In case you were wondering why I haven't written in a whole week... I went to NEW ORLEANS! I have always wanted to go and was super excited to get the chance to spend a full four days there.
Its still hella hot in September so I would recommend going during the winter. My mom went in February and she said it was perfect walking around weather.
There are a ton of beautiful homes, buildings, streets and gardens in New Orleans. I restrained myself from taking 500 pictures. I've done that and it becomes laborious going though them after. Also, I just like seeing with my eyes instead of always through a camera lens.
So here is some of what I saw in New Orleans...
This is Louis Armstrong Park, obviously named after the jazz great. Its right across from the north end of the French Quarter. Its really pretty and has such a beautiful grand entrance.
Inside the park there are two theaters. The first is the Mahalia Jackson Theater, named after the gospel singer who was born in New Orleans. Its fully returned to glory after suffering a lot of damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The second theater is the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium. Unfortunately its still in disrepair as you can see from the picture below, but I feel fortunate to have seen it before they restore and renovate. I think I should explain, I can appreciate a broken down place. There is beauty in patina, age and even destruction. I was in Detroit and was asked what I thought and I said it was beautiful. The person asking looked at me confused. Yep. Getting back to the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium... I looked in the ticket window and saw the tickets still there and spooling on to the ground, the sunlight filtering through the broken spaces and smelled the moldy stench. It is frozen in time.
The image on the left is in Jackson Square in the French Quarter. On the right is the garden of a private home I was walking by.
Of course I checked out a cemetery. These are images from the Archdiocesan Cemetery a.k.a. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.
The top reason to visit New Orleans is the FOOD. The food in New Orleans is off the hook. I went to different restaurants everyday, well except for Cafe du Monde which I went to twice. :)
I will take a moment to go into restaurant review mode, bear with me.
- Herbsaint: Hands down the best meal I had in New Orleans. It is an upscale place with a knowledgable staff. I had a sazerac, the cocktail of New Orleans. The short ribs, housemade spaghetti with poached egg, and kurobuta pork belly were so good that I had trouble speaking afterwards. The waitress asked how things were and I couldn't get the words out. I literally went stupid.
- Willie Mae's Scotch House: Pictured below on the left. We ordered the fried chicken with mac n' cheese and the country fried pork chop with mashed potato. Both came with green peas. They are known for their fried chicken and I can certainly see why. Crispy, juicy and spicy. I will dream about that fried chicken for a long time. We finished off with a slice of red velvet cake. It was so fresh and felt homemade. I was skeptical when I heard they don't make it with cream cheese icing, but the icing they used was super good! I realized I prefer homemade cakes over fancy bakery cakes and I ❤ Willie Mae's red velvet cake.
- Cochon Butcher: Shared the duck pastrami sliders, pancetta mac n' cheese and the Gambino sandwich. This place cures their own meat and you can definitely taste the quality. We finished off with a slice of chocolate cake. It was a simple chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting. Once again it was so fresh and felt homemade. ❤!
- Manhattanjack: Get the turtle cookies and do'sants. Trust me. The turtle cookie is a round nutty shortbread topped with caramel and then chocolate. So good! Do'sants are what we in NYC refer to as cronuts, but I didn't have to stand in line at 6am. Seriously? Well do'sants rock. They melt in your mouth! If you're wondering about the name, well Manhattanjack is a guy named Jack who is from Manhattan. So there you go.
- Sucre: This is a super cute sweet shop that has macarons, cupcakes, gelato and more. We ordered a yellow cake cupcake with chocolate frosting, red velvet cake wit a scoop of cookie gelato, and this crazy pretty macaron raspberry cream sandwich concoction. The cupcake was super good. The gelato was slammin'. The red velvet was ok. Its a personal preference. I refer you back to #2 on this list to understand. The macaron concoction I did not try. There are limits! Though if you look at the image below, you will see me in my black t-shirt sitting at that table with all those lovely deserts. Now look closer and notice my t-shirt says "gloutonnerie", that's french for "gluttony". I don't think I could have worn a more perfect t-shirt for that picture. Nope.
So that was an overview of my trip to New Orleans. I plan to eat kale salads and drink green juices for at least a month. ;)
p.s. Fritzel's is a little bar on Bourbon Street to listen to jazz and escape the Bourbon Street insanity.