NOLA? What’s that? I was mixed up. (I finally figured out that it’s New Orleans, Louisiana. Duh.)
We spent last week in NOLA selling my novels in an Exhibit Hall booth at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly at the New Orleans Convention Center.
Books sold well. Masjid Morning was the big mover, followed by Well Considered, Canoedling in Cleveland, and Cologne No. 10 For Men.
I slipped away occasionally to take in convention programs and especially liked the service honoring ministers–new and retiring (several of whom we knew personally), and those who have departed–and a seminar given by ministers in the town where I grew up, the town that was the setting for Canoedling in Cleveland.
Barb and I capped things off by hopping into a cab for the French Quarter on Friday night and having dinner at Antoine’s, fifty years after we ate there while living at Ft. Polk, LA, when I was a newly-wed training officer, prior to shipping out to Vietnam during the war.
Antoine’s was divine, with dark paneled walls covered with framed pictures of the many celebrities who have feasted there, and excellent food served by tuxedoed waiters. We shared Oysters Rockefeller and creole gumbo, and I had succulent Petit Filet de Boeuf with red wine sauce and diced fried potatoes with melted butter, and she had Filet De Gulf Poisson (gulf fish) with crawfish sauce. Yes, it was pricey, but memorable.
Then on Saturday night, in a hotel near the airport for a morning flight out, we followed the desk clerk’s advice and dined at Harbor Seafood & Oyster Bar. Something about it seemed like a neighborhood place, with benches across the front, usually full of people waiting for tables. Inside, I had blackened catfish smothered with thick creole sauce, and Barb had grilled eggplant with crawfish sauce.
The patrons were as diverse as the food–Hispanic, White, Vietnamese, African American, and origins I couldn’t begin to guess–all drawn together by the delectable mix of Cajun foods and spices. And this food was NOT pricey. What fun.