You know you’re in a food town when the postcard racks stock recipe cards to mail back to your friends. It’s been a long, hot, humid and delicious weekend in New Orleans.
Pacing has been key, of course, from judging just how many blocks a human can walk under intense sun to learning how many meals one can pack into an average day. Thank goodness for brunch to add a nice bite between early breakfast (café au lait and beignets at Café du Monde) and late lunch (roast beef po'boys with extra gravy at Parasol's).
Elizabeth's was at the top of my list, for a single menu item: praline bacon. Suffice to say that shimmering, smoky bacon topped with a crust of brown sugar is a beautiful thing.
Their crispy, hot calas, however, shined as the true star of the meal. This humble fritter -- some leftover rice, a bit of natural yeast, a generous hand with the nutmeg, and a long night of flavorful fermenting –- was once a morning staple in the French Quarter. Women in the late 1800s once walked the streets with large, covered baskets on their heads calling "Madame, mo gaingin calas! Beeelles calas…beeeeelles calas, tou cho, tou cho!" Madame, I have calas! Fine calas, fine calas, very hot, very hot!