Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dinner at K Paul's Louisiana Kitchen and a Cigar Factory Maduro: A Perfect Ending to a Beautiful Day

The last two times I have been in New Orleans I have meant to have a meal at perhaps the greatest, if not most iconic Cajun restaurants, K Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. Well after a wonderful day made all the more special by almost missing my plane, escaping the 29 degree weather back in Minneapolis and basking in the sunshine and 86 degrees of New Orleans, I decided to treat myself to a great meal. Although I was dining alone, the staff made me feel right at home, allowing me to sit at the bar so I would not feel uncomfortable and even taking my picture with the bust of the naked Nubian Queen which was right next to me on the bar and became my "date".

As I told the bartender, my friend Don O'Dell's father, Dave had the first authentic Cajun restaurant in the Twin Cities, the Mariner and Emporium of Jazz in Mendota and had sent his chefs to K Paul's for training. Dave was also the sole distributor for K Paul's spices for many years in the upper Midwest. Although sadly the Mariner and Emporium of Jazz is no more, eating K Paul's gumbo tonite with the black roux was like hooking up with an old lover, but better. Following the Chicken and Andeuille sausage gumbo, I had the crab fingers in a popcorn batter with the greatest sauce known to man. Top it all off with the phenomenally simple but exquisite bread and sweet breads and it was a meal that brought tears to my eyes and for under $20!!

If you ever go to K Paul's you must go one block toward's the Warehouse District and stop at Laura's for her incredible Rum Prailine Brittle, Coon Ass Bark(white chocolate, macadamian nuts and chili pepper) or my favorite, the dark chocolate Mississippi Mud with caramel and prailines (candied pecans).

For my walk back to my hotel in the Warehouse District I smoked a wonderful full bodied Maduro cigar, fresh from the Cigar Factory and you had the perfect ending to a beautiful day. Eat your hearts out Minnesota! Living large in the Big Easy! Who Better?

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