It seems only fitting that since today is Mardi Gras, Travel Tuesday should be New Orleans!
I was born on Fat Tuesday so I feel like I am genetically programmed to love New Orleans. Like most, I was first introduced and fell in love with the city through Anne Rice's gothic novels, but it wasn't until last year that I got to visit the city. One of the benefits of my and Tony's jobs is that we are able to travel, so I decided to tag along last June when Tony had to go to New Orleans for a few days. Since we were both working our time to explore was pertty limited. Tony would go to work in the morning while I worked from our hotel room and then at night we would go out to dinner and explore. Ultimately, we only had one day that was totally free, but I think we made the most of our short time there.
|the view from our hotel room|
Since we mostly only had free time in the evening, our main focus was FOOD. If you've followed this blog for long then you know that I've been a vegetarian/pescetarian for almost 21 years. That being said, if there was any place that could tempt me into eating meat it would be New Orleans. In fact, I did nibble a bit on Tony's gumbo, and it was insanely delicious. I might work up the gumption to get some of my own next time we visit. My only regret is that I didn't get to eat any macaroni and cheese while I was down there. It is totally happening next time, even if it does have prosciutto in it (because they like to put pork products into just about everything in the south). Here were a few of our favorite places to eat -
The Pelican Club Restaurant - Very high end. We went here on the recommendation of one of the locals Tony was working with. It was not very vegetarian friendly but Tony was in love.
Cafe Du Monde - If you're familiar with New Orleans at all then you know that Cafe Du Monde is iconic for its cafe' au lait and beignets. First, let me say that the hype is worth it. Second, the place is swamped with people. I suggest that you go to the back of the building where there is a take out line that moves very quickly. Grab your stuff and then enjoy your snacks in the park or by the fountain that is a few feet away from the cafe.
The Wine Institute of New Orleans - This place is awesome. It's was well within walking distance of our hotel and was super fun. When you enter you purchase a tasting card and you can decide how much money you want to put on it. Then you go around and choose from the 120 wines they have available what ones you want to taste by inserting your card and choosing the amount of wine you'd like (ounce, half glass, or full glass). They also have tasty charcuterie, cheeses, tapas, etc. to snack on.
The Rum House - Super fun restaurant/bar on Magazine Street, so a quick streetcar ride for us. I consumed a number of tasty beverages here, but be warned, the drinks are strong! I got a roti, but in retrospect I wish I had gotten tacos because they were so good (I stole some of Tony's!).
Herbsaint - The first night we arrived this was the only open restaurant within a five minute walking distance from our hotel. It was quite tasty. I can't say I loved my fish, which was the special of the night, but Tony's gumbo was absolutely delicious. A little on the pricey end, but I think we would give it a try...if anything the drinks were delicious!
|grabbed to-go cup from the Rum House for a stroll down Magazine St.|
We also hit up Pat O'Brien's for some of their famous Hurricanes while we were waiting for our ghost tour (it was right across the street). I was unaware that a Hurricane contains 4 shots and, seeing as I average one glass of wine a week, I was pretty giggly, which made the tour quite fun. Besides, we reasoned that the more we drank, the more likely we were to see ghosts. Sadly, I didn't catch any and instead just ended up with 50 photos of random photos. I love the ghost tour, which we did through Haunted History Tours. Not only was it fun, but it really gives you a lot of interesting information about the history of the city. I plan to take one of the cemetery tours next time I'm in town.
Next time my goal is to make it to the zoo!