So we have arrived home after our wonderful vacation which was mostly planned around restaurants! Here is a sampling of what we enjoyed during our 2971.4 miles, 12 state tour.
Neely's Bar-B-Que - Memphis
Our first stop on the cuisine adventure landed us at Neely's. We enjoyed the sausage and cheese appetizer followed by a sampler of their bar-b-que which included pulled pork, ribs, beef brisket, and turkey. Hubby liked the brisket and I enjoyed the fall off the bone ribs. The turkey was just okay and we both thought hubby's pulled pork was better. The coleslaw had a spicy taste that was very different and good. The atmosphere was not what we had expected but it was clearly their original restaurant, functional and no fuss. I'm glad we went so that we can say we've been there, I would probably not go back for a second visit.
Emeril's - New Orleans
This was undoubtedly the best meal we've ever eaten. Everything was perfect. The food was amazing in both taste and presentation. The service and atmosphere were excellent. I the Baby Spinach Salad with Fresh Strawberries, Goat Cheese, Spiced Almonds, Crisp Potato and Warm Chourice-Pimenton Vinaigrettefollowed by Pan Seared Filet of Beef with Creamy Mascarpone Polenta, Slow Roasted Pork Belly, Wilted Swiss Chard, Confit Tomato and Goat Cheese. Delicious doesn't even begin to describe it. A regular at the restaurant suggested the pork chop to hubby explaining that it was the dish that the chefs all tried to outdo each other on. It was the thickest pork chop I have ever seen and hubby thoroughly enjoyed it. For dessert I had the dark chocolate torte and hubby had the pecan pie with bourbon chocolate ice cream. All I can say is that if you ever get to New Orleans Emeril's flagship restaurant is not to be missed!
The Court of Two Sister - New Orleans
On Sunday morning we decided to check out this jazz brunch. It was delightful. The music was enjoyable and the food was delicious and plentiful. Eggs Benedict and omelets were made to order and the rest of the food was served buffet style. It included multiple types of meats, veggies, salads, and desserts. The sweet potatoes were to die for and the rolls melted in your mouth. There was a chicken salad that was unlike anything I've ever tasted and I'd love to have the recipe.
Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse - New Orleans
This restaurant was recommended to us and was our first big disappointment. I chose the special, which I ordered medium and received a steak that was somewhere between medium well and well done. Other than dessert, we've had better meals at chain steakhouses for a third of the price. The service was adequate but nothing special and the atmosphere was very dark and heavy. There are numerous restaurants to pick from in New Orleans so I wouldn't suggest picking this one.
Mothers - New Orleans
We were anxious to try this diner after seeing it on TV. The show was clear that this was a small family owned eatery so we knew what to expect. It was everything we expected and more. The sandwiches were ginormous and very tasty. I had the "Ferdi" and enjoyed every bite of it that I could manage to eat. We were fortunate to be visiting in the slow tourist season so we only had to wait in a short line - not the usual "out the door and around the corner" line. The service was highly efficient and friendly. This is definitely on my "places to eat" on a return visit list.
Cafe du Monde - New Orleans
This is on everyones "must visit" list and I agree, it is a must. The beignets are wonderful, although messy, and hubby enjoyed the cafe au late. I tried it but since I'm not a coffee drinker I'm sure I didn't properly appreciate it. It was fun to eat in the outdoor cafe and just enjoy the weather and people watching.
Thanksgiving Dinner at the Shotts - Florida
The next meal worth noting was Thanksgiving dinner with family at my niece's house. The food was good, the weather was nice, and the company was great! I'm afraid you won't be able to try this particular stop on our feastcation so you'll just have to take my word on it that it was delicious - especially the pecan pumpkin pie.
Paula Deen's - Savannah
This was our last official feastcation stop and it did not disappoint. We had the buffet lunch and also ordered the fried green tomato appetizer off the menu. The tomatoes were absolutely scrumptious! The buffet was basic home cookin' comfort food, nothing fancy, but all well prepared and tasty. Hubby and I each picked a different dessert so we could share both of them. I chose the banana pudding and it was the 2nd best I've ever had. Hubby got the sweet potato butter cake and it was heavenly!
The trip was great fun and we look forward to planning feastcation 2010. However, I do need to figure out how to make the trip without gaining almost five pounds!
I think our next adventure we will be heading to the east coast, the Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire area, so if you have any great restaurants to suggest please feel free to do so in the comments.