Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Supper at Sam’s

The melting pots of port cities are always more vibrantly diverse than their inland neighbors. In New Orleans, you can find anything from anywhere in the world, including any ethnic cuisine you may crave. From Appalachia to Zimbabwe, you can find their foods here. Uptown Magazine Street contains most of these cuisines.

If you really want to experience New Orleans, you must spend some time on the uptown side. Anything below Canal Street is on the "Uptown" side; above Canal Street is the "downtown" side. Magazine Street (which becomes Decatur Street on the downtown side) is maybe the funkiest corridor in the south, teaming with antique shops, specialty boutiques, uncountable restaurants, and a very eclectic variety of art galleries. Because New Orleans is so flat, all of these destinations can be reached on your own two feet.

For those who aren't up to walking the full six miles from Canal Street to the Audubon Zoo, there's always the historic St. Charles Avenue Streetcar five blocks toward the lake. You will never go north, south, east or west in New Orleans; you will go toward the river or toward the lake, toward uptown or toward downtown.

The St. Charles Avenue Streetcar travels only on the uptown side of New Orleans. At Canal Street, St. Charles Avenue changes identity and becomes Royal Street in the French Quarter. The line of demarcation is the center of the "neutral ground" (known as a median in less colorful cultures)running down the middle of Canal Street. All New Orleanians know that anything goes on the French Quarter side, but you'd better button up when going uptown.

To further guide you, should you want to venture forth in the Crescent City, the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar can drop you off in the warehouse district where contemporary art abounds, the Garden District where green space is gorgeous, and the University area, where New Orleans' version of the Ivy League lives.

I was driving in uptown New Orleans to get organic chicken sausage for Gayle and essential oil of peppermint for Pat from the uptown location of Whole Foods. After I finished my shopping, I drove due east on the Crescent City Connection bridge to get to the home of Pat and Will on the Westbank of the Mississippi River. While I visited with Pat, New Orleans was visited by only-on-the-Gulf-Coast monsoon-style rains and gale force winds. If I had the sense God gave a goose, I’d have spent the night at Pat’s, but Sam had caught a redfish and was grilling it for me. Redfish being one of the best things I ever put in my mouth, I had to get back to Mississippi.

Three hours and a hundred miles later, I was in the Clardy’s kitchen feasting on Sweet Sam’s fresh-caught fish and Bodacious Buffy’s sensational salad. I may have had to fight my way through the rains of Ranchipur to get that to that supper, but it was definitely worth the drive.

No comments:

Post a Comment