New Orleans: Eating & Drinking

April 21st, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Life

In the last 48 hours I’ve run an unofficial half marathon and driven to New Orleans and back. It’s been an incredible weekend! I left town Saturday morning after my last run before my marathon this weekend and hit the road for a girl getaway to New Orleans. Today I’ll be sharing some of the great restaurants and bars we went to and tomorrow I’ll fill you in on all the fun places we visited and the incredible hotel we stayed at.

Before I left town I packed up a small cooler of snacks and drinks. I know how easy it can be to start relying on fast food/junk food when on the road so I tried to be prepared and armed myself with healthy snacks and a few things I could have for a makeshift lunch/breakfast if need be. I was also trying to keep my spending to a minimum and bringing some food from home definitely helped. 2014-04-18 18.47.33-2After we checked in our first stop was The Court of Two Sisters. It wasn’t on our ‘must do’ list but we wandered in after walking around the French Quarter for a little bit. I ordered a drink called “Gone with the Wind” that was possibly the strongest drink of my life. The title was quite appropriate.  
2014-04-19 15.29.44-3Christina had not been to the Carousel Bar so we swung by there to see if we could snag a seat at the bar. The first time we tried they were slammed, but on our second attempt two seats opened up right after we walked in. The bar is one of the most popular in New Orleans as it actually spins around the whole time. Very slowly, but enough that we were both a bit dizzy the first few minutes. I had an amazing tequila basil cocktail and Christina kept it classy with a French Connection. They put out little bowls of chex mix whenever you order a drink and after our third refill we realized we were the only girls at the bar going to town on the free chex mix. No shame. 
2014-04-19 15.13.37-1For dinner we planned  to go to Napoleon House. The buildings first resident was the Mayor of New Orleans from 1812-1815. During that time he offered his house to Napoleon when he was in exile, and while Napoleon never actually made it over the name of the house stuck around. I had been there once before and loved the atmosphere and extremely reasonable food prices.  
2014-04-19 16.26.53-1I rarely drink but since I was in New Orleans (and walking everywhere that night) I wanted to have fun with trying all new cocktails. This one was a Pimms Cup (traditional New Orleans drink) with the addition of Ginger Beer. Christina and I both got one and agreed it was the best drink we had while in the city. 
2014-04-19 16.43.25I was in the mood to munch so I ordered the cheese plate (not pictured: huge bowl of bread that was promptly demolished.) I let Christina have the pepperoni, and the apple and cheese that touched the pepperoni. The cheese was okay – not the fun higher end stuff I like to get at wine bars, more like regular cheese you’d get at a grocery store.
2014-04-19 16.49.08After dinner we walked over to Frenchman street which is just outside of the French Quarter and has substantially less drunken tourists. It used to be more of a ‘locals’ spot but now so many tourists know about it its loosing a bit of its offbeat charm. The bars there are still worlds better than the one’s you find in the Quarter. Much more laid back vibe, better music, better food. We stopped into The Maison and got seated at a table right away. There was a live band there that was absolutely incredible and we ordered our last round of drinks for the night. There also may have been garlic fries involved. With ranch. (The best ranch dressing in the world according to the unofficial ranch expert I was with.) 2014-04-19 20.29.36We started to make our way back to the hotel and what do you know – we happened to walk right past Cafe Du Monde! Okay, I may have planned it that way. Cafe Du Monde is the one tourist thing that every single tourist really should do while they are in town. Open 24 hours a day they are famous for their beignets – light fried pastries drenched in powdered sugar. Christina and I started to walk past and debated on just going back to the hotel, then decided we really had to stop and at least share an order. 2014-04-19 21.32.28-2We ended up getting an order each (smart move) and someone ordered some hot chocolate with her’s to dip them in (smarter move.)
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2014-04-19 21.31.55-1If we look tired in those photos it’s because we definitely were. We had been eating, drinking, and walking around the city since 2:30 and by the time we made our final stop at Cafe du Monde it was about 10 p.m. Yes, that means we were back at the hotel and ready for bed before 11! I knew before leaving town Saturday morning that I didn’t wan to drink so much, or stay out so late, that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the second day in the city. Look at us acting like responsible adults.

I even went out of my way to wear comfortable shoes for walking.

Is there a tourist trap in your town that’s actually worth going to? Or one that’s super lame and over-hyped? 

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26 Responses

  • Cafe du Monde is one of the best places in the world! :)

  • Caroline says:

    All these places you went sound really delicious!! I’ve never been to NOLA but I’d love to one day!

    • Erica House says:

      It really is a city unlike any other I’ve been to. The Quarter can be a bit much but the other parts of the city (Frenchman/Magaizine st) embody the best of old Southern charm.

  • Carla says:

    Im like one of the ONLY PEOPLE who thought CHUEYS (austin. touristy. where the bush girls were arrested :)) was uber tourist trap and NOT amazballs.

  • What an awesome trip! I really want to visit New Olreans one day!

  • I’ve heard so many great things about New Orleans!!! Lots of deliciousness for sure. Not sure I will ever get down there though, maybe once in my life! As for tourist traps in my city, well I do live in LA – ha ha ha! I tend to AVOID THEM though because they get just way too congested! But when I have friends visiting, I definitely do the tourist thing! :D

    • Erica House says:

      I have to admit a part of me thinks of LA as a giant tourist trap. What do locals love to do there?

      • You could not be MORE RIGHT!!! The summer is the worse too, so I couldn’t be more “EXCITED” about the upcoming months! SO many tour buses. Ha! We just like going to the beach – and going to local hang outs that tourists DONT KNOW ABOUT! ;) Driving far up the coast into Malibu and Santa Barbara is nice too!

        • Erica House says:

          I love Santa Barbara! All of my extended family is in Lompoc so I’ll usually fly in there when I see them. Such a gorgeous (and rich as shit) area.

  • The wife and I might take a short trip away from the kids (hopefully within the next year or so). New Orleans has always been on my short list…. I had beignets at Cafe Du Monde way back in ’92, but I wouldn’t have been able to remember the place if not for your post…. Thanks!

  • Heather says:

    Thanks for sharing! I went to New Orleans years ago when I was too young to appreciate it (i.e., drink, of course) so I am so dying to go back. Now I have your excellent recommendations :) Glad you’re treating yourself to some fun girl time. You deserve it!

  • Helen says:

    What an awesome trip to New Orleans! It’s one of the places to go on my bucket list. I sure bet that their festivals can get pretty crazy but fun! hah. My professor told the class all about New Orleans when she went there.
    And Sacramento isn’t much of a tourist trap, even though it is the capital of California. There’s Old Sac, the State Capital, the Railroad Museum but there isn’t much to do here. San Francisco and LA are more well-known, even though Sacramento is the capital.

    • Erica House says:

      I know Vegas has the reputation for ‘what happens there stays there’, but I’m convinced more crazy stuff goes down in NOLA!

      I guess I haven’t heard very much about Sacramento myself. That’s probably a good thing for people who live there and don’t want to be interrupted with tourists all the time!

  • leighishee says:

    NOLA is one of our favorite places to go. We have gone every year on my birthday for the past 4 years. Cafe Du Monde is an absolute must! We love to stay at the Bienville House. Great walking distance to everything in the Quarter. You have to eat a Mother’s! Yum! I have not been to the Napoleon House – need to try that this year. And I have not been to the Court of Two Sisters either. We are not big on Bourbon Street but we do always go to Pat O’Briens.

    Love Magazine Street – You also have to walk around the Garden District and visit a cemetery.

    • Erica House says:

      I’ve had a few people recommend Mothers to me! As a vegetarian I usually can’t find a lot of options at the popular places in NOLA (hence why I love Napoleon House so much.) I think I may have ducked into Pat O’Briens one time when I was there … but at that point in the night it was kind of hard to remember ;)

  • That looks like so much fun!!!!! Richmond is a cool city and we have lots of awesome stuff to check out but I don’t THINK there are any tourist traps :)

    P.s. totally jealous of your pink Fitmark bag! Mine is red but I’m loooving that pink!

  • Michele says:

    Soooo jealous that you went to two of my favorite places – the Carousel Bar and Cafe Du Monde! I am sorry but there is NO SUCH THING as walking past Cafe Du Monde and not stopping! :) The first time I went there was with my Mom and first we decided to share an order (ha!), well, we did and then each ordered our own. Really truly food that is bad for you at it’s finest! ;)

    I guess the biggest “tourist trap” around here is Kennedy Space Center, which really is a cool place to visit.

    • Erica House says:

      Lol – I can’t imagine EVER walking past it without stopping again.

      Kennedy Space Center would be awesome to visit! Didn’t they do a race around that at some point? Or I may be thinking of somewhere else in South Florida … something to do with shuttles …

  • I WANT TO GO TO NOLA SO BAD! Mainly for beingets, is that insane? Station Square in PGH is super touristy and SUPER lame. The incline is touristy but really cool, especially to go up right before dark and watch the sunset fall over the city.

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