I wrote last week's blog about “things to do when you’re bored in New Orleans,” and since then I have received lots and lots of suggestions. I learned about cooking classes and a sailboat regatta and received a reminder to bring sunscreen to Jazz Fest. Thank you to everyone who sent me ideas! I’m sure I will never run out of things to do in New Orleans. Ever.


One thing I noticed, though, is that a lot of the ideas I received were focused around food. “Have a picnic in City Park.” “Have a shrimp po-boy just about anywhere.” “Try a Susan Spicer restaurant.”


This made me laugh because it really is true that New Orleanians are ALWAYS thinking about food. Before the Super Bowl, I was watching a segment on TV with Emeril Lagasse and he mentioned that when New Orleanians are eating a meal they’re always thinking about the next one. I have definitely found this statement to be true. There is so much to eat and there are so many restaurants and everything is good. Why wouldn't you be thinking about your next meal?


But while having a cornucopia of food options is fantastic, I’ve found it to be a tad overwhelming. Moving from a small-ish town to a city like New Orleans has been a whirlwind, particularly when it comes to the food situation. I say small-ish because I moved here from Columbia, Mo., a college town of about 110,000 people. It’s a big enough city to have a good dining and bar scene. It’s also big enough that there are always new restaurants popping up. When Chris and I first started dating, we made a restaurant list of the places we wanted to visit, so whenever we needed a date idea, we could go to the restaurant list and try a spot we had never been. It was a great idea, in our opinion, and we divided the list into Trashy and Classy places so we always had an option, even if we were just looking for a quick bite.


So now that Chris and I live in New Orleans, we have decided we need a restaurant list here and we're anticipating it to be pages longer than the Columbia list. Yet, we still have not started this list. We’ve talked about it and we’ve decided it’s my job to start the list since I read a lot about restaurants through this job, but I have not actually taken the time to put pen to paper – actually, more like finger to iPhone – to jot down all the eateries I want to visit. I think it’s because there are so many possibilities and I don’t know where to start. Should we try the more famous places first, or should we stick to local favorites? Should we stick to Cajun dining or try ethnic places? We live close to Metairie, but should we hit all the New Orleans places before trying all the Metairie places? SO MANY QUESTIONS!


The other problem is Chris and I like to go to the old stand-bys from life in the Midwest, such as Subway. We’ve even made a special trip to Elmwood just to have Chipotle. I know what you’re thinking: Chipotle and Subway??? Those are NOT New Orleanian. But on the nights we don’t feel like cooking and we’re hungry for something quick, we tend to say, “Let’s just go to Subway.”


But I’ve decided Chris and I need to put a little more effort into trying new restaurants. We’ve had delicious meals at lots of locals restaurants and I want to try more. I love the pizza at Domenica and the hummus at Mona’s, and Chris is a huge fan of the fried chicken at Chicken Sue’s on Harrison Avenue. I want to find more delicious places like these. I’m determined to try lots and lots of local restaurants this spring and summer, and I want to try to stay away from those last-minute Subway or McDonald’s jaunts. New Orleans is a city of food and I want to experience it as much as I can.


So with my list of suggestions from you guys about fun things to do in New Orleans on top of my forthcoming restaurant list, I’m going to be very busy and will hopefully have many more New Orleans adventures to share. Stay tuned.