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CLS's picture

(post #57230, reply #1 of 52)

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i [CLS stumbles into the Kvetch room, falls onto a couch leans her head back and sighs deeply. Her hair is tousled, her new white Keds scuffed and untied, her white t-shirt untucked from her cargo shorts. She is obviously suffering from exhaustion, evidenced by the dark circles under her eyes, but also sports a healthy glow about her face, neck, arms and legs from the hot Louisiana sun. She is also wearing the most stunning, unusual pair of earings you have ever seen.

i Eve offers her a snack - CLS refuses, stating she cannot eat one single piece of food for at least a week. Wolverine offers a margarita - CLS refuses this, as well, saying she can't even think about alcohol for at least a month. Then, she begins her tale...]

NEW ORLEANS EXPEDICTION - Day 1 -

My party consists of my husband, one of my closest girlfriends (we'll call her "S") and her husband (we'll call him "C"). S meets us in Cleveland to fly the non-stop flight to New Orleans. C is going to meet us at the airport - he flew straight there from a business trip elsewhere.

We arrive in New Orleans at approximately 1 p.m. C is there to greet us with Coronas! Yay! Perfect way to start off a trip to the Big Easy! We down the beers while making our way to the baggage claim, grab a cab and we're on our way.

As we drive, we pass several large cemetaries. S. notices that all the tombs are above ground. CLS informs her that New Orleans is below sea-level. Everyone is "buried" above ground.

We arrive at the Lafitte Guest House on the corner of St. Philip and Bourbon Street within 15 minutes. It's a 4-story French Manor, built in 1849. The house has been restored, and furnished with antiques and period reproductions. There are wrought iron balconies on every floor. We enter the front doors and step onto a black and white tiled foyer, with a huge wooden staircase rising up, up, up in front of us. Beautiful!

Walter, the day conceirge, greets us with his lovely soft drawling Southern accent, and checks us in. Then he arranges for our bags to be taken to our rooms via the elevator while he shows us to our rooms via the stairs. All up the stairs are gorgeous photographs and paintings of New Orleans. It's so beautiful. We arrive on the second floor where C & S are staying and Walter draws our attention to a beautiful old mahogany framed mirror. He tells us that if we are lucky, we may see the ghost that haunts the Guest House in the mirror very early in the morning. He said he, himself, had never seen her, but several guests swear they had.

We continue up to our room on the third floor. An old wool carpet covers the floor, and the queen canopied bed is covered in a down duvet and mounds of tapestry pillows. Walter opens the french doors to our private balcony and shows us how to light the chandelier hanging from the cieling. DH and I are thrilled - a romantic room, beautifully kept, with a balcony that overlooks Bourbon Street. What more could we ask for?

We spend 10 minutes getting settled and I call Chiqui on the phone. Since I didn't know how to pronounce her name and didn't want to embarrass myself, I asked for Maria Collier. This drawling, melodious southern woman answers the phone and as soon as I said, "Hello, this is CLS" she laughs and asks me to hold on one minute while she gets off the other line - she's talking to Halloween Baby. She gets off the line and asks me the address of my hotel, and tells me she'll be here in 15 minutes.

DH, C & S decide to go next door to the Lafitte Blacksmith's Bar to have a drink while I meet with Chiqui. Once she arrives, we hug and just start chattering a mile a minute! Chiqui is so wonderful. I expected her to be, but she's much better in person than I expected. She brought me and S. each a bag of homemade pralines because she didn't want us buying the horrible ones they make in those tourist traps in the Quarter. She also brought me a very fun, bright apron, a copy of her cookbook for both me and Wolverine, and another chocolate cookbook as a thank you for a few recipes I gave her. Is she not dear? That was so kind of her. I had brought her a pin I got at a local artist co-op here in Bay Village, just so she'd have something from Ohio.

Anyway, we went over to the bar so I could introduce her to DH and my friends. They had already been drinking Hurricanes, the official drink of New Orleans, only that wasn't good enough for S., oh, no! She had the bartender put a double shot in them. All three of themwere very happy by the time Chiqui and I arrived! Chiqui gave me some great advice on places to avoid and places to go which I took note of. All too soon, she had to leave to get ready for her trip. It was so wonderful to see her! Any of you fortunate enough to meet her in person are going to love her, gua-ron-teed! ;-)

We hit the Quarter - literally! (LOL) Bar, cigar shop, bar, bar, Jackson Square, cigar shop, bar, bar. S. kept drinking these horrible drinks - half beer, half hard cider. DH and I stuck to Red Stripe (Jamaican) and Abita (New Orleans) beer. C. was drinking Guinness. Don't know how long that went on, but it did, then we decided to have dinner. We went to the Gumbo Shop, located on St. Peter Street in Vieux Carre (French Quarter!). The restaurant has been open since 1920, and is located in an old, 18th century colonial townhouse.

Now, let me tell you, it was better than I remembered. SOOOOOOO good! We ask for a seat in the Courtyard, and our server arrives - Emily. The best waitress I have ever had in my life. Not only did she deserve a huge tip, but she got one. HUGE! Anyway, we are in the Courtyard and there are several large umbrellas amongst the tables. We all order more drinks, then we order their chicken andouille gumbo and an order of Boudin (a creole sausage) with Creole mustard to start. My friends and DH are drooling over every spoon of the gumbo, and then, once they tasted my Boudin, I barely got another bite! We order more drinks, then onto dinner, which is served with a never ending supply of fresh, crusty French bread. DH has the Alligator Sauce Piquante, a mix of alligator, onion, celery, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, tabasco, spices, tomatos and stock, served with rice. DH takes one bite, gets a look like he's died and gone to heaven, and proceeds to clean every speck of food from his plate. S. has the Jambalaya, which she pronounces the best she's ever eaten in her life, and proceeds to make very happy eating noises throughout the rest of her meal. C. orders a combination plate - red beans & rice, jambalaya and shrimp etouffee. He, too, is very happy with his choice. I, of course, had the crawfish etouffee, my very favorite dish in the whole world, and a side order of Maque Choux Corn
i ("mock shoe corn")
. As expected, it's the best etouffee I've ever had and I'm loathe to give anyone else even a taste, although I do. We all share tastes of our dishes with each other, drink some more wine, chat, and then it begins to pour rain. Not a gently little rain, but a full scale downpour. We all start laughing and move our table directly under one of the umbrellas and continue eating. Our backs are wet, our fronts and food and drinks are dry so we don't care. Emily comes out with an umbrella, see's us laughing and eating and ignoring the torrent, laughs and says, "You yankees are weird!" and brings us fresh drinks. Then brings me and S. a copy of the Gumbo Shop's cookbook. We are happy, full, well-fed, tipsy, and having a terrific time. And I have a new cookbook - what could be better? I'll tell you - the Gumbo Shops bread pudding.

Now, trust me, ya'll. I was a pastry chef myself. I know what bread pudding is made from, and I hate it. It's a cheap dish they make when they have enough stale bread and it's always done as an afterthought. My least favorite dessert in the world. BUT - we order one and 4 spoons and then, after the initial bite, we all proceed to fight over it. It's delicious!!!!! Amazing! Very, very moist, high flavor, you can taste the bourbon but it's not boozy. There's raisins, and cinnamon, and a flavor I can't pin down. I ask Emily - she winks and says, "Pineapple!". Pineapple! Sure enough, there are slivers of pineapple in it. I check the cookbook later and find the ingredients: butter, whole milk, day-old french bread, pineapple, raisins, salt, sugar, cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, vanilla and eggs. I will post the recipe for all of you on the main board later. Trust me - worth making. One of the best tasting, addictive desserts I've ever had. S. said it was "the closest you can get to an orgasm without a man". High praise, indeed, from her! (LOL).

Okay, so we hit Bourbon Street again, and again, my friends flip out at the sheer decadence of the place. Neon signs advertising "World Famous Live Sex Acts" (as opposed to not-so-famous sex acts, I suppose), and "Bottomless Men & Women", "Fat Naked Ladies", etc. I had told DH he'd see this stuff, but I don't think he actually believed he'd SEE IT. 'Cause you know, they always try to give the street traffic a little sample to draw them in! (LOL) .

Oh, Wolverine, CM - remember the Cowboys? I saw that! Seriously. This very fine looking young man, dancing on a bar in a cowboy hat and boots and his lovely, muscle-rippled skin, who then whips the hat off his head and covers himself with it, then lets go. The hat stayed suspended. It was fascinating! DH didn't think so, but S and I did. We weren't in the bar, just standing outside, sipping our latest and greatest Daquiri from a to-go cup. Still...very interesting. By the way, you can drink outside of bars, but you can't have glass containers, so if you leave a bar they put your drink in a To-Go cup for you. Isn't that polite? (LOL)

We end up in a bar called The Velvet Dog. Run by a 33 year old woman from Montreal. Cool woman, very slim and dark and sophisticated looking. She serves everyone various drinks, I ask her to suggest something for me and she gives me something she calls a French Silk. I have 3 before I ask whats in them. They are delicous, and oh, so smooth. 1 part Baileys, 1 part Godiva Chocolate, 1/2 part Guiness Stout and 1/2 part Amaretto. I'm very happy, and very content, and then the music is going and DH wants to dance, so we dance and dance and dance. Then DH decides to sing. Only he doesn't know the words, so he makes them up. We are laughing our @'s off - his lyrics are hysterical and clever. At some point, we pull out the cigars that C. has been buying all evening and begin to smoke them. By now we are very well on our way to waste-land, but that's okay. We take off and end up in another bar called the Hand Grenade, where we proceed to drink handgrenades and dance to the live band there. Since DH, S and I are the only ones dancing, and since we've had a little too much to drink, I make it my mission to get everyone on the dance floor whether they want to dance or not. They do, they just need coaching. So, within about 1 hour, I have the entire bar dancing and throwing money up to the band. I'm very popular, and now very drunk. I met a bunch of women from Idaho who were there celebrating the fact that they all turned 50 this year - fun girls. Great figures, too. I met a bunch of computer nerds there for a convention. Hooked them up with the Idaho chicks and they were soon tearing up the floor. It was great. I had a terrific time.

Stumbled back to the guest house around 2 or 3 a.m., with one more look in at the cowboy stripper, who had been replaced by a guy with very long black hair - asked DH to grow his hair long, he refused.
i [sigh...]
Oh, well, a girl can ask.

End of Day 1.

Mirepoix_'s picture

(post #57230, reply #2 of 52)

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All that in a day? Geeze, you're slackin!

CLS's picture

(post #57230, reply #3 of 52)

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DAY 2, New Orleans Expedition - INTO THE HEART OF DARKNESS...

i [In her very best imitation of a male, upper crust, British accent - ]

i "The Colonel and two of our officers have been struck by a rare, subtropical malaise, no doubt from the close interaction with the natives. Awoke to the sounds of some strange beast rutting about near camp. Traded musket parts and other metal salvage for various decorative artifacts. This is, after all, an expedition to gather and record that which makes these peoples so unique among the Southern tribes. The Colonel and other officers have been seen and treated by a local Shamen. We expect a full recovery by the evening's hunt. Heard drums and oddly melodious pipes sounding off in the distance."

Translation: DH, C. and S. were hung over the next morning. Very. I, on the other hand, either didn't drink as much as they did, have a stronger constitution than they do, or ate more than they did which negated the effect of the excessive drinking. After breakfasting alone on my balcony on hot, buttery croissant, fruit salad, rich, dark coffee and cream, and a glass of fresh orange juice, I sought medical treatment for my husband and friends at a local apothecary, who laughingly told me that "wha' de need, cheri, is anodder drink!", then sold me some chewable pepto bismol tablets and aspirin.

When they were all able to sit and then stand upright and had lost their slightly green complexion, we set off at a brisk pace to the other end of the Quarter for lunch. Along the way, much shopping ensued. Postcards went into my bag, and a couple of souveniers for friends. We arrived at our destination: Napoleon House, 500 Chartres Street. This restaurant has been around since 1791, can you believe it? Amazing.

The inside is dark, and definitely "atmospheric". We didn't know whether to sit, or wait to be seated, but after waiting for a few moments, we simply chose a table and sat down. Our waiter was James, the mute, because he barely said a 3 words, just nodded and pointed. He was about 80, with black pants, a severely starched white tuxedo shirt and a black bow tie. All the waiters were dressed similarly. On the walls were hundreds of memorabilia from New Orleans of by-gone years. Kinda cool. Dark paneling and old tiled floors. Didn't seem to have any tourists, though. Everyone seemed to be a local, on business or something.

What James lacked in speech he made up for in efficiency and speed. DH and I ordered ice teas, the house wine of the South, while S had a Barq's rootbeer. You can not get any other kind of rootbeer in New Orleans, so don't ask. C. ordered a Cajun bloody mary. It was delicious, he pronounced, but it was served with a pickled pepper the likes of which he had never seen before. I informed him, "That's not a pepper - it's pickled okra. Thats traditional in a Cajun bloody mary." C. did not even want to try it, which was fine, because I did want it. After scarfing the whole thing down with great relish, James appeared at my side. I looked up at him and he set a small cup in front of me. In it were half a dozen pickled okra. I smiled and thanked him profusely, very happy. He just grinned and walked away. Don't ya just love a man who anticipates your every desire?

S. ordered a Greek Salad, which was composed of spinach, very thinly sliced red onion, roasted red pepper strips, bulgarian feta, Kalamata olives and a fantastic dressing made from balsamic vinegar, dijon and EV olive oil. I wish I could weedle that dressing out of James, but he just told me that. No portions, not what brand of balsamic or olive oil or dijon. I have the feeling it's the brand of those items that made it special.

DH and I shared a Greco Panini to start. It's a flatbread, split, the filled with roasted red pepper, goat cheese and roasted eggplant. It was superb!!!! They had several other varieties on the menu, a Franco: forest mushrooms, spinach and smoked mozzerella; and a Madrid: garlic roasted chicken with black beans and munster. Don't they all sound awesome? I wanted them all, but settled for one.

Then we all ordered a Muffuletta, a specialty in these here parts. I can't explain what makes a muffuletta different than any other cold-cut italian sub, but it is. They take a huge round of Italian bread, split it, pull out the inside, the stuff it full of ham, genoa salami, pastrami, swiss, provolne, and top the whole thing with something they call "olive salad". It's one of the best sandwiches on earth. You must all try one if you get to New Orleans.

James very kindly got me a copy of their menu, and when I thanked him and smiled at him the poor man blushed and got all nervous and hurried away! Yes, I just seem to have that effect on 80 year old men - it's a curse! (lol). He was very sweet, if silent.

After rolling ourselves out of our seats and out to the street, we headed towards Decateur Street, to check out a brewery we'd heard about. Of course, shopping ensued, and we filled up with various trinkets to take home. Upon reaching the Crescent City Brewery, we asked for a sampler try of their beers. The inside was trendy and rather what you'd find in any brewpub in any other city. The beers were not so hot, either. I'd rather drink Heiniken. In a city of fantastic food and drinks, this was woefully average and boring. We beat a hasty exit to find new forms of entertainment. We found said forms in the form of many shops selling T-shirts. We took great delight in reading the various sayings: "I Sucked Head in N'Awlins - Louisiana Crawfish Head", and various others which, frankly, were funny at the time and still are, but I'm not going to print because they were kind of situational, I think. Some were flat out disgusting, but funny.

We ended up at Cafe Du Monde, and S and I ordered cafe au laits while the guys ordered black coffee. I warned them not to, but they both insisted they always drank their coffee black. I watched them as they took the first sip. I watched their eyes bug out and their faces flush and the way they hurriedly set their cups back down. I didn't say a word, except for, "I told you so...". They just looked at me, then cautiously sipped again. Then got used to it and decided it was the best coffee ever, chock full of caffine and vitamins. Yea, right! It was good - but trust me when I tell you that Cafe du Monde coffee is not for the faint of heart. It's delicious and perfect to me, but it's very rich and very strong. We all laughed over the powdered sugar storm we each got biting into a beignet. S. was wondering what it was about Cafe Du Monde's beignets that make them so special. I told her it was the fact that they hadn't changed the grease in the deep fat fryers since the place opened.

Next stop, one of the places I wanted to visit. The Bourbon French Parfums shop in Jackson Square. This is the oldest perfumery in North America, 155 years old. They make all their own perfumes on the premises. They used to make perfumes for Napoleon. Pretty spiffy, huh? It's a very cool shop, with wonderful fragrances. They will even blend a custom fragrance just for you - for a price. I hadn't been there in years, but I really wanted something from them, so we went in. S. went insane. I was fairly restrained. A few gifts, and some perfume for me - White Gardenia. I love gardenia.

We then toddled over to Madelines, a wonderful patissiere on the corner. Excellent, wonderful, perfect pastries. We all had coffees and a pastry. C had a strawberry napoleon, DH had a piece of sacher torte which was probably the finest of it's like I have ever tasted, and S. and I each had a creme brulee - she had the plain and I had the lavender. The unusual thing about them, besides the fact that they were perfectly cooked and had a fantastic texture, was that they weren't in cups. They were baked in
b pastry
cups. It was very, very cool. Not something I had ever heard of or seen done before.

By now it's about 4 p.m. so we go back to the guest house for showers and naps before dinner. S and I decide to go around the corner to a little shop S. wants to visit while the guys stay home. S. ends up buying the coolest pair of antique earrings, we chat with an artist who is selling wonderful modern works, and then, as we start back to the guest house, I see them. In the window of a little jewelry/art store. A pair of dangly silver earrings with a pair of stones that look like a cross between an opal and a moonstone. But the proprietress has just closed! I'm so disappointed! I usually don't covet jewelry, but I do love earrings, and these are so intricately worked. Oh, well, she's closed. Probably better that way.

We get back, and I corner Michael, the dearest, cutest concierge, and discuss dinner recommendations. After discussing the various merits of several places, he suggests a place that's a bit risque, but unique. A place called Lucky Chengs. Apparently, it's a 4 star restaurant that specializes in something the Chef calls "Asian Creole Cuisine". I was intrigued. It was also named the "most unusual restaurant" in New Orleans by New Orleans Magazine. Why, you ask? Because all the waitresses are Drag Queens. And they put on 2 floor shows a night, complete with audience participation. So if you don't have a sense of humor, are homophobic, or simply don't find that sort of thing entertaining, you do not want to go here.

S and I decided not to tell DH and C anything more than the type of food the place served. Upon arriving, and being greeted by the "Hostess", DH and C looked at each other, looked around, and started to laugh (in a good way). They they told us they'd get even later. We were shown to our table in a very elegantly appointed restaurant. Black and silver were predominent, with lots of chinese lanterns, velvet wall hangings and mirrors everywhere.

Miss Jean was our waitress. A tall, slim, lovely person. We ordered drinks after much laughing and guffawing since the drink list was quite - shall we say, the names of the drinks were very inventive: Cajun Queen, Veronica's Choice, Troyanne's Fever, Miss Jean's Kiss, Opal's Orgasm, Edwina's Trick, Knob Job, Voluptous Melons, Naked Emerald, you get the gist.

There were loads of other people there and everyone appeared to be having a hysterical time, being occasionally "accosted" by the waitresses provided entertainment for the rest of us. I just mean that they were teased and baited. All in good fun, no one was actually accosted.

Then menu was really interesting and unusual. C. had the Rock & Roll, tempura fried cream cheese and crawfish sushi roll served with wasabi, pickled ginger and soy dipping sauce. DH spinach rangoons, spinach and cheese roled and fried in light, flaky pastry served with herb dipping sauce. S. had the crab cakes, New Orleans style crabcakes with cilantro-lime aoli. I had their special - salmon ceviche served on sauteed bok choy with (3) caviars. The presentation of these dishes was nothing short of artistic. As beautiful a presentation as I've ever seen. They tasted better, way better.

For entrees, DH had the Grilled Beef with Lemon Grass, served with sauteed bok choy, nappa cabbage and mint. I had the Shrimp & Sweet Potato - Tiger Prawns grilled and served on a bed of julienned sweet potato and asparagus. It was fantastic! Light and very, very good. C. had the "Pink Dragon" - fresh salmon fillet steamed and served with bird-chili brown on glass noodles and steamed vegetables, and S. had the Chinese Laquered Duck, marinated, roasted, served with crispy fried noodles, sauteed vegetables and something called an orange satsuma glaze. Again, presentation was beautiful and artistic and the taste was equal to that.

I will admit. The service was not all it could have been. But I overlooked it slightly since really, the waitresses were primarily part of the act and each one had a part of the floor show that was hysterical and primarily consisted of each waitress lip-synching to "I am Woman" or some other such song. They of course involved various members of the audience, completely embarrassing several men, much to the delight of their companions. Don't get me wrong - the service was friendly and fun, but not as attentive as it could have been. One of the Drag Queens did her act in a lace body stocking. I swear, ya'll, if I hadn't known this person was a man I wouldn't have known it. She/He had the most amazing breasts I'd ever seen. DH just liked the body stocking. He insisted I had to get one.

Anyway, we had a great time, and loads of laughs and fun, and I highly recommend the place if you are interested in great food and unusual entertainment. The Drag Queen in the body stocking even gave me directions to the store that she purchased the body stocking in when I asked her. What a nice girl... See, you all, I've now gone to taking fashion advice from a Drag Queen!

On the way home was more bar, bar, cigar shop, voodoo shop, watch the strippers. We ended up in a Jazz club and drank mint julips and straight bourbon and smoked cigars
i (did I mention that I don't smoke? Don't ask me why I was smoking cigars...I don't know why I did a lot of things. Just seemend like the right thing to do at the time...)
and listened to some terrific jazz with a bunch of Japanese tourists. Pretty cool. Got in around midnight or 1 tonight. Still didn't see the ghost, though. DH and I sat on our balcony for a good hour after we got back just listening to the people in the street and soaking in the night. It was beautiful, peaceful, and romantic.

So endeth Day 2...

CLS's picture

(post #57230, reply #4 of 52)

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You ain't seen nothin' yet, Baby! ;-)

kai_'s picture

(post #57230, reply #5 of 52)

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CLS, I'm absotively LOVING your memoirs of this visit! I recall Cafe du Monde--major good (strong!) coffee and beignets. (One used to be able to order a beignet mix to take home, as well as Luzianne coffee.) I also went to a dive where Woody Allen played w/a dixieland band (he was barely famous then). Way cool! Wish I could remember the name of the heavenly seafood bayside restaurant--I think I'd remember if I heard it. So delish and very reasonable!

I must say, I had a mint julep (sp?) and it was nasty! What is in that stuff?

SF has NOTHING on N'awlins for cross-dressers! LOL! (most of whom are far more beautiful than I've ever been on the best day!)

Looking forward to more :) (How did you remember it all after all those drinks? LOL!)

babycakes_'s picture

(post #57230, reply #6 of 52)

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CLS,
What a great weekend! I can't wait for the next installment!
I get tired just reading of your adventures--can't imagine actually
keeping up with ya'll!

CLS's picture

(post #57230, reply #7 of 52)

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NEW ORLEANS EXPEDITION - Day 3 - Surviving the Game...

Woke up strangely invigorated and sprightly at 6:30. Went out in search of a coffee prior to my breakfast being delivered and then returned to sit on the balcony, look out over the Quarter and contemplate the day. DH joins me - we spend a lovely hour or so in quiet time, simply enjoying the fresh scent of the morning, the sights and sounds of people returning from Bourbon Street, going to work, opening up their shops, etc.

Promptly at 8:00 Lanelle, a wonderful, charming, funny woman arrives with our usual morning repast of hot-from-the-oven croissant, sliced papaya, pears and bananas, French Quarter coffee and fresh cream. This morning she also serves us a hot, bubbly cherry Danish. DH and I dive in, and practically drool over the pastries - they are perfect and fresh and delicious and buttery! Not heated up in a microwave. The coffee, again, is excellent and lush and rich tasting. I don’t want to leave this place.

After a shower and brief consultation with John, our other concierge (yes, they have about 6. We primarily deal with John and Michael. Wonderful, charming, friendly me - ) we set off for a more substantial breakfast at a dive, hole-in-the-wall Mom & Pop place called Fiorellas on Decatur Street directly across from the French Market. To call the place a dive is to give it far too much credit. But it was clean, so we went in and snagged a table for the 4 of us. They guy behind the counter was tall and thin and lanky with lots of tattoos and a huge laugh and talking Cajun a mile a minute to a customer seated at the counter in front of him. Our waitress showed up, and said, “Ain’t got no mo’ grits today an’ we otta biskits, too.” I was dreadfully disappointed, but since it was 10:00, what did I expect? The menu is as basic as it gets - perfect for us, that’s all we wanted. I had 2 eggs over easy, french bread and smoked sausage. DH had a BLT, C. had 3 eggs over easy with bacon and wheat toast and S. had 3 scrambled eggs, toast and bacon. We all had coffee and orange juice, then contemplated the logistics of stealing the biscuits from the plates of our neighboring table without getting caught. Damn! They were thick and fluffy and golden and beautiful! I just know they must have tasted like heaven, too. Oh, well.

Our breakfast was served with a minimum of fuss. Like every other meal in this town, each item, while not fancy and with no eye to presentation at all, was prepared perfectly and simply and tasted oh-so good! My french bread was toasted and buttered and the eggs were fresh and perfectly cooked. Our waitress assured us the eggs “was fresh laid today”. I believe her. My sausage was delicious - some sort of smoked Cajun sausage. Wonderful. DH let me have a bite of his BLT - I almost stole it from him. The tomatoes were so fragrant and luscious, and the bacon was thick, crisply cooked and just tasted farm-fresh. Of course, the coffee was outstanding, and the entire meal for the 4 of us came to the staggering sum of $12.00. I love that place and I definitely recommend it if you go to New Orleans. But get their early enough to get biscuits!

So, onto the French Market. DH, C. & S expected a huge food market. Not so. Only one end is the French Market. The other end is hundreds of stalls set up to sell all kinds of stuff - t-shirts, jewelry, sunglasses, clothes, feather boas, love potions, incense, etc., etc. It was kinda cool. We, of course, purchased a few items, then got to the food stalls where I convinced my companions to try boiled peanuts, sugar cane, and alligator-on-a-stick. Posed for a photo with a huge stuffed alligator, marveled at the shear number of different brands of hot sauce, and then decided I needed another croissant from the bakery. We finally ended up near a little café with an outdoor bar, and so of course it was time for our early afternoon libation. I had a drink called a Louisiana Lemonade. The bartender winked at me and assured me I’d love it - I did. It was Bacardi Limon and Pink Lemonade. Delicious. We settled onto a park bench to listen to a live jazz band playing nearby. Greg and I danced in the little square there, and several other people joined us. Had another L.L. then decided to go for lunch.

On the way to lunch we found a lovely shop called the New Orleans Gem & Lapidary. It looked interesting, and was right beside another shop that sold leather goods (leather whips, harnesses, collars - you get the idea!). We went inside and the first thing I noticed was the floor. It was amazing. Not tile, but rock. Lots of kinds of rocks - marble, beryl, azurite, pyrite, garnet, granite, lapis, quarts - all huge chunks just laid in and cemented down. It was stunning. All around the shop were little boxes and bins with lots of kinds of rocks. I personally love that stuff, so I got a huge kick out of the place. Lots of carved stone, too. And some great jewelry. I’m not big into precious stones, I much prefer other stones so I really love the jewelry this man made. I ended up buying several hunks of rock, a small covered dish carved out of some purple rock with moons and stars carved into the lid, and a gorgeous pair of dangly silver and amber earrings. The proprietor is also the jewelry designer.

Okay, so, off to lunch. We decide on the Acme Oyster House on Iberville. Reputation has it has the freshest seafood in the city. As we are walking along, DH and C occasionally pop into various establishments for beers. They come out of each one sporting beer bottles in paper bags. They seem intent on trying various local brews. So, here I am, reduced to drinking beer out of a paper bag while walking down Royal Street! Can you believe it? (LOL) It was a sight. I have a photo somewhere. Some of those beers were disgusting. I had one called “Cajun Passion”. Absolutely nasty!

We arrive at the Acme Oyster house, and there is a line. DH and C wait in line while S. and I go around the corner to the Daiquiri Shop, which, if you have ever been to NOLA, you will know there is one on every single solitary corner and every fourth space in between. We purchase beers for the boys and margarita daiquiri for us. Ay-eeeee~! (BTW, this has been our battle cry since we got here. DH heard someone of Cajun descent use it, and convinced us we should too so we’d sound local! (LOL) He’s so weird....fun, but weird. Every time we got a drink, we had to say, “Ay-eeeey!” (LOL)).

We get into the place and are seated. S. wondered if we could bring the daiquiri in - the host laughed and said, “You aren’t from around here, are you? No one cares if you bring drinks in - this is N’awlins!”. We sit. It’s got plastic red-checked tablecloths, a long oyster bar, lots of waitresses in shorts and red t-shirts, and 5 different kinds of hot sauce on one end of the table along with loads of napkins. It’s pretty basic, pretty busy, but smells good. Nothing worse than going into a seafood place and having a strange smell hit you.

We order. DH and C order a dozen oysters on the half-shell to start. I order a pound of crawfish for the table. The oysters arrive, and after squirting them with limes and hot sauce, DH and C pronounce them the finest raw oysters they’ve ever had. They look very surprised, too. Say that usually they are a little slimy, but these were firm, and smelled and tasted like salt - light, fresh. They quickly downed the rest. Given my dislike for slimy foods, I declined, as did S. The crawfish arrived, and I proceeded to teach my Yankee husband and friends how to eat a crawfish: first, you grab the tail, then pull off the head. Then you suck the head, getting all the juices and flavor. I will admit, they were scepticle, but they tried it and admitted it was very flavorful. Then you pinch the base of the tail suck out the tail meat. Then go on to another one. See? Easy.

After that, C and I ordered the combination seafood platter - deep fried catfish, oysters and shrimp. DH ordered a softshell crab po-boy and S. ordered the shrimp platter. This was probably the best fried seafood platter I ever ate. Light, fried to perfection, everything done perfectly, not greasy at all. It was wonderful! We were all happy, happy, happy. When it was all over, S. decided to order a serving of bread pudding to compare with The Gumbo Shops. It arrived, and it was okay, but no where near the perfection of the Gumbo Shops. Still, a fine effort.

We stumbled away from the Acme Oyster house very full and in great spirits, but wondering how in hell we were going to have room for tonights dinner at Bayona. We reversed our course back to the hotel, and I insist on stopping into the sex shop that the Drag Queen I met the night before had told me about to get that body stocking. While I was there, C, S, and DH were amazed at some of the more exotic items. I stayed on track, and got the body stocking, then purchased a pair of x-rated glow-in-the-dark dice, a pair of cozy-cuffs, and a couple of other unmentionables for my best friend's bachelorette party in November. She's going to kill me, but hey, she's getting genuine cozy-cuffs. What more could a girl want, I ask you? (LOL) Plus, I can now say I've shopped in a sex shop in New Orleans. Ever girl dreams of being able to say that... Or is it every guy who dreams that his girl WILL shop at sex shops in New Orleans? I can't remember - it's one of those.

We continued on, stopping in for the occasional beer, ending up in a few jazz and blues clubs for music, checking out the voodoo museum, etc. After a while, DH leaned over and whispered for me and him to leave. We told our friends we would meet them back at the hotel in the lobby at 7:30 for dinner. DH and I walked back along Royal Street, and ended up close to the shop where I’d seen those unusual earrings. When he stopped in front of it, I just looked at him - he smiled and said, “Wanna go in?” I was so excited. He said S. had told him I saw a pair of earrings I was drooling over and he wanted me to show them to him. So we went in, and the lady at the counter said, “I know you! You were peering woefully in the window last night after I closed!” I was so embarrassed!

She showed me the earrings and I asked her about the stone and the workmanship. All the jewelry is handcrafted with semi-precious stones and other types of stones. They were beautiful. The pair of earrings I was admiring was something called “rainbow moonstone”. They really do look like a cross between a moonstone and an opal. Gorgeous. They silver work they were set in was so pretty and kind of Egyptian looking. DH told her I’d wear them home. He’s the very best husband any girl every had, I swear!!!!

So, we go back to the guest house, DH naps while I sit on the balcony and compose more notes for you all, my friends!

After I was dressed and ready to go out that night, and while DH was getting ready, I went downstairs for a wine & cheese get-together that our guest house provided every evening. Chatted with a few people from California and one from Colorado. Very interesting. Regaled Michael with tales from Lucky Chengs since he recommended the place. He laughed and laughed.

Finally, we were all together and it was off to Bayonas. It was only a 10 minute walk, very close, so we started off...

dixie_'s picture

(post #57230, reply #8 of 52)

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So, how was Bayona's?

Sandra_'s picture

(post #57230, reply #9 of 52)

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So C,did you have a good time?

chiqui_new_orleans's picture

(post #57230, reply #10 of 52)

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CLS!!!!!!!!!!! Sugah.....pleaseeeeee tell me you didn't for get the andouille I brought you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so glad you had a great time and was able to make it to the Napoleon House......I just knew ya'll would love the place.....my friends Vivian and Sal who own it are really great people!!!!!!!! And the Acme.......sooooo glad you tried it, too!!!! Wasn't it just the best seafood and Luscious oysters, eva???????????

Can't wait for the report on Bayona......was Susan back or not??????? I'm sure you found out all the scoop on her......maybe more than I already had!!!!!! Well, honey....let's hear it!!!!!!

BTW.......SEXY, did you say???????Lil ole me?????? Really now.....
Honey, you sure have given me a new reputation to live up to, LOL...and I neva thougt I had a southern accent either.....Princess tells me that all the time......just neva thought I did, myself.....well....maybe just a little, sugah.......BTW..Greetings from Atlanta.....tonight was the big dinner I cooked for Sister's friends.....I made Crawfish squares, topped with a cheesy, Jalepeno sauce, Andouille, smoked sausage and chicken Jambalaya, Tossed garden Salad with Creole vinegarette dressing, My Celebration Cake...the one I make for a wedding cake, (remember) and pralines.......besides that....her son Jurdon and I rolled 420 Mexican Hot tamales......I'm exhausted!!!!!!!!! Nite, all....

kai_'s picture

(post #57230, reply #11 of 52)

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i her son Jurdon and I rolled 420 Mexican Hot tamales

Holy moley, that is a lot of tamales for two people. I tried it once and it took me 10 minutes to get just one "right"!

CLS's picture

(post #57230, reply #12 of 52)

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Sorry, Dixie, that post was getting too long and I wanted to do full justice to Bayonas. I'm composing that post as we speak...will get it out there soon, promise. I also had an appointment to get to. What an evening!

CLS's picture

(post #57230, reply #13 of 52)

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Chiqui, yes, I did keep the andouille and it's fine. It smelled soooo good! I can get it here at the West Side Market, but it's not the same - thank you so, so, much! Glad your trip is going well -

CLS's picture

(post #57230, reply #14 of 52)

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New Orleans Expedition, Day 3 - Continued...the much anticipated dinner at Bayona’s.

DH observes that this entire trip has been an exercise in “layering” -
*layer 1 - grease
*layer 2 - alcohol
*layer 3 - sugar
*layer 4 - fat

Gotta admit, the man has a point.

It’s a beautiful night. Soft, scented, lots of stars in the sky. Romantic, you know. We walk down Dauphine Street to the restaurant. We arrive at the address about 10 minutes later. We don’t see a door on the front of the building, just a sign. Then we look closer and notice the very tall iron gate is open.
i (All buildings in this part of the Quarter have iron gates between the buildings to keep people from using the alley’s for various nefarious activities. A lot of these gates even sport sharp, spiny protrusions at the top to keep people from climbing over...)

We peer in and the gate opens into a lovely courtyard. We enter, and notice the stunning landscaping - gorgeous tropical plants everywhere, very well tended, with a cobblestone walk, leading to a door in the side of the building, and just beyond that another tall iron gate which acts as the entrance to another walled courtyard filled with yet more well tended plants, a small fountain on one wall, and lots of lovely café tables. It’s well lit, yet the lighting is soft and dreamy. It’s amazing looking! I can’t adequately describe it to you, really. No mere words would do it justice. But I could feel myself getting more excited by the second. If this little oasis was any indication of what we’d find inside, the whole experience would be beyond my expectations.

We enter the front door, and the host asks for our name. I tell him we are early, and he is very pleasant - asks us to wait in the lounge and he will ensure our table is ready. The lounge is just that - a lounge, not a bar. Two small tables, some overstuffed chairs, another overstuffed couch, a couple of small occasional tables. Sort of like a family room. It is very comfortable, but upscale comfortable, if you know what I mean. One wall is all glass, with french doors leading out to that inner courtyard I told you about. A lovely young woman takes our drink orders, and returns with them very quickly. Both S. and I ordered wine - a Zinfandel for me, and a Sauvignon Blanc for S. The men have vodka tonics. While DH, C. and S are chatting, I’m looking around, taking in every detail. The colors, the decor all feel like I’m in the home of a very gracious hostess who, above all else, want’s her guests to be comfortable and happy. It’s all very soothing and it makes me feel good just being there. I notice a sign on the wall, obviously hand painted by an artisan - “WELCOME - “ and underneath in smaller letters, “Be Nice - Or Leave”. I loved it! A nice, whimsical little touch.
We were shown to our table, and told to leave our drinks, that someone would bring them to us. We were shown into the dining room. Soft, but bold colors again. Obviously Susan Spicer is not a pastel lover. But the tones are muted so nothing blares out at you. Again, it is well lit, but not blaring - soft, perfect. Whoever designed the lighting in this place did an excellent job. The tables all are situated so they each seem alone, intimate. I’m not sure how this was achieved, but it was. Even though the tables are somewhat close together, I couldn’t hear anything said at the next table. There’s also a huge flower arrangement in the center of the room on a small partition-like wall. One would expect this flower arrangement to be elegant, unusual - instead, it was a large urn filled with white daisies! I thought it was an unusual touch - not what you’d have expected at this place. Another sign of Susan Spicer’s personality, I believe. I have to love a woman who loves daisies.

Okay, so - our drinks arrive and we take a look at the menu. I will post the web site for Bayona’s at the end of this post, but you won’t get the specials, so I’ll post them here for you:

b Starters:

*Chicken Corn and Crab Chowder
*Seared Scallops with Corn Cream, Pumpkinseed Pesto & Shellfish Risotto Fritter
*Tomatoes, Feta Cheese & Micro Greens with Balsamic Vinegar & Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*Roasted Vegetable Terrine with Beet Coulis and Basil Oil
*Duck Rillettes on Toast Points with Port-glazed Shallots and Dried Cherries
*Summer Vegetable Salad with Watercress, Ricotta Salata and Red Wine Vinaigrette
*Smoked Salmon with Creamy Cucumbers and Black Pepper Crisps

b Main Courses:

*Smoked Portobelo Tamales with Charred Tomato Sauce and Black Bean Corn Salsa
*Tripletail with Fingerlings, Romano Beans and Grana with Yellow Tomato Sauce
*Grilled Yellowfin Tuna with Spicy Peanut Mole and Sweet Pepper Rice
*Rosemary Shrimp with Artichokes, Roasted Roma Tomatoes and Angel Hair Pasta
*Grilled Mustard-crusted Poussin with Thyme Honey Aoli
*Almond Crusted Boneless Rabbit with Saffron Artichoke Rice and Alhambra Sauce
*Grilled Strip Steak with Garlic Roasted Organic Bell Peppers and Tomato Charmoula

Decisions, decisions. It was sooooo hard! We ordered wine (also difficult - the wine list is outstanding and had lots of very good wines by the glass, as well, instead of a handful of cheaper wines like most restaurants - I was most impressed as was DH). S. ordered one of Susan Spicer’s specialty’s to start - Cream of Garlic Soup, and the Grilled Mustard-crusted Poussin as her entree. C. ordered the Chicken Corn and Crab Chowder to start, followed by the Grilled Strip Steak. DH ordered the Tomatoes, Feta Cheese & Micro Greens salad to start, followed by the Lamb Loin with Herbed Goat Cheese & Zinfandel Sauce from the main menu. I ordered the Duck Rillettes to start with Almond Crusted Boneless Rabbit as my entree. We had all decided to order different things so we could taste everything. I will admit, it was all very difficult to choose.

Our order was taken by one man who seemed to be our waiter, but after that we were served and waited on by a young man named Jonas, who was very professional, polite, cheerful and obviously well trained. I liked him. We received our starters. I will be posting on the main board Bayona’s recipe for Garlic Soup. I suggest you all make it. It is sooooooo good! Garnished with crisp fried slices of garlic, it was amazing. I can’t say enough - you’ll just have to make it and see for yourself. It’s one of those dishes where you want to lick the cup afterwards, but don’t since you are in public, but secretly try to figure out how you could get away with it.

I’ll just say it - all the starters were outstanding - not even okay, or average, but outstanding. The ingredients were fresh, the presentation beautiful and well-thought out, the portions substantial, but not so huge you feel like you’re stuffed. The feta on DH’s salad was different than any I’ve been used to - drier, a little saltier (almost like sea salt - fresh, you know?) and the dressing perfect. The corn/crab chowder was also just wonderful. I had a hard time keeping my spoon out of C’s cup! (LOL) But I restrained myself. The Duck Rillettes were rich, and perfect. The dish was garnished with these flat strips of crisply fried sweet potatoes. The sauce was wonderful - I tried very hard to make sure I got all of it up, but it was difficult to do without appearing as if I had no manners whatsoever!

While we waited for the entrees, I excused myself and went up front to ask the host if it was remotely possible to get a copy of her menu. He was very happy to oblige me, even gave me a copy of the specials for that evening. Very nice man. We chatted for a few minutes about Susan. Apparently she has a good friend here in Cleveland and has visited a few times. I would so love to meet her!

Only one little problem the whole night. Our entrees did take a while to arrive. Normally I don’t mind. At a restaurant like this where dinner is special, I like having a little time between starter and entree to relax, chat with my companions and such. But we waited nearly 40 minutes. That was a bit excessive, I thought, although my dinner companions and I did have lots to talk about and had a great time while we waited. Finally, S. asked our waiter (not Jonas) and he assured us they would be arriving momentarily. 30 seconds later they did arrive - they were worth the wait.

Again, outstanding, well-thought out presentation, sauces perfectly done, the right portions and proportions, all flavors and textures complemented each other perfectly. I like that. I’m a big believer that texture is as important as taste and presentation - so many chefs overlook that.

I wish I could tell you who had the best entree. I can’t. They were all equally luscious, delicious, outstanding examples of what fine cuisine should be. I can highly recommend to anyone else eating there to try any one of them. DH’s lamb loin was probably the finest lamb dish I have ever eaten. Certainly the rabbit was the finest rabbit I’ve ever eaten. I had no idea that rabbit could be made to taste that way. Even S., who insisted she hated rabbit and was disappointed I ordered it, completely devoured a large piece I gave her, and then kept looking wistfully at my plate even though her chicken dish was simply fantastic. C.’s steak was another complete winner - the sauce was something I have simply got to get the recipe for. The rice that was served with my rabbit, the artichoke-saffron, was so good that I have decided she must give me the recipe. It was so different than I expected, and so wonderful - DH kept sneaking bites of my plate, which was fine because I kept sneaking bites of his lamb! We were all very, very happy, let me tell you.

The time came for dessert - another difficult choice. I don’t have a copy of the menu or I’d list it for you. On the dessert menu, though, not only do they list the various selections, but they also list an appropriate after-dinner accompaniment to it. They have quite a nice selection of port, grappa, cognacs and dessert wines. Very nice indeed.

S. ordered a dish we were both scepticle about - Chocolate-Basil Mousse on Cashew Meringue. Sounded way strange, but we had to see. I ordered the Pistachio Roullade with Lemon Mousse; DH ordered the Chocolate Truffle Tart with Mixed Berries, and C. ordered the Creme Brulee with Orange, Cardamom and Saffron.

I wish there were some way you could all have a small taste of each of these desserts. You would all think you had died and gone to dessert heaven. I certainly thought I had. And you all know how anal and picky I am about desserts!

The Chocolate Basil Mousse tasted very distinctly of basil - I was surprised, I figured it would barely taste of it. But no, the flavor was right out there. And you know what? It totally worked. I never would have imagined putting those flavors together. And the Cashew Meringue was unusual and perfectly prepared. Gotta try to recreate that. Great idea.

DH’s chocolate truffle tart was served with 2 sauces - passion fruit, and chocolate, artfully painted onto the plate. It was like a piece of chocolate heaven - smooth, rich, chocolatey, not too sweet. I would love to know what brand of chocolate she used, and the proportion of chocolate to cream. There were mixed berries on the bottom of a chocolate pastry crust and the truffle cream poured on top.

The pistachio roullade with lemon mousse was served with a lovely lemon sauce I couldn’t figure out - if I didn’t know better, I’d say it was a lemon creme anglais - maybe it was - it was creamy and perfect texture. The garnish on this dessert was a little cookie butterfly, with the details of the butterfly painted on with chocolate. It was so cute I didn’t want to eat it, but of course I did! Great idea, great presentation. The dessert itself was rich, yet light - I loved it!!! Along with my coffee it was the perfect ending to the meal.

But - one thing would have been more perfect, and only one. C.’s Creme Brulee. OMG!!!! It should have been in the creme brulee Hall of Fame! Definitely made with whole cream, definitely strained properly, definitely prepared by someone with excellent pastry skills. And the flavor! Ya’ll this was by far the finest tasting custard I have ever had in my entire life. We were all drooling over it, and C. laughed and nearly ordered another one so we’d all stay away from his! I am going to beg, borrow, trade, or something for this recipe. I must have it. It’s now a goal in life, I’m telling you. And if any of ya’ll go here, order it.

I asked Jonas who the pastry chef was. He told me her (of course! A woman!) name was Pam Buddinger. Know this, CT’ers. CLS has yet another pastry hero to add to her very exclusive list of Alice Medrich and Emily Luchetti, and her name is Pam Buddinger. I am going to write her a letter this very week to tell her so, and beg for the recipe for her creme brulee. Remember that name - I have a feeling you will all hear of her on the grapevine. She is brilliant.

++++++

After dinner, we strolled back to the guest house and changed into shorts and T-shirts to hit the Quarter again. We just sat in a couple of blues joints and drank a few martinis and smoked a couple of cigars.
i [Remember, I don't smoke! ]
It was a great, quiet ending to the day.

kai_'s picture

(post #57230, reply #15 of 52)

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WOW! Sounds like a meal worth the cost of a plane flight :) And with a tribute like this, I don't see how anyone could refuse to give you the recipes you request :)

(You are making me crazy, however, w/your spelling of skeptical.)

CLS's picture

(post #57230, reply #16 of 52)

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Damn! Is that how it's spelled? It's one of those words I can never spell for some reason. I keep looking at it, thinking, that doesn't seem right, then changing to the k, then thinking that looks worse, and going back to the c. Sorry! ;-)

CLS's picture

(post #57230, reply #17 of 52)

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Forgot to mention that on the dessert menu for Bayona's is a wonderful cheese board selection. I very nearly did that, but I
b needed
to try the desserts. I can't remember the cheeses featured, but they sounded sooooo good and I'm a total cheese-a-holic.

CLS's picture

(post #57230, reply #18 of 52)

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Oops, nearly forgot Bayona's home page:



The dessert menu was different than the one posted.

Here is the home page for the guest house I stayed in. If you take the virtual tour of the rooms, you can see where I stayed, room 32:

Tracy_K's picture

(post #57230, reply #19 of 52)

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Ohhh, CLS, how lovely!!! And very romantic! I hope you took advantage!! :-)

SO keeps pestering me about going down there for Mardi Gras someday... I think he just wants to use me to get beads, LOL.

Your trip sounds fantastic, I'm so glad you had such a great time!!

chiqui_new_orleans's picture

(post #57230, reply #20 of 52)

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Tracy: I just know this is gonna sound terrible, honey.....but Mardi Gras is the worst time to come for your first visit......our French Quarter streets are flooded with college kids...drunker than skunks and loads of street people of every description....sleeping.....falling.....urinating and having "you-know-what"...in the streets in full view of the world.......it's what gives our city a bad reputation, IMHO.....But of course, Sugah if you are into all that nudity and filth......by all means, come on down!!!!!LOL LOL

I'd like to see you come for Jazz Fest or Spring Fiesta.....but that's me.......

CLS's picture

(post #57230, reply #21 of 52)

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I agree with Chiqui. Mardi Gras is great if you are 18. If not, pick another time to go. It's ugly during Mardi Gras (so sayeth the woman who has survived 4 Mardi Gras!)

CLS's picture

(post #57230, reply #22 of 52)

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NEW ORLEANS EXPEDITION - Day 4, I don't want to say goodbye...

DH and I were both up at dawn, watched the sun rise from our balcony. Beautiful. More quiet time, contemplating the last day of our trip. Breakfast arrived again and I realized I wouldn't see a croissant of this quality for a long time unless I made them myself - dammit!

After packing, we set off for a farewell coffee at Cafe DuMonde, then a stroll about Jackson Square. Took lots of photos, had juice (fresh squeezed) and another pastry (napoleons, fruit tarts, palmiers) at Madelines. Today it is hot and sultry beyond belief!!!! Kept trying to stay in the shade.

Finally said good-bye to our hosts at the Lafitte Guest House, and took our cab to the airport. I need to go back someday.

+++++

Final notes on the trip:

I don't believe it is possible to get a bad meal in this city. A bad beer, yes. A bad meal, no. Nor is it possible to get an average meal or even an okay meal. Every single thing we ate was the best of it's kind, whether it was in a patisserie, a fine dining restaurant, a hole-in-the-wall, or a dive. Confirmed my deeply held belief that New Orleans is one of the finest food cities in the world.

You all should go. You'll love it -

Tracy_K's picture

(post #57230, reply #23 of 52)

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Believe me, there are not many places I would rather be farther from than New Orleans during Mardi Gras!

SO has this idea that it would be a great experience... which it may have been if we'd gone during college! But spending days packed nose-to-tail with a bunch of wasted college kids does not appeal to me in the least. Besides, I believe N'awlins can be a pretty wild place no matter when you go, and I'd rather orchestrate my own fun (and actually enjoy it!!) rather than have it dictated for me by the
maddening crowds.

Of course, being a man, I'm sure he is mostly tempted by the "boobs-for-beads" prospect... (kidding, mostly!!)

Chiqui, I am dying to visit your fair city... maybe next year!! BTW, Great Falls is very near to where I live... I hope you enjoy my fair city!!

CLS's picture

(post #57230, reply #24 of 52)

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It was wild when we went and it was a "slow" time! Also, tell your SO that he can see "boobs-for-beads" any time. We saw lots and lots of breasts and other assorted parts.

CLS's picture

(post #57230, reply #25 of 52)

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Are you being facetious? (LOL) Can't you tell? Had an awesome time. Loved it. Highly recommend it. :-)

kai_'s picture

(post #57230, reply #26 of 52)

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NO is the best all-around place for stateside food I've ever experienced, bar none. (Haven't been enuf places elsewhere to comment upon, but Maine lobster didn't compare favorably to any seafood from LA. Surprised me!) I was both places in the 70's, and there wasn't one of those beaded persons baring her breasts, but I was one of those guests of this wonderful (N.O.) town who told the horseback-riding police officers that they needed to give some major bigtime lessons to San Diego policia.

I was there during a Mardi Gras in my 20's. It wasn't even that much fun, except for the food, unless you are a major druggie/exhibitionist/voyeur. JMO as always! (I do not recommend the mint juleps. I have no idea what is in them, but I found them to be nasty, at least the one I bought off the street.)

This is a place to visit w/a loved one who loves food :)

chiqui_new_orleans's picture

(post #57230, reply #27 of 52)

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Well, ya'll......after CLS blow by blow report of her magnificent vacation........it makes ME want to go visit New Orleans......and I live here!!!!!!!! LOL LOL All jokes aside, sugah.....it is the best place to eat in the world!!!!!!!!

I just regret the fact that I had to leave the next day so I couldn't have the travelers over for dinner.:o( I really wanted CLS to see where I lived!!!!!

Anyway.....I invite all of you to visit New Orleans......and would be honored to show ya'll around.....welllllllll........ everywhere, but perhaps some of the establishments that CLS visited.....LOL....some of these places just aren't "my cup of tea" for a bible totin', mother and grandmother.....if you know what I mean!!!!!!!LOL But if you're interested in the plantations, the city mansions of the Garden District or perhaps seeing the fantastic sites of the city's other fabulous atttractions......I'd be delighted!!!!!!Ya'll just come on down!!!!!!!

Adele_'s picture

(post #57230, reply #28 of 52)

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CLS, thank you so much for your wonderful commentary on your delightful experience in NO. I was there a few years ago & like you said, even the 'dives' had wonderful food. Now, after reading your stories, I want to go back, even more than before!!

FlavourGirl_'s picture

(post #57230, reply #29 of 52)

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Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, CLS. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your commentary.

BTW, did you take time off work once you came home to recover? You deserve a good rest!

Jean_'s picture

(post #57230, reply #30 of 52)

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Does this look familiar?



and here is a recipe......