Brahmama - Back from N'Orleans

Jun 12th, 2008, 01:29 PM
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Brahmama - Back from N'Orleans

I probably just hit a dry spell, but couldn't get many answers when I posted, so I thought I'd do a Trip Report in case anyone is thinking of going there. Hope this helps.

Disclaimer - THIS TRIP REPORT IS JUST MY OPINION!

Thursday, June 5

We had a long wait at DFW but still got to New Orleans about 3:00 PM and got our bags right away. Took a taxi to the Hotel Monteleone and it was about a 15 minute ride for $28 plus tip. The first room was fine and had a King Bed, but the AC sounded like a threshing machine, so we moved on up to 15. We had room 1541 - not too big , but with 2 great comfy double beds and a nice bath. Room was just fine with everything we needed. Not much view. The room stayed as cool as we wanted and absolutely no noise at. We are opposite the ice machine (!) But once the door was shut, we never heard it.
I called housekeeping for extra coffee (regular) and extra towels and also to request the room be cleaned by noon daily. One day it was later, DH had gone back to rest his knee so I called Housekeeping again and someone came right away.

We walked around as soon as we unpacked but couldn't get the $1.50 Bloody Mary at Mr. B's so walked on down to the Old Absinthe Bar for old time's sake. I had a ****Bloody Bull (great) complete with pickled green beans and okra & DH had Bourbon and 7 & then switched to a Bloody Bull. Then we met Judy and decided to skip Mr. B's and go to the House of Jazz for their famous Shrimp Voodoo served with their sauce and cornbread on top. The sauce was good, but only 7 medium shrimp! *($11.95) Also had 2 white wines ($5.00) which were nice. If you go there, try to get a very nice waitress named Stephanie - out of Honduras. We left there and finally found Olivier's Creole Restaurant*** (which was actually right across the street, but we walked around the block or two before we got smart!) Eli was our server there and I had 2 great appetizers, Eggplant and Mushrooms and a complimentary salad with killer dressing along with a glass of Cotes d Rhome. Will had pecan crusted oysters (which I loved) and eggplant and a salad and Judy got the Salad and Creole Rabbit which was good but was the rib portion instead of the leg so it was a little tougher and hard to cut.

Then DH went to the room after a stop at Walgreen's. His knee is bothering him even with pain pills J and I walked on down Bourbon and found the Cafe Beignet with the courtyard with 3 musicians, banjo, bass, and trumpet. Very nice ***. We sat there about 30 minutes - then reluctantly back to the hotel. Took a long bath and nearly fell asleep and then to sleep in the Hotel Monteleone's GREAT BED!

To be continued if anyone is interested......
Brahmama is offline  
Jun 13th, 2008, 06:49 AM
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Thanks for the trip report. Keep going!
bkluvsNola is offline  
Jun 13th, 2008, 01:55 PM
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Ok, just for you, bk!

Friday, June 6

Up early (about 7:45 AM) and fixed coffee in the room. Met J and in the lobby there were M and Jody checking in, so we walked on to Cafe de Monde**** for Cafe au Lait and Beignets. J & M joined us really fast. We had a great table with lots of breeze and a nice Korean waitress whose birthday is tomorrow and of course Jody's is today so we sang to each other a while! After sitting there and catching up - we sauntered down the street to the House of 2 Sisters where we sat at the bar with Linda the Bartender and all had a couple of Milk Punches*** which we ALL enjoyed! Then we walked down Royal looking at (and in) the shops and then we ended up at the House of Napoleon*** where most of us tried a Pimm's Cup (very good) and Will and I split a great muffaletta with their great olive sauce. We also had a package of Zapp's and a Borq's Root beer and a tea. Beth turned up about 12:30 with a cane for DH and J came in about 1:00 (she had to go back to her hotel for a conference call) After lunch Jody and DH went to hotel as his knee is really hurting him.

The rest of us walked around - Riverwalk and the French Market. The French Market is ALL flea market now and NO produce at all. What a shame. then we walked back to the hotel to rest for a while. Marc and Barb (M&B) are in now after driving all day and checked in their B&B so we talked to them. B & J and DH and I went to the House of Jazz*** for their live local music (free on Friday) and 2 for 1 wines. So J and I had the white wine again. DH & B had a bloody Mary. Great music - super local stop.

Then about 8:00 we 4 walked down to Irene's **** for Jody's B'day dinner. The 8 of us got there about 8:30 and we did have reservations so not long to wait. It was excellent and would have had 4 1/2 or 5 stars except for the unbelievable noise level - Too many people mashed in the room and everyone hollering with the noise rocking off the ceiling. We would go again, but only on a week-night.

But we had a great waiter - Jonathan (You're the Man). DH had the Veal Marsala and I had the Fish Special (Almondine) and we shared a very good salad with mozzerella cheese. We bought the table a bottle of white wine and J & M bought the red wine. I had a bite of Jody's creme brulee which was the best ever. We treated B to dinner. Lovely time. Walked down Bourbon Street - singing and laughing all the way - but no stops - to our hotel. To bed about 11:00 PM. The rest of them (younger ones - stayed up later!)
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Jun 13th, 2008, 02:15 PM
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WannabeinaMontserrat
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Keep it coming...
 
Jun 14th, 2008, 07:05 PM
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Saturday, June 7

We slept in and then had coffee in the room We all met at 10:30 to the tour Le Monde Creole** There were 8 of us and it was pretty good with lots of history. The reason for the low mark was the very long time spent in the cemetery and missing one of the courtyards that was advertised. (Pharmacy which was the one we most wanted to see) At the cemetery there was no place to sit (of course) but also hardly any shade or breeze. After seeing the Laura family tomb and Marie La Vieux, I was ready to go!

We finally left and walked down to Arnaud's casual Remoulade restaurant**** for Shrimp Arnaud's and a Bloody Bull. The owner's daughter gave us a tour of the Mardi Gras Museum upstairs and told us the haunted stories etc.

Then back to the hotel to rest and cool off. We met in the lobby at 4:30 and walked to the IMAX down at the Mississippi to see "Hurricane on the Bayou". $7.50 for Seniors. $8.50 for others. It was very good and worth seeing.****

Then we walked to Olivier's Creole Restaurant that was so good on Thursday night, but not so good tonight. We were seated upstairs and there were 2 huge tables 12/14 people - I ordered the Pecan crusted oysters again, and oh dear, there was a baby pearl in one which I crunched down on, breaking off a cusp of an upper bicuspid tooth. We also had gumbo and a chicken dish which was good and the salad was good again. (But I couldn't eat much because of my tooth) Another glass of Cotes d Rhome for me. Barb ordered the beef bourguignon which she had to send back - couldn't cut it with her knife. Noone was particularly impressed here tonight ** which was a disappointment because it was so good Thursday night.

Then back to hotel and the Carousel Bar.**** Since Judy had left, we gave her free drink tickets to Marc & Barb so all had a free drink. I had a wonderful Truffletini**** (raspberry) and then a Vieux Carre**. and Will had Milk Punch.

The Piano Bar started out great - Gloria? - but the mood never changed from the sad love songs - and she took no requests and just did her set. So it got depressing and sad! We noticed that everyone was kind of fading and quiet at all the tables, and then we got tickled about that so we started laughing and cracking jokes and had a good time anyway! DH and I went to bed early about 10:00. The others went to Harrah's and J won enough money for a couple more meals!
Brahmama is offline  
Jun 15th, 2008, 02:55 AM
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Great trip report! Thanks for taking the time to do it and whether or not I agree with you, it sounds like you had a good time in New Orleans and that's all that matters. Hope your DH's knee gets better - we were there one time when my DH's knee was bad and while I enjoyed wandering everywhere alone, he was pretty fussed just sitting around.
ccolor is offline  
Jun 16th, 2008, 12:22 AM
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ccolor,
Thanks for the comments.Since your DH had the same knee problem, you know what it was like. Not near as much fun for him, but he was a good sport. He even is talking about wanting to go back - AFTER knee surgery that is!

Here's another day in Nawlings:

Sunday, June 8

We decided to have a light breakfast in the Hotel***. I had the Jambalaya Breakfast and DH had the American. Quite reasonable. I had cheese grits, eggs, smoked sausage and fruit and toast.He had eggs, bacon, potatoes fruit and toast. Light breakfast???

We met the group at 11:30 AM and made our way to Mr. B's for the Jazz Brunch.*** I worried that I had too much breakfast, but it worked out just fine as we didn't eat until about 1:00 PM. Pam joined us about 1:30 PM having gotten lost because of shut-off streets in the Quarter (for pedestrian traffic) Now we are 8 again. I had their Bloody Mary which was good, but not as good as the Absinthe Bar's!

I tried to talk someone into having the signature dish, New Orleans BBQ shrimp**** (which isn't done on the grill but in a dark sauce) but no one wanted the mess, so I ordered it myself. They brought me a bib (which I needed) and extra napkins and lemon and hot towels at the end. I was glad that I had it - very tasty.

DH had pork debris over biscuits with poached eggs with hollandaise sauce and B had gumbo. I can't remember the others had but all were happy. Then I ordered the bread pudding** to share - big mistake. Commander's Palace was noted for that - not Mr. B's and I got mixed up. It was just so-so and not enough sauce.

The music was good. There was a trio and they moved around from place to place. The banjo player had a good personality but the others didn't look like they were having fun. Since my daddy played the banjo, I enjoyed hearing some of the same tunes.

After we ate we walked down to the French Quarter and shopped and looked around museums for a couple of hours. The Napoleon Exhibit was still in town. Also the Festival of Flowers was going on with members of many of the Mardi Gras Crewes taking part. There were dozens of lovely women with white antebellum dresses and crowns - and others with orange sashes and straight white dresses. Also men in their white tuxes and little girls and boys dressed like their elders. We took a carriage ride and the parade passed right by us. They threw flowers and Pam gathered a whole bouquet. We had a purple carriage and a driver dressed in purple - Beth picked him out and he was very good.

After the Carriage Ride we walked all the way along the River to Algiers Street Ferry (free) and took it RT across. If we were to give anything a miss, it should have been this! It only took about 10 minutes each way, it was HOT on the ferry and a long way to walk.

When we got back, M&B took a taxi to their B&B and the rest of us hoofed it back to the hotel to clean up and rest. About 7:45 pm we met in the lobby and walked to Pere Antoine's.

It was a casual, moderately priced place with ceiling fans and open windows and we were comfortable. 4 of us ordered red beans, rice and smoked sausage. I ordered Creole Tilapia on Eggplant and DH had a shrimp po-boy with Remoulade sauce. B had blackened chicken and P had a Cajun pasta. The food was just fine.*** They did split the check(most places wouldn't) but added a 20% gratuity but P didn't notice and tipped extra!

Then we walked around a bit - and much to our surprise the Quarter was jumping (Sunday night). We were in and out of bars - mostly looking! We didn't want another drink and too hot to stay in the bars so had to listen from the street. P took a taxi to the hotel and the rest of us went back to the Cafe de Monde for Cafe au lait and beignets again. Delicious - but couldn't eat them all!

M&B said goodbye and left for their B&B and won't join us tomorrow. The rest of us made our way back to the Hotel with DH's knee really hurting him. Only one more day in N.O. (sad)
Brahmama is offline  
Jun 17th, 2008, 06:18 AM
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Keep it coming - want to know about the last day.
bkluvsNola is offline  
Jun 17th, 2008, 09:51 AM
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bkluvsNola,wannabeinamontseraat, & ccolor,

Hey guys, thank you for the encouragement! It was good to know that someone out there was actually reading this.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Last day. Always a bit sad. We enjoyed the Hotel Monteleone so much. Very good service - friendly helpful people. Lovely rooftop pool & and that great bed. We checked out around 10:45 & took our luggage to P's car. The guys went by Streetcar but Will's knee wasn't up to it. No more walking for him until we get to the airport.... And our last meal, was the best!

Commander's Palace *****
Oh my gosh. So much has been written about this place. I concur with all the raves. The people were fantastic, the presentation was the best ever (Service was equal or better to the Specialty Restaurants on the best Cruise ships) and the food was my favorite of the whole trip. We each started with a quarter martini. I had the Cosmos. The garlic toast was awesome and replenished quickly - along with new glasses if our ice began to melt (!) and new napkins if we left the table for a moment.

I ordered the special of the day - She-Crab Bisque for my starter and then Redfish smoked cakes for my entree for the very reasonable sum of $16. Unbelievablly yummy. DH had a main entree steak salad which he loved.. We shared a fresh blueberry cobbler with whipped cream. We had to order that in advance as the biscuits were prepared at that time. We ordered a Bananas Foster (prepared at the table) for Beth in honor and memory of Shirley. The guys had the famous and delicious bread pudding.

Right before the starter they also brought a delicious Lagniappe for each of us, all placed in front of us at the same time by 6 waiters. The appetizers and mains were served the same way. They even poured the bisque at the table.

We each had 3 martinis and finished every bite we could eat on our plate and then said our goodbyes to each other and Pam took Beth and us to the airport. After that things were sad. DFW was closed because of weather. We were 3 hours late leaving NO and 3 hours late leaving DFW. We got home and in bed about 1:30 AM. And as always, so good to be home.

And now I have to plan for our 40th Anniversary Trip in October and our January Cruise to Egypt. But I'll check in this Forum because - well - we just MIGHT come back in October and see some more of the wonderful things we missed on this trip.

Happy Travels!
Brahmama is offline  
Jun 17th, 2008, 11:00 AM
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Quite enjoyed your report!!!!! I am from New Orleans but haven't lived there for 9 years (parents are still there). But, after years as expats, we are heading back to the US and will only be a quick flight or a very reasonable car ride from NO! CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!

BTW - I lived in Egypt for 4 years, so let me know if you have any questions!
Grcxx3 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2008, 12:14 PM
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Hi

Thanks for posting this. I only live about three hours away in Pensacola, but haven't been to NO in almost a year. Didn't realize how much I've missed it. I'll have to plan a trip back soon. (after it gets cooler, of course!)

Johanna
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Jun 18th, 2008, 09:12 AM
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Brahmama, I am a bit late in discovering your trip report.. but enjoyed reading it so much.

I've only been to NO once about 10 years ago, and your trip report makes me want to go again.

Great report!! Thanks.
kodi is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 06:30 PM
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So glad you had a nice trip! Thanks for sharing.
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Jun 24th, 2008, 03:47 AM
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Grcxx3,
Questions about Egypt! I am one huge question mark. Esp about Cairo. We do have our hotel and guide picked out. Now just to get them confirmed. The itinerary is the hardest - so much to see and do - only 4 days there before we fly to BCN to catch a cruise.

Where did you live in Egypt?

Kodi,
We meet again! Glad you liked the TR - I guess you are planning for your trip to CA.

Thanks to all who read it and replied - we truly enjoyed Nawlings and are planning a return visit - late September.
Brahmama is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 02:48 PM
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Brahmama - we lived in Cairo, well, technically in a suburb called Ma'adi.

So - you're 4 days.....I assume you are planning to spend the whole time in Cairo???
Grcxx3 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2008, 05:45 PM
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Yes, staying in an area called Zamalek. Still a few months to plan, but so excited about this trip!
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