Saturday, November 12, 2011

Viva la French Quarter

Because I like history and knowing how a place fits in to the big scheme of this place we call the United States, I usually research our whereabouts and include some facts in my blog.  

Yesterday, Jim and I visited the French Quarter in New Orleans. This time I didn’t even read the historical markers. All I’m saying is that the French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, that it fared pretty well in comparison to the rest of the city during Hurricane Katrina, and that it’s full of restaurants, bars, clubs, souvenir stores, voo doo shops, elaborate iron work trim, music, mimes, people watchers, and folks generally looking for fun.
I wanted to start off at Cafe Du Monde, a great place for coffee and beignets -- a wonderful french pastry that's like a fried, square, no-hole doughnut with a healthy dose of powder sugar.  Make that an unhealthy dose.  We literally had powered sugar all over ourselves.
After that we went to the Market Cafe, where we listened to live music and ordered New Orleans' signature sandwich, the muffaletta -- crusty bread piled with olive salad, cheeses, ham, salami, and I don’t know what else.  Jim and I split half of one and half of a half was huge.
From there we walked the few blocks to the Mississippi River and took the "River Walk" to the Convention Center.  We saw people touring "NOLA" via walking tours, bicycle tours, paddle boat tours, horse pulled carriage tours, and bus tours.  Near the convention center I got an amaretto and pineapple daiquiri; Jim sought out an IPA beer, and we walked all the way back.  And then we walked some more.
We listened to music on Bourbon Street, watched a “transformer mime” turn himself into a police car, saw a guy dressed as a swamp thing enjoying himself at a bar, and -- since we were at the French Quarter on 11-11-11 -- saw maybe a dozen wedding parties.   At that point, sensory input was causing sensory deprivation (ie, we were numb). So we stopped at the downtown Marriott; I had an ice tea, Jim had a beer, and we read the Times Picayune.  And then we went at it again.  

Thank you to our good friend Steve H. for sending us a suggested tour of NOLA.  We didn't make all your stops (for example, we only walked by Pat O'Briens and only thought about getting a Hurricane. Yes, we are light weights) but it was a great guide.
In the background is the St. Louis Cathedral, a French Quarter land mark.  In front of it is a statue of Andrew Jackson on a horse.  

The Friday 10:15 a.m. line to Cafe Du Monde for cafe au lait and beignets.
Jim and his muffaletta.  
Every-day French quarter apartment dwellers saying hi to passers by.
The iron work and ferns on apartments were beautiful.


  1. You must return for a Hurricane. I forgot to mention to look for ferns. Glad you spotted a few.

    It really helps your enjoyment of NO if you're packing a couple beverages and are actively looking for another.

  2. The best part about beignets is when you accidentally snort a bit of powdered sugar while taking a bite, then you sneeze the rest of the sugar onto your loved one. Highly great!

  3. Our son Logan has correctly described yet another benefit of beignets and a visit to New Orleans. Best turn around and head back to NO for another week of foodiness.

  4. You boys know how to have fun. I do love those beignets.