July 21, 2015
Holland Days (part 2)
Before I left New Orleans I asked the valet at my hotel where the locals go for a good breakfast. Without a minute’s hesitation he gave me the name of what turned out to be my favorite restaurant of the whole trip, The Ruby Slipper Cafe.
It was opened by some of the first to locals to return after Hurricane Katrina. They wanted a place to welcome back anyone wanting to come home. Boy they did a great job. Sure enough it was it was loud, packed with locals and the food was awesome! The line out the door might be an indication that they served the best mimosa I’ve ever had, bar none.
Since I was alone and willing to sit at the bar I got a seat right away and took in the atmosphere of the place. Frankly, I was lucky to get a seat. I asked the amiable customer sitting next to me how the food was. He couldn’t stop raving about his dish of poached eggs over cheesy grit cakes, sautéed spinach, fried catfish and grilled shrimp. The dish was covered with a creole mustard Hollandaise. I had wanted something a bit more than just breakfast, and it fit the bill perfectly.
This one dish was able to combine the very essence of New Orleans— taking a classic and twisting it a bit in a way you might not have thought of. It jazzed it up while staying true to the essence of Louisiana by using catfish, shrimp, and authentic creole mustard over a crispy grit cake. All in all a great dish that definitely held its own against the gold-medal dishes of the culinary competition (and the celebrity chef the day before).
My trip to New Orleans had definitely reached its culinary high point, and that point was crowned with creamy creole Hollandaise sauce!