New Orleans interlude

So I know I still owe you more details on the rest of our Thailand trip, and that’s coming. But first, a few updates on one of our favorite cities in the world. 

We came down with Rob’s brother and his wife for a quick vacation, and to celebrate Rob’s birthday. This is Ron & Kristan’s first time in the Big Easy, and it’s been fun introducing them to what we love about this place: the food, music, and truly lovely hospitality of the people who live here. 

Day one, we started with an old favorite of ours, which our traveling companions agreed was some of the best food so far: Coop’s Place. The food here never disappoints. We always order our standbys of the smoked duck quesadilla and jambalaya supreme, but it was Kristan’s blackened redfish that stole the show. 

Some afternoon showers made sightseeing a little tricky, but we managed to hit a few key spots in the Quarter on this first day, including Tujaque’s standup bar for some beverages to go, popped into the Carousel bar for a peek at that famous rotating bar, and Bourbon House for a platter of oysters. 

Later, back in the Marigny, we feasted on Dat Dog for dinner, then caught John Boutté at dba, always a treat. 

Day two started with a new breakfast find: Ruby Slipper, right around the corner from our B&B in the Marigny. How this escaped our notice until now is beyond me. The food was amazing, service excellent. 

A morning Voodoo walking tour followed, where we learned to separate truth and history from the Hollywood lies. The tour, led by Robi from Free Tours by Foot, was excellent and I’d highly recommend.

After working up an appetite, lunch was in order. While we don’t do a lot of upscale dining on vacation, we did decide on NOLA for this Sunday lunch, and I’m very glad we did: my shrimp & grits was probably the best I’ve ever had; Kristan thought the same about the creole potato salad that came alongside her etouffée. Ron really liked the risotto-style jambalaya here, and Rob went with a delicious banh mi oyster po’boy. Another great meal. 

It was the weekend of the Tennessee Williams festival, and we managed to catch the Stella and Stanley shouting contest in Jackson Square. If you’re ever there for this, don’t miss it. So much fun!

On the way back to the Marigny we stopped at Fritzel’s for a drink and to hear some traditional jazz, then later we caught the Palmetto Bug Stompers at dba, and strolled the art markets. 

The evening wrapped up with dinner at Praline Connection. By that time, we were a little tired and neglected to get any pics, but the food was tasty, and portions were very generous. The jambalaya here was quite different, including more vegetables (not a bad thing). My fried chicken was well seasoned and juicy but it still doesn’t come close to beating my personal favorite (Coop’s). 

All in all two very successful days. More to come…

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