Fung brothers David and Andrew are back, and this time, they’ve taken to New Orleans, a city that’s rich in culture and steeped in history. That also goes for the culinary aspect of it, too.
The Fung bros start their day off at the Envie Espresso Bar & Cafe, where many people who work in the Latin Quarter of New Orleans get their morning fixes. Chef Derek Norris shows us how to make his restaurant’s famous Breakfast in a Go Cup. What is it? It’s literally a hearty New Orleans breakfast in a cup. It’s one of the best selling items in the cafe thanks to it’s amazing flavor and convenience. For just $8, you get grits, eggs, bacon, boudin sausage (a white sausage particular to Louisiana whose name the brothers are quite fond of), and country gravy (which contains half a pound of butter! They don’t mess around in New Orleans). $84 left
Second stop: David and Andrew hit up The Munch Factory, where Chef Jordan (aka the Gumbo Guru) and his wife Alexis (aka the Munch Matriarch) serve authentic New Orleans food based on recipes that date back a hundred years. In the kitchen, Jordan adds smoked ham, andouille sausage, and sauce to the pot. He follows up with onions, celery and garlic for flavor. While that’s cooking, he makes the dark brown roux sauce from oil and flour, and adds oysters, crab and shrimp to the mix. The roux is drizzled on top of rice, ham and sausage to make the smoky, rich dish known as gumbo. At $6.50 per bowl, the Fung bros still have $71 left.
Cafe Adelaide is where you can find “old creole recipes with a playful spin.” The brothers decide on the Shrimp and Tasso Corn Dog, which isn’t really a corn dog at all. In fact, it’s shrimps deep fried on a skewer, so I guess you can call it a “shrimp dog.” The deep fried crust is infused with a cured ham called Tasso, and the dish is served with pickled okra, five pepper jelly, and crystal hot sauce butter on top with chicory greens on the side, making for a unique kind of surf and turf that’s only $8.50 per plate. $54 left.
Andrew and David take to the Parkway Bakery with $54 total to spend. The bakery, which was established in 1911, is famous for its po’ boy sandwiches. So famous, in fact, that even President Obama enjoyed one. Justin Kennedy, whose family took over the bakery in 2003, explains the history of the po’ boy sandwich. The sandwich, originally called the poor boy, came about in 1929 during the Great Depression and consisted of potatoes and gravy in French bread. But at the Parkway Bakery, it’s not served in just any French bread— it’s New Orleans French bread, which is crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The brothers opt for a fried oyster version of the sandwich and have it “dressed” with mayo, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. The fried oysters are locally sourced and fresh as they come, and the sandwich is about as big as your forearm and weighs in at $13, leaving the brothers with $28 left for desserts.
There’s plenty of unique and unusual desserts to choose from in New Orleans, and the Food Drunk Food Truck offers one of them, called the King Cake Burger, for $10. It’s an ordinary burger patty with melted cheese served with a king cake bun, a sweet, sugary and colorful bread traditionally served during Mardi Gras. If you’re looking to try something even more adventurous, there’s always the Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake at Jaques-Imo’s for $9.75, which makes for a “sweet, savory and wild” end to a meal.
But the focus of this episode’s dessert is the city’s famous beignets, which you can find at SoBou, a restaurant established in 2012 which features some of the best chefs under the direction of Head Chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez, aka the “Boss of Beignets.” In addition to the pork belly steam buns and baby kale salads, Gonzalez is also known as the “Boss of Beignets” (at least to those watching What the Fung?!) for making some truly unique versions of the donut-like dessert. We go behind the scenes and watch the three of them make sweet-potato, coffee-braised duck beignets with fois gras fondue.
Start with chicory coffee braised duck legs, add sweet potatoes, green onions, thyme, flour, baking powder, water, eggs, milk and creole seasoning to the batter, and fold all the ingredients together. Next, head to the deep fryer to cook each beignet to a golden brown color (about 4 minutes). Last, top with powdered sugar, add foie gras sauce (aka “duck liver butterscotch”) and chicory coffee sauce to the bottom of the plate, place the beignets in a row, and top them with green onions and even more fondue before serving. It’s a rich dish like most of the other dishes in the city, but the sweet potato manages to balance out the coffee and deep fried goodness of the dessert. Each plate of 4 beignets costs $12, leaving the brothers $4 to spare at the end of the day.