by Lynn Kim Do

Eating My Way Thru NOLA

New Orleans is an anomaly. That's the only way I can describe it. It screams liberal in a state that's anything but liberal. It embraces every shadow, dark corner, and indulgence. Not only does it embrace it, it celebrates it. Voodoo. Alcohol. Music. Skin. And it makes you question your own morality compass. Maybe it'll even encourage you to adjust it a bit.

Purple, green, and gold rays of yellow decorate every patio of every building. The same patio that holds the French inspired table that holds your beignet and coffee up as you bare a yawn that brings consciousness closer is also the same patio that your neighbors hovers over on Bourbon St where flesh and booze flows freely. Freely is an understatement. It's a flood in that street. Of people. Of hand grenades. Of beads. Of bout-to-get-hitched. Nearby music plays on Frenchman St. Makeshift street bands that moves your soul play alongside venues with just as talented jazz performers. Hop in. Hop out. Feet and hips are guaranteed to move. Of all ages, colors, and sizes. And spirits, perhaps. Enjoying with us when they abandon their homes for awhile. Or maybe their home is Lafayette Cemetery where tours are done every evening until 3pm. Home of generations of corpse and missing teeth. Which lie only several feet away from Beyoncé, and all the other celebrity homes in the Garden District. And let's take a moment to thank the food gods for giving a home to the perfect combination of spices, seafood, and tang that only exist in New Orleans. Gumbo, etouffee, crawfish, oysters, po'boys, and lastly, the perfect ending to any and every meal—a perfectly fried dough and topped with a generous mountain of powdered sugar. The beignet. Which leads me to a list every person should have if they expect NOLA in their near future.

Where To Eat In NOLA
1. Brunch at Sylvain (pictured above) 
2. Turtle Soup, Banana Souffle, and pretty much anything at Brennan's (pictured above)
3. Gumbo and Daiquiri at Gumbo Shop (pictured above)
4. Grilled Oysters at Acme Oyster House
5. Tasting Menu Dinner at Commander's Palace
6. Beignet and Cafe Au Lait at Cafe Du Monde (pictured above)

Images by Lynn Kim Do & Mai Nguyen