5 Days in New Orleans + Eating Recommendations

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It felt so good to be back in New Orleans, if only for a few days. I love the city even more now that I have children. Growing up less than an hour from New Orleans, with much of my extended living family living there, I was lucky enough to be heavily influenced by the cities rich culture, strong tastes, sounds, and sights. “Having” (poor us!) to fly in for a good friend’s wedding was a great way to kick off our annual Summer out of a Suitcase and I’d say we did so with a bang.

New Orleans may be notoriously known for Bourbon St., Mardi Gras, and a place for drive-thru daiquiris and jambalaya but there is so much more to it. The historic homes, the hospitality, the energy, the Spanish moss that hangs from the ancient live oak trees (what I miss the most living “north!”), the rotating smells of beignets, Tony’s Chachere’s or unwelcome sweat – I just love it all.

One thing that I’m most excited about is the burgeoning food scene (for non-traditional New Orleans food that is) that’s come to New Orleans in recent years. For someone who grew up on Southern/Cajun food and cooks it often at home, I’m not necessarily looking for those dishes when I travel there. I will say however, I could sit in the courtyard or balcony dining room of Brennan’s allll day. With the help of my cousin and sister, I was so happy to discover some non-New Orleans-y places to eat that I can’t wait to return to next time. I’ve listed them below along with some pictures from our trip, and a few other tips for anyone traveling there soon with little ones. Enjoy and thanks for reading! -Addie

Non-touristy places to eat in New Orleans:

  • Bearcat Cafe for Breakfast-whatever you order make sure you order the potatoes as your side!
  • 1000 Figs for Lunch– most beautiful and inventive, yet authentic, Mediterranean food I’ve ever had. The small space and light airy setting will make you feel like you’re at a friend’s for lunch.
  • St. James Cheese Company– Any time a restaurant has cheese in the title, I’m there. This is a great place for lunch or just an afternoon snack. Well-curated salads and sandwiches, not to mention a varied selection of artisan cheese. The girls enjoyed their very own chef’s board.
  • Reginellis for pizza to-go– If you’re ordering take-out this is a great option, just make sure you call the location nearest to where you’re staying!
  • Auction House Market for Dinner– Another awesome food hall in New Orleans where you can order a drink then choose from a variety of different dining options including Indian, sushi, empanadas, dessert and more. It has a great atmosphere with the sassiest bathroom I’ve ever seen.
  • District Donuts for breakfast or dessert.
  • Cochon Butcher for lunch or gourmet food items to go.
  • Dung Phuong in New Orleans East (or Little Vietnam) for French bread, pastries and a superb Banh Mi. This is a bit out of the way but has a scenic drive of old fish camps, bridges, and beautiful marshland. The spot recently won a James Beard award and while I’m not thrilled about having to possibly wait in line for some take home French bread, I’m so happy this family-run, long-time New Orleans business got some much deserved recognition.

A few other travel notes on the city if you’re bringing children….

  • You could trek to Cafe Du Monde and maybe have to wait in line, or you could head to City Park and have beignets at Morning Call.
  • Take the kids for a ride on the streetcar along the riverfront and hit up the aquarium (make sure to find the white alligator!) as well.
  • Storyland at City Park is a must.
  • We rented this adorable shotgun VRBO and can’t say enough good things about it.
  • This time of year, water, hats and sunscreen are essential!

That’s all folks! Thanks for tuning in and happy summer!

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Let’s stay in touch…



Fielder’s Grist Mill & a Recipe

Main, People, Visit

This is Mike Buckner. He is a gristmill master, restorer of trains & homes. He’s a caretaker of chickens, dogs, &  hogs. He’s a farmer of wheat, corn,&  sugar cane. A  father to a beautiful family& much more. He is a true hardworking Southern craftsman who owns & operates a historic water-powered gristmill in rural Junction City, Georgia. A few weeks ago, we had enjoyed a weekend in Georgia soaking up the country air with friends (you can read about strawberry picking here). I am finally getting around to sharing more photos of our trip. The highlight of the weekend was spending the day at Fielder’s Grist Mill with the Buckner family. They opened up their home & operation to us so generously on a Saturday. Surprisingly, we learned they are distant cousins of mine through my grandmother’s side! I knew I felt a connection with these people.  Aside from the grist mill, the property is also occupied by a beautiful plantation home, built by Mike Buckner himself with fields of crops and flowers, old trains being restored,  playful dogs, & a beautiful lake.

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Many people think it is called a grits mill, which would make sense but it is grist. Grist means grain. Fielder’s Grist Mill is named after Edlow Fielder, Mike Buckner’s grandfather. They product the freshest, tastiest, most authentic grits I have ever tasted which are ground right in front of your eyes from start to finish. The mill has been around since the 30’s I believe, run by generation after generation.

Staying focused on quality, old-fashioned grits, Mike Buckner seeks out pure, non-hybrid corn varieties. These varieties keep the oil content higher than hybrid varieties which makes for tasty sweeter grits, corn bread &the like. If he doesn’t grow the corn himself, he purchases it from Kentucky. Mike told us that people used to line up on the weekends with their own corn they grew for him to grind. There are other things to see aside from the grist mill, including the Buckner home. The home was originally located in another part of town but Mike Buckner took it apart, numbered every single piece of wood, moved it to his family’s property & re-built it. It took him ten years. After seeing it – I’d say was worth the wait.

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After being shown around by Mike. Buckner & his son, we left with one-pound bags of grits, corn meal, whole-wheat flour & some sugar cane syrup.  One thing I loved about spending time with the Buckner family is that not once did I hear them say they are “sustainable,” “organic,” or “green,” but they very much are in their own way.  There were no selling points or labels, although they could have very much used them. They grow their own food, gather eggs from their chickens, & keep their home & property in great condition with their bare hands.  It’s simply inspiring. I could have spent days on their property taking in how much tradition, nature & history was among us.

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We have a surplus of wild onions around town in Raleigh.  I have been picking them anywhere I can find them.Ffrom our yard, the farm that we are members of, even the side of the road. I can’t let a sweet wild onion or garlic chive go without entering into someone’s tummy! This past week I made a big batch of wild onion & cheddar cornbread muffins with the corn meal from Fielder’s. I love savory baked goods. These are great alongside a piece of steak or fish or just as a morning snack.

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Wild onion & cheddar cornbread muffins:


3 cups cornmeal

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 cups milk plus a splash of vinegar or buttermilk

2 local pasture centered eggs

1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup wild or green onions

1/2 cup melted butter or shortening


Preheat oven to 375- 400 degrees depending on your oven. Grease a 12 or more cup muffin tin. Sift the corn meal, baking soda & powder & salt. Combine milk & eggs. Add mixture to corn meal. Add grated cheese & onions then fold in melted butter or shortening until just combined. Don’t over mix. Distribute to muffin tin & bake until golden for about 20 minutes. Let cool before removing from muffin tin & enjoy! These freeze very well. To send them over the top, grind some black pepper over the muffins before baking.

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