I had hoped to start this post with a southern greeting that New Orleans locals use, but after spending 48 hours in the Big Easy, I couldn’t come up with anything other than, “hi ya’ll!” And that’s stretching it! Today I’m taking a break from easy weeknight meals and toddler tantrums to talk to you about a special trip I was able to take with Ted last week: a trip to NEW ORLEANS, LA [NOLA].
While the majority of Ted’s work is in Metro Detroit, he travels 1-2 times a quarter for conferences, meetings, etc. When he told me a few months ago that NOLA was on his radar, I just knew I had to move mountains to take this trip with him. Not only have I always wanted to visit NOLA for the culture and food, the city has always had a special place in my heart as it’s the city my parents were visiting when they got THE CALL that I was to be their daughter [read more about my adoption story here].
A big thanks to Nana and Grandpa and additional babysitters who made this trip possible. It certainly takes a village to get some quality time with my hubby. Funny how even ONE night away can re-energize our relationship and our mindset as parents.
Day 1 of travel started with an early flight from Detroit, MI to New Orleans, LA. Once we landed, we checked into our hotel and hit the ground running to eat and sightsee. We stayed at The Ace Hotel which is located in the warehouse district, about a mile walk from the French Quarter and a quick cab ride to the Garden District [the two main tourist areas in NOLA]. We had lunch at Butcher, a hipster-esc deli with DELICIOUS sandwiches [muffuletta number 1 for me]. After lunch, we walked to the French Quarter, which included stops at Pat O’Brien’s so we could try a famous Hurricane drink, as well as Café Beignet for, you guessed it, beignets!
Dinner our first night was at Compere Lapin, a new age creole restaurant with a bunny drink Ted is STILL talking about. Champagne and jalapeno tequila anyone?! This was by far our favorite dining experience, alongside the dive shops for my muffaletta and po’ boys.
Thursday [day 2] I was pretty much on my own. After Ted and I finished a cycling class at Tour Cycle Studio, he headed to a conference where he spoke on a panel about mobility, and me? Well, I just continued to walk and eat my way through the city! My favorite stop? Central Grocery for muffuletta number 2!
We came together for dinner neither one of us were really impressed with [I think Ted was still dreaming about that bunny drink], but nonetheless, if you are in the French Quarter and are looking for a classic NOLA dining experience, then give Broussard’s a try. I will say their gumbo was delicious!
Friday morning began with an Orange Theory Fitness class [we had to burn off those beignets] and a trip to the Garden District [GD]. The GD is known for plantation homes [celebrity sightings!], boutique shops, and unique cemeteries. I was on a mission for a fried shrimp po’ boy and was NOT disappointed when we found one at a dive bar, Parasols. Once we finished lunch we made our way back to the hotel as it was time to check out and make our way to the airport.
Let me just say there were about 50 other restaurants we wanted to try but given our time constraints and limited reservations and my somewhat lack of planning, we missed out on a few. Friends and locals also suggested these eats:
Meril – an Emeril Lagasse restaurant
Parkway Bakery and Tavern – for po’ boys
Peche – for fresh seafood
St. James Cheese Company – need I say more?!
Brennan’s – the birthplace of bananas fosters
Shaya – modern Israeli eats
Do you see why we ended up walking everywhere and taking a few workout classes?! Sister could’ve gained a few pounds this trip! And if you aren’t into eating as much as Ted and I clearly are, there’s apparently a great WWII museum in the area as well!
Ok guys. I’m done. I’m full. I’m tired. But I’m a new fan of NOLA.
If you’ve been to the Big Easy, what were some of your favorite eats and treats? How about the bar scene? Where did you have THE BEST cocktail?!