink to catch the end of a jazz session which was authentic and uplifting. But early to bed for me as I was off to the Big Apple the next day. A great end to a brilliant road trip that I will never forget. You’ll just have to watch this space to see which food inspirations make it back home to my café opening later this year.

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