Come With Me – New Orleans

picture of come with me

Two weeks ago, I had a fabulous girls’ getaway to New Orleans.  One of my besties, Amie, is a hardcore fan of Tegan and Sara.  They are a twin sister indie rock duo.  I promised her on their next tour, I would go with her.  It just so happened that they were touring this summer, but opening for FUN.  While we love “fun”, we aren’t fans of FUN, the band.  So we found a few select gigs where they were solo.  One of those shows happened to be in New Orleans.  We found a great deal on a flight/hotel on Expedia, so we booked it immediately!  Her sister Brandy, who lives in Maine, decided she would join us.  And their Mom, who lives in Texas, hopped on board as well (along with her hubby).  Rendezvous in New Orleans!

picture of new orleans park

New Orleans Park

picture of new orleans scenery

New Orleans Scenery

Aaaaah, the Big Easy! l adore the charming French Quarter: dirty, smelly, hot as hell in the summer, but so hedonistic!  From the sounds of the zydeco bands, to the scents of fragrant Cajun spices, to the swanky art galleries/boutiques, to the bacchanalia that is Bourbon Street, right down to the fabulous restaurants on every corner, there is no other place like it in the South!

The concert was at the House of Blues (225 Decatur Street).  Fabulous venue, fabulous show.  Amie got to hear all of her favorite songs, so she was a happy camper!

We stayed at the Renaissance Arts hotel (700 Tchoupitoulas Street).  It was within walking distance to the French Quarter (we did cab a few times, after walking a bunch and over-indulging on Bourbon Street).  Beautiful hotel, and it had the fastest elevators ever!

picture of renaissance arts hotel new orleans

Brandy, Karen, Amie in the lobby

It was Amie and Brandy’s first visit to NOLA, so we did all things tourist-y.  First stop, Pat O’Brien’s (718 St. Peter Street) for Hurricanes!  You walk in, and it opens up to a beautiful courtyard, complete with a fountain!  I believe their Hurricanes are the best (and very potent).

picture of pat obriens new orleans hurricanes

Pat O’Brien’s Hurricanes

Then off to Cafe Maspero (601 Decatur Street) for a yummy muffelata (also my fave in the city).  There is usually a huge line, but we happened upon a slow time.  The restaurant is a bit old/yuck, but their muffelata is delish.  It is GIAGANTIC.  We 3 shared one sandwich (I also had their French Onion Soup – yum!).  Sorry, “no photo available” as we were starving, and devoured it before I could take a picture.  *Disclaimer* I only order the muffelata there, so I can’t speak for their other dishes.

So, during our exploration of the city, we paid homage to a couple of gay bars:  The Oz (800 Bourbon Street), and Cafe Lafitte In Exile (900 Bourbon Street).  Cafe Lafitte is the oldest gay bar in the United States!  We sat on the balcony, overlooking Bourbon Street, and they projected 80s MTV videos onto the wall across the street.  Awesome!  While we were in the area, we caught a whiff of fried chicken. Amie and I live in the second largest metropolis in GEORGIA, yet we do not have a place to get good fried chicken (so sad).  So, in true 80s style, we were “Hungry Like the Wolf”.  One of the sweet curators in an art gallery in the area told us the delicious smells were coming from a nearby diner (Clover Grill, 900 Bourbon Street).  We asked him if he had a favorite place for fried chicken, and he enthusiastically recommended Verti Marte (1201 Royal Street).  So, off to Verti Marte we went.

Laaawd.  It was a convenience store.  The food was in the back of the shop (deli setup). Fast forward to microwaved boneless chicken. Outta there.  So, we went to the Clover Grill, which we thought was the origin of the heavenly fried chicken smell.  NOT.  Double fast forward to, “We don’t have fried chicken”.  But they had chicken fried steak.  Brandy and I are, “Yeah, we’re down with chicken fried steak” (I am half-Texan after all).  AWFUL.  A Hungry Man tv dinner was tastier.  At this point, the desire to devour some fried chicken was over the top,  So, I decided to ask Google.  It pointed us to Fiorella’s Cafe (45 French Market Place).  HOLY COW!!!  The place is a bit of a dive; but, let me tell you people, it was the BEST fried chicken I have ever had!  They make it to order, so you have to wait a bit for it.  No worries, we had cocktails.  It was hot, fresh, juicy, a touch of spice, WELL worth the wait.  Again, “no photo available” (Hungry Like the Wolf, remember?).

The rest of our visit in photos:

Cafe Du Monde (800 Decatur Street) for beignets:

picture of beignets cafe du monde

Beignets at Cafe Du Monde

I was still jonesing for fried chicken (Marigny Brasseire & Bar, 640 Frenchmen Street) – again, Fiorella’s was the BOMB, but Marigny’s chicken was delish!  Highly recommend!  We also got an appetizer of boudin balls, which we had never had.  It is like little croquette balls with sausage.  I could have eaten the whole plate.

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Fried Chicken at Marigny Brassiere

Our last day, cocktails at Court of Two Sisters:

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Court of Two Sisters

I am going back to NOLA in a few weeks for Joey’s birthday.  Any recommendations?

Thanks for reading!  kxoxo



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