Sunday, July 25, 2010

Louisiana, Chicken, Powder Sugar and Meow!


Map picture

Although you cannot usually judge a book by it's cover, I think it is fair however to say you can judge a restaurant by it's customers.


CPM 004 Using this as my measuring tool, I am sure from the line of customers waiting outside of Coops Place that I will not be disappointed.

Peeking through a hazy window I can see that the small dining room and bar is packed.



It's a hot and muggy evening in the French Quarter and I think about waiting inside at the bar. Unfortunately because of limited space, Coop's “official” policy is to wait outside for a dining table.


Corona Can we drink outside while we wait? With two cold Coronas in hand, I guess the answer is, Si! (Yes)





In the evening heat the Corona goes down fast. I only wish the inside diners would do the same. Jealous, I am tempted to yell “fire” to clear out the place. However, I have to come up with a plan that won't get me arrested.

The Corona is finally starting to have a positive effect on my thinking. Can we eat at the bar? “Yes, If you are hungry”, I am told by one of the two hard working bartenders/waiters.


CPM 006 Ordering is simple for me, I am here for Coop’s “New Orleans” if not “World Famous” Fried Chicken.





“Hi, I am Allison” as we wait for our orders. Allison along with her husband are Coop’s Place regulars. Soon a flow of local information is coming our way then a great discussion and story telling about Katrina, a major storm that hit the area in 2005.

Fortunate to be on vacation when the storm hits, Allison tells a funny story about what happened in her neighborhood. Being a Southern Lady she does warn that her story has a few “F” words.

A day or so after the storm passes, a local gentleman is rapidly riding his bicycle down her street and comes upon her next door neighbor.


Katrina He frantically and out of breath tells the neighbor “Da water is comin, da water is comin, get ya boat”.

Since the storm had already passed, the neighbor is confused and questions, “What water”?




To which the response is given, “You stand there, long enuff and you gonna see da F'ng water I'm talkin about”

In 45 minutes 9 feet of water flooded Allison's house as levees around New Orleans broke and caused major damage to the city.


CPM 009

Caught up in the storytelling which also involved lost underwear and panicking in-laws, I miss the arrival of my two piece all white meat (few bucks extra) Coop's Fried Chicken Dinner.

Served with coleslaw and a rabbit sausage jambalaya, for $10.95 I have a true southern dish. According to my local sources the chicken batter is a little off today although I can't imagine it being much more flavorful.


CPM 010 An almost melt in your mouth experience, the warm meat is moist and so tender it comes apart like shredded paper.

The batter is light, pepper flavored and almost as tender as the meat.







CPM 014 A Raspberry Wheat Brew by Abita called “Purple Haze” is a nice compliment to the meal.

Coop's has a lively atmosphere with a pool table and video slot machines. Popular with locals, it should also be popular with tourists that are looking for a real southern meal at a reasonable price.




CPM 005 Coop's Place is located on Decatur opposite Margaritaville.


CPM 002 No trip to “The Big Easy” would be complete without a trip to Beignet Heaven, Cafe Du Monde.






CPM 016 I mix with others from Atlanta, Philadelphia, Texas and even as far away as Phoenix as we patiently wait to experience one of New Orleans, French Connections.





CPM 017 I can feel the warmth of three freshly made beignets radiating from the classic white bag that I just exchanged for $2.10.

Properly sealed, I shake the bag to awaken the half pound of powder sugar I know is lying at the bottom. Like 007, I prefer my beignets shaken not stirred.


CPM 018 An inspection reveals I have coated them perfectly. The challenge now becomes can I eat them without coating myself in powder sugar.

Taking a bite, I tear the beignet with my hand as one half is trapped in the clench of my teeth. This decorates my dark blue T-shirt with what looks like fresh snow flakes.


All a part of enjoying a Cafe Du Monde beignet unless you are a wimp and sit down to eat it with of fork.

Open 24 hours a day, I high calorie recommend Cafe Du Monde for breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snack or early morning meal!


CPM 029 I am now over budget on my calorie intake for the month. In New Orleans, I can think of no better way for one to reduce a calorie deficit than to “shake what your mama gave ya”.

I am headed to Bourbon Street.





CPM 033

From Jazz to Hip Hop, Bourbon Street offers many options to show your best Beyonce or Saturday Night Fever moves.

Now if you have the moves and a voice to go along with it then Cat's Meow may just be the place for you.


CPM 023 Always full of energy, a lot of “shake what your mama gave ya” is going on when I arrive to an almost packed house.







CPM 026 With a chance to hold a Category 4 or 5 Hurricane in my hand, I stand back and enjoy the show.





Here there is something for everyone as young and old a like take to the stage to woo the crowd. I am so moved by one rendition by an old cowboy that I take on another Category 5.

Well it was all that I could do to keep from cryin'

Sometimes it seemed so useless to remain

But then I joined the crowd in hanging around although no one called us darlin or even called us by our names. Waylon Jenning, Charlie Pride or Merle Haggard would have been nice.


CPM 019Cat Meow turns out to be a lot of fun!








The night passes too quickly as I am frantically running down Bourbon Street to my hotel. “Da sun is coming, da sun is comin, with an early flight, I gotta get my F'ng A@@ to bed”!


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