Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cajun Queen...A Taste of New Orleans in Charlotte, NC!!!

My mouth is still watering as I recall my dinner at Cajun Queen this past Saturday! A friend recommended the place that looks like a big house that sits on 7th street not far from Uptown near CPCC's campus on the east side of town. You must make a reservation! I thought that was strange when I called to inquire but the lady on the phone was very friendly and I got a reservation for the same evening only 30 minutes later than the time I called. When I walked in I immediately felt like I had just entered the someone's home where I had been invited for a dinner party. There was art on the the walls of people with alligator heads and Mardi Gras masks and colorful decor. We were seated quickly and immediately given drinks and bread. I skipped appetizers and ordered a cup of gumbo and an entree' called Diane with mushrooms, garlic, butter, parsley, green onions shrimp, chicken and crawfish and the Queen's Magic Spices served over a bed of rice. I had bourbon pecan pie for desert. A live band started playing shortly after we ordered playing jazz just like you hear in the French Quarter. For that short time on a Saturday evening in Charlotte I could have sworn I was in New Orleans from the time I enter the doors of the Cajun Queen until the time I left! I had great food and great service in a quaint atmosphere at an affordable price! Check out their website Cajun Queen!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Roaming in Rome

Hi Friends,
I had the most exciting weekend excursion! My friend and I went to Rome, Italy basically to eat Gelato (Italian ice cream)! I stayed at the Sandy Hostel with is in walking distance to everything. We caught a train from the airport to Termini Roma for $15 Euro. Termini Roma is is the transit station a very busy and exciting area. There are shops and restaurants surrounding this place. We walked to the hostel on Via Cavour which was about a ten minute walk just past Santa Maria Maggiore. We had a small private ensuite. No frills. It was clean, came with bed linens and private bathroom. It was fairly difficult for me when trying to book hotels on a budget in Rome. They charge per person per night. So my accommodations ran about $50 euro per person per night.  We were close to many stores and resturants and about a 7 minute walk from the Colosseum! The weather was great the first day it was sunny and warm the second day it rained but was still warm temperatures. We saw Santa Maria Maggiore, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Palistine Hill, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, The Pantheon and more! We ate gelato twice a day and food once a day! We visited the oldest Gelata Factory in Rome; Giavonni Fassi. If you are in Rome you must visit this place. It is not far from Termini Roma!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Oyster House, Pittsburgh PA

Hello Friends,
I was on an unofficial food trip this weekend! What makes it unofficial is a) I was just visiting my hometown and b) I didn't announce that I would be making a food stop. However when I go home I cant seem to resist the urge to have an original fish sandwich, onion rings and some oysters at the Original Oyster House in Market Square. I remember my family talking me there to eat as a child. It still smells the same. They make this special vinegar sauce that has some type of red peppers in it. I have to have this vinegar, tauter sauce, hot sauce and ketchup on my fish sandwich. Oh my mouth is watering again. Price is reasonable that huge fish sandwich is about 6 bucks. There are many other items on the menu. They have a bunch of black and white pictures all over the walls, some are of pageants others are boxers and some are just famous people that ate at the restaurant. Lots of History in the place. I spoke with the cashier and one of the cooks. The Original fish Sandwich is made with Cod. This place has been in existence for about 140 years! They have a restaurant entrance and a bar entrance thee two are connected. So it's great place to take the family for lunch or place to hang and have a couple beers! I'll post a few pics! 

Food stop in New Orleans, La

Hi friends,
It's been a while since I've been here but I'm still writing and traveling in my spare time. I went to New Orleans, Louisiana on October 23. Have you ever been there? Well I was looking for a place to go for a day trip and I asked the listeners of The Keith Larson Show on WBT Newstalk 1110am to help. My goal was to find a place that I could experience the culture and find some local food favorites. I absolutely loved New Orleans and can't wait to go back. So I flew in on a Saturday morning with two places listed as "Must Visit" and a few other things I'd like to check out scribbled in my notebook. I caught a Jefferson Transit public bus (route E-2) From the Airport towards downtown/Canal Street. This happened to be a bad idea on a Saturday because the bus schedule was limited and we had to make a connection. So I jumped in a cab with two other ladies traveling from the airport. I arrived at my first destination in the French Quarter. The Central Grocery at 932 Decatur St; Home of the Muffuletta sandwich! All that I can say is WOW what a sandwich. It was huge and cost about $12. They cut it into quarters and I was almost full after one quarter but couldn't help but be greedy and eat two. I also has a bag of Zapps Cajun Dill Gator-Tators recommended by a local woman I met in line. I sat at the counter in the back of the store it was very busy and hard to find a place to sit. The Central Grocery had a hometown feel. You sit and eat amongst total strangers but imagine they are neighbors you haven't seen in a while. The food and the atmosphere was so good. For those of you who have never had one let me try to explain. The Muffuletta (pronounced Moof-Ah-Letta) is made on a round sesame seed bun, filled with ham, salami, cheese and olive salad. I found a really cool website that explains better so read about the ingredients and it's history here!
Next destination on my list was Cafe Du Monde, Home of Coffee and
Beignets! Before making this trip I had no idea what Beignets were. So in case you don't know, they are square shaped, fried dough covered in powdered sugar. The best thing I could compare them to is elephant ears at the State fair. I'm all about the sweets so they were wonderful to me!
There is so much to see and do in New Orleans I really need about a week there. My next trip I want to find some gumbo!