Louisiana · New Orleans · USA

New Orleans: one menu & drink at a time

Dear K,

Your trip to LA sounds like a dream! I’m dying to visit the West Coast. Before I tell you about my 4th of July, I need to let you know about my extended weekend in New Orleans! It was one of the cities I wanted to visit while living in the US so I’m really happy I got to go before I had to leave the country.

Me and my friend JP got there on a Thursday right before lunch time. We dropped off our bags in our lovely Airbnb creole cottage, just a couple of blocks away from the French Quarter, and headed to St. Roch Market. As I walked in, I was in awe! It was recently renovated so it looked super neat and clean. Besides that, all the food options were amazing, supported local farmers and used fresh ingredients. They offered a lot of organic options as well. My kind of heaven!

We tried the famous Hot Muffaletta, and also a NOLA Trio (crawfish poutine, red beans & rice, and shrimp & grits). Both delicious! It was definitely a great start for our trip!

After lunch, we went for a walk around the French Quarter to get familiarized with the area. We stopped by the Mississippi River and just enjoyed the moment for a while. We then hit tourist spots like the Jackson Sq. and the St. Louis Cathedral and got lost on purpose to explore the streets and the lovely houses around the Quarter.

For dinner, we found this tiny hidden place with amazing reviews called Fry and Pie. They literally serve you fries loaded with different ingredients inside a pie form. Let me tell you, it was pretty good! The restaurant has a lovely backyard, quite intimate in terms of lighting but super relaxed.

A cool thing about this place is that it is connected to Hi-Ho, an alternative bar. That Thursday they were having Karaoke with a live band and exotic dancers. A weird mix but it seemed to fit the city and the audience. We tried a new local beer called Abita Amber, which became our favorite brew during the whole trip! Can’t believe I’ve never even heard of the brand.

Then, we headed to the Frenchmen Street to explore the legendary music scene. But this area isn’t just about music. There are some other kinds of art too. We found two small art fairs with handmade jewelry, paintings, and other out-of-the box ideas.

After the fair we wanted to dance and enjoy some music for a little bit. Blue Nile was having reggae night and I didn’t even know I’ve missed it so much. Some of the old school hits were playing, so it was an amazing throwback.

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On Friday, we had breakfast in a small place recommended by our host called Horn’s. Again, we tried local dishes: grits and étouffée and creole slammer. Both pretty good and super filling. It was impossible to finish all of it that early in the day.

Afterwards, we visited the World War II museum. It was amazingly conceived. It’s definitely worth going and in about 6 hours you can get a pretty good insight of one of the most important landmarks in World’s History.

We walked back to the house throughout the entire French Quarter. We stopped by some different places and it’s incredible how live music never disappoints wherever you decide to stop. Just don’t go to Bourbon St., it’s like the worst place on Earth. It stinks and it’s full of drunken tourists. Seriously! We walked on that street for about 3 minutes and we gave up.

For dinner, we went to Compère Lapin. It’s elegant and the vibe was just perfect. Perfect amount of noise and lighting, which brought a delightful ambiance to the venue! The chef is famous, apparently. I just don’t watch enough TV to know her name, but I can vouch for her food. We had cold smoked tuna tartare with avocado and crispy banana as an appetizer, and then we ordered the Caribbean seafood pepper pot and the curried goat with sweet potato gnocchi and roasted potatoes with herbs.

We ended up that night at the Blue Nile again to see the Water Seed playing. Damn good show! We just sat for a while and enjoyed the fluency of the sounds.

During our research this sandwich place, Verti Marte, came up for a late night snack. Everyone was saying “all that jazz” is the locals’ favorite, so that’s what we went for. I almost died. They put so many ingredients that one bite is more than enough.

I’m pretty sure I still woke up full the day after. We decided to walk all the way to the Garden District and on the way we stopped by a few places to get some drinks and keep walking.

Somewhere on our way, we found this place called Blind Pelican. It looks like a normal sports bar, but with a cool terrace and also an amazing display of fresh seafood. We had to try the shrimp and the crawfish. It was soooo good and addictive! We ended up staying for hours, as the staff was super friendly and welcoming.

After this delicious meal and an even better nap, we went to Bar Tonique followed by Black Penny to enjoy some cocktails and a good vibe.

On the last day, we went back to the St. Roch Market but this time for breakfast. Since the first time there, I wanted to try the breakfast bowls. Yummy!!! That’s all I can say. It did not disappoint at all and it gave us enough energy to walk around City Park and enjoy the sculpture garden.

Around 1pm we went for brunch at Meauxbar. It was one of the best brunches I’ve ever had. We had delicious bottomless mimosas and mouthwatering food. The menu changes all the time but it’s worth mentioning that I’ve had the best Greek Yogurt of my life. It consisted in a fruit cup, greek yogurt, honey and seasonal fruit. It may sound pretty basic, but I still wake up dreaming about it. After that we had Chicken Liver Paté, with peach mustard and grilled bread, and the seared Gulf fish. We made some friends, so we ended up staying there for hours.

We had a great time but drank a little too many mimosas so we couldn’t board on the plane back to Orlando and had to stay one more night in New Orleans. Not a bad adventure ahah! I really enjoyed the city. And despite the weird smell, it has an amazing music scene and superb typical dishes! I definitely recommend for a fun weekend with friends!

Miss you,

– C

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