April 18th. – Day 15
Up early – Laundry Day. The owner, Dinah, greets me and tells me that she is glad to see that I am keeping up with my laundry. She is a real character just like so many people who work in da Quarter.
I decided while making plans for this trip that I would research a few restaurants that have been written up in various travel sites. Hence my visit to Dookey Chase last week.
Today I have embarked on a very long walk to Cochon (Pig)which is at 930 Tchoupitoulas and is a Cajun Southern Cooking restaurant. This restaurant is one of the Donald Link Group. Link is a famous chef in these here parts and I have one of his cook books at home. It is a bit of a treat as the food is not cheap and the setting is a little more formal. I was given the choice of sitting at a table or taking a seat along a bar that runs along the extent of the open kitchen. I took up the offer to watch the chefs in action.
I ordered a bottle of Mountain Valley Spring Water, bottled at the source – Ouachita Mountains. Now it is not often that I would rave about the quality of drinking water but boy was this water good. For lunch I ordered Louisiana Cochon with cabbage, cracklin’ and pickled pear washed down with Mexican Coke. The Mexican Coke (the drinking kind tasted a little different). Maybe i will start burping in Spanish! I started writing in my journal. Next thing I know is that a guy came over to me and said this is compliments of the Chef, a small pulled pork pattie with a tiny fried quail egg sitting on top. Maybe they think I am a foreign food reviewer! The kitchen staff are friendly and engage in conversation. They pick my accent quickly and I am told they had a trainee Australian in the kitchen a few months back. Great food.
There is a bit of rain about. I was going to get a Uber back home but decided to walk off the pig. I got half way through da Quarter and had to seek shelter at the corner of Royal and St. Ann as the rain is now real heavy. It took about 45 minutes for the storm to clear.
After an afternoon nap it was time for some music on Frenchman. First stop was the Spotted Cat for the last set of New Orleans Bluesman Andy Forester. I found myself sitting at the bar next to a couple of women from Toronto. They were up for a chat about our respective countries. Then I heard a familiar sounding accent ordering a beer. I asked the guy where he was from. He said, ‘Houston.’ Sure sounded more Australian to me. He was an ex-pat Aussie who has lived in Houston for the last five years. He is a Chemical Engineer. He is holidaying with his sister who has just flown in. They both live In Wheelers Hill!
Like all bars in New Orleans they are very strict on checking people’s I.D. to ensure they are of the drinking age of 21. One of the bar people tells me she lived in a Kibbutz in Israel for a while with as she described. ‘three crazy Australians.’ She did learn one think from them. As I went to take a drink she said, ‘Cheers Big Ears.’ Next performer up was Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns, they get the place rockin’ and the bar is now crowded.
I headed over to a newer bar 30/90 and caught a young band, the Bayou Saints. More Rock than Jazz but I am mighty impressed. It cost me a $1 to take a leak as the Restroom has an attendant.