Editor's Note: Tis' the season for traveling and with so many dining options in any given destination, we're thrilled that Foodspotting helps us navigate, giving us "X-ray vision for food" as we call it by showing us the tastiest looking dishes nearby. Still, a friendly food tip goes a long way, which is why we asked Emily Cavalier, all around awesome food writer and digital strategist, to share her favorite sightings on a recent trip to New Orleans...
I just returned from a week-long trip to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail, a conference for those in the cocktail industry as well as cocktail enthusiasts. I made sure to set aside enough time this year to hit up some of NOLA's best eats.
This is no ordinary Italian sub. Invented at Central Grocery, one of our nation's oldest delis, the muffaletta is layer upon layer of cold cuts and provolone cheese topped with Central Grocery's signature olive salad (a chopped mix of green olives with pimento, pickled veggies, olive oil and spices). With a flaky outer layer like a croissant and an soft inner crumb that's almost cake-like, the bread is an addiction all it's own. The meats and cheese are piled on a round loaf, quartered, wrapped up and then usually rests overnight to let the olive salad work its wonders as it soaks into the bread. There are many muffalettas to be had in NOLA, but this is the one you shouldn't miss.
The Old Coffee Pot has been around since 1894 and touts itself as "the best breakfast in the French Quarter." They serve traditional Cajun and Creole cuisine and good ol' Southern standards. This dish is so simple that it's not even on the menu. These, hands down, are the best shrimp I've ever eaten, and you can get 'em grilled or fried. Add some biscuits and some made-in-New Orleans Tabasco, and you've got yourself a true NOLA meal.
Soft-shell Crab Po' Boy @ Stanley
Everyone in NOLA will argue over where to send you for the best po' boy, a sandwich comprised of some sort of fried protein topped with slaw and different dressings. While the more traditional po' boys carry loads of fried shrimp or oyster to your mouth, Stanley offers an off-the-charts delicious soft-shell crab version that manages to be decadent and delicate at the same time. The crab legs were extra crispy and well-seasoned. One of the best po' boys I've had.
These are just three of my favorites from this trip, but I've already set my sights on the following for my next visit...Mouth of the Border for more photos and tales of my trip to New Orleans!
Guest writer Emily Cavalier is the founder of Mouth of the Border, an online community for lovers of ethnic food and culture, and Midnight Brunch supper club. Emily consults on event and digital media strategy with brands like Conde Nast, The Vendy Awards and Google. Follow her on Foodspotting and Twitter @ecava.
(Trolley photo by Adam Reeder on Flickr)