King Cake Taste Testers Extraordinaire

When I do a race recap, I really try and combine the entire trip/race into one post. But I feel like New Orleans deserves a post of it’s own…mainly centered around the food. There was way too much to combine into one post. So, here is a pre/post race recap…

For the past four years of heading to Nola for this race, Mardi Gras has already ended. I LOVE Mardi Gras. I grew up with it (it started in Mobile) and miss getting to go on a regular basis. I also miss the KING CAKE. To sum it up, a king cake is a delicious pastry with gold, purple and green icing that you typically only get during Mardi Gras (pre-lenten season). It has a plastic baby in it and if you get the baby you will have good luck and the responsibility of providing the next king cake (or so tradition says).

Somehow this year, the race was BEFORE Mardi Gras.

It became a joke, but I basically spent 4 days in New Orleans on quest to find fabulous king cake around the city with a race expo and race in between. NOT KIDDING. I had 5 different types of king cake in 4 days. This is by no means the way to eat properly before a race. Any smart runner knows to not try new things and stick to simple diet before a race. I definitely know these things and threw it all out the window. Running in Nola doesn’t exactly make for easy “proper” eating anyway and I decided to enjoy every minute (and bite) of the entire trip.

1. I took an early flight to Nola Friday so that I could enjoy the day shopping and wandering around. My cousin Amanda and her husband Mike drove over for the night and we had a late lunch at Domenica (one of John Besh’s restaurants for you Top Chef fans). His version of King cake? AMAZING. It actually had a layer of caramel, bananas and marscarpone topped with a praline glaze and gold flecks. IMG_57471546270_10203021738047361_2088730088_n

Friday night the ATL girls, Abby, Kristin and Lauren got in town, and we went to dinner at Annunciation. It was early to bed because Saturday was going to be a long day.

2. After a team shakeout run to Cafe du Monde for beignets, I had an easy day planned.

Me and Abby enjoying beignets overlooking Jackson Square

IMG_5763I wanted to spend my morning at the expo on Saturday to participate in the #RNRTweetup and meeting a few bloggers I feel like I’ve “known”, meet up with Holly and Batch, hear a few lectures, and then show Abby, Kristin, and Lauren around the race expo (two first timers!).

me and Holly…back where we first met IRL!
social media session
Meeting new bloggers/twitter/social media peeps IRL for the first time!

I stocked up on Sparkly Soul bands, got a new fitletic belt (formally ifitness-left my old one in ATL by accident), stocked up on GU, and managed to ride a mechanical shoe. To say I spent more time at an expo than I have in long time is an understatement. IMG_5790 IMG_5791 IMG_5784

We were ravenous by the time we made it to Cochon Butcher for lunch. By far one of my favorite meals in New Orleans. I had the mufaletta and mac and cheese, followed by their version of king cake. Original, cinnamon style. Only fitting that their “baby” was a pig. This was a classic style king cake and did not disappoint. IMG_5792 IMG_5796

Saturday night I had the Team in Training inspiration dinner followed by my real dinner out at Maximo’s with Abby, Kristin, and Lauren. Somehow along the way I realized I forgot to get a bagel for breakfast, couldn’t find one in the city after dinner, and paid $8 for a room service bagel. Yes, one bagel for the price of 2 whole bags. Total experienced runner fail.

RACE RECAP COMING SOON….on to the post race…

3. When you run a race with TNT, you have to check in at the TNT tent post race. The New Orleans chapter really knows how to do a post race party. They had all the essentials: Zapps chips, pralines, and KING CAKE. Yes, my post race food involved a banana, chocolate milk, Nuun, and more king cake. I got the lesson from the locals on who had the best cake…and the one I had lived up to the hype. How insane that I was the first one to have a piece and I got the baby!!?! IMG_5818

4. After the race, I went to brunch with Abby, Kristin, and Lauren. It was close to 2 by the time we ate at Coquette and low and behold they had their version of a king cake sunday. Three different donut type balls with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream. I told yall we ate a lot.IMG_5831

We spent the afternoon on walking around Jackson Square and Bourbon Street before watching the super bowl.

things you can find all around New Orleans for entertainment...people trying to make $
things you can find all around New Orleans for entertainment…people trying to make $
a quiet bourbon street
a quiet bourbon street

5. I flew home early Monday morning and at my sisters request, brought her a king cake. This time, it was from the airport. Surprisingly, it wasn’t terrible. But it definitely wasn’t the best.IMG_5834

To say I needed a sugar detox is a major understatement. Each and every calorie was worth it. Kinda. 🙂 Skipping the scale for the next week or so. Bring on lent!

Do you follow a strict diet before a race? Have you been to New Orleans? Ever had a king cake? 

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  • I can’t believe you ran so fast (oops, race spoiler alert) after eating all that crap. Very impressive digestive system!!
    And, I’m jealous you got to ride the shoe. We didn’t have time in Phoenix!

  • Looks like such a blast. I do not follow any strict diet. I have been to NOLA but too long ago. No king cake for me, but I’d be all over it if I had the opportunity. You’re right, I’d gag if I had to spend $$$ on my hair. Many of my friends do. I guess I’m low maintenance. Ha!

  • dont hate me… but i actually don’t really like king cake. I know, I know I”m a disgrace. Looking at your photos makes me want bangs again… then I remind myself how they don’t lay right because of my cowlick= so i’ll just swoon over yours.

  • So glad I got to meet you at the Expo, I just love your blog! I love your Oiselle clothes as well, I am a hige Oiselle addict, I can’t stop ordering. Did you try Randazzo King Cake, word on the street is they are the best in NOLA. I have worked for two companies with deep NOLA roots and they ship them in to Mobile,

    Hope you had a great race!!

  • Ok, I must go to New Orleans now so I can try all this yummy looking food!!! It looks like you had a blast. This is going to be on my race schedule for next year for sure.

  • I’ve never been to New Orleans but my friend’s husband is from there and they always fly in for Mardi Gras and the kids always are princes and princesses on floats and shit like that. I’ve never had king cake, but every year my kids’ school has Galette Day which I think is on Epiphany? Not sure…it’s some French tradition. The cake is pretty specific but like those king cakes, there are variations on the theme. And there is that little thing (they call it the fève or maybe it’s fêve) that tries to break your teeth but means you’re the KING…le roi de galette. All the kids who don’t get it always feel bad. But I guess that’s a pretty French thing, too.

    Can’t wait to hear about your awesome race!

  • Ugh, would you believe that you can’t even find King Cake in Orlando? Sigh.

    All the cakes looked good, but that caramel one looks DIVINE!

    Can’t wait to read your race recap!

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