To me, New Orleans screams Food! Music! Culture!
I understand that the first thing some people think of when they hear New Orleans is BEADS! But trust me when I tell you that the city of New Orleans is much deeper than that.
Last month, John and I used one of our Delta Companion Certificates to get a quick taste of N’awlins.
We found a great deal on a gorgeous B&B just a few blocks from the French Quarter:
Jess, our host at Five Continents, was gentle, gracious, knowledgeable, and one heck of a cook.
Our first morning he served us Eggs Benedict but with thick slices of real bacon instead of that Canadian Impostor:
A couple of blocks from Five Continents is Li’l Dizzy’s:
Jess recommended we stop in for a taste of authentic soul food.
Say no more.
The place was packed with locals which is exactly the kind of places we love.
I ate the best piece of fried chicken I have ever eaten in my whole life.
Sorry MamMaw. But it is true.
I am not even sure how to describe the seafood gumbo other than it was an explosion of flavor.
Go there. It is a must.
We walked a lot while were were there just trying to take in all of the charm of the buildings and people.
Our favorite road to stroll down was Royal Street, or Calle Real, because of the talented musicians performing every other block.
We took a ferry over to Algiers, strolled the waterfront, and then parked ourselves on a bench and looked out over the Mississippi River:
The weather was perfect.
Our reservations for dinner were at Stella! our first night in town.
We ordered the 7 Course Chef Tasting and Wine Pairing. Prior to eating there I read that Chef Scott Boswell is all about “foods that shout with uniquely global voices.”
He was spot-on.
After dinner we walked to Frenchmen Street, where the locals go to soak up the authentic New Orleans music scene.
Our B&B host, Jess, recommended we go to jazz club Snug Harbor. Luckily, we arrived in time for the 10pm show:
The venue is small, intimate, and perfect for feeling the music.
The show was Delfeayo Marsalis and his Uptown Jazz Orchestra:
We explored more of New Orleans the next day and fell in love with the plantation style homes.
For a midday snack we headed to Cafe Du Monde for of course, coffee and beignets:
This was my first time eating beignets and I must admit, I was pretty darn excited about it.
The place was swarming with people and had a very touristy feel to it.
We devoured the beignets and succeeded with getting powdered sugar all over us:
But, we will definitely scope out a different cafe for our next trip.
Something with a more local feel.
For dinner that night we went to August, a Chef John Besh restaurant. Again, we ordered the Chef’s Tasting Menu and were blown away with the creativity of each course.
I look forward to eating at one of Chef Besh’s other restaurants the next time we visit New Orleans.
Our after-dinner plan was to head back to Frenchmen Street and go to the famous Spotted Cat, but we took a walk around the city instead.
We eventually ventured onto Bourbon Street to see the nightlife. I must admit it wasn’t at all what I was expecting.
I imagined it being a row of bars and dance clubs, which it was, but in my mind I always pictured it differently.
I was expecting it to be more like the South Beach nightlife I’ve encountered, but it was far from that.
Don’t get me wrong, I am glad we experienced it. It was certainly an interesting walk for people watching.
The part that amazed me the most about Bourbon Street was how completely different those several blocks were from the rest of the city. It was like an entirely different place all together.
We had a few hours before our flight the next day, so we strolled through a few neighborhoods and ingested more of the local culture.
Although we didn’t think we could possibly eat another bite, we set out to find Acme Oyster House – according to Jess, this was the place to go for crawfish.
He must be right because the line to get in was a couple of blocks long even though the restaurants on either side (serving similar cuisine) were empty.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to wait so we headed for another local place Jess recommended, Port Of Call:
It was exactly the kind of place we love. Locals everywhere all coming in for the cheeseburger and baked potato that they are so well known for:
We set off for the airport and boarded the plane with overfilled bellies and tight waistbands.
I hated that our trip was so short, but it was a perfect first taste of all the things New Orleans has to offer.
As we were landing into our local airport I looked out over where we live and a familiar feeling came over me.
I’m sure it’s the same feelings I have each time we come home from a trip.
I am thankful and blessed and humbled by all of the opportunities we have to experience in this life together.
At the same time, I’m also wondering how many days it will take to lose the pounds we just packed on.
Thank you, N’awlins!
You are full of Charm, Grace, Talent, Character, and Flavor.