Tag Archive for french quarter

New Orleans Adventures: Daytime Eats, Drinks, and Sights

The Mississippi riverfront. Click twice for the largest view.

The Mississippi riverfront. Click twice for the largest view.

I bet you never thought I’d finish my New Orleans series! This is the fifth and final installment. Blog #1 was on sights to the north of Lake Pontchartrain, Blog #2 was on dining at night, and Blog #3 was on drinking at night. Blog #4 took us through the Honey Island Swamp. This time around, we’ll walk through the Garden district, stop for meals, beers, and streetcar rides, and finish the visit up with bourbon, breakfast, and one last Jackson Square view. Let’s go!

On our first morning in town, I wanted to take in some regular New Orleans street views. My husband wanted to shop and stop for several beers to recover from my fast pace. So we decided on Magazine St., where retail, food, and pretty houses are plentiful throughout the Central Business and Garden districts.

Heading out.

Heading out.

Surrey’s Café and Juice Bar (1418 Magazine St.) was our choice for breakfast because it’s highly recommended among locals on Yelp.

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It’s cash only, and it proves my theory that locals really like recommending restaurants in renovated old homes that don’t have air conditioning.

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That’s not to say breakfast was anything less than delicious! Breakfast dishes were affordable and tended toward a Californian/Mexican blend with items like migas and seafood scrambles.

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Cocktails and Other Night Sights in New Orleans

Cocktails and Other Night Sights in New Orleans

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Last time, we covered the bevy of food I ate after dark in New Orleans. In this post, we’ll take a look at all the tantalizing libations Ben and I imbibed in the Big Easy in early December. You may question this claim by the end, but I swear we weren’t drinking at all times. Sometimes, we were walking. Walking off-kilter, but walking nonetheless.

It was Saturday evening when we arrived in New Orleans, and there were surprisingly few people around. We began our journey in the Central Business District.

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In short time, or rather, short time to me and my warped concept of a city block—we really should have taken a streetcar—we made it to the French Quarter. The first few western blocks of Decatur and Chartres Streets were all but abandoned, but we did not yet know we needed to continue on toward Jackson Square to find the crowds or head north a few blocks to Bourbon St. So when the modern, romantic vibe of Evangeline (329 Decatur St.) caught our eye, we stepped in for Drink #1.

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You’ll note their signature drink, the Ginger Mint Julep, advertised on the building behind the restaurant.

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It was refreshing, but not the sort of cocktail that keeps my attention for long. Too much club soda for that, and who knew what was waiting for me in a city known for its mixology? My husband went for one of our trusty standards, the Sazerac, and we were surprised by how sweet it was. Sugar is not something I associate with a Sazerac, but several bars served it that way in New Orleans. Simple syrup appears to be in the standard recipe for it, but I think bars outside of New Orleans may skimp on it—and I approve of that decision.
Evangeline on Urbanspoon

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Eats and Night Sights in New Orleans

Eats and Night Sights in New Orleans

Click twice on the panorama for the largest view!

Click twice on the panorama for the largest view!

Why, you might ask, are you focusing on dining at night in New Orleans? Isn’t the food there good anytime? Of course it is! But one must make distinctions between their blog posts somehow, and with the massive amount of eating we did in New Orleans, I figured divvying up the meals by time of day made as much sense as any other reasoning. So yes, you can expect an Eats in the Day post in a few weeks. There will also be Drinks at Night coming up, and in all my New Orleans travelogues, sights found while walking through the streets will be interspersed. But I know you, you know me, and we all know that food and drink is our priority. So let’s dig in!

Last travelogue, we visited the Abita Brewery, the Abita Mystery House, and the World’s Largest Ronald Reagan, all located around 40 minutes north of New Orleans. Our first stop, after checking into the awesome and humongous New Orleans Hilton Riverside (2 Poydras St.), was the New Orleans’ institution, Mother’s (401 Poydras St.). Proclamations from friends had assured me I would never hunger again after dinner there, so perhaps my expectations were a bit high.

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Waiting at the counter to order.

Waiting at the counter to order.

Or perhaps I’ve spent too much time in the South. It’s the same meat plus three sort of establishment I’ve been to a million times by now, and I’m not that enamored with most Southern sides. I opted for the crawfish etoufée.

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The sauce is smothering white rice, and my chosen sides were grits (lackluster) and collards (pretty good). The etoufée had a nice, deep roux flavor but no spice to speak of. My husband tried their roast beef po’ boy.

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He was not impressed. It was drenched in juice, not that flavorful, and the bread was soaked through. Perhaps that’s normal for a po’ boy, but none of the other ones we saw on this vacation were floating. You are all more than welcome to eviscerate our opinions of Mother’s in the comments—I know it has a lot of fans!

Mother's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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