Monday, October 11, 2010

When In The Big Easy...

Just returned from wonderful weekend in New Orleans. We met several of my hubby's academy classmates and their wives for the Army/Tulane football game. I am thrilled to say that Army won! Go Army!

Of course, one doesn't come to New Orleans without sampling some of the foods that the city and the region are famous for.   Arriving on Friday before lunchtime, we strolled through the French Quarter and made our way to the French Market. I always enjoy walking up and down the isles looking at what the vendors are selling. There was a great deal of silver jewelry, handbags, t-shirts and alligator jaws. One vendor was selling Mardi Gras masks and boas and there was an artisan who makes unique pins with a New Orleans flavor. He has been there for years and I have several of his pins, even a hot pink crayfish! Sadly, over the many years that I have been visiting the market, I have seen a real change, and in many regards decline, in the merchandise sold. But it never fails to be an experience!

After our walk through the market, we ventured up Decatur street to find a place to grab a quick bowl or red beans and rice. We ended up at the Bootlegger's Bar and Grill at 209 Decatur. The bowl of red beans and rice hit the spot and we were good for the rest of the afternoon.

I spent the afternoon wandering around Jackson Square and the surrounding streets. The Square was pretty quiet as it was a weekday. Many of the regular vendors were not set up. I always enjoy looking at the art work and watching people have their "readings" done by one of the may psychics. I keep saying that I am going to have my told one day but I'm really too chicken!

Friday evening was  for all of us to gather and catch up. We had great pizza by the hotel pool!

Saturday morning had beignets and cafe au lait calling my name! Several of us made our way down Decatur street to Cafe du Monde. When we arrived there were about 25 people ahead of us, but we weren't concerned. We knew that they wouldn't run out of beignets! Within 10 minutes we had a seats and what a location we had scored. We were right at the front looking out onto Jackson Square, and of course, all of the other people waiting in line. We watched balloon artists entertain kids in the line and the jazz trio on the sidewalk kept the adults entertained. One little girl was really into the music and upstaged the musicians with her dance moves! The trumpet player even gave her a dollar for her efforts!
 Our beignets and cafe au lait arrived and we all dug in and tried not to wear the confectioner's sugar all over our black clothes. See Army's colors are black and gold and we had all dressed for the game. Probably not smart on our part.
Once we enjoyed these delectable goodies, we wandered the Square, now filled with artisans, and side streets. What a wonderful morning we had.

The afternoon was spent cheering on the Black Knights in their victory over the Tulane Waves.

After the game we met at the pool for happy hour and then 27 of us descended onto The House of Blues for our evening repast.

House of Blues was a fabulous place. Wooden floors and walls made the HOB feel very warm and inviting. They have a great menu and our group did a fine job of sampling much of it. I had a duo of sausages, boudin and chicken andouille with mashed potatoes topped with a roasted pepper sauce. Perfect!

Others had  crawfish and artichoke risotta and shrimp poor boys.



There are so may places to find great food in New Orleans. From the finest restaurants to the neighborhood bars, The Big Easy has something for every one.

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

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