Everybody knows when you come to French Quarter, you have to order a Hurricane, a frozen daiquiri and a Hand Grenade, but have you heard about Oceana’s Big Banana? Prepare to be wowed.
In our opinion, the Big Banana is the best of the signature French Quarter party drinks. They take a piece of Bananas Foster Ice Cream Cake and put it into a blender with Bacardi Rum, Stoi Vanilla Vodka and Bols Banana liqueur. Then they pour it into a curvy purple souvenir take-home cup and top it off with whipped cream and a cherry. Sound too decadent? Here in New Orleans, there’s no such thing as “too” anything. The Big Banana is permission to eat dessert first. Vacation officially begins with the first sip.
In our opinion, here’s how you should do Oceana next time you’re in town. First off, ask to be seated in the courtyard. It’s lovely out there. Then open the menu and let the good times roll. We started with Fried Eggplant Sticks and Gator Tail Bites for appetizers. Both were fabulous. The gator tail bites were half fried and half blackened. We’re still debating which were better. We also sampled the Louisiana Crab Meat Cakes, served with crawfish and mushroom cream sauce. It’s easy to see why it’s the most popular appetizer at Oceana.
The entrees, too, were wonderful. This is quintessential New Orleans food – the whole reason people come to New Orleans to eat in the first place. At our table, we ordered Red Beans and Rice with Cajun sausage, the Blackened Redfish Platter and the Fried Shrimp Platter. The platters came with french fries, cole slaw, and jalapeno hushpuppies, and you can add fried crawfish tails for just $5. Amazing.
Everything was fresh, hot and perfectly seasoned. The back-of-house team at Oceana clearly knows what they’re doing. And we found our waitress to be absolutely first rate as well –genuinely friendly and knowledgeable about New Orleans cuisine. Because we didn’t want to hurt her feelings (wink, wink), we ordered dessert. The King Cake was truly yummy. You don’t have to come during Mardi Gras to sample this New Orleans favorite – just go to Oceana.
If you’re a tourist, take a break from partying for a fabulous meal at this wonderful French Quarter restaurant. If you’re a local, get over there and get in on some of this! You won’t be disappointed.
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