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Trip Report Fun Time in New Orleans

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I'm just back from 4 days in New Orleans where we had a great time. It had been about 7 years since my last visit so it was interesting to see where some things changed....and where many didn't! Our activities included visits to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art (enjoyed very much) and the World War II Museum (exhibits hadn't changed since my last visit but is still worth the trip and time), and then, of course, lots of time wandering around the French Quarter and shopping (there and in other locations). Shopping highlights included many samplings of pralines and our vote for the best is at Laura's (but we didn't buy any since they don't wrap individually and that wouldn't work for us). I did buy tortues at Southern Candy and they're great (they're like turtles...pecans, caramel and chocolate). Stores in the quarter that were interesting were Save NOLA in the Jax Brewery, Dashka Roth (lots of unique, well-priced jewelry), Rouse's supermarket (worth a look even if you don't need groceries) and Kitchen Witch (new, used and vintage cookbooks). Lots of interesting shops and galleries on Magazine Street and we especially liked Fleurty Girl, Buffalo Exchange and Francesca's. There was a really interesting gallery a few shops down from Fleurty Girl where they created art with Mardi Gras beads (but unfortunately, I didn't write down the name).
Now....onto the food! The only favorite in the Quarters was the muffaletta at Central Grocery.....well worth the 1/2 hour wait. It was my first stop in the Quarter and I took it up to the riverbend to eat and watch the boats pass by. I wish they had a stand at the airport! We had brunch in two amazing places. Saturday was at Elizabeth's and we went a little on the early side (10:30ish) and were able to get in right away. LOVE that praline bacon and the hash browns. Service is great, wonderful on refills and an all around great experience. If they were open on Monday, we would have gone back. Sunday's brunch was at Dante's Kitchen and it was also superb. We were there at 10:30 when they opened so had our choice of rooms. Raves for their biscuits and homemade jam and grits with cheddar cheese.
One special dinner was a Cochon. The Fodors book indicates that they don't take reservations but they do now and are almost a must. We called too late for a reservation on Saturday, but managed to get in without waiting by arriving just before they opened at 5:30. I had the brisket and it was very good (loved the special side of roasted bok choy) but I wasn't so wild about the horseradish potato sald that came with it. My dining companion had one of the specials, which she liked, but it was interesting that they wouldn't let her exchange the creamed spinach it came with for something else (she's not a spinach fan). We shared the moon pie dessert and that was the highlight of the dinner. It's two oatmeal and dried cherry cookies with honey marshmallow and Dr. Pepper sherbet.
As many people have said previously, there's never enough time in NO for all the great places to eat!

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