I spent this past weekend in New Orleans. Yeah, that’s right – in the Big Easy. I learned a lot over the course of just three days. And, thought maybe a photo essay of the journey (I use ‘journey’ a lot now because of ABC’s The Bachelor) would be the best way to share.
Where it all began: A rough start
And the snow was only getting worse. Still, those nice people at the delta.com flight status board assured me that my 11am flight would be ‘on time’. And, I headed to the airport. Only to find that my flight had been canceled. And, I was rescheduled on a much later flight. Much much later….
But I made some friends which helped to pass the time….I mean we were all in the same situation….
And, we ate some food, and maybe drank a little – which helped:
And, we met all kinds of people during our long long wait…
After about 12 hours at LGA (with a detour to JFK and back), my flight finally took off and I was on my way…
Upon arrival just shy of midnight, a friend and I took a stroll – read elbow to elbow walk through very happy (read drunk) people on Bourbon St. We stopped just once to have a quick drink at a piano bar…nothing notable – then back to the hotel and to bed.
Saturday Brunch with Friends at Brennan’s in the French Quarter
There are a few things one must try in New Orleans…many of these are alcohol based:
For brunch, I had Eggs Sardou: an amazing plate of poached eggs on artichoke hearts and a bed of creamed spinach…Hollandaise sauce on the side:
And….Of course, we ordered cheese grits for the table. YUM.
For dessert…The Bananas Foster Flambe is a MUST:
That night, we all attended a wedding at The Foundry in the Warehouse District. A couple of things I didn’t know about New Orleans weddings.
1. After the ceremony, all guests join the bride and groom in what’s called ‘Second Line;’ – a brass band lead parade around the block. Really fun and a great way to get the party started.
2. Apparently….you can include a drag queen performance. This was our late night wedding entertainment:
After the wedding we not so wisely braved the crowds of people on Bourbon St. I mean, we just had to get giant drinks in collectible cups. A couple of notes about life on Bourbon Street:
1. There is no ban on open containers of alcohol…except that booze must be in a ‘go-cup’ which any bar will gladly give you as you walk out the door. In New Orleans, creating the most sugary, insanely boozed up cocktail and then crafting a desireable keep sake container, is a sport
2. While the drinking age is 21, New Orleans differentiates between the age of purchase and the age of consumption. SO….if you are 18, your mommy or daddy or guardian or creepy older boyfriend can buy you a drink and you are then allowed to drink it. This came in handy as we had an 18 year old with us.
We were back to the hotel after a quick dance at Oz – which made our gay friends happy as it’s a gay bar – and tucked in bed by the crack of 4am.
Sunday…We classed it up and went to one of the most historic and notable restaurants in town.
Galatoire’s Brunch (note the big meal at Galatoire’s is Friday lunch…but since we didn’t make it to New Orleans in time for that, Sunday brunch would have to do)
A few tips to fitting in at Galatoire’s:
1. Everyone has his/her own waiter…I mean like the regulars go back and request a specific waiter. Some of the waiters have been there for years…like 35 years. As we didn’t have such history, we were assigned a great waiter named Murphy – I highly recommend him!
2. Don’t ask to see a menu – no one who is anyone does that! Your waiter will guide you to the most amazing dishes – trust him.
3. Get the Oysters En Brochette. It’s oysters and bacon deep fried and delicious
4. Try the turtle soup. You can’t do that at Brennan’s because Brennan’s back yard has a pond with turtles basking in the sun…It would just be rude to order turtle soup there. Our waiter at Galatoire’s, Murphy, brought us a sample as he knows it’s a New Orleans must have
5. Go with someone who is willing to share. My dining date and I split the lamb chops with mushroom sauce and the redfish…Well, Murphy split it for us….And, a side of the creamiest most amazing potatoes au gratin:
6. And….Have a martini. It’s the right thing to do in such a cool, old school venue.
After brunch, we took a walk – read: tried to walk it off. We popped into Carousel Bar to visit with the newly married couple and have a vodka soda. Then took a food coma nap before preparing for dinner.
Emeril’s New Orleans: Sunday Dinner
This is Emeril’s original restaurant. It’s located in the warehouse district, so if you’re staying in the French Quarter…It’s a bit of a walk. Though, really, after all you’ve eaten, you should walk. We took a cab.
Because we were hungry – go with it, you’re in New Orleans – we ate:
And we also had….
Luckily, we also saved room for dessert. After all, we didn’t have dessert at Galatoire’s. At Emeril’s they have an amazing chocolate souffle…but, order it when you order your meal as it takes :30mins to prepare. Well worth the calories!
We paired it with a lovely Schramsberg rose.
Amazing dinner…and a great farewell meal. Definitely better than the eggs and grits I had at the airport Monday morning.
After our three day dining, drinking and wedding dancing extravaganza, I’m in love with New Orleans. And, while the good times certainly rolled this past weekend, the only thing rolling now is the fat on my satisfied stomach.
But the temporary weight gain is totally worth it. And, all I can say is: Get to New Orleans and laissez les bons temps rouler!