Photo: rdpeyton, Flickr
I need a salad like you wouldn't believe. Or some nice sliced fruit. And perhaps a lengthy Master Cleanse regimen. Such are the repercussions of spending 10 days in New Orleans, a city that's apparently never met a vegetable it didn't deep-fry or flavor with fatty swine.
While the Big Easy is slowly, steadily recovering, there's one sector that's stronger than before the storm: the restaurant industry, with more than 1,000 eateries open today -- the most at any time in the city's history. So with an iron stomach and a fistful of Tums, I dove into New Orleans' eats and drinks. In no particular order, here are my 10 favorite watering holes and restaurants.
1. Ms. Mae's
2. Merlin's Place
A thigh-pumping bike ride -- and critic Brett Anderson's suggestion -- led me to Merlin's Place, announced by a 3-D black bovine. Cow is a must-eat at Merlin's, namely the house-cooked roast beef: It's sliced thin and layered on a toasted length of bread, then dressed with shredded lettuce, pickles, tomatoes. It's juicy, crunchy genius. The beefy, well-spiced tamales are tops, too.
Find the rest of the top ten list after the jump.