New Orleans – the recap!

Oh, New Orleans. There’s so much romanticism to the place while carry such a heavy and dark history underneath it all. I love that it’s got Southern charm but it still has plenty of grit to keep things grounded. The thing that’s so baffling about this visit for me is that New Orleans is so close to me in Houston and somehow I’ve never visited as an adult. It’s like living in New Jersey and never visiting New York City. Either way this trip has been long overdue and I can’t way to go back to visit our gulf coast neighbor.

If I had to sum up my trip in four photos, it’d be these:

First, the critters! The good news is that Gambit was found!

The bad news is that Princess Tiana was picked up, but never checked in. If you or someone you know has Princess Tiana, let me know!

11/25/19 UPDATE: TIANA’S BEEN FOUND! And she has a new home in Illinois! Both critterdrops in NOLA were a success! 🙂

Tiana

Otherwise here’s my other thoughts from my trip:

  • The French Quarter – The French Quarter is the heart of where every tourist should start out. Gorgeous architecture paired with all the hustle and bustle of a party town that seriously never stops.

  • Willie Mae’s – holy shit, the hype is real. Easily the best fried chicken I’ve ever had, and we’ve got some pretty damn good fried chicken spots here in Houston. Skin was crisp and seasoned perfectly, the meat was juicy and piping hot. I miss it already. I’m just sad they were out of bread pudding because I would’ve killed that plate so fast.

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  • Cafe du Monde – no visit to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Cafe du Monde for some beignet! I made it a point to come at night (the place is open 24 hours), and even though it was still busy, it was MUCH more manageable in the later hours.

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  • Muffulettas at Central Grocery – I love muffulettas, but I actually prefer mine with toasted bread. It was still good for me to try the original though!

  • I like making cocktails at home as a hobby, so I tried as many NOLA origin cocktails at their respective birthplaces as I could. I’ve discovered a new love for Sazeracs, love a good French 75, and had a fantastic Ramos Gin Fizz. The vieux carre on the other hand felt like someone’s grandpa dumped all his leftover liquor into a glass and called it a day, haha.

  • Happy hour at Superior Seafood – holy hell. Every day from 4-6:30pm oysters are 50 cents and draft beers are $3. My SO and I killed 3 dozen oysters without breaking the bank and it was GLORIOUS. (RIP to my little shelled friends)

  • Coop’s – to be honest I was a little disappointed by the gumbo there? Maybe it was an off day, but I didn’t expect it to be so thin.
  • Snake & Jake’s: I met Peeve the bar dog and HE’S THE BEST THING EVER. I straight up switched seats with my SO at the bar so I could sit next to Peeve. 🙂 A lot of locals told me Snake and Jake’s is the kind of place you end up at when your night’s about to go south, but I showed up earlier in the evening and had a fantastic time chatting it up with other bar patrons and smothering the hell out of Peeve because he’s the GOODEST BOI. And you can buy him a “shot” (small cup of kibble) for a minimum $2 donation to charity!

  • Aside from a few surly bartenders in the quarter, everyone was so damn friendly and ready to give all sorts of amazing recs! Folks in New Orleans have a lot of pride in their city and they’re not afraid to share it with the world.
  • The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum – my dayjob is in healthcare, so of course I’m going to visit this one! I was actually surprised at how crowded it was…I didn’t think so many people would be interested, but I guess for $5 it’s something different to bring people in. I saw the glass catheters on display and was like NOPE. SO MUCH NOPE.

  • Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop and Bar – It’s supposed to be the oldest bar in America, and it cracked me up how a historic building like this is now a bar that serves frozen dimetapp voodoo daiquiris. We got one to-go because why the hell not.

  • Jewel of the South & Cure – both were fantastic cocktail bars, but we loved Jewel of the South so much that we visited twice.

  • Sazerac House – HOW IS THIS IS FREE??? Sure, I get that it’s one huge advertising gig for the Sazerac brand, but holy shit. You just show up with your ID (it’s 21+ only), and you get access to a really cool interactive museum and free cocktail samples. Really can’t go wrong with that.

  • The Fly – I didn’t get a chance to see much of Audobon Park, but I at least wanted to watch the sun set over the Mississippi at the The Fly. It was nice to have some quieter moments away from the parties and the madness of the French Quarter before diving back in.

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  • Music Box Village – I had loads of fun here! A bit off from the usual tourist trail, the Music Box Village is a collection of art and sound installations full of fun and quirky sound machines where visitors are encouraged to play around and make as much noise as they want from each little shack. I’m one of those nosy types who’ll be tempted to press unmarked buttons, so this was perfect for me to run around and play with funky sound contraptions.

  • “Thanks, I hate it moments”, but I did them anyway because they’re still essential for the tourist checklist: Got a hand grenade (didn’t finish it because I wanted to make it through my day alive), visited Jackson Square (SO CROWDED), and walked down Bourbon on a busy night. I ended up with glitter on my pants and I don’t know how it got there.

  • Preservation Hall – Seeing a jazz show was on my to-do list and I absolutely LOVED Preservation Hall. The wait for tickets was painless, and the small space made for a fantastic show experience. I’ve been told that Frenchmen Street is even better for the live music scene, I’ll have to check it out next time!

  • Things I’ll have to do on a return visit: see more of the Garden District, spend more time at Audobon Park, visit the WWII museum, get a po’ boy (we walked past Verti Marte but we were too full from stuffing our faces elsewhere to grab one), EAT SOME CRAWFISH (if it’s in season!), browse through Frenchmen St., maybe even take a side trip to the Abita brewery and mystery house.
  • Thank you, New Orleans, for showing this Texan a good time! I’m sure I’ll be back soon enough, NOLA is too close to home for me to keep away!

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