Nola Brewing Company
Our first stop of the weekend was at Nola Brewing Company. "Craft Beers Made By Hand - In a Warehouse on the Lake Side of a Street Tourists Can't Pronounce" That's Tchoupitoulas Street. Whch I still don't know how to pronounce. A quick stop for a brew - a private party was taking over the brewery - and we were off to dinner in the French Quarter.
|Don't you wish you were lucky enough to hang out with them? By the way, M is on a stool - he's not a giant!|
A classic St. Charles streetcar ride and a short walk and we were on Bourbon Street. Now, I've been to New Orleans a few times but I've never enjoyed a meal on a balcony. Well now I have. We thought there was no way we would get a table but the hostess asked "Upstairs or down?" All four of us answered "Upstairs!" And I had my first meal on a balcony in the French Quarter. I went with the caesar salad - I know, I know - salad?! But it just sounded good. It was delightful with a citrus caesar dressing which was very light and fresh. Plus cornbread. Gotta have the cornbread.And just so you don't think we were too blasphemous, there was gumbo and a po'boy eaten also. Such a fun dinner. Topped off with a bride and groom parading down Bourbon.
Only in New Orleans!
|Notice the beads hanging from the roof!|
Monty's on the Square
Very little breakfast and a two hour walking tour left me starving. I needed food, a bathroom and a seat. All of us are pretty easy travelers so we looked at the first menu we came to and boom! we were eating at Monty's with a view of Jackson Square. Mr. UR had the sausage platter of boudin, Italian sausage and gator sausage. He loved it. Especially the gator. What I will forever remember about Monty's was the dessert. One of the top ten I've ever had. King Cake Beignets. Do you like beignets? How about melted chocolate filled beignets with sugar on top? Seriously top ten. We shared a plate but if I ever get back during Mardi Gras I will not share. A plate only for moi.
|Alligator and Boudin!|
|The view from our table|
|King Cake Beignets!|
When we went on our French Quarter walking tour, our guide told us that anytime you saw a restaurant that serves Italian mixed with Creole, go! So when we were wandering down Frenchmen Street and saw Adolfo's, a restaurant serving "Italian fare with Creole flair" then we knew what we had to do. Quite possibly one of the tiniest restaurants I've ever seen, Adolfo's is very quaint with oil paintings on the wall and red and white checked tablecloths. There are only 12 tables, they don't accept reservations and they only accept cash - but they do have an ATM on site for those that need it. The food was very tasty - simple meat, fresh seafood and homemade pasta. Everyone seemed to be ordering the mussels appetizer - if you decide to, be prepared, it's huge! So if you want some delicious food at a romantic little place, then go to Adolfo's - just be prepared for a wait.
Hotel Monteleone Carousel Bar
It's small. Only 25 seats. So it's hard to get a seat. We sat off to the side and had mimosa's - which were delicious by the way with hand squeezed orange juice - while waiting. But the infamous Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone was a fun little afternoon visit. This circular bar that revolves like a carousel has been around for 65 years. It takes 15 minutes for one rotation. It's said that the first ever Vieux Carre cocktail (a cognac and rye whiskey cocktail) was concocted here. And the bartenders have to climb over to exit - it's true. We asked. If you want a unique experience in New Orleans, get thee to the Hotel Monteleone and take a ride on the Carousel. The only one in the city that you must be 21 to ride!
|Can you see us?|
The Blind Pelican
Consistently voted one of the best happy hours in Nola, The Blind Pelican is the place to be if you want plump, salty Gulf oysters. Right off the streetcar on St. Charles, The Blind Pelican has happy hour everday. Yes, everyday - Christmas, New Years, even Mardi Gras. From 4-8 everyday, you can get a dozen oysters for $6 - as long as you get a drink with each dozen. (We didn't have a problem doing that!) You can even get chargrilled oysters - which were delicious! - and crawfish. There's patio seating - and when we were there it was a balmy 70 degrees so that's where we sat. Is there anything better than patio seating on St. Charles eating oysters and crawfish for $3 per half dozen? I don't think so.
Cafe du Monde
You have to do it. You know you do. Chicory coffee and beignets. Yummy. Cafe du Monde is a cafe with outdoor seating only that is across from Jackson Square - the main square of New Orleans. They only accept cash, it's usually hard to get a table and there are only about 10 items on the menu. But the beignets are always delicious and I actually like the coffee - chicory tends to be a bit more bitter than regular coffee. Yes, it's touristy. That's ok - I'll go everytime I'm in the city. (And if you don't like to frequent tourist areas, you can still get beignets at many other restaurants in the greater New Orleans area)
If you're noticing a theme here - most of the places we went were touristy and not off the beaten path - well, you're right. But we were tourists. And it was our friends' first visit to the city. So we felt there were some things we needed to do. I hadn't been to Pat O'Brien's since my first visit to New Orleans some 30 years ago. So it was time to try a Hurricane again. The bar had changed some - it's much larger and way more organized. The staff know what you're there for - that rum drink in a glass shaped like a hurricane lamp - and they get you a seat on the courtyard patio and drinking as quickly as possible. (When most liquors were hard to get in the 1940's, rum was plentiful however, so the hurricane was invented) I actually was the only one to order the hurricane - it had been awhile since I'd had one and I just remembered that it was extremely sweet - so I warned the others. And they just tried mine.
|The famous fountain|
And I'm finishing with my favorite sign of the weekend!
How about you? Have you done all the touristy things in New Orleans?
This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute and The Weekend Wanderlust Travel Blog Party!