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Road Trip New Orleans: Time to Splurge

I could not write an entire series on food in New Orleans without mentioning two of the best known restaurants there: Commander’s Palace and Restaurant August.

Commander’s Palace is the legendary restaurant located in the Garden District where chefs Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse (BAM!) trained and made their names.  I took the family there for lunch and enjoyed the 25 cent martini special (limit 4 per person) that makes Commander’s lunch notorious.  It was the best $1.00 I’ve ever spent…if I remember correctly.

The service and food were excellent.  My mom started off with the soup sampler (turtle soup, gumbo and soup of the day) while the rest of the table all got the turtle soup.  Flavorful and finished with just the right amount of sherry at the end, the turtle soup lived up to expectations.  The table then split the Wild Gulf Shrimp Remoulade “Moderne” and the Shrimp and Tasso Henican — both delicious.

For entrees, my mom was the odd man out again with her Caribbean grilled shrimp salad.  The rest of us got the special of the day: cochon de lait.  The young suckling pig roasted Cajun style was amazing — tender, smokey and not too salty.

We all finished off our meals with the specialty of the house: Creole bread pudding souffle with whiskey creme anglaise.  I’m not a huge dessert person, but even I couldn’t get enough of the souffle.

Given the prices, savings on alcohol with the martini special and attentive service, I think Commander’s Palace is a good deal for an upscale lunch, even if there is no special occasion to celebrate.  I’m still interested in going back to compare the options at dinner, but if you are looking to try Commander’s without breaking the bank account, lunch is a fine option.

After my brother’s graduation ceremony, we went to John Besh’s Restaurant August to celebrate.  You can look up other reviews on the internet because I don’t have much to say other than the service was very good and the food was amazing.

Rather than trying to remember what everyone ordered and taking pictures for the blog, I snapped a single picture of the amuse-bouche (seafood mousse with caviar) and spent the rest of the evening enjoying the meal with my family and celebrating my brother’s accomplishment.  My verdict is that Restaurant August is well worth the splurge, especially for a special occasion.  The memories are worth that alone.

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