Sparks and I got back yesterday from a quick jaunt to New Orleans. We arrived on Wednesday, the day after Mardi Gras, which to us was a great deal–it was cheap, and the French quarter was empty so we never had to wait for a restaurant.
We were even able to get a courtyard-facing room at the Bourbon Orleans, right in the heart of the French Quarter. It was awesome.
It felt like the day after Christmas, there. The French quarter had done a good job of cleaning up–by Wednesday evening when we arrived everything had been hosed down, and only some decorations and a few stray strands of beads indicated what had been going on 24 hours previously.
The French quarter is so beautiful, and so unexpected. Unlike the old areas of so many cities, it is nestled right in the middle of everything. You can walk just a few blocks from Bourbon Street and be in the middle of sky-scrapers. Aside from taking the trolley into the Garden District and back, though, we stayed in the quarter. There was plenty to do there.
Beignets and chicory coffee at the Cafe du Monde was a must, of course. We found that the beignets were plenty breakfast and more, for us.
The French quarter is beautiful…
Did I say that it is beautiful? Aside from the lovely architecture, as you walk around you occasionally catch a glimpse into someone’s private courtyard. Last year’s dreams of a shady tropical estate on Key West have been displaced, now, by dreams of a lush green courtyard of my own, full of trimmed box hedges and trees heavy with fruit.
We ate all, or at least many, of the things you are supposed to eat. Besides beignets at Cafe du Monde, we had croissants at the Croissant d’Or. We had a crayfish boil at Yo Mama’s (see above. They were fresh.) We had Hurricanes at Pat O’Briens (and got very, very, very drunk on them. Three in one afternoon will do the trick thank you.) We had all kinds of appetizers and the heavenly bread pudding at Muriel’s. We had po boys at Stanley’s. We had the most transcendently delicious meal of my life at Irene’s… do get the mueniere amandine, if you go there, it is magical. We had delicious shrimp barbecue at Mr. B’s.
We also rode the streetcar through the garden district, wandered the quarter, saw the aquarium, drank daquiris at the IMAX theater (yep, they had rum in them), and generally had a lovely little getaway.
New Orleans–what a nice place. Do go. And get the meuniere amandine… and tell them I sent you.