We did what we enjoy doing during our travels: eat and drink! Of course, we also relaxed and enjoyed the sights and energy of this beautiful city.
We arrived on Wednesday evening – after volunteering to take a later flight in exchange for a $150 credit on a future flight. Thank you United Airlines! Hey, if you like to travel as much as we do, we take advantage of these opportunities! We stayed at the Hyatt French Quarter which we luckily reserved with the help of Hotwire. This hotel is beautiful and the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. We requested a quiet room and were assigned one that looked over the hotel’s courtyard. When we arrived, we were late for a dinner meeting. The receptionist sensed our time constraint and offered to take our bags to our room. It’s rare to find great customer service that senses the needs of the guest before anything is even requested. The hotel location is at the edge of the French Quarter. This is desirable because it’s quiet, but close to the action.
During our visit to New Orleans, we visited MANY bars and restaurants. We will highlight our favorites and also include some pictures that we feel capture the spirit of this fantastic city. One place that we believe deserves the hype is Café du Monde. Even if you aren’t into fried dough and coffee, it’s a must do! We forgot how delicious the beignets tasted until we bit into the pillowy warm dough covered with a thick sprinkling (or dumping) of powdered sugar. Followed with a sip of a café au lait, there is no better breakfast! Jackson Square, with St. Louis Cathedral in the background, is adjacent to Café du Monde. It is a lively square filled with tourists, artists, street performers, and Tarot card readers. A great place to walk around after your beignet and coffee fix!
Around 3PM one afternoon, we realized it was one of our favorite times: Happy Hour! After a search for “best happy hour” on Yelp, we decided to try Luke. This place is a definite favorite of ours. In fact, we went here two times during our 3 day visit. $0.50 an oyster and half price cocktails?! And the French 75… Amazing. The French 75 here is cognac based, whereas at Arnauds French 75, the cocktail is gin based. The French 75, frothy from egg white, is another departure from the classic French 75 recipe. Arnauds’ is delicious but Luke’s was different and unique. If you are in New Orleans, do yourself a favor and go to Luke’s for happy hour…The French 75 and $0.50 oysters can’t be beat.
In addition to Luke, our other favorite place in New Orleans is Willie’s Chicken Shack at 233 Bourbon Street. This place is a hole in the wall that is incredibly packed with people wanting delicious and relatively inexpensive fried food. The fried chicken and fried catfish are incredible. Normally we dislike catfish, but this literally enlightened us…catfish can be delicious! The fries are perfectly crispy on the outside and pillowy on the inside. The buttery, sweet biscuit was an amazing accompaniment. But please know, this food is fried but NOT greasy! There is a difference!
Woldenberg Park is adjacent to the Mississippi River. It’s a beautiful, quiet respite from the craziness of the French Quarter. During a break in the park, we saw this steamboat pass us.
Oysters are incredibly popular in NOLA. However, why does everyone go to Acme Oyster House? Don’t wait in line at Acme. Walk across the street and go to Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar. Do yourself a favor and sit at the oyster bar. You will be entertained watching the oysters being shucked. The oysters are incredible and the service is fantastic.
On Saturday we saw no less than a dozen wedding processions throughout the French Quarter. With the music and friends and family celebrating the lucky couple, you can’t help but feel the positive loving energy! Here is a picture of one:
No visit to New Orleans is complete without a…Hand Grenade drink! Tropical Isle has 3 locations on Bourbon Street. We went to the one at 721 Bourbon Street. The live music was great. The hand grenade is easy drinking but it sneaks up on you. Why else would 20-something year old men carry it around?
The long weekend trip to New Orleans was a fun and entertaining getaway. This entry highlights some of our favorite experiences. We hope to return soon to this fantastic city. If you have any comments or would like suggestions about other places to go, please let us know. As always, our adventures are your adventures!