(I’m just gonna throw it out there and say that this is the best freak’n sandwich in the world. Marry me Muffeletta, a New Orleans specialty.)
For those whose travel plans are ruled by their tastebuds, they will be delighted to know that some of the best bites in the country can be found in the Big Easy. From étouffée, to gumbo, oyster po’ boys to spicy Cajun crawfish, NOLA is a glorious city of gastronomical gluttony, where every plate is “Fat Tuesday” sinfully smothered in the holy trinity of butter, bacon or cheese. To learn the history behind the local cuisine, sign up for the three-hour French Quarter Culinary History and Tasting Tour, where you’ll eat your way around the city with a knowledgeable guide (http://noculinarytours.com/tour/). Or try your hand at cooking such classic dishes as creole crabcakes, Oysters Rockefeller, shrimp rémoulade and Bananas Foster at the New Orleans Cooking Experience, offering half-day immersive cooking courses on Louisianna home cook’n. (http://www.neworleanscookingexperience.com/) Indulge in high-end, experiential restaurants like Commander’s Palace, Antoine’s, Arnaud’s and Galatoire’s but don’t neglect those historic hole-in-the-wall haunts. Central Grocery on Decatur St. for example, is home of the original muffuletta, a delicious sandwich of layered Italian meats, cheese and olive salad on a flat foccacia-like bread. For something sweet, Café du Monde in the French Quarter is a classic choice for sugary deep-fried doughnuts called ‘beignets,’ served up 24-7.