New Orleans Jazz Festival

Yesterday I got up at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. in order to get to our annual outing to Jazz Fest in New Orleans. If you have never been to New Orleans, the trip is well worth it. This city is completely different than any other place in the U.S. The food is incredible with the influences from the cajuns and french. Music is everywhere at all times. Local art is abundant. But the real treat is this town is the walking party. To experience that first time you go into a bar and order a drink and they ask "is that to stay or to go?" has got to give anyone a chuckle.

Yesterday we went through the same ritual that we go through every year. After dropping our bags off at the hotel, we go directly to Uglesich's. A serious hole in the wall. People stand outside waiting for a table with drinks in hand. Once you enter the "shack" you give your order to Anthony, the owner. Pay cash only and then make your way to table they'll set up for you. The tables are plastic outdoor furniture with the plastic chairs to match. But, the food is amazing. I believe some of the best food and most authentic in New Orleans.

We started with oysters on the half shell with a hot spicy sauce. Yesterday, they chose the meal for us which has never happened before but was well worth it. We then had fried green tomatoes with a remoulade sauce and small shrimp, deep fried soft shell crabs, "ecstasy shrimp" which is shrimp served over a bed of lettuce with a spicy vinegarette and blue cheese dressing on the side. This was only the appetizers. Main courses were deep fried catfish, "voodoo shrimp" which is spicy shrimp and vegetables served over a very thin pasta, also "shrimp uzzie" which is shrimps sauted with a spicy red sauce and vegetables (this one I actually have the recipe at home which was in Savuer years ago) and then my all time favorite which is barbecued shrimp and oysters. Wow! After 2 bloody mary's and all the food it was time to walk.

We did not walk too far. We took a cab over to our favorite local artist, Dr. Bob. We have all purchased his art for ourselves, friends and family. He's a hoot. He was getting ready for the festival so we wandered over to the French Quarter into the stalls.

After napping and relaxing, we went out to dinner. We generally bag dinner after all the eating at the festival but we do go once a year to Jacques Imo's. The people we were with are all friendly with Jacque so we always get great service and have fun talking with him. I have to say, I do not think the food is as good as it has been in the past. I am not sure that I will be going next year. Yet, the place is awesome with Dr. Bob pics everywhere, music blasting, people hanging outside waiting for tables. A great scene regardless of the food.

Back to the hotel to crash. Tomorrow is another day.

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Joanne Wilson Joanne Wilson loves food, books, and music. She lives in New York City. Her husband Fred and children Jessica, Emily, and Josh are bloggers too. More »

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