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Maxim’s New Orleans Mardi Gras Food Guide

Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St

The place:
A favorite of Anthony Bourdain's, this restaurant serves traditional Cajun dishes with a fancy, delicious modern twist. Fun fact: "Tchoupitoulas" was the Aztec god of throwing up into a stripper's bra.

The food:
Cane Syrup Glazed Pork Cheeks With Mushrooms & Roasted Corn Grits


Cameron's take:
These little nuggets of joy are braised to tender perfection. They fell apart in my mouth as my will fell apart in their hands – I got six more orders to go.

Nick's take:
I'd never had pork cheeks before (except as a nickname in gym class, sadly), and I was expecting them to be a little tough. I couldn't have been more wrong: these had the texture of short ribs, and were so deliciously meaty that I wanted to weep tears of pure porky joy. 

Fried Boudin With Pickled Peppers


Cameron's take:
This is like Italian Arancini for advanced users. The rice and breadcrumbs absorb all the liver’s goodness and blow apart in your mouth like a tasty, tasty time bomb.

Nick's take:
For the uninitiated, boudin is pork-liver sausage, mixed with rice, breaded and deep fried. It's even better than it sounds. If you don't eat this at least once in your life, people in Heaven will laugh at you.

Louisiana Cochon With Turnips, Cabbage, Pickled Peaches & Cracklins


Cameron's take:
This ball of juicy pork (served with a side of pork) is far subtler than you would imagine it to be. Not that it isn’t fatty and salty and face-stuffingly delicious, because it totally is.

Nick's take:
The restaurant’s signature dish is a mountain of pulled pork, formed into something the size and shape of a cannon ball and served with the fancy version of pork rinds. I had to be resuscitated three times while eating this, and I regret nothing.


Rabbit & Dumplings


Cameron's take:
This beautiful coming-together of rabbit meat, hearty vegetables, and tasty dough is served in the cast iron dish that it is cooked in. Do your best not to eat straight through the skillet.

Nick's take:
Essentially a thick, succulent rabbit stew served with four giant, cloud-fluffy biscuits welded in place by the sheer density of the surrounding liquid, this is one of the most mouth-meltingly wonderful things I’ve ever eaten. Being British, that might not count for much, but it’s still the truth.

Banana Pudding


Cameron's take:
It wouldn’t be a trip to the south without some banana pudding with wafers (in this case, delicious chocolate chip cookies). Top that off with moonshine whipped cream and you got something that both Jethro and I can agree is tastebud-exploding (in the best possible way).

Nick's take:
Served in a mason jar and layered with crumbled up cookie and candied macadamia nuts, this is the work of a demented genius. Had there not been witnesses, I would have smeared this stuff all over my body and then licked it off myself. Then I would have realized I’d made a strange, terrible mistake and asked for a spoon.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake


Cameron's take:
The swamp waters parted and I felt like I was on the South American beach with this coconut, pineapple, lime, and dulche de leche concoction. There was a disappointing lack of swimsuit models, though.

Nick's take:
It’s not as memorable as the banana pudding, but the combination of cake, lime sorbet and ducle de leche is awesome. At least, that’s what I was apparently muttering after falling face first into this dessert in a glorious food coma.

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