Don and I haven't dined out a whole lot, during the pandemic.
But in November 2021, we had a dining adventure or two, in New Orleans. On the day before Thanksgiving, we joined my brother and sister-in-law for a fun mini-adventure at Stein's Market and Deli.
We walked from our hotel to the deli, located on Magazine Street. There were lots of signs on the weathered door. The sign in the center got my attention. "No Mask No Service".
Nola doesn't seem like the safest city to visit, during a pandemic. I don't think it attracts the kind of people who like to follow rules. But we heard that restaurants and bars in the French Quarter were requiring vaccination cards. Suddenly dining out sounded safer and more appealing.
Masks and Card Requirement?
Actually no one "carded" us at the deli. Maybe they have different rules in the Lower Garden District.
But, Don, Chris, Karen and I were vaccinated and we were hungry. We headed in.
Where are we?
Once we were inside the hip little joint, I suddenly felt like I was somewhere far from New Orleans.
I didn't spot any Mardi Gras beads, so it didn't feel like Louisiana. It seemed a little friendlier than NYC. I spotted some medical scrubs and a few hipster hats... some possible students and professors... I'd say it most felt like we were in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
We stood in line and read the menu. There were no Shrimp Po-Boys on the menu. No Cajin this and Creole that. That's okay, we've sampled all that on past trips.
Stein's is a Jewish-Italian deli, so we had other options. We could order Bagels or a Meatball Sub. Or maybe Chopped Liver and Matzah Ball Soup!
After ordering we were able to grab a few stools, at the end of a long table, across from a case of meat and cheese. I heard they have 50 different kinds of cheese, from all over the world.
I studied the staff behind the counter as we waited for our order. I don't think I spotted anyone who could have been the owner, Dan Stein. He evidently moved from Philadelphia to Nola and opened this place in 2007.
Chris and Karen got their food first. They wisely split a Ruben sandwich. I was pretty sure I made the wrong choice when I saw their yummy feast on swirly bread.
I watched the masked staff bustle behind the counter, while I waited for my sandwich. Each time an order came up, there was a muffled announcement that totally confused me. Twice, I eagerly rushed up, only to be turned away. "Oops! Sorry, I thought you said..."
Finally our order was ready. Don ordered the Stein's version of a Muffuletta sandwich.
It was made with Mortadella, Molinari Sopressata, Tuscan ham, Aged Provolone, House-Made Olive Salad, on Ciabatta.
My Egg Salad was just a little lacking in flavor, but it still sort of hit the spot.
Don and I each had a half of a sandwich left. We packaged up the leftovers and meandered back to the hotel.
We took our time, studying all the beautiful homes. By the time we reached our hotel on St.Charles Street, I'd worked up an appetite!
Glad to have those leftovers! Perfect!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.