As a serious eater with a commute where a MetroCard is no help at all, I was pleased to see restaurant critic Frank Bruni go beyond Gotham with his Coast to Coast series in the New York Times dining section. I was more pleased to see that one of the spots was in New Orleans, which happened to coincide with a previously planned day-job-related trip there. Make no mistake. Unless it's during Jazzfest or Mardi Gras, it's hard to eat badly in New Orleans.* Pound for pound, it's hard to think of a place that has such depth of excellence from haute to street. I lived in New Orleans for a year in the 1990s, return as often as I can, and had many excellent meals there long before Bruni had to worry about the diacritics on crème brûlée. While I knew that there were dozens of options within yards of the conference I was attending, I was excited about Cochon, and excited about being part of the conversation about Cochon.