Friday afternoon we jetted out of Jackson and drove straight to Metairie, Louisiana for a 6 p.m. game. We skipped eating on the road and I was on my own for dinner. After a quick search on Chowhound boards (thank goodness for phones with internet), I took advantage of the opportunity to cross a place off my list and headed to Drago’s Seafood Restaurant. It would have been a great waste to eat sub-par ballpark food in such a spectacular foodie city such as New Orleans.
The softball tournament was held at LaSalle Park, located next door to the New Orleans Zephyrs minor league ballpark and the Saints football training camp. Luckily, Drago’s was fairly close and easy to find. As I was driving around for a parking space, I was momentarily swayed by an intriguing Korean restaurant situated right next door, but it was dark inside and the parking lot was empty (two bad signs).
Sticking with the original plan, I made my way into Drago’s and sat at a high table in the bar area. There are a handful of times when I have dined on my own, (which I find enjoyable), usually armed with adequate reading material. The restaurant’s atmosphere is fairly casual and family oriented, so I didn’t stick out or feel out of place.
Now Drago’s is a seafood restaurant, and I wanted seafood, but due to the Gulf Coast oil spill reeking havoc on the area I wasn’t sure what to expect. The waitress assured me that all of their local seafood is fine and they are taking special precautions with their oysters. They are known for their barbecued oysters, but I stay away from them after the Sal and Phil’s New Year’s Eve oyster debacle. Instead, I ordered the New Orleans style barbecued shrimp, which came with french bread, a baked potato, and a salad.
My dish was great and the shrimp were plump, but I have an equally good recipe courtesy of my Aunt Leslie. It was a pleasant, uneventful meal and I was glad to be able to make it there.
Ben played softball Friday night and most of the day Saturday in suffocating heat, on top of that we hit up the French Quarter both evenings. Both days I ran three miles on a trail circling the park, and sweated like a sinner in church just sitting there watching the games. Needless to say, we were both worn out by the time Sunday rolled around.
Nevertheless, Sunday we mustered up our energy and managed to hit up a Royal Blend coffeehouse in Metairie for breakfast and Mother’s downtown for lunch.
Royal Blend is a lovely spot, offering breakfast standards such as eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, omelets, pancakes, bakery items, grits (standard for the South), and coffee drinks. The most notable item I had there was a light, airy muffin made out of dough similar to a croissant, which was then dipped in cinnamon and sugar.
We weren’t hungry, but we were determined to eat at Mother’s for lunch. They are famous for their baked ham and po’boy sandwiches, and also serve up Southern fare such as red beans and rice, gumbo, jambalaya, etoufee, fried chicken and seafood. Ben got a Ralph po’boy (baked ham roast beef, debris, gravy and cheese), I ordered a fried shrimp po’boy, we split french fries and bread pudding for dessert. His sandwich was better than mine, the fries took forever to be delivered to our table (but worth the wait), and Ben said the bread pudding is one of the best he’s had.
We love that city. There is always something going on, music to hear, places to eat. It was a successful trip on all accounts; the Southern Mississippi SAE chapter came in 2nd place in the softball tournament, I got to cheer on my man, we hit a couple worthy restaurant destinations, and the fabulous city of New Orleans lives on.
Drago’s Seafood Restaurant
3232 N Arnoult Road
Metairie, LA 70002
Phone 504 888-9254
244 Metairie Road
Metairie, LA 70005
New Orleans, LA 70130