Now that I’m back in New York City with two feet semi-firmly on the ground for a few days, I’ve got time to update my Foodie International blog with the wild adventures and culinary wonders of the past four weeks in Africa. As some of you know, Internet was not always (or ever) available, so I wanted to take a moment to say: Hello Technology, it’s good to be back! While I sort through photos and delicious blog-worthy memories, I thought I’d post some hunger-inducing pics of a new foodie fave from New Orleans: Cochon Butcher.
Fact: Social Media is amazing. I was hanging out on Twitter (follow me @foodieintl) getting some pre-New Orleans trip food advice from tech-savvy locals when I connected with Laura Bergerol, a local photographer and major food lover. She knew what was up, what was hot and what was totally, unbelievably amazing. I made plans to meet her at the famous Cochon Butcher in the city’s trendy Warehouse District. The store/casual eatery is an offshoot of the restaurant Cochon (they share a kitchen and a “Boucherie” where they house-cure all meats). Cochon Butcher offers up a variety of sandwiches, homemade meats, cold cuts, snack plates and even a “sWine bar.”
Having just won $140 on a thirty minute Blackjack game at Harrah’s (What?! It was on the way!) I decided that the best way to experience what Laura assured me were excellent eats, was to order just about everything on the menu. Getting right to the best tastes, our first item up was a charcuterie platter. Top left: Duck Rillette…heaven. The next time I come down, I’m ordering an entire brick of that salty, flavorful spread and eating it myself. The sopressatas and spicy salamis were also excellent. This platter is a great way to sample a wide variety of what Cochon does best: meats.
We moved into slightly dangerous, artery-clogging territory with a duck pastrami slider that was more of super-intense (think strong cheese) grilled cheese. This is a great sharp-flavored snack to try while tossing back a few glasses of house recommended sWine.
We tried Cochon’s take on a New Orleans classic: the muffaletta. Made with house-made meats, provolone, pickled peppers and chopped olives, this is hands-down the best muffaletta I’ve had as of yet in New Orleans. Maybe it’s the meat, maybe it’s the awesome bread. Either way, the muffaletta is a winner.
Because my arteries weren’t clogged enough by this point, I ordered Cochon’s pancetta mac’n’cheese. Who doesn’t love pancetta?
We were on a roll. We tasted the buckboard bacon melt stuffed with collard greens, and the cuban sandwich (shown below) stuffed with tender cochon du lait pork, ham, cheese, homemade pickles. We didn’t even order the cuban sandwich! At some point during our feast, Laura and I had begun to share our plates with other diners. One woman returned the favor and brought me a taste of hers.
On the way to the ladies’ room, I found myself in the kitchen (what!) enrapt/distracted by a chef working on a bacon and pork roll. Meat magic in the making at Cochon Butcher.
Because it was the season, Laura and I couldn’t end our Twitter foodie adventure without sampling a tiny, homemade king cake. It was the perfect Mardi Gras-flavored ending to one of the best meals in town. This was the new side of culinary New Orleans I’d been looking for, and thanks to the guidance and company of a friendly local foodie, I found it at Cochon Butcher.
Cochon Butcher is located at: 930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans LA