New Orleans: the best $16 burger I’ve ever tasted!

Knowing that I would be without a camera in New Orleans, I tried to devise some ways around this little problem.  I could certainly use my Blackberry, but it’s not that good, and the battery seems to die on me all the time.  I could borrow an iphone at every moment from my bro and sis-in-law.  How annoying would I be?  Not to mention that at the end, they would have to email me every picture I took.  And I always take a few photos of the same thing to increase my odds of getting a good shot.  That would mean a lot of redundant emails they would have to send me from their phones.

I didn’t love any of these solutions, but I knew my only choice was to adapt.  So here is what a Blackberry can do… not so great.

The first night we went to John Besh’s Luke, and it was a delicious meal.  We always make an annual trip down to NOLA to visit family, conveniently during the French Quarter Festival.  On our April 2010 trip, every meal we ate was really terrible, even at reputable restaurants.  Given that NOLA is known for it’s food, we felt like victims.  We were under a lot of pressure to erase last year’s awful record and prove it wasn’t us.  This time, we succeeded, and a visit to Luke started it off right.

For a not-overly-crowded restaurant, the service was painfully slow– we waited 20 minutes before our drinks arrived, and that was just the beginning.  The whole thing was kind of weird, but it worked out okay… because the food was so good.  It was obvious they noticed this shortcoming because without even a complaint, they surprised us with several delicious free desserts.  Free dessert always erases painful memories of thirst, hunger, and impatience.

I had the shrimp and grits, and just looking at this iphone picture makes me hungry.   They were bursting with flavor, and I was a happy girl.  I don’t usually like grits because they are very bland, but these were perfect mixed with all of that punchy sauce.

Nick had the 10-ounce burger……with “Allan Benton’s bacon.”  I don’t know who this Allan Benton is, but I’ll eat his bacon anytime.  It may bet the best I’ve ever had!  This was a very special burger.  At 10 oz, with freshly ground meat, it was well worth the $16.  Plus, you always feels like you’re really piggin’ out when your food is served on a cutting board. The fries were as good as any I’ve ever eaten.

I loved Luke and will definitely go back next year.  It was nice to go to a high quality place that didn’t feel too fancy and stuffy.  There is a reason that John Besh has built himself a restaurant empire– it is that good.

By the end of a wonderful meal, feeling so happy and inspired, I decided that I didn’t have it in me to be on a vacation without a camera.  So I decided to buy a disposable.  I was going to try it all– my phone, a newer Blackberry, an iphone, and an old standby that I haven’t used in years.  When was the last time I used a camera with film?  I couldn’t help but wonder how it would be to take a picture and not get to see it immediately.  How would I know if I needed to use the flash or not?  How would I know if I got the shot I wanted?  I guess I couldn’t know, and that added the element of surprise.

What was this trip going to look like when I looked back on it?  And would I survive not only without my camera, but without the instant gratification that we all have come to expect?

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