New Orleans, you are so lovely

When we decided to go to New Orleans, we figured it was probably super touristy and overrated.  We arrived in town, and were promptly blown away with just how awesome it was.

Yes, there’s Bourbon street (which we were on maybe for two minutes total when we were there) but there are so many other parts to New Orleans.  Even the French Quarter, as touristy as it is, still draws a lot of locals and it has many hidden jems.  And, it’s an eating and drinking city, which instantly makes it awesome.

The first night, we wandered out of the French Quarter to Frenchman street, to go to d.b.a. to hear some music.  It was a great scene out there, there are a lot of music clubs there and the band at d.b.a. was a pretty stellar jazz band.  We stopped by another bar, apparently the oldest bar in the USA, and talked to a local that lived around the corner in Treme and got some tips from him.

The next day, we explored more of the French Quarter, and had some amazing po’boys and gumbo (with crabs in the gumbo!) and went to the touristy Cafe Du Monde for beignet and coffee.  That night, we stopped by Arnauds 75, a pretty famous bar in New Orleans. The bar has an amazing French 75, a staple cocktail in New Orleans, as well as a gorgeous old-school bar.  The bartender there, Chris Hannah, is a pretty famous bartender in the cocktail scene.  He was a pretty awesome resource to use as well, he gave us great tips, and we used this article about him for cocktail bar reccomendations.  After Arnauds, we headed out to Treme to go to the Candlelight Lounge.  The Treme Brass Band plays there, and if you watch Treme the show on HBO, some of the musicians and characters there might be familiar.  The band was amazing, and the bar served free beans and rice, my favorite dish (although not for the faint of heart, the meat was pigs feet and snout!  It was yummy.) The neighborhood, although right outside the popular French Quarter, was pretty run down.  It would have taken fifteen minutes to walk there, but everyone advised us not to do it.  It was weird, because the city is so pretty and seemingly not crime ridden, but right outside the city center people are still having a tough time.  It was great nonetheless.

The next day, we took a walk to the Garden District and looked at some spectacular houses and another non-touristy part of New Orleans with boutiques and bars.  After that, we went in the car to Rocky and Carlos, another amazing restaurant.  The food we’ve been eating has been mostly fried amazingness, so we’re super fat, but it’s sooooo worth it.  Did I mention it was super amazing?

That night, we continued our cocktail tour and went to a bar with a revolving carousel that you sat on in the bar itself, and then Tujagues, my most favorite bar I’ve been to.  All of the cocktail instruments are vintage, not because they’re trying to be cool, but that’s just what they use.  Mike, our bartender, made me the most amazing drink with Angustura as the main ingredient, and I am now obsessed.  He was a true craftsman, and the bar was super old and filled with all old locals, even though it was right on the tourist square. Husband’s Sazerac was the best one he’s had.  If you are ever in New Orleans, and you don’t need a fancy pants cocktail bar, but a super amazing cocktail bar of greatness, GO THERE.

It is at this point in our trip, that the real world has crept back in.  We have to be in New York sooner than anticipated, although not too much sooner, but that means our trip must be shortened by a few days.  We’re also getting a little road weary.  I’ve driven a lot of miles – tinycar has got about 10,000 additional miles, and they were all driven by me!  We’re also getting to the part of the USA where it is 1) so hot we can’t do much during the day 2) can’t leave the dog in the car or in the shade, really and 3) can’t find much value accommodation/food without staying somewhere crap.  We had planned to stay a few nights on the Alabama coast of the Florida coast, but it is soooo packed down here, and the hotels are going for 250 a night, and that’s not even on the beach!

We’re in Jacksonville, and will be making progress up the coast in the next few days, stopping in Savannah, Charlotte, and probably Annapolis.  I am sad that the trip is winding up, but we’ve really done so much, it’s hard to be sad.  We’ve been to at least 25 states on this trip alone, and have seen more of America than most Americans have seen or will see.  Wahoo!  Stay tuned for my guest poster, none other than husband, doing a recap of breweries and other assorted awesomeness!


2 Responses to “New Orleans, you are so lovely”

  1. This is great. I’m going there for the first time in August and I’m so excited to try gumbo and listen to the great music. I’m going to miss the adventures of smalldog so much when this trip is over.

    Did you walk to Treme even though everyone told you not to? Or did you drive or cab or something? Was it as scary as they said?

    • Thanks for reading! Don’t worry, smalldog will continue to have adventures. We took a cab to Treme, I am still not sure if it was as dodgy as people indicated, but I did see a lot of characters milling about in alleys on the way there. Enjoy Treme and New Orleans, I will enjoy reading about what you think!

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