The lure of New Orleans always revolves around the city’s utterly unique And we almost lost it there for a second. But tens of thousands of
Creole food and Delta music. For example, tell your clients to start their locals and out-of-state volunteers to this day won’t give up on the city
day with the Eggs Bayou LaFourche atop andouille Cajun sausage at following Hurricane Katrina, just like Holland and Italy won’t give up on
Brennan’s on Royal Street, with a couple of Mr. Funks (champagne, their singular sinking cities: Amsterdam and Venice.
cranberry and peach schnapps). Follow that with the flaming Bananas But maybe you’re thinking, enough of Katrina, already. Surely the
Foster desert, which was invented here, while the jazz clarinetist plays people have moved on and we can talk about something else. Here’s
in the courtyard. the thing, the storm is now part of the city’s cultural fabric as much as
Can I get an amen? That’s probably the most iconic dining experi- beignets and Bourbon Street. Most locals will sit you on their front porch
ence in New Orleans’ gastronomic ginormity, alongside obligatory stops with some sweet tea and talk your ear off about Katrina ’til the sun sets
at Emeril’s, Paul Prudhomme’s, Antoine’s, Arnaud’s and/or Galatoire’s over the bayou, because it was a momentous time in their lives. A ton of
(bring a jacket). good stories to be told, too, about how so many people came together
But there’s more to N’awlins than all that good eatin’. There’s the in a time of need. And some scary tales about being stuck in your attic
lacy wrought-iron, antebellum architecture of the French Quarter and while the water’s rising and live gators are swirling below. And more sto-
Garden District. And there’s the whole muddy Mississippi soul thing—a ries of loss. The boys in the band got all kinds of inspiration for singing
gumbo-like mix of Huck Finn spirit and Robert Johnson pathos. In ef- the Blues for the next century.
fect, this is America’s most original city and most European at once.