Wednesday, December 3, 2014

nola, part one

As ELC mentioned, My Hubby (MH) and I were able to escape to New Orleans the weekend before Thanksgiving. It was a fabulous getaway, filled with food, food and MORE food. I tried to save up as many calories as I could before we left so I could splurge! After Little Leighton's Celiac diagnosis, we eat gluten-free (GF) with her as much as possible, so she never feels left-out or "different" with us. Because we knew Grammy and Pa-Pa had filled their cupboards with extra yummy GF treats for Our Girl (they always take such good care of her!), we thought it would be okay to eat "gluten-full" on our trip. (And we were able to really relax, knowing LL was having the BEST time bein' a "country gal!")

As ELC also mentioned, we traveled via Southwest Airlines. I firmly believe they are the BEST. They are efficient. Clean. Consistently on-time. And Love Field in Dallas is, well, just LOVELY! (Tee hee hee.)

Once we arrived in NOLA, we immediately hopped in a cab and sped to our hotel--the Omni Royal in the French Quarter. The location was prime--within walking distance to (almost) everything we wanted to see, tour and eat. The destinations we couldn't walk to? We took a cab (and only thought our lives were truly at risk once). After we checked in, we freshened up and headed down the block to the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone. We knew this particular place was quite tourist-y, yet also a can't-miss. Guess what? We loved it! It was quite crowded, filled with people of all ages, though our favourite acquaintances that evening happened to be two sweet cousins (maybe 75ish?) from the North--both ladies were precious. (One of them was a HUGE Patriots fan, but sweetly obliged me as I lamented my frustrations regarding Tom Brady, his first Baby Mama and Giselle. She told me she was certain his parents were very disappointed in the way he handled his relationship with Bridget.) Though I wish I would have snapped more photos, this is the only one I have from there:


Yes, that's my reflection, taking a semi-selfie in the spinning (yes, spinning! hence "carousel!") bar. YIPPEE!

After that, we skipped down to Acme Oyster House for the most scrumptious charbroiled oysters. Buttery. Garlicky. DELISH. At the end of our trip, we both agreed that we wished we would have gone back there for another dozen.

The next morning, we slept "late" (ahem, 7:45!) and quickly dressed to beat the long line at Cafe du Monde for their WORLD FAMOUS beignets. They are fluffy, little, fried pillows of dough, doused in powdered sugar. You have to make sure you don't exhale as you're taking a bite because the sugar will go flyin' all over you, your black jeans and purse. (Obviously that happened to me. Three times. Oops!)


After breakfast, we strolled around Jackson Square and the French Market. Then it was time to eat again! HA! This time it was a muffuletta at Central Grocery for lunch. MH and I split a whole sandwich, and, I kid you not, it was larger than my head. Tasty, nonetheless! The olive "salad" they use to top the muffuletta? Divine!


After a long nap at the hotel (what a treat!), we gussied up and headed to dinner at Peche. I had heard their "fish sticks" were not to be missed. They weren't! MH and I also shared crab claws in a tangy chili pepper vinegar "sauce" for an appetizer. I could have guzzled the vinegar. Straight up. We also each had a green salad--though simple in design, it was topped with, hands down, the best, most creamiest (redundant?) feta cheese I have ever tasted. Feta is easily my favourite cheese. I nearly fainted! To accompany my fancy beer-battered fish sticks, I had pan-fried Brussels sprouts in the same insanely good chili vinegar. MH ordered the smothered catfish and a side of white beans. The white beans were PHENOMENAL. I would have happily ordered a second "helping" so I wouldn't have had to share. Because we both clearly hadn't consumed enough (HA!), we ordered dessert--a pineapple rum cake with homemade caramel ice cream. It was then that I wished I owned a fancier pair of yoga pants I could have worn that would have allowed for lots o' stretch.


Stay tuned for Part TWO!