Category Archives: New Orleans

Jackson

Ivan and I checked out of the hotel on March 19, 2010.  We put our backpacks into the car.

We walked to Antoine’s for lunch.  Ivan noticed the day before that they had a cheap set menu for lunch.  The set menu is $20.01 for a three course meal and also 25¢ martinis.  Ivan ordered a pepper martini and I ordered vanilla.  Ivan and I ordered two set menus.  We decided on a tasty butternut squash and shrimp soup.  We also got a plain fried crayfish salad.  The waiter gave Ivan a cosmo martini instead.  Ivan told him of the mistake and he brought a pepper martini.  I really liked the vanilla martini.  The cosmo one was good as well.  The pepper one was too weird for me – it actually tasted like pepper.

Our main courses came out next.  We got chicken with mushrooms and peas which was alright.  The trout dish was really boring.  We got two desserts: a chocolate mousse and a raisin and cinnamon bread pudding.  We really loved the bread pudding.  Ivan didn’t really fancy the chocolate mousse though.  I thought it was pretty good.

We walked back to the car.  Ivan started driving to Mississippi at 1:30 pm.  We would be staying in Jackson for a few days.  We arrived in Jackson at 6:30 pm.  We drove to Carl’s place.  He’s a couchsurfer that we’d be staying with for 2 nights.  We met Renaud, a couchsurfer from France at Carl’s apartment.  We also met Whitley who is Carl’s roommate.

Carl is a reporter on the radio.  He’s a friendly guy who’s very energetic.  He really loves music especially funk.

Carl cooked us a nice spaghetti dinner.  Ivan made the salad. 

We met Whitley’s boyfriend KJ.  He looks like Malcolm Macdonald when he played Alex in A Clockwork Orange.  He doesn’t look creepy though.

We went out.  Carl drove Ivan, Renaud and I to Hal and Mal’s.  We saw a great band there called Passsenger Jones. 

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Carl sang some karaoke.  He can really sing.

Next, we went to F. Jones Corner around midnight.  There was some people in the club.  It’s a blues club.  Ivan and I danced some.  It started getting really busy around 2 am. 

It was nice to hear some good music. 

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Carl started playing the bongos along with the band.  There was a black lady named Jackie Bell singing later on.  She has an awesome voice.  Carl played the drums on one song while she was singing. 

We left the bar at 4 am.  It was a good night.

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Cooking in the French Quarter

Ivan and I woke up around 8:30 am on March 18, 2010.  I took a shower.  We packed up our bags.  We were checking out of Hotel Le Cirque.

We put our backpacks in the car.  We started walking to the New Orleans Cooking School.  We were doing a cooking demonstration.

The class with packed with 40 people.  Our teacher was Harriet.  She’s a 68 year old French and Creole lady.  She was really funny. 

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She cooked four dishes: corn and crab bisque, shrimp creole, breading pudding and pralines.  We got to eat each dish.  I will have to try to make the dishes sometime.  The food was really tasty!

Ivan and I walked around the French Market.  I bought some souvenirs for my nephews.  We walked around the French Quarter as well.  I love the colorful buildings and the Spanish balconies. 

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We were a bit tired today.

We walked back to the car.  We drove to our new hotel the Lamothe House.  The hotel has parking for $15 per day.  The room turned out to be really big with a living room and an extra room with a small bed in it. 

We’ve had so much Cajun and Creole food in Louisiana that we wanted to something other than Cajun or Creole.  We searched for a restaurant that served something different in the French Quarter.  But, we couldn’t find anything.

We walked down Bourbon Street.  We walked to Frenchmen Street.  Ivan read that they have bars there that the locals go to.  We didn’t hear any good music so we walked back to the hotel. 

We watched a few episodes of The Inbetweeners.  Then, we went to sleep.

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St. Patty’s Day

I woke up around noon on March 17, 2010.  Ivan usually wakes up a lot earlier than me.  I seem to require 8 hours of sleep but Ivan sleeps 6 hours.

Ivan and I left at 1:30 pm.  We waited about 30 minutes in the line for Acme Oyster House.  It’s highly rated everywhere.  We shared the seafood gumbo and the fried catfish po’ boy.  The po’boy had a lot of catfish in it.  The food was alright, but nothing to write home about.

We finally got to see some zydeco music.  It was a band on the street.  A girl was playing the washboard.  I wonder if it’s hard to play a washboard.  I want to learn!

We went to the Wharf for the Cocktail Walking Tour.  Our tour guide was named Joe.  Our first stop was Napoleon House.  Napoleon House is a very old bar.  The tour doesn’t include any drinks at all.  Joe recommended the Pimm’s Cup at this bar.  It was my first time trying it. It’s like a summery iced tea just like Joe said.

Joe told us about New Orleans.  He told us that the buildings are actually created by the Spanish.  So, the balconies are actually Spanish architecture.  Joe showed us where the first cocktail was created.  An apothecary named Antoine A. Peychaud put bitters in a French cognac for his friends.  He placed it in a coquetier (an egg cup).  The name was mispronounced and became the cocktail.

Our next stop was Antoine’s.  It’s the oldest restaurant in the USA that’s been owned by the same family.  The restaurant has many different rooms.  Many famous people have been there like presidents, Judy Garland and the Pope.  We stopped at their Hermes bar.  Ivan and I tried the Sazerac which is like the original cocktail.  It’s very thick and warms you up.

We went to The Court of Two Sisters next.  They have a beautiful area outside.  Joe told us at the beginning of the tour we would be in and out of these bars.  That’s why we got to go cups (a plastic cup to put your drinks in).  But, he got chatting to people in the group.  It would have been nice if he told stories to all of the group.  Ivan and I shared the Bayou Bash drink.  It was very good and fruity.

The last bar we stopped at was Tony Seville’s Pirate’s Alley Cafe.  It’s a bar that sells absinthe.  When absinthe was illegal in Louisiana, the bar still sold absinthe.  We got a glass of absinthe to share made with the ice cube and the fire. 

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The tour was interesting but I don’t think it’s really worth the $27 per person.  It would have been nice to include at least one drink in one of the bars we stopped at.

We were trying to find the St. Patrick’s Day parade.  But, nobody really seemed to know where it was located.

We went to eat at Pere Antoine.  Ivan ordered grilled catfish and I ordered a muffaletta with no olives.  The waiter didn’t write our order down.  I hate when they do that… coz sometimes they get it wrong.  It was like 30 minutes and we were still waiting for our order.  Ivan asked our waiter (who seemed to disappear all the time) where the food was.  He said that the restaurant was short staffed since only two cooks came in.  It would have been nice to be told these before.  I was just mad that it was taking so long.

Our food finally came 45 minutes later.  My muffaletta was filled with tons of olives.  I was so freaking pissed!  I took off the olives with a knife  Ivan called the waiter over.  He was going to take it and he said Sorry.  I said No, don’t bother it’s just going to take 30 more minutes for me to get my sandwich.  I don’t recommend this restaurant for the slow service and the food was just average anyway.

We went to Bourbon Street.  It was really crowded out.  We were happy to find the St. Patty’s Day Parade.  We had thought it already ended.  There were small floats. 

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There was people throwing beads from the floats.  I kept throwing my hand in the air to get some.  Then, there were guys walking who were giving out fake green & white flowers, beads and garters.  For the good things like the good beads, flowers or garters, you had to give the guy a kiss on the cheek and they kiss you on the cheek.  I kept trying to get as many beads as possible.  I think I got more beads since I’m small.  I felt so heavy since I accumulated so many beads around my neck.

People were throwing beads from the balconies.  Ivan and I kept trying get beads from the people on the balconies.  I found it challenging to get the beads.  It’s just random if they’re going to throw it at you.  One girl wanted this guy to Riverdance.  I did it instead.  How easy is that? 

We went to see Big Al Carson again at the Funky Pirate.  He’s was singing some good blues song.  He’s a really funny guy.  We walked back to the hotel.

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Shrimp Parade

I slept in on March 16, 2010.  It was an overcast day in New Orleans.  We used the free wi-fi in the room.  We boarded the tram at 1 pm headed to the Garden District.

We had a reservation at Commander’s Palace.  If you order an entree, you can get 25¢ martinis.  The restaurant has a set menu.  It was great that both entrees on the set menu were seafood dishes.  Ivan and I shared a good seafood gumbo and a soup with leeks, onion and goats cheese.  We had a nice gulf fish on top of a salad. 

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The grilled shrimp with mash and vegetables was excellent.  We enjoyed a few martinis.  The best one is the Melon one, but the Cosmo Martini is alright too.  Watch out for the regular Martini on the rocks – it’s really strong!

We went to Mardi Gras World next.  We took the tour.  This was recommended by one of my friends.  It’s really the coolest place!  The tour guide told us that the faces and things they make for the floats are called props.  People create the props at Mardi Gras World.  They actually re-use them and create new people or things.  There were numerous props and floats there.  The floats are very tall and colorful.

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We loved this tour!!  We watched a movie about Mardi Gras and the parades.  Seeing all these floats just makes us want to attend Mardi Gras even more.  Our guide did tell us that there would be a St. Patrick’s Day Parade the following day.

We took the free Mardi Gras shuttle to the River Walk.  We walked around the mall there.  We had a beignet at Cafe Du Monde.  It’s a sweet French donut with powdered sugar on top. 

We walked back to Hotel Le Cirque.  Ivan was tired so he took a short nap.  I used the internet.

It was raining slightly outside.  We walked to Bourbon Street at 9 pm.  We heard a band with 10 guys playing Dixieland music on the streets.  We thought it was really cool.  If it was any other city in the USA, it would have been shut down pretty fast.  The cops didn’t even care.  Some black guys were dancing in the street and waving their bandana around.  They didn’t even that cars were coming by.

Ivan and I had dinner at Desire.  We shared a shrimp po’ boy with waffle fries.  Ivan’s never had a bread pudding before so we got it for dessert.  It was quite tasty with the whisky sauce on top.

We walked around and checked out the bars.  It was a shame that it was raining a bit though.  We went inside the cool shop Marie Laveau’s Voodoo House. 

We went into the Funky Pirate Blues Club.  A 495 lb. man named Big Al Carson was singing.  The band is really good.   I really liked a song he sang.  I think it may be called Breaking Point.  It was real catchy.  The bar sells a drink called the Hand Grenade.  It’s $8 and comes in a cool green cup.  It tastes like melon and it’s really strong!

I bought some souvenirs for my nieces in Trader’s Emporium.  We walked back to the hotel.

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Tabasco and New Orleans

Ivan and I woke up around 9:40 am on March 15, 2010.  We packed everything up.  We checked out of the hotel at 11:10 am.

We had lunch at Brenda’s Eat In or Take Out in New Iberia.  We had the chicken stew with sweet peas and potato salad.  The chicken stew was really tasty!!

We walked around New Iberia a little.

Ivan drove us to Avery Island.  It’s $1 entrance fee to the island.  We parked the car.  We went to the building where the Tabasco tour is held.  It smelled like Tabasco sauce.  The tour is free. The tour guide  was a nice lady named Marnell.  It was her birthday.  She just recently found out that she was allergic to the tabasco peppers.  Poor thing.

We got a few mini bottles of Tabasco.  We got Chipotle, Original and Green Pepper.  We watched a movie about Tabasco.  The McIlhenny family and the employees of Tabasco live on Avery Island. 

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Next, we got to see the assembly line.  We saw the labels put on them by machine and then put in boxes.

We went to the Country Store.  Here they sell everything Tabasco.  I didn’t know they had Tabasco Spam.  We tried some samples like soy sauce and salsas with Tabasco.

Ivan and I went driving in the Jungle Garden.  It was such a beautiful day to be outside.  The entrance is $8 per person.  We drove by a bayou. 

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We saw the Buddha that was a gift given to A.E. McIlhenny.  It’s in a little building.  I got gum stuck on my shoe while walking around the garden.  Ugh, why can’t people put their gum in a wrapper and throw it in the trash?  We saw probably about a hundred snow egrets in Bird City.

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Ivan started driving to New Orleans around 4 pm.  We arrived about 6:30 pm.  We had to look for parking around the hotel.  We found $10 parking nearby.  The hotel charges $26 plus tax per day. 

We checked in to the Hotel Le Cirque. 

We walked to the French Quarter.  We wanted to eat at Acme Oyster Shop.  There was a huge line though.  We had dinner at The Gumbo Shop instead.  Ivan and I shared the shrimp and okra gumbo and the grilled catfish with shrimp creole on top.  The food was average and it was a little pricey.

We checked out some of the bars on Bourbon Street.  We stopped to listen to a good band at Maison Bourbon Jazz Club.  I found out later that the singer and trumpet player is named Jamil Sharif.  Our friend Kellie knows him.  There’s a one drink minimum per person per set.

We walked back to the hotel.

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