We went to New Orleans for our fifth wedding anniversary. (Five years!!!) It was Robbie’s first time visiting New Orleans and my first time back since spring break 2005, a few months before Hurricane Katrina.
We stayed in the French Quarter at the Saint Hotel. This hotel is in the running for the nicest hotel we’ve ever stayed in. Everything was classy and clean. The elevators weren’t terrifying. The hotel bar is so snazzy. The staff were really nice and even gave us a complimentary bottle of champagne for our anniversary.
Lobby of the Saint Hotel
A very sweet surprise from Robbie: beautiful flowers and delicious champagne!
Our first stop after checking in to the hotel was lunch and happy hour at Juan’s Flying Burrito in the Central Business District. We got margaritas and tofu tacos. Everything was delicious. We almost went a second time because we liked it so much.
Trying out Robbie’s new phone’s camera at happy hour
Handsome Robbie at Juan’s Flying Burrito
We walked – with our to go cups! – to Barcadia. It’s a bar with tons of arcade games. It was pretty quiet while we were there, but otherwise, no complaints. The drinks were good and we had fun playing Mortal Kombat and skeeball.
So many games
After that we walked back into the French Quarter and around Jackson Square. People were out selling their art and palm readings and mime…skills?
Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo
A very New Orleans building featuring wrought iron galleries
Bourbon O Bar
Bourbon O Bar was our next stop. It’s very fancy for Bourbon Street. Robbie liked his Old Fashioned.
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar: oldest bar in the U.S. allegedly
Champagne cocktail at Bar Tonique
Bar Tonique is where Robbie had his favorite Old Fashioned of the trip, although others came close. I had the champagne cocktail shown above. I started ordering those anywhere I thought I might get a good one. New Orleans makes a mean champagne cocktail.
That night we went to the Frenchmen Street area. We had dinner at 13 Monaghan. I failed to get any photos. The wait for our food was excruciating, but the food was really good. We ordered the tachos, tator tot nacho things, as an appetizer. They came out at the same time as our entrees – Robbie’s most hated restaurant thing. I had a BBQ tofu sandwich which was worth the wait.
We walked to the late night Frenchmen Art Market. There were a dozen or so booths where local artists were selling cool things in a pleasant atmosphere with lots of string lights. Robbie got a really nice NOLA tee and I got a crystal necklace I love very much.
I love this necklace.
We were told by friends and the Internet to go to the Spotted Cat Music Club. We walked in, saw and heard, and walked out. We aren’t particular jazz fans , so I’m okay with that. d.b.a was across the street. We were interested in someone who was scheduled to play later, but we were so tired. We went back to the hotel and slept hard.
The next morning we had a fantastic breakfast at The Ruby Slipper Cafe. It is located steps from our hotel. Tasty, friendly, and convenient enough that we ate breakfast there twice.
Breakfast at Ruby Slipper Cafe
Their “make your own” egg whites omelettes are worth two visits. The biscuits, cafe lattes, and creamy grits are noteworthy as well.
Mmm, cafe latte.
We tried to get a streetcar outside the Ruby Slipper Cafe to the meeting spot for our walking tour. It started raining big time and the streetcar schedule made no sense to our tourist minds. Shout out to Uber for getting us where we needed to go on time. We did a free walking tour of the Lafayette Cemetery and the Garden District with Free Tours by Foot New Orleans.
The entrance to Lafayette Cemetery
Robbie hanging with some dead folks
The community maintains this tomb for orphan boys.
A bunch of tombs
I’m really glad we took the Garden District tour. We learned a lot from our guide and saw things we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Afterwards we walked to The Bulldog Uptown for drinks. They have an impressive beer selection. Robbie got to try some local beers he really enjoyed.
The sign outside of The Bulldog Uptown
We took the streetcar to the St. Charles Slice Pizzeria location for lunch. They offer slices of their more involved pizzas. True slices – not cheese with stuff haphazardly added before heating it up. The pizza there is top notch. If there’s one thing we know, it’s pizza. Highly recommended. Unfortunately, again no photos due to extreme hunger/hedonism.
We rode the streetcar again back to our hotel. A streetcar is not quite as cool as a subway train. It’s pretty much a wooden bus. A worthy experience nonetheless.
Here comes the streetcar!
Robgeleen on a wooden bus
We walked around in the French Quarter a bit, stopping in at Molly’s at the Market on Decatur Street for frozen Irish coffee. It’s pretty much a fast food milkshake with brandy in it. Boom.
Frozen Irish Coffee from Molly’s at the Market
We walked along the Mississippi River back to our hotel. It was Robbie’s first time seeing the Mighty Mississippi. His reaction: “It’s brown”.
We got cleaned up at our hotel then went out on the town. We headed to French 75 bar inside Arnaud’s where we had a solid cheese plate, a French 75 for me (no brainer), and a (sadly subpar) Old Fashioned for Robbie. I think the cheese plate and ambience are great enough to make this a worthwhile stop.
We had a round at a hotel bar, the Carousel Bar. The main bar is truly a carnival/fair style carousel. The bar and the stools rotate. Pretty cool. Our drinks were very good.
We walked around the French Quarter and particularly Bourbon Street looking for something exciting. We saw online that the Cat’s Meow offers hilarious karaoke. While neither of us would ever sing karaoke, we thoroughly enjoy watching others humiliate themselves.
My biggest blogger failure must be discussed now. We happened upon a one of a kind DJ in a one of kind bar at a one of a kind moment. We had the best time. I have no idea what the bar is called. I have scoured Google street view. I got nothing. Anyway, here’s a photo of Robbie, the most interesting man in the world, drinking a frozen red bull and vodka (!!!).
Oh man, did we dance. For better or worse, I can now say I backed that thang up to Juvenile in the place of my birth. New Orleans, Louisiana is where I got it from my mama, as it were.
Sorry, not sorry.
After that we hit up The Dungeon, The Tequila House, and the Industry Bar & Kitchen in quick succession. The Dungeon is a hilariously goth New Orleans staple which my parents remember from the 70s. As a couple who have enjoyed The Castle in Tampa, I thought Robbie should experience it. The upstairs was closed, the entire staff was helping a guy look for his credit card, and it was lame. Tequila House made me a fine drink to go. We had pizza and Robbie had a local beer at Industry Bar & Kitchen while we chatted with our very kind bartenders.
The next day we got a slow start. We went to Ruby Slipper Cafe again for breakfast and then walked around. We stopped by this park near Cafe du Monde.
A serene park
We bought some souvenirs then stopped in at The Kerry Irish Pub for our first drink of the day.
I really wanted to get beignets at Cafe du Monde but I could feel that I was on the verge of overdoing it with rich food and alcohol so we walked through and bought some packaged stuff to take home.
On the recommendation of the Internet, we had a round at Tujague’s. Our bartender was phenomenal. The champagne cocktail I had there was probably the best drink of the trip for me.
Awesome Tujague’s bartender
Tujague’s: a really old bar
For dinner we went to a vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Seed. Again, hunger/hedonism/germophobia prevented me from taking photos of our food. We got the best nachos I’ve ever had in my life as an appetizer. They had black beans, cashew queso, grilled seitan, guacamole, and other goodies. For the entree, I ordered an eggplant pomodoro that was good but not great and Robbie got a tofu poboy which he devoured and loved. That sandwich was over a foot long and he ate it all.
The sign outside of Seed
We took another Uber ride with the most Lousiana guy ever to Cure. It was happy hour (lucky us). I had yet another fabulous champagne cocktail and Robbie had fantastic Old Fashioneds. This is a serious bar. They don’t mess around with their drinks.
We had one last round at in the bar at our hotel. The Burgundy Bar in the Saint Hotel is small but very upscale. Check out that chandelier!
We took our drinks up to our room where I watched the Ted and Heidi Cruz interview on CNN. Ugh.
Shout out to our Rover.com sitter for keeping our dog alive, fed, and happy. She had a vacation too. Sookie played in a yard with several other dogs the entire time we were gone. Most impressively, the other dogs taught her how to use the doggie door.
I’m going to do it, guys.
I did it!