It seems that most of us in Missouri, well the Midwest, are currently living in a snowy fairy tale. The tale of Christmas break just won't end because of the most recent snow fall and frosty temperatures. I walked out to check my mail and I wanted to cry because the wind and temperatures hurt my face, that and I have an extremely low tolerance for pain.
Today's post is all about our recent trip to NEW ORLEANS! Neither my boyfriend or I had ever been before and we thought it sounded like the perfect way to start 2014. We hopped on a plane at 6:00AM (with a dream and a cardigan.. oops, sorry, got distracted!) on New Year's Day and headed south! Last year (whoa!), I blogged about our trip to Disneyland and a few of my favorites from the vacation. Here's my rundown of NOLA and some highlights I think you should include in your itinerary of The Big Easy.
We stayed in a quaint little hotel right in the heart of the French Quarter. Walking right out of the Place d'Armes would put you on Royal Street or a left turn out of the front doors would put you in Jackson Square. It was a great location with an equally great price. Side note: someone should be paying me to write this!
|Place d'Armes on St. Ann Street|
We arrived just in time to take part in the Jazz Brunch at the Court of Two Sisters. The courtyard and atmosphere of Two Sisters is pretty spectacular. It was raining when we dined there so we couldn't take advantage of the courtyard, but we got to enjoy the Jazz and buffet!
Yummy dish(es): Creole Jambalaya and King's Cake
When we got off the plane, we got wind of a little excitement happening down in the Quarter. Since the Sugar Bowl was happening the following day, we (luckily) stumbled up on the AllState Sugar Bowl Fan Fest featuring a FREE concert with Imagine Dragons. Score!
We were most likely the only Mizzou fans in a sea of crimson because the town was flooded with OU and Alabama fans. Nevertheless, we wore our goal with pride. My tweet even made it up on the jumbo board prior to the concert!
|Imagine Dragons - FREE!|
After the concert, we hopped in a cab and headed down to St. Charles Street and dined at Emeril's restaurant. If you're feeling fancy, it's the perfect place to go. Our meal and experience was incredible. I highly recommend!
Yummy dish: Dry Aged Moulard Duck Breast
The next morning we set our alarms to be one of the first to arrive at Cafe du Monde. A friend of mine had advised us to get there early otherwise we would be standing in line. We arrived around 8:30 and walked right in and had a seat in the patio area. If someone could make me beignets and coffee every morning for the rest of my life, I would be perfectly content.
Yummy dish: Beignets :)
|The Original French Market Coffee Stand|
For lunch, we braved the line of the legendary Acme Oyster House. Now, you must know... I do not eat oysters. Deep fry those little puppies and I'll consider it, but I'm not about to slurp anything down. My boyfriend on the other hand is a fan, so I'll be a team player! At the conclusion of our trip, we decided that this was probably our least favorite spot and we'll probably skip this place the next time we visit.
|Standing in Line|
After a little touring of the city, we hopped in a cab and headed to Magazine Street in Uptown. Our first stop was the Bouligny Tavern where we had an array of small plates. Each one was equally delicious and it was a nice little spin on dinner to eat several options versus just one main dish.
Yummy dish(es): Marrow & Garlic Bruschetta & Fries with Aioli
Before arriving in New Orleans, I had a laundry list of things we had to eat. It's one of the few places, in my opinion, that has so many unique dishes that must be consumed. Oh, and trust me, consume we did! Thanks to a recommendation by a friend, we had lunch at the historical Napoleon House and had our first Muffuletta Sandwich. We found out later the Napoleon House is one of the few places to sample this sandwich warm - which we both enjoyed!
During the afternoon, we spent some time sightseeing through the city and checking our the museums of Louisiana's history, Hurricane Katrina, and Mardi Gras. These museums are located right next to the St. Louis Cathedral which is also a sight you must make a point to see.
|Jackson Square & St. Louis Cathedral|
|With Mr. Jackson|
Friday night, we wanted to find a fun place to watch our Missouri Tigers BEAT Okie State in the Cotton Bowl. Right before the game, we had an amazing dinner at St. Lawrence. I would consider this place a diamond in the rough. When we checked it out online, it had little reviews and didn't speak too loudly to us. Once we got into the restaurant and started our meal - we were impressed. This was probably one of my favorite restaurants we went to. Definitely worth checking out!
Oh, speaking of the Cotton Bowl... did you see where we won? GO TIGERS!
|Source: USA Today|
On the last morning of our trip, we popped in EAT for brunch and weren't disappointed. The atmosphere, staff, and food was delightful. This was recommended by my sister and she made a great choice - I now, recommend it to you!
Yummy dish: Fried Green Tomatoes
We had a little bit of time to burn before we needed to scoot to the airport, so we did some exploring through the French Market. In hindsight, I wish we would have kept a lunch open and dined at the market because the array of food choices were incredible. Plus, I was very temped to try some gator on a stick - but I was stuffed from brunch!
|Gator Gumbo, please!|
I do believe we checked off everything on the "eat this in New Orleans list", but I could be mistaken. Here's what we had: beignets, muffulettas, oysters, po' boys, gumbo, jambalaya, King's Cake, and pralines. Did we miss something? If so, I guess we'll just have to go back again!
Of course, I didn't list everywhere we visited and popped in but these listed were my favorites. If you're looking for other great spots, I would add the following to your list of things to do/see:
Have you been to New Orleans my faithful readers? Share with me your favorite spots to dine, tour, and visit.
Happy New Year!