The Best Soup and Service of My Life
Within the last month, I’ve been lucky enough to travel to two cities that have been at the top of my domestic travel list for quite some time, New Orleans and San Francisco. I had delicious food in both locations, and I definitely would like to spend more time in each city as each trip was only four days and three days in length, respectively. But the one experience that was above and beyond anything I’ve ever experienced at a restaurant was at the Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. This place has been around since 1893 and has earned many awards and accolades including six James Beard Foundation Awards.
I was worried about the place being pretentious as men had to wear a jacket and no flip flops were allowed, even for lunch service which was when we went. But my mind was quickly set at ease as soon as the hostess was showing us to our table. As we walked through the main dining room to the upstairs dining space, servers abruptly stopped what they were doing and greeted us and welcomed us to their restaurant.
The other thing that set me at ease was that they had $0.25 martinis. The server did tell us that you are limited to three of these with your meal. So a place can’t be that pretentious if they have martinis for this price. We ordered our drinks and when they arrived, there was mix-up which the server apologized profusely for, which really wasn’t a big deal.
I ordered the crawfish grilled cheese with a side of soup. I don’t remember the exact type of soup, all I remember was that this was the BEST and MOST FLAVORFUL soup I’ve ever had in my entire life!!! It was impressive how much flavor they were able to impart into this small bowl of liquid goodness. And the grilled cheese was excellent too with buttery, crunchy toast and the slight heat of pepper jack cheese. And that was the first time I’ve ever had crawfish (you northerners will call it "crayfish"). Luckily they were in bite-sized pieces on the sandwich, and not whole like the one they served in the middle of the plate. I have a thing about not liking meat to look like the animal when it was alive.
And to continue the amazing service, our server’s assistant (yes the waitstaff had assistants) came around halfway through the meal and offered a fresh glass full of ice water. As someone who drinks a lot of water with my meal and definitely prefers cold water to room temp, this was a really nice touch. Because usually, when they top off your water, you don’t get any additional ice with each pour, and your original ice has long since melted. So this was an unexpected delight!
And for dessert, I ordered the strawberry shortcake. The berries were sweet and the whipped cream was fluffy. The biscuit part was good, but not the best I’ve ever had. But between the flavorful soup and the beyond excellent service, I would highly recommend this place to anyone visiting New Orleans.
What has a restaurant done to impress you??
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