My second visit to New Orleans this year! My husband’s birthday was October 22, so I figured we should go there to celebrate it since I had such a great time on my last trip! We’ve been there together before, but it was usually for the Sugar Bowl, and left little time to just hang out in the city with no agenda (GO DAWGS!!!).
We stayed at the Hotel St. Marie (827 Toulouse Street), which is one block off of Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.
It is a quaint hotel in a central area with everything within walking distance. It has a nice courtyard and a pool. We lucked out and got a balcony room with a street view. When they found out it was Joey’s birthday, they sent up a bottle of champagne, complete with a standing ice bucket. We enjoyed it on our our little terrace!
This is an older, historic hotel. I think soundproofing is non-existent. We are both heavy sleepers and can sleep through anything (it’s a gift), so the noise didn’t bother us. It wasn’t until the daytime that I realized how loud the street sounds were. I’m not sure if the rooms that aren’t on the street side are any better, but if you are a light sleeper, I would not recommend staying here.
First order of business, muffuletta at Central Grocery (934 Decatur Street). Cafe Maspero (601 Decatur Street) was my go to place for the heavenly muffuletta. So I had to see what the buzz was about at Central Grocery. It is an Italian grocer, and the smells are wonderful when you walk in. There will be a line no matter what time (they close at 5:00). You go to the counter, tell them what you want, and pick your drink (and chips if you desire). The sandwiches are already made and packaged (half sandwich, cut in two, full sandwich, cut in fourths, or veggie). It is a store, so there is not a restaurant setup. There is a cramped area in the back with a community table and bar seating against the wall. It is close to Jackson Square, so you could go and enjoy it outside. The overall sandwich was magnificent, but I like Maspero’s bread better. It’s softer. However, it was DIVINE!!!
After our fabulous lunch, we knocked around, visiting a few bars. My favorite was the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone (214 Royal Street). The bar actually overlooks the beautiful street.
The actual bar ROTATES like a merry-go-round. Joey timed it, and it took 14 minutes, 38 seconds to make a full circle. *side note – I did not realize it was moving until the hubs informed me.*
We had the birthday dinner at Irene’s (539 St. Philip Street). It is a more “fine dining” type of place. The food and service were excellent! Perfect for a special occasion.
The next day, we tooled around the French Quarter a bit, but took a detour into the Treme neighborhood (via taxi) to visit Wilie Mae’s Scotch House. If you read my previous post about NOLA, you know I am all about some good fried chicken. Willie Mae’s did NOT disappoint. It is a bit of a dive with terrible service, there is a long line every day to get in, but with good reason. The chicken is unbelievable!!! Cooked to order, crispy, perfectly seasoned, with a bit of a kick. Joey was a bit skeptical about wasting a meal in New Orleans on fried chicken, but as he was eating it, he proclaimed, “This is even better than a steak dinner”. We got there a bit late, and they were out of dark meat (his fave), but he raved about how moist/juicy/tasty the white meat was. Word of warning if you go – they are only open until 5:00, and they often run out of chicken/sides. So get there a bit early. Mac & Cheese and Collards were sold out
Back in the French Quarter, we did Pat O’Briens (I know it’s touristy, but I love this place).
Also Bourbon Street. There was a guy doing “slight-of-hand” magic tricks (which I LOVE). He was pretty good. He used us in one of his tricks, and it ended up involving a dove. Coincidence? Y’all know about my little baby Ducky. I thought it was funny that Joey ended up with a dove.
Our last day, we did the jazz brunch at The Court of Two Sisters (613 Royal Street). Beautiful courtyard dining.
Then, off to the airport. Here are some scenes from the streets of the French Quarter. Some were gearing up for Halloween.
It was such a fun trip!
Thanks for reading! kxoxo