I landed at Louis Armstrong International on a Monday a little before noon and headed right to my hotel the Hampton Inn strategically located right across from the Convention Center where I and some co-workers were attending a trade show. I was flying out on Wednesday at noon so had 48hrs to take care of business and make the most out of the Big Easy…
We were fairly hungry so after meeting up at the hotel we headed down past the Convention Center and came upon Mulate’s an Old school joint in the Warehouse District. I’ve heard of it, got pretty reviews, and it was close by so we popped in. It’s a huge space with portions to match. The menu was a who’s who of Cajun and Creole dishes such as Gumbo’s, Po Boys, Crawfish Étouffée, etc. The Crawfish Entouffee was our favorite dish, the Jambalaya was very good as well. However the Gumbo was a little too soupy, too thin.Stuffed, we headed back to our hotel to change for meetings. Once work was done for the day we, changed quick and headed right out for the night.
We started at Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar. Since there was a wait we ordered up some local brews including Nola Blond, Nola Brown and Voodoo IPA’s to beat the heat. while we waited for our table…outside(not the table…us, this was New Orleans after all) We started with Area 3 Oyster Shooters(Oyster, Vodka, hot sauce , and horseradish) I loved them and if you like Bloody Mary’s order some up. We started with some Crawfish pie(kinda like little raviolis) and some Gumbo, much thicker and mo better. We then ordered up 3 different types of Oysters, Char-Grilled, Raw, and Bienville (topped with cream shrimp, and mushroom sauce). Some more beers to wash the oysters down along with another round of Oyster Shooters and noticed the place was very quiet. Essentially we shut down Felix’s and headed out for some live Jazz down Bourbon Street at Maison Bourbon. It’s an awesome place to see authntic old school Jazz, the stuff my Dad loved, Louie Armstrong style. Along with the great music is a very cool atmosphere of brick walls and wrought iron chairs and a full bar with a nice selection of beers and great Mint Juleps.
After a number of sets we headed back down Bourbon Street and came upon the Old Absinthe House, a classic bar from the early 1800’s that has old Football helmets hanging from the ceiling above a large squate shaped bar attended by pretty classy looking ladies serving cocktails, beers and Absinthe done the old school way with a sugar cube and water by . I loved the Mata Hari (earthy green and minty) while a friend had the Nouvelle Orleans(bright green anise, mint, verbena) Our other buds went with G&T’s and beers….they didn’t want to tempt the Green Demon. Heading back we saw Big Easy Daiquiries and Big Pizza .Luckily we were smart enough to go Pizza. Though if you desire they have big drinks and pretty good pizza to soak them up with in a huge brightly painted and lit space to keep you wide awake for mo. An Arm wrestling match took place here with a local…but that’s a story for another time….
Tuesday morning we head over to the new Cafe Du Monde location in the the Riverside Mall overlooking the Mississippi River…same great coffee and Beignets though in a mall setting. Still great views of the river and love their Ole Coffee. Went back to follow-up on some things then took a break and headed over to the National WWII Museum. If you’re a History buff (they built the Higgins boats used to land at the Normandy beaches on D-Day in New Orleans) make sure you come here while in town. It’s in a few buildings and there are galleries, Planes, Tanks, and new wings coming. I only had an hour, you really need 2-3. On my way back looking for something quick I came upon one of my all time best stumbles. …Cochon Butcher, absolutely amazing sandwiches(available to stay or to go)! I had their Muffaletta which they serve warm, one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had! The Mac n Cheese was another hit and washed it all down with a Dublin Cherry Limeade. To go I grabbed a Chili Chocolate PB Brownie, Bacon Praline, and a Pig Slaver T Shirt(looks like a Frank Frazzeta drawing of a beautiful cave girl riding a gigantic pig…how could I not:).
After work we chilled out a bit and then headed over to Tchoupitoulas Street which is full of restaurants and leads into the French Quarter as it tuns into Decatur .After a slightly longer walk then planned…we hit Landry’s Seafood House, yes a franchise, but a great spot nonetheless in the French Qtr for Seafood. Plus the fairly large menu had non Seafood choices as well. We loved the Redfish, the Fried Green tomatoes and the Crawfish bread(finally! loved it) Of note,. exceptional service by our waitress. .We drank Turbo Dogs and Vino. They have Mini deserts and I really enjoyed the Meyer Lemon Pie. Afterwards we headed over to the Crescent City Brewhouse for an event and final stop of the night. A Cool Micro-Brewery in the French Quarter close to the River. Catch some live music downstairs or pop upstairs to chill out in the patio. The Red Stallion was my fave, the Black Forest , and IPA tasty as well.
Wednesday I’m back the airport to fly back and stop at Zatarain’s for lunch to bring on the plane. All Airport food should be this good. It even looks like you walked into a restaurant in the French Qtr. Very good and friendly service to back up the food and drink. Great Po Boys, Jambalaya, sides, etc I got the Roast beef PO boy with a side of jambalaya. Love this city!