Friday afternoon found us sprinting through the airport to make a 3:30 flight to New Orleans (MFD loves to push his airport limits), and a few hours later we were aghast at the amount of people in the line for taxis. As in, over 150 people. Not one to let my time pass me by, we made the executive decision to go for the pumped up Uber fare ($75, taxi flat rate is $36) and we were heading into the Crescent City within minutes.
Friday night dinner at the Gumbo Shop on the recommendation of Gwen was the perfect introduction to New Orleans: a little spicy and in no great hurry. My tried and true Northeasterner self struggles with the pace of the South every time. I had crawfish and pasta in tasso cream and MFD had a creole combo so I sampled his seafood okra gumbo, jambalaya, and macque choux corn. I had a huge ass piece of pecan pie that was fabulous to top off the meal.
Preservation Hall. This was number one on my To Do list in New Orleans. Unless you buy advanced tickets (sold out when I tried), it's standing room only for the 45 minute show. I ended up sitting out on one of the old ass seats in the hall in lieu of behind the mystery farter in the room.The sound was just as good. MFD stood in the doorway and watched the whole thing with better views than he would have otherwise. It was awesome and absolutely worth the $20 each to get in. There are no frills, no refreshments, no bathroom, nothing pretty about the place except for the music and the music is enough. I'm still singing oh Eliza, little Liza Jane on repeat.
Court of the Two Sisters on the recommendation of Colleen K - we sat in the courtyard even though it was a little chilly. The setting was really lovely with brick and vines and burbling fountains. The jazz was a nice background, service was friendly, and I have never in my life had better sweet potatoes. Ever. Like I could have sat there all day and eaten 12 pounds of those sweet potatoes and I've already sussed out the recipe on the internets.
Sucre, taking some macarons to go.
Saturday evening dinner at Tujague's on Decatur, a recommendation from my coworker. This joint opened in 1856 under a different name but has been Tujague's for the past 70-some years and has adopted many of the original traditions, including serving hot coffee in rocks glasses. The service was impeccable and the food was amazing. MFD had oysters in brochette and I had fried green tomatoes with crabmeat ravigote to start, then a meh caesar that I didn't even need anyway, and filet Tujagues - a filet with creole seasonings accompanied by gulf fried oysters and a Crystal Hot Sauce bearnaise reduction (I got it on the side). The crust on this steak was unbelievable. MFD actually told the waiter he'd bathe in it. So the waiter got a little taste of Shit MFD Said and he liked it.
I had walked one billion miles that day and had the blisters on my toes to prove it so I was done done done. MFD went and heard some jazz on Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny section and enjoyed it a lot.
Sunday began with another morning walk in the French Quarter:
Jackson Square, which was truly magnificent with the cathedral in the back and ringed with artists and performers throughout most of the day:
After MFD was off to his conference, I strolled the French Market, talked to some merchants, enjoyed the sunny skies and warm breezes, sipped some coffee, and stepped into some galleries and shops. Perfect Sunday morning, right? I am a statue lover and this town did not disappoint.
I walked along the mighty Mississippi for a bit, watching the Natchez steamboat take off with its wheel paddling furiously in the muddy river and listening to a joyful trombone player for a while.
MFD and I had our au revoir lunch at Felix's, a recommendation from Angie, and hot damn it was good. We split chargrilled oysters that were incredible and I had a fried oyster po boy I swore I had no room for but finished. We even ate the delicious bread with the oysters even though I swear I have never had more bread in my life than I had this weekend. Allll the french bread.
I know, I know, STFU with the food. Just two more for you: Spitfire Coffee (excellent iced coffee and very unique mole cortada that was great), they have tip jars and you place your vote for the day in them. MFD placed his dollar in science and I placed mine in magic. And Central Grocery for the muffuletta. Just do it. I could only eat half of a half but I'm glad I at least tasted the magic.
We stayed at the Hotel Provincial and I loved it. Really nice staff and a great location on Chartres tucked out of the way of the insanity. I also considered the Cornstalk. That was really cool looking from the outside and in a good location as well. If you do decide to stay at Hotel Provincial, ask for a room off a balcony. We didn't and wish we did. We stayed in building five, which is a restoration of the original 1875 structure that was at one time a Civil War military hospital.
I'll just leave a few videos here of some music for those that like that sort of jazz...get it? I'm going to start with the one where the guy is playing a Kora African Bass Harp, an instrument that originates in West Africa. He built this one himself. I thought the sound was unique and I liked sitting and listening to him in Jackson Square on my way back to the hotel to leave for the airport.
Entertaining the people in line at Cafe du Monde on Sunday:
On the way to the airport, I rode by a Second Line party in Treme on the way out of town and that was a fine sendoff. My brother picked me up and I got home around 11:15 and to bed a little before 1 after many lovely greetings from the dogs. Thanks to our friends Catie & Joe for watching the grumble this weekend while we were gone!
I worked yesterday as there are no bank holidays off here. Thus you get TWTW on Tuesday.
Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending