We love going to NOLA. We love going with someone who has never been there before, because we like remembering what it was like for us when it was new, and because we are more likely to try new things with a new person.
This trip, we took along a friend of mine. She's just finished a degree she spent several years working towards. We felt that her years of hard work and poverty required an extra special celebration.
The first of our firsts this trip was staying at the Inn on Bourbon (a Ramada property). We were a little concerned about the noise. Frankly, we don't really like Bourbon Street, so staying in the center of it was a bit worrisome. But, we shouldn't have worried. The IOB is fantastic. Great staff, very clean and comfortable, and the noise wasn't so great we didn't sleep soundly. (I did use ear plugs the last night . . . but took them out once the bars shut down.)
Other firsts included a couple new (to us) bars. First was The Dungeon. It pounded death metal and featured cages and a wall of skulls and dark, stone walls. Phenom says he's always wanted to go in . . . and once in, declared that it was the sort of bar he would have hung out in regularly in his younger days. I liked it . . . but a comment about Cambodia put the kibosh on my idea to install a skull wall in our guest room.
We also have always been curious about a bar on Royal Street called Touche' . It always seems empty. Apparently, it is connected to the Rib Room and Omni Hotel. It was quiet, sophisticated, and very much the kind of place you could go to catch up with old friends. The food at the bar is brought over from the Rib Room kitchens and was just great. In fact, it lead to another first, the Phenom's first taste of oysters . . . thumbs up.
We tried a new drink . . . a Pimm's cup. It is light and refreshing and the sort of drink I could sip on for hours in the summer heat. Of course, I live in culinary hell and not only does my local liquor authority not carry it, they don't even know what it is. sigh.
The last "first" was eating at the Old Coffeepot. Phenom reports that the gumbo was very good and I had the crawfish etouffee past .. . which featured crawfish both in the etouffee and fried on top . . . and our friend had the Hawaiian Steak. We started with shrimp brochettes . . . jumbo shrimps wrapped in applewood smoked bacon, dipped in brown sugar glaze, and then deep fried. It was fantastic! All in all, it was a great meal and we'll add this spot to our list of regulars.
And, we set a record for the number of alcoholic drinks consumed . . . the three of us had 93 drinks in 4 days. If effin' delta hadn't been screwing around and had gotten us to NOLA at the originally scheduled time and not 6 hours late, I'm pretty sure we would have broken 100.