CULINARY THRILL SEEKING: Castillos roll in New Orleans

Published 11:49 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When my daughter heard my husband and I were spending our 26th wedding anniversary in New Orleans, she asked to come along. 

We actually loved the plan. We had been when she was a little bitty thing. Now she is an adult. That’s a different NOLA experience.

My parents went to New Orleans on their honeymoon, and my daughter spent a night there on hers. This city is in our blood.

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She acted like her first mission was to make sure we got to Deanie’s in the French quarter. It was one of her honeymoon stops. I have always missed this one on Iberville.

I got barbecue shrimp because she said it was so good one of her friends had asked her to take some home on ice for him. A skillet full of hot, huge shrimp with their feelers still attached came to my table. The sauce was buttery, dark, filled with spices and wonderful. It came with crusty French bread.

Every time I picked up a shrimp I could feel the weight of it. The server said I should take the shrimp out of the skillet so they would not continue to cook in the hot sauce. Weeks later, that meal is still in my mind.

Remember that tiny cocktail fork I wrote about after purchasing it at a

Young Life estate sale? I took it to New Orleans, and used it at every meal I could. I always made a point of pointing this out to the server, so it wouldn’t look like I was stealing their utensils. The funny thing is the servers had all already noticed. That meant that they could tell I was into food, and that seemed to make them want to offer more tastes and experiences. That tiny fork was a promotion tool. And to think I brought it to remind me to slow down and take delicate bites.

I love that New Orleans is a city that loves food food.

If you post on Facebook that you are in New Orleans, people will tell you to eat at Café Du Monde. As if I would skip that. I got to sit inside, perhaps for my first time. It was a new experience to watch the staff stand in line to pick up orders.  A hipster guy with a super long dark beard enjoyed his powdered beignet without getting white sugar all over him. I can’t say the same for myself.

In the book, “The House on First Street,” I read that families used to have favorites of either Acme oysters, or Felix’s. I don’t want to have to pick a favorite. This time I tried charbroiled oysters at Felix’s and chose well. I even slightly burned the corners of my mouth from the hot shells. Should have been using that tiny fork.