Friday, April 15, 2011

Back Trackin', New Orleans Edition - NOLA on My Mind

Some of my favorite bloggers will be heading to New Orleans this weekend, and it made me think of why I loved NOLA.

1. Excellent music

Music is everywhere in New Orleans. Whether walking down Bourbon Street or hopping from one bar to another in the much smaller and less rowdy Marigny, there is so much darn GOOD music at every turn. Husband J and I definitely loved popping in and out of all of the great music venues. The street performers were just as good as in any bar or club.

I'm playing the trombone! Well, not really :)

2. Unique architecture

We have our gorgeous skyline in New York City, but I really haven't seen architecture like NOLA's in other parts of the country. The architecture reflects NOLA's "easy-going sit on the balcony and soak in the scene" pace of life.

A street in the French Quarter

3. Unforgettable Food

Beignets, gumbo, po' boys, etouffee, oysters...should I go on? I was only in NOLA for about four days and didn't even eat half of the local cajun/creole food that I could have. When I went, I had no idea that I would later write about food and travel, so I didn't take pictures of my meals for you. I loved my meals at the following places:

Bayona - Tucked into a cute little side street in the Quarter, this small restaurant had big flavors in all of its dishes.

Restaurant August - One of the best fine dining meals I had in 2009, if not THE best. It's a little bit of a splurge but totally worth it.

Emeril's - It seems kinda pedestrian and touristy to go to the original Emeril's in the Warehouse District, but we ended up having lunch there with one of Husband J's friends who's from the area. I thought everything we ate was absolutely excellent, and the lunch pre-fixe menu is a great value. I actually liked the original Emeril's better than its sister restaurant, NOLA, in the Quarter.

Fried dough perfection: beignets and chicory coffee from the famous Cafe du Monde

4. Distinctive history and culture

The mix of French, African with a little bit of Caribbean and just plain ol' American influences have created a unique cultural and historical imprint in this part of the country. It's pretty different than what I've learned about and experienced before in other parts of the U.S. A fun and decidedly offbeat way to learn about the history of New Orleans and the Quarter in particular is to take an evening history ghost tour. Husband J and I really enjoyed the New Orleans Ghost Tour. The tour was chock full of fascinating information plus a stop at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop for the best hurricane I had in NOLA (Yes, better than Pat O'Brien's in my opinion).

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop. My favorite hurricane in NOLA and a great historic bar.

Plus, NOLA folks know how to party! Check out a past post on Mardi Gras costumes.

If you have not had a chance to go to New Orleans, please put it on your list of places to visit in the future. The city is fabulous, and tourism is one of its biggest industries. Please support it!

Blogger friends, I want to see pics and hear some stories. :)

Happy Weekend, all!


Hannah {Culture Connoisseur} said...

Oh, I remember my very first beignet! Every now and then I stumble across some Cafe du Monde mix at TJ maxx and stir some up at home.

Looks like you had a great time!

completelyrandomsally said...

My husband and I went on a culinary tour when we were in NOLA. It was amazing.

melinda said...

The music and food were my favorites!

Chinye said...

I visited new orleans last year, and to this day cannot stop thinking of that place! The city is bursting with pride, love, and soul. It is on my list as a place to re-visit, but until then I will cherish the memories, taste the crawfish etouffee, silently tap my feet to the jazz I once heard on frenchman street.

Cathleya said...

We missed you! My favorite dish was by far the Gumbo from the food tour and Charbroiled oysters---I've never liked cooked oysters before (only raw!) but they are so incredible in New Orleans!

nicole said...

I will have to make a trip to New Orleans for sure. I mean I am in GA so thats a road trip for me. I love your blog!!


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