Monday, April 29, 2013

New Orleans Trip Report - April 21 - 28, 2013

Do I need an excuse to return to New Orleans?  NO!  I have been pining to return since my last visit in Nov. 2010 (my first blog post too).  So, an invite from the people I cruised with last year in April was taken seriously and I told them I would join.  I ended up not doing the cruise portion because my friend(?) bowed out of doing this trip altogether after committing to it, and she was to be my roommate. She was also paying half so that hurt me financially.

My son said he would go to New Orleans in her place after she cancelled but there was no way he would do the cruise.  He doesn't like them.  Sooo, I had to pay his airfare ($630) and the $750 portion of the hotel rate that my friend cancelled on.  $1500 is a LOT to me to pay for a weeks accommodation!!!  His birthday was the day before we left to NOLA so I called the trip his birthday present.  He's 23 now, and I think he's spoiled.  That being said, he's the best travel partner I could ask for!  :-)

Our stay was partly when Jazz Fest was going on, so three of our nights from the 25th to the 27th had jacked up room rates.  Jazz Fest started on April 26th and I got us tickets for that day.  I booked the Place d'Armes.  Location was my number one reason.  I booked it the day it became available for reservations online as I learned it was not easy to come by good places during the time period desired (though, I'm not sure this is in fact, true now).  This was almost a year in advance.  Had to pay a $200 non-refundable deposit AND had to pay the reservation in full 45 days prior with no refund after that.  Serious business with these hotels during Jazz Fest!  I did score a balcony room with two double beds and I was happy.

I tossed the restaurant plans around over and over and over again and FINALLY, all reservations were made by departure.  Last minute I was even able to score ressies at Chef Donald Link's new "Peche" restaurant and Chef Greg Sonnier's "Kingfish".  I was very excited!!!  It's always the same thing, too many fine places to choose from with such little time to visit - always the reason to return, right?  I really had every day booked solid...did I mention I'm an anal planner?  I am...and I don't want to regret anything, in case I can't return...I also was hoping my son would have the same love of New Orleans that I do so I wanted to show him a good time.

My balcony is the first one on the higher level with the blue/white/red flag overlooking St. Ann

Sunday, April 21, 2013:

I was leaving from Nashville (the first leg of my trip) with a short flight on Southwest.  Departure was scheduled at 11:25am and it left 15 minutes late which wasn't a problem.  I was at the hotel by 2pm but they said my room wasn't ready.  I walked around and watched some jazz around the FQ.  It was perfect weather today, about 70 degrees and that's perfect for me!

I stopped for some pretty crappy chicken & sausage gumbo that was $7.95 at Pere Antoine restaurant, but the service was good.  I just had to stop and that was what was in front of me.  I won't be back.  I was caught in a weak moment so I ate enough bites to curb my hunger.

Room was ready about 3:40.  I unpacked and took it easy.  Saw a parade under my balcony and caught a pair of beads though the women on the next balcony beside me cleaned up since they were showing much more than I.  :)

The five hours of sleep a day for the last five days in Nashville was taking its toll. I had to wait for my son to arrive at 11:30pm and I had dinner reservations at SoBou for 8pm.  I was pretty hungry so I decided to go but eat quick and leave so I could have a nap.

The restaurant is really nice inside and I felt very comfortable.  Everyone seemed to be having a great time.  I ordered some Cajun Queso ($5) to start which was crispy pork cracklin’ and pimento cheese fondue.  For a drink I had the "Faubourg Tall Boy" which was very good with Earl Grey tea infused gin.

Grilled Shrimp Salad ($16)  The shrimp were really smoky and delicious

Bill was $40 after tip.  I went back to the room and slept hard until a half hour before my son's flight landed and woke up at 11pm.  He arrived about midnight so I hurried him off to Pat O'Brien's for his first "Hurricane" (it would also be his last as he didn't like them - I don't either).  We sat outside in the Courtyard bar.  Had a toast for his 23rd birthday and then went back to the room for good nights sleep...

The fountain at Pat's

St. Louis Cathedral at 1:25am

Monday April 22nd:

We had a late start this morning and I agreed we would so my son could recover from his long travel day yesterday.  We left at 11am for lunch at Restaurant August.  Service was as good as my last visit and it was nice to see it in daylight so my food pictures turned out!  :)  We both did the prix fixe lunch for $20.13 and I just ordered opposite of what my son chose so I could see it all.

Lavender Tom - Hayman's old tom gin, lavender, st-germain, lemon juice, topped with cava ($15)

Cauliflower Mousse Amuse Bouche (say it three times fast)

Complimentary Bread with perfectly soft butter

salad of Ponchatoula strawberries and chevre - arugula, pistachio butter and aged balsamic

Pate Of Local Pork - house made pickles and marmalades with toasted brioche

Pork Belly and Kimchi Rice - poached egg and spicy brown sugar vinaigrette

Gulf sheepshead poêlé (fish like Tilapia) - pumpkin custard, pearl barley, and brown butter

dark chocolate hazelnut tart - almond and satsuma ice cream

Ponchatoula strawberry consommé - elderflower and creole cream cheese

Chocolate Bon Bons & Pralines served with the bill.

Bill total with coffee also and after tip was $77.  We both thought lunch was fabulous!  We stopped at the Casino on the way back.  We went in and left up $50 between the two of us.

We walked down the 200 block of Decatur to where our Segway tour would be.  

We had some time, so we crossed the street over to "Claire's Pourhouse" and had a drink.  Then it was time to do the tour.  There was about a 10 minute film and about another 10 minutes in lessons after you sign all their wavers.

It was a little awkward starting's all about balance and remembering which way you have to move to stop, go forward, turn, etc...  I found it tiring on my feet.  My son found it tiring on his legs.  Others found it tiring on whichever part of their body they were using the most to balance.  It was surprisingly tiring for something that looks so easy!

Anyway,  the tour covered The French Quarter, Mississippi River Front , The Marigny, The Treme Neighborhood, Louis Armstrong Park featuring Congo Square.

Riding was fine except in traffic and in the crowded spaces like the French Quarter.  A cyclist rode right in front of me cutting into our single file line and it really freaked me out.  I had to pull back as hard as I could so I didn't run into them.  Then another passenger almost got taken out by a car who seemed like they didn't see him when we were crossing at a busy intersection.  That was also unnerving, especially for him.

Louie Armstrong

We took a break halfway through and stopped at Treme Coffeehouse.

We zoomed along Frenchmen street

When the three hours was done, I was ready for it to be done!  We gave our guide a tip and headed back.  My son wanted a snack so we stopped at Camellia Grill and met the wonderful Carl.  Very entertaining place to stop and listen to the staff banter back and forth with each other.  It's like a performance.

 Harry's Yankee Po Boy - Roast Beef, Melted Swiss, Fried Onions & Gravy ($9.99)

The Hickmens - Swiss Cheese, Sauteed onions & mushrooms ($6.69 and I added bacon for another $2).

So, that's not really a snack, is it?  We ate half of each and my son really enjoyed his first Po Boy!  We took the leftovers back to the room and then we relaxed until it was dinner time.  His birthday celebration dinner was reserved at Herbsaint.  We walked straight down Royal till it turned into St. Charles to get there.  It was about a mile.

All the staff besides the hostess were very nice and really good.  I seemed to piss the hostess off when I asked if we could sit outside since it was such a lovely evening but she did accommodate us but just was very bitchy about it...

The amuse below was pickled shrimp with a white bean puree and it boded well for a good meal.

I started with a salad:  Lacinato Kale with Smoked Drum, Louisiana Citrus, and Creamy Onion Vinaigrette $12 which was very, very good.

My son had Soup of the day, which was this bean soup.  It was really tasty and seasoned so well! $7

We shared the Housemade Spaghetti with Guanciale and Fried-Poached Farm Egg $12

Our server told us the spaghetti was a small plate and really only meant for one but it was perfect to share as it was rich beyond belief.  It was amazing, but RICH.  The half portion worked out well.  It's a meal in itself.

My son ordered the Top Cut Ribeye with Sea Salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and French Fries $36

Muscovy Duck Leg Confit with Dirty Rice and Citrus Gastrique $27

That duck was heavenly but I could only eat a few bites, I was stuffed so I got it to go so I could eat it later.  Son ordered Homemade chocolate ice cream and they brought out a candle in it for him and wished him a happy birthday.  Bill total after tax & tip was $173.  Great dinner!  Cab back was $10 with tip.

Our friends from California had arrived to the hotel so visited with them in the hotel courtyard.  We shared a bottle of wine and caught up and then everyone retired for the evening.

Tuesday April 23rd:

We started the day early with breakfast at Stanley.  My son was going on a cemetery tour with our friends and I was going to do all the shopping I needed to do, at least I hoped to.

We were seated right away.

Son had a vanilla milkshake $6.50, he loved it.

Eggs Stanley ~ Cornmeal-Crusted Oysters, Poached Eggs, Canadian Bacon and Creole Hollandaise on a Toasted English Muffin ~ $13.25

I asked our waiter what was in "Creole" Hollandaise and he just shortly said, "It's just Hollandaise" and walked off.  I didn't like him at all but my son said he thought he was ok.  I thought he was a dick.  And the hostess was also short in her vocabulary and not friendly either.  When we walked in and she greeted us, she just shortly said with a sigh, "I only have tables in the middle right now".  We said that was fine and then she just quickly dropped the menus and walked away.

Eggs Benedict Poor Boy ~ Poached Eggs, Smoked Canadian Bacon and Creole Hollandaise on Toasted French Bread ~ $8.75

With a champagne glass, bill was $50 after tip and honestly, I wouldn't return.  The breakfast was good but it sure wasn't anything special and the bad attitudes of the staff turned me off.  There are many other places I can give my money to.

Then we walked down to the 500 block of Decatur so my son could go with our friends on the St. Louis Cemetery tour (I did this last visit).  I left them and then departed to take care of  all my souvenir/personal shopping for the trip.

I gave him a dollar and asked if I could take his picture

They met me back at the hotel at 1:30pm and then we got a cab to the World War 2 Museum.   ($15 after tip).

Since we got to the museum so late and had both shows booked at 3:30 & 4:45pm that severely cut down on our visiting time.  So my son and my friends extended their tickets for tomorrow for an extra $6.  (War isn't my thing so I didn't).  My son loves history so I knew he would want more time there.

The shows were really impressive and worth seeing.  "Beyond All Boundaries" was very sobering and I was choked up at the end.  The seats in the theatre are very comfy and it is a nice respite as well after walking around.

"The Final Mission" is an interactive sub mission.  Below is us getting our duties assigned to us:

This was the station I was assigned to

We managed to go to Happy Hour at John Besh's American Sector.  I could only get one not very good picture of a duck wing below (75 cents) but we had some sliders as well.

We taxied back to the hotel after the museum closed and had a couple of drinks on my balcony and enjoyed the view.  The vehicle below backed traffic up on St. Ann for over a half hour as it couldn't turn.  There was one mad horse carriage driver out there giving them what for!!!  :)

Dinner tonight was at K-Paul's.

This was some kind of cucumber martini

The jalapeño buns at the top right are awesome!

My son ordered Frogs Legs as his appy.  It came with really great onion rings but unfortunately my pictures were blurry.  He said it was really good.  I ordered Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Caper Dill Remoulade as my appy which is pictured below:

For dinner, my son ordered Blackened Stuffed Pork Chop Marchand de Vin which was Tender Pork Chops Stuffed with Ricotta, Asiago, Mozzarella & Caciocavello Cheese & Fresh Basil, then Seasoned and Blackened in a Cast Iron Skillet and Served with a Marchand de Vin Sauce of Prosciutto Ham, Red Wine and Mushrooms. Served with a Stuffed Potato and Veggies.  He loved it but said it was very rich.  Picture is below:

I opted for the recommended Blackened Twin Beef Tenders with Debris  which was Twin Beef Tenders Seasoned and Blackened in a Cast Iron Skillet and Served with Debris Sauce, Potatoes and Veggies (below).  Unfortunately the sides were just barely luke warm though.  The steak was very good but I only could finish one.  The debris sauce was my fave part of the dish.  I could have easily eaten a full bowl of it!

Our server Rachel was fabulous and you could tell she loved her job.  She gave us a free dessert because my sides were cold but I declined.  My son accepted the offer though and ordered a chocolate tart  (below) which he said was delicious.  I had a small taste and agreed.  

After tax and tip the bill was $165.  I enjoyed dinner.  We met our friends over at the Carousel Bar at the Monteleone on Royal for a drink. My son kept saying how good the walk felt as he was stuffed!

I tried their signature cocktail, the Vieux Carré (below) and I enjoyed it a lot:

I found out later that Billy Joel showed up at the Monteleone and played some impromptu piano.  I was sorry we missed that.  We called it a night after here and headed back to the hotel.  I did take my son for a walk down Bourbon Street so he could see what it was about...probably not a place you want to be with your mother, lol.

Walking Bourbon Street

Wednesday, April 24th:

Today the weather changed.  I could tell when I woke up that a storm was coming. We were having lunch today at Commander's Palace with our friends.  I was planning to walk the 2 & 1/2 miles to get there but I knew we wouldn't be able to.  I called my friends but they said they were going to take the Streetcar anyway.  About 11ish it was pouring buckets out so they called and asked if we wanted to share a cab.  They said there was a tornado warning in effect too!

We got a taxi and made it on time for our noon reservation.  I had told my friends this restaurant was a must do and raved on and on about the service and how they treated me like a celebrity.  It was the best restaurant experience I had ever had on my last visit.

Service started out well...until the server got to my friend who is eating gluten free.  He seemed very impatient with her after telling her he'd work on something she could eat and I found it disturbing.  She finally ordered a salad with a side of chicken requesting there was no blue cheese in it.  Our server suggested a Parmesan like shaved cheese which she agreed to.  

Waters were not filled (I ended up drinking my sons), my son never got a coke he ordered after his first drink.  They brought my friend the blue cheese salad, and then when they brought it back it still didn't have the shaved cheese that was requested.  (They did comp it, but just wasn't the magical service I remembered at Commander's).  

We were seated in the Garden room and the storm was just pounding.  My friend's cells got an alert to take cover immediately from the tornado.  Business carried on as usual though.  No staff batted an eye...

My Gumbo of the day was Cochon de Lait

My son had:  Crabmeat Grilled Cheese - Griddled buttery brioche filled with Louisiana crabmeat and pepper jack cheese ~ Served with a cup of grilled corn & smoked tomato basil soup $21.00.  He said he loved it, especially the soup.

This was the second course in my two course lunch special:  Louisiana Shrimp & Grits - Wild Louisiana white shrimp over goat cheese stone ground grits with melted onions, leeks, roasted mushrooms, concassé tomatoes, and sauce forestière $22.00.  It was very good.

We enjoyed the 25 cent martinis and it dulled the pain of the mediocre service.  As I had insisted my friends come to this restaurant, I really did want it to be the perfect experience I had last time.  My son and friends did have the Creole Bread Pudding Soufflé and enjoyed it very much.  Lunch for my son and I after tax & tip was $77.

We got a taxi and I dropped them off at the WW2 museum and I went back to the French Quarter.  I finished all my shopping and enjoyed walking around, listening to music here and there.

When they got back after the museum closed, I carted my son off telling him we were going for Crawfish!  I saw them when I went to the French Market today so I wanted to take him and he said he was hungry for a snack.

We ordered 2 lbs. of crawfish for $13.  Below is how it was served:

We ordered some butter to dip the tails in ($1).  I sucked the heads but my son wouldn't.  He did love them though, as did I.

The aftermath - from one container to another and you need a shower!  :)

Then I texted my friends and we all went to Cafe Du Monde.  My son went crazy for the cafe au lait and beignets.

We said good-bye to our friends and said we would meet them for the Ghost Tour which started at St. Phillips street at 8pm.  We just went back to the room and chilled for half hour until then.

I forgot my camera so I obviously didn't get any pictures of the tour.  I enjoyed our stop at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop though!  (I wanted to get back there again but we never did).  We had to leave the tour at 9:30 though because we had a dinner reservation at 10 for Donald Link's new restaurant Peche.  I had to run to get my camera and we had to get a cab to the CBD (Central Business District) where it was.  I told the cabbie if he could make it in 5 minutes it would be great and he did.  We arrived at 10pm exactly!  The place was pretty full and hopping inside.

Our server said the pronunciation is "Pesh".  I was calling it Pesh-eh.  (Maybe because I'm Canadian, lol?)  Our server was also excited I was taking pictures and said to spread the word about the place.

We ordered a bunch of snacks & small plates so we could sample.

smoked tuna dip $7

stuffed mussels $9

crawfish spring onion gratinee $12

spicy ground shrimp + noodles $12

fish sticks/LA31 batter $11 - this was my personal fave of the night

arugula + goat feta w/lemon vinaigrette $7

royal red shrimp/garlic butter $12 (I made my son peel them since he ordered them, lol)

funnel cake sundae $9 with cinnamon ice cream + spicy chocolate covered almonds

As soon as our server told us the pastry chef was the same one at Herbsaint, my son had to order dessert.  

Everything was good to very good.  For just opening this week, service was very smooth and we really enjoyed it.  We would come back for sure.  After tax and tip bill was $131 - very reasonable and I had two glasses of sparkling wine too.  We got a cab back ($10 with tip) and went to bed soon after.

Thursday, April 25th:

Today I had booked us a trip to Houmas House plantation through Old South Tours.  Our driver was to be there at 10:30am and the front desk called at 10:15 to let us know he was there waiting for us.  We were still getting ready so made it down in about ten minutes.  

His name was Michael, very nice, dressed in a suit and he escorted us into the van for the drive.  The drive was about an hour.  Michael left me his number and just told me to call when we were ready to go as long as it was no later than 3pm.  We decided to eat lunch first after watching the movie which covered the history of the house and then had a quick walk around the gardens.

They were also filming a Discovery Channel Investigates show on the property.  I believe it was about a homicide on a plantation.  My son and I got chased off the front lawn while they were filming.

We had lunch at the Burnside Cafe.

I started with Bisque of Curried Pumpkin Crawfish and Corn $6 which was ok. 

 My son ordered this:  Crown Jewel Hamburger - Grilled 9oz. burger, topped with cheese, bacon, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onion served French fries $12.  He said it was very good but couldn't finish it though!  It was a massive plate.

I ordered:  Eggplant Napoleon - Crispy fried medallions of eggplant, layered with jumbo-lump crabmeat in a saffron cream sauce, served with confetti of vegetables $18.  It was very good though lacking the cream sauce.  I should have asked for more as the dish was DRY without it.  This was recommended by our server and she said it was the best dish on the menu.

Lunch wasn't cheap.  With two glass of sparkling, a coke and tax/tip it was $89.  We made our way over for the mansion tour.  Our guide was dressed in the time period clothing (minus corset she said).  

The nice thing on this tour was that you were allowed to take pictures INSIDE the house.  None of the others I have done let you except Laura plantation.  The owner lives in the house too.

 This staircase winds up three flights

This is looking up the stairwell from the very bottom

Looking over the yard from the house

Our tour ended in the kitchen area.  Our guide showed us how one of the old ironing machines made pleats/crinkles and she cleverly said, "Here, I'll show y'all how it works by using some of my tip money from the previous tour"...and she crinkled the bill up.  So we tipped her $5 and then it was 2:45 so we made our way back to the gift shop and had them call Michael for us.  He pulled up immediately and off we went back to the French Quarter.  I tipped him $20 too even though he said the gratuity was included in the tour price.  I just felt bad that he had to sit there and wait for us.  We were the only two on the tour.  This was my fave plantation visit to date, really enjoyed it.

My son went for a nap so I walked over to Acme for Char-grilled oysters which I still haven't had.  My son won't eat oysters so this was a perfect opportunity.  Acme was closed for a private party so I went across the street to Felix's Oyster Bar instead and sat at the bar.  

On the way to Felix's, I saw this trio, who were usually outside Rouses which I frequented a lot to buy wine/water, etc.

 My view from where I sat.  It smelled soooooo good in here!

Half dozen Char-grilled oysters $10.95.  I wished I ordered a dozen!!  Fantastic!

That was a perfect stop.  I chatted with some New Yorkers who were interested in  my Z10 blackberry and then carried on my way.  

Dinner tonight was at Restaurant R'Evolution.  I had read mixed reviews about this place but I wanted to try it for myself to make my own decision.  It was packed when we arrived about 8:15 for our reservation.  As we were waiting for our table, I listened to some drunk guy complaining to management about how this was his third time here and they have to start getting it right because it's not that good, etc. etc.  The staff was very cold, though polite.  The men handled him better than the women did.  The women just stared icily at him.  The men at least smiled and shook his hand and tried to appease him.

Our service started nicely and we had three people looking after our table.  Two women and one man who was apparently the "head waiter" and was arrogant.  He just rubbed me the wrong way with his attitude.  The other two ladies were very pleasant though very rushed.  We ordered two cocktails and then ordered dinner.  They brought an amuse of Quinoa salad (below):

My son ordered the Crab Beignets ($15) and he LOVED them.  I had a small bite and they were very good.  I had the Death by Quail gumbo ($14) and it was good.  The quail was cooked very well but I wasn't crazy about the gumbo.  I think I expected more after all the raves I read about it.  We shared the salad below.

House Salad with Crispy Vegetables $12 with Haricot Vert, Cucumber, Torn Croutons.  So not worth $12, completely dull!!!!!!!!!!

I ordered Black Truffle Beef Tartare  $14 (below) as my entree and I only ate half, it just wasn't doing it for me.  They served it with 3 small slices of stale baguette:

My son ordered the 9-oz Filet Mignon (below) $39 with a Blue Cheese crust ($4).  It came the medium rare he ordered, though it was really close to being medium.  The crust tasted not very good and really like a cheap Danish blue cheese you buy in the supermarket.  We asked one of the girls what the cheese was and she said, "Maytag".  When I looked skeptically at her to that answer, she then retracted and told me it was some blue cheese from St. Louis that I forget the name of now.  Anyway, he scraped the crust off and said the steak was good but not great.

He also ordered a side of Gruyère Potato au Gratin $7 (below) and he didn't like this at all.  This dish was very sweet for some reason so it went relatively uneaten.  He had also been hoping for a mac & cheese side which wasn't available...

I think the worst thing was that not ONE of our servers ever asked if we were enjoying our dinner.  Not once.  It was all just about taking the order and then disappearing. They never inquired why the plates were half eaten.  We decided not to do dessert and I told my son I'd take him to Cafe Du Monde instead.  The arrogant one did bring out a bon bon jewelry box with the bill and my son said those were really good.  I didn't try any but it almost redeemed the dinner for him.  Bill was $170 after tax & tip which included the two cocktails.  I don't feel I got the value for my money.  I wouldn't try it again unless I heard it's improved...I was disappointed.

So, off to Cafe Du Monde and I had a coffee while my son had his beignet dessert. Then we called it a night and went to get a good sleep.

Friday, April 26th:

Today was Jazz Fest day!!!  It was a nice day and I was happy about that.  We got a taxi at 11am.  The cost is $5 per person or whatever the meter says, whichever is higher.  It cost us $12 with tip.

Stopped at this stage to see T-Monde

Loved his hat!

 This is what I tried

$11 combo for the crab cake and catfish.  Yum!

We went to most of the stages over the course of the day and saw many great acts! We enjoyed the Charmaine Neville band, The Soul Rebels, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun band and we ended with Dr. John.

We also made a stop at Ms. Linda's to try the Ya ka mein later.  It was delicious though my picture didn't turn out of it.  

 Dr. John

 Crowd was really large here, felt claustrophobic

We wanted to leave before all the crowds did and we didn't care to see John Mayer so that's why we left after Dr. John.  A kind lady pointed us to Esplanade so we could get a taxi.  It took me about 10 minutes but we got one.  We took a wander around Jackson Square for awhile.

That evening we had tickets for Kermit Ruffins ($20 pp) at the Little Gem Saloon. I was able to reserve a table a month ago as I heard it was mostly standing room only.   Our cab driver from Jazz Fest picked us up right on time and we arrived at 8pm.  $10 fare (might have been $12 with tip), I can't remember honestly.

We checked in and got a wrist band and then the host showed us to our table.  Below is how the stage looked upstairs from our table.

We had a really great server and we ordered a cheese plate ($18) and a special which was fresh red snapper & avocado ceviche. ($12).  Both were good but nothing special.

Kermit started exactly at 9pm and it was a great show.  He took a break about 45 minutes later.  It was a long break.  We were getting tired but we ended up talking to a nice couple so we shared our table with them and Kermit went back on about 10:30.  He ended the evening by playing the "Treme" theme song from the HBO t.v. show.

Our bill for the evening was about $100 and our new friends bought us a drink too for sharing our table.  They also took a picture of us with Kermit after the show so we would have one.

We couldn't get a taxi so we had to end up walking over to the Hyatt to get one.  Luckily we were there first because a lot of others had been told to do that too.  They use Yellow cab and we were told it could take an hour.  Luckily, the valet got us one much quicker and we got back to the room about 12:30am and went to sleep.

Saturday, April 27th a.k.a. the Last Day:

We slept in and got ready for our lunch at Bayona on Dauphine for 11:30.  I enjoyed this meal so much on my last day, last visit, that I decided, I'll go here every time on my last day from now on.  The courtyard looked very inviting, but we didn't ask because it was really humid today.  I wanted to sit inside.

The lunch menu is quite interesting.  For $25 you can select any three courses from any of the categories, so you could have three desserts if you wanted.  I started with a glass of Sparkling and my son had a coke and then a coffee.

I started with a Roasted Tomato, Goat Cheese salad

Son started with Korean Strip Steak & Shitake Mushrooms Noodle Bowl

Then I had Speckled Trout with Dirty Rice & Haricot Vert 

My son then had Smoked Duck and Peanut-Cashew Butter in Puff Pastry with Hot Pepper Jelly

I finished with a cheese plate.  One was a blue cheese, the other a triple cream

Son had the Chocolate Caramel Hazelnut Tart with Earl Grey ice cream & Blueberry Compote

As it was my last visit, the food was great!  We loved our lunch here.  I will be back next visit.  Bill after tax & tip was $98.  This took us to the time to do our visit of the Hermann Grima house which was only a half block away on St. Louis.  I had a groupon so it was $12 for two.  We arrived for the 1pm tour.

There were no pictures allowed inside the house.  The tour was short and sweet and interesting.  Afterwards we stopped at a bar I liked on my last trip and went in for some A/C and a drink.

We moved our way down Chartres street to where we were going to a 3pm tour of the Beauregard- Keyes house.  We also had a groupon for this so it was two for $10.

They allowed pictures inside here.  

I would have bought the book (they sell them for $10) but they were out.  This was her most famous novel and is a murder mystery.

We walked around the FQ for awhile longer and then went to meet our friends in the Courtyard at our hotel.  There was seven of them there and we sat and visited until they were getting ready to go for dinner.  Our dinner wasn't until 9:15 that evening so we left them after 7pm and went to the casino to donate $60 before our dinner.

Then we were off to Kingfish on Chartres.  This place had also just recently opened and was busy as can be.  They were not accepting walk ups.  We were seated on time and since Chris McMillian is the bartender there, we chose cocktails.  I had the Sazerac and my son had a Brandy Milk punch.  Both were amazing!  They do take a little while to make and she did tell us this when we ordered.

My son ordered bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos with chorizo.  ($10).  These were HOT!  Tasty though.  I started with the Oysters Thermidor ($11) below:

They were good but I liked Felix's better to be honest.

My son ordered the "Duck with Ramen Noodles" $30

My son wanted these "Guava Butter Garlic Fries" $5 and he loved them!

I ordered the "Seafood Cassoulet" $25

We had another round of cocktails exactly the same.  The food was good, but not great - a little underwhelming to be honest, I guess I expected more.  We enjoyed it enough, I suppose.  I ordered a "Creole Coffee" for dessert ($10) and my son got some "Caramel Apple glazed Bread Pudding" ($8).

Bill after tip and tax was $183.  Our server was really good for being so busy.  We met our friends back at the hotel courtyard again and closed the night out there until sleep called us.

Sunday, April 28th:

We checked out at 11am and our usual cab driver was waiting outside to take us to the airport.  It was pouring rain today and I could imagine the mud at Jazz Fest.  We were both a little, ok a LOT blue because of leaving.  My son said he understood what I loved and said he appreciated the food, the culture and the history.  He got a real kick out of saying/hearing  "Y'ALL" this week.  

I had the most awesome 12 day adventure and thankfully have another week off to recover.  I need it along with some diet & exercise as you can see!  One of my fave trips ever!!!

I brought this home so I can have some New Orleans here.  ;-)


  1. I was looking up NOLA blogs/info to research on food again and I found yours again! This is great! I used your first post as inspiration and will use this too. I'm heading back (after 2 years and some) in November. I can't wait :)

    1. @Joanne, Hey Jo!!! Long time no hear! NOLA gets in the soul, doesn't it? I'm glad you're going back and if you have any questions about anything, I'll be glad to help. :) Nice to hear from you again.

  2. Thanks Christine!! I'm going over both your NOLA blogs and try to figure out where to eat (I think one of the hardest parts of planning for New Orleans lol).

    1. August for lunch - for sure! How can you beat it for $20.13 for three courses? And, I still dream of the Muscovy duck at Herbsaint. :)

  3. thanks again!
    1 week to go! I'll report back when I return :)

    1. I anxiously await your report!!! Laissez les bons temps rouler! :)