A New Orleans Tradition: Galatoire’s

I’m embarrassed to admit that in my 4 years at Tulane, I did not go to Galatoire’s once.  College was a funny time for me– it was such an adventurous, yet simultaneously sheltered time.  It was as if my friends and I were living in a bubble.   I justify it with the excuse that when you first venture out into the world on your own, there is so much of the unfamiliar to experience that it’s hard to see beyond your newly expanded world.  It’s as if there is only so much growth you can take at once, or you will go into enrichment overload.  Your world has stretched so much that sometimes you can’t move beyond its borders, in an attempt to maintain some sense of security.  I always knew Galatoire’s existed, but it just never made its way into my life.  I was content in my very full bubble.  Besides, what college kid pays that kind of money for a meal?

The past four years of going to the French Quarter Fest we have annually tossed around the idea of going for a Friday lunch.  But the thought of leaving the music festival to dress up and go inside for a fancy lunch was always a big deterrent.  This year, we finally made the commitment.

It was well worth our time, as Galatoire’s themselves claim, “Tradition #5: Lunch hours become lunch afternoons.”   This was definitely a vibrant scene, a respite from the heat and chaos of Bourbon Street.  With ladies and gentlemen dressed to the nines in perfect Southern form, it was clear that Friday lunch was an event to behold.  And, with the extra men’s coats hanging by the door for those who show up for dinner without one, you would think it to be a stuffy establishment.  However, the atmosphere reminds you that while there is a dress code, you are to have fun here.  Case in point… “Tradition #109: It’s not a special occasion without a feather boa.”  And as they imply, everyone is special here, or I guess no one is special here… depending on how you read this.  “Tradition #12: Movie stars and politicians don’t mind standing in line.” 

The food was just the icing on the cake to finally realizing an event I’d waited years to experience.  I chose one of my faves: crawfish etouffee.  I’m sure I could have gone for something more adventurous, but I was already expanding my bubble and didn’t want to go into enrichment overload.  I was quite content in the comfort of my choice.  Plus, I never get to eat crawfish in Colorado.As far as I am concerned, anything fried tastes good, but according to Macky, a New Orleans native and softshell crab aficionado, Galatoire’s is the best!They sure do make a fine Bloody!I now feel a little more complete, filling in the missing piece: more than just a meal at this New Orleans classic (founded in 1905,) but an experience.  And luckily, according to Galatoire’s, it’s the same as it has been for decades.  So I feel like it’s okay that I waited so long to enjoy this, because now I can relish in some of the newness I wasn’t ready for while floating around in my college bubble.

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