French Quarter is Rockin!

Old Jan 10th, 2008, 07:36 PM
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French Quarter is Rockin!

DH and I just got back from quick trip to NOLa for the BCS National Championship football game and even though my Buckeyes didn't win we had a great time.

This was our first trip to NOLa in 15 years and we only spent time in the French Quarter but loved it so I thought I'd share a few thoughts from a "first timer" kind of view.

People were gracious 24/7. Shopowners, cabbies, waiters, even LSU fans (before and after LSU kicked our butts) were helpful and were thanking us left and right for coming to town. We had such a great time we are planning to have my parents' 50th anniversary there later this year.

DH had to hit Cafe Du Monde daily for a sugar fix. It does live up to its reputation.

Mr. B's (owned by the Commander's Palace gang and located conveniently in the quarter) has a fantastic barbeque shrimp dish with a very complex sauce (you taste one flavor after another while you eat it). The foie gras appetizer is the best I can remember.

Muriel's has awesome bread, the fish special of the day was incredibly moist and flavorful and the bread pudding is to die for.

Cafe Amelie has a romantic courtyard setting. For lunch, the catfish sandwich was great and the ciabatta bread was wonderful.

Susan Spicer's restaurant, Bayona was another hit. The pork chops and the lamb were both winners.

We stood in line for muffalettas at Central Grocery. And stood, and stood and stood. The line reminded me of the one at Garrett's popcorn shop on Michigan Ave. in Chicago- way out the door. After 15 minutes without moving a foot we bailed. Too hungry, too hung over to wait. If you go, go early or go late.

I didn't make it to Drago's at the Hilton Riverside but heard about the bbq oysters from a local and then a number of Buckeye fans mentioned going there and loving the food.

We rode the St. Charles St. trolley to the Garden District and walked around. Lovely homes, cemetary across from Commander's Palace, Igor's for a burger was good.

My brother and sister in law ate about 3-4 dozen oysters daily on this trip and actually liked Desire on Bourbon better than Acme.

I fell in love with a dress shop called Trashy Diva in the quarter. They started out as a second hand store but now sell high end lingerie and fabulous 1940s style silk dresses designed by the store owner. Nothing trashy about the place.

I felt very safe on Bourbon Street even at 2am due to the large crowds and large police presence. I hung out with friends from college then walked back to my hotel just off Bourbon by myself without any issues. Well lit, lots of people, no problem. I wouldn't have walked down anything other than Royal or Bourbon at that time though.

If you want to sleep at night you might want to stay off of Bourbon or Royal or request a room away from the street. I stayed on St. Philip and heard drunk people yelling at 2am, 4am, 5:30 am....
amwosu is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2008, 04:07 AM
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Thanks for sharing your report! My friends will be departing from NO for a cruise and I will let them know all of the positive feedback.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 05:16 AM
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Yes, thank you! Haven't been to New Orleans yet but we're going in October--I will print your report for my trip folder. October is a ways off but your enthusiastic trip report has me excited especially for the foie gras (one of my favorite things to eat). Can't wait!
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 07:31 AM
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Thanks for the nice report. A friend and I are going to NO over the MLK weekend. I haven't been in 25 years and she's never been . . . we're really looking forward to the sites and the food.

If you think of anything else, please pass it along . . . we're open to any and all suggestions.

Sandy (in Denton)
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 10:41 AM
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On the subject of mufalettas - for anyone who doesn't want to wait in the line at Central Grocery - we had a terrific one at Napoleon House on St. Louis and Chartres. I have heard that Masperos makes a terrific mufaletta too.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 02:09 PM
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Thanks for the tip, J_Correa!
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 04:13 PM
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Couple of things I forgot to mention. We ate lunch at NOLA- Emeril's restaurant in the French Quarter and the service, food, and atmosphere were all good. Loved Miss Hay's stuffed chicken wing appetizer. They remove the bones and replace it with rice and "stuff".

I use www.opentable.com for many restaurant ressies when I travel because I can reserve online without making long distance calls and it is easy to modify my reservation times and number of people when needed. Not all restaurants are available in all cities/towns but it is a good starting point for a number of high end restaurants. I used opentable for both NOLA and Muriel's for this trip.

I didn't have the turtle soup at Muriel's but found out from a nearby shopowner/artist after dining there that it is very good.

Our waiters at Muriel's, NOLA, and Bayona were bvery good at providing info and recs for specific dishes. I hate when a waiter is wishy washy and says, "Oh, they're all good." None of them hesitated to help make a decision between dishes when asked.

Cafe Amelie, Bayona, and Muriel's were all recs from area artists I chatted with while shopping. I always think it is best to listen to the locals.

We enjoyed listening to the mediocre to really terrible karaoke at Cats Meow on Bourbon St. on two different nights. It may not have the same feel in "off season" but was hilarious with the LSU/OSU crowd.

Here is one of the dresses I bought at Trashy Diva (I hope it links correctly). It is beyond beautiful silk.
http://www.trashydiva.com/site/indexNOW.html
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 04:21 PM
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Okay, bottom row, third dress from the left.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 04:37 PM
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Thanks for the info, amwosu. Heading to New Orleans in two weeks and it's good to hear your positive news about the city.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 08:06 PM
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Ana Maria, I see that we share the same namesake as well as similar taste in clothes--the dress is awesome, I love it! The dress with the red sash, however, is mine. ;-) Thank you so much for the additional information. Trashy Diva is on my list, I am so excited!
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Old Jan 21st, 2008, 01:18 PM
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amwosu,

Thanks for visiting my favorite city. I'm glad you enjoyed all that New Orleans has to offer!

Sugar Bowl and BCS are done, Mardi Gras season is now going on... There's always something going on
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