Hot!New Orleans - December 2013

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eruby
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2014/01/08 15:16:27 (permalink)

New Orleans - December 2013

We hadn't been to New Orleans in almost 10 years and it was time to get back to the city we love.  Four days and three nights in The Big Easy. We flew out of Baltimore on a Wednesday morning, taking a direct Southwest Airlines flight.  A friend gave me a few drink coupons, and though it was a little early for me, I had a taste of these.

 
 

 
Not a fan of the Dewar's but enjoyed some of the Wild Turkey.
 
We arrived in NOLa and we were ready to begin.
 
 
 
After checking into the hotel, our first stop is always Cafe Du Monde.
http://cafedumonde.com/
 

 

 

 
We walked around the French Quarter a while and heard what sounded like Louis Armstrong.  These guys put on a great show in Jackson Square.
 

 
We next headed over to Central Grocery for our favorite muffuletta.
 
http://www.centralgroceryneworleans.com/
 
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60864-d463919-Reviews-Central_Grocery_Company-New_Orleans_Louisiana.html


 

 
We had intended to go to Acme Oyster house after Cafe Du Monde, but we arrived 2 hours later than scheduled due to medical emergency on the plane (had to return to Baltimore) and there was big line at Acme.  After shopping and sightseeing in the French Market, and purchasing Streetcar/Bus passes, we headed back to the hotel.  Of course on the way we had several sample of pralines from various shops.
 
Dinner Wednesday night was Pascal's Manale.  We had never been there on any of our trips and wanted to try the purported creators of New Oleans BBQ shrimp.  Our streetcar ride went south about 3/4 of a mile from our stop on St Charles Avenue as there was a car flipped over on the streetcar track.  At least that gave us more walking time and thus burned off more calories that would need to be replaced.
 
We had no reservation but got a table as soon as we arrived.  We started off with a shrimp and crab remoulade cocktail, which was good, but had too much remoulade sauce.  The reason we went was the BBQ shrimp.
 
http://pascalsmanale.com/
 

 
We liked them quite a bit, but the sauce wasn't what we remembered from our previous trips to other restaurants.  I had read that Pascal's Manale uses margarine instead of butter, and the sauce seemed to be separating a bit.  They were good, but not great.  The bread in the white bag was excellent Leidenheimer bread.
We walked back to the streetcar and then walked around the French Quarter some more looking for a Hubig's pie, which we couldn't find.  This was a mystery that got solved a couple of days later.
 
More to come ...
 
post edited by eruby - 2014/01/09 15:35:12
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    EdSails
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/08 15:33:45 (permalink)
    Great start, ruby. Excellent pics and descriptions--I can hardly wait for the rest. I'm ready to go to the Big Easy now!
    #2
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/08 15:51:09 (permalink)
    Eruby, how oniony is Central Market's olive salad?  I see olives, pimientos, perhaps some pepperoncinis...all things I'm OK with but I can only tolerate a small amount of raw onion.
     
    Sorry to read that Pascal's shrimp doesn't quite live up to its appearance.
    #3
    MilwFoodlovers
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/08 16:59:25 (permalink)
    Brad, I just looked at the bottle I have on my shelf and as I suspected, there are no onions in the olive salad mix. Glorioso's on Brady has Muffuletta Olive Salad Mix, both regular and a "hot" (don't-for you it's too hot) in case you don't get to New Orleans soon. Tenuta's in Kenosha also has their own branded mix. Both are excellent and are by no means a compromise.
    #4
    mr chips
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/08 20:28:41 (permalink)
    Nice start. I love New Orleans
     
    #5
    leethebard
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 01:05:04 (permalink)
    This looks like fun.....got to get to New Orleans some day!!!
    #6
    Pancho
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 09:10:58 (permalink)
    Nice report! I'm heading back there sometime post jazz fest if I can swing it. My last trip I had the best "barbecued" shrimp ever at Mr. B's Bistro. I even follow their recipe for my home preparation. Easy to make, but what a fun mess to eat! Looking forward to more from your NOLA adventure.
    http://www.mrbsbistro.com/recipes_shrimp.php
    #7
    lleechef
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 10:25:37 (permalink)
    I was down there one year for Jazz Fest........it was AWESOME! 
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    eruby
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 11:43:45 (permalink)
    ScreamingChicken

    Eruby, how oniony is Central Market's olive salad?  I see olives, pimientos, perhaps some pepperoncinis...all things I'm OK with but I can only tolerate a small amount of raw onion.

    Sorry to read that Pascal's shrimp doesn't quite live up to its appearance.


    MilwFoodlovers

    Brad, I just looked at the bottle I have on my shelf and as I suspected, there are no onions in the olive salad mix. Glorioso's on Brady has Muffuletta Olive Salad Mix, both regular and a "hot" (don't-for you it's too hot) in case you don't get to New Orleans soon. Tenuta's in Kenosha also has their own branded mix. Both are excellent and are by no means a compromise.
    As MilwFoodlovers noted, there is no onion in the olive salad.  I liked cooked onions 9the more well done the better) but cannot stand raw onions.  Central Grocery's olive salad is excellent, and I'm not a huge fan of olives.
     
    Now, on to day 2.

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    mikeam
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 11:45:05 (permalink)
    New Orleans is one of my favorite cities. Thanks for sharing.
    #10
    ann peeples
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 12:30:00 (permalink)
    Brad-Mikes suggestions of both Gloriosos and Tenutas for olive salad is spot on. I think we need a Brady street tour this year! And we could walk it!
    #11
    eruby
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 12:49:08 (permalink)
    Thursday began with a streetcar ride to Camellia Grill.  They were doing work on the St Charles line, so it only ran as far as Napolean Avenue where we switched to a bus for the rest of the way.  There was no car on the tracks this time.
     

     
    We love Camellia, and have gone every visit to NOLa.  Ten years ago, Marvin was our counterman.  He was full of lively banter and got everyone's order without writing down a thing.  A few month's ago, George Motz did an episode of his hamburgers show in New Orleans and one stop was the Camellia Grill.  There on the TV was Marvin!  We were hoping he would be there on our trip and weren't disappointed.
     

     
    Like last trip, my wife had the Camellia special Omelet which has pretty much all breakfast meats and vegetables, along with chili (which she got on the side).  I had red beans & rice with a hot sausage link, and that link was indeed hot.  I had to chop it up and mix it in to the beans and rice.  It was delicious.
     

     

     
    A couple of people were celebrating birthdays and Marvin got the whole place to sing happy birthday.  No trip would be complete without a meal (or two) at Camellia and Marvin.  They opened another location in the French Quarter but we only go to the Carrollton location, not far from Brigtsen's
     
    After breakfast, we walked back toward Napolean Ave to catch the steetcar but a bus came along so we didn't have much of a walk.  After getting back to Canal Street, we walked over the Quarter to do more shopping.  We had seen an episode of John Besh's PBS show and he had a big bottle of vanilla he said came from a local pharmacy.  We never found what it was, but did find a local company called Ronald Reginald's that made a variety of vanilla and products and we were looking for the vanilla.
     

     
    We walked a good bit around the French Quarter and went to many shops looking for the vanilla.  We stopped into a small Rouse's Market that didn't have the vanilla but did have the Zatarain's Creole mustard we like so we snagged a bottle.  Outside the market was a Leidenheimer truck making a delivery.  We LOVE Leidenheimer bread, and nothing anywhere near Maryland compares.
     

     

     
    We didn't find the vanilla so we prepared for our trip to the Fairgrounds and the horse races. 
     
    We took the Canal Steet line to the Carrolton line, but after waiting what seemd like forever, we started walking up Carrolton toward City Park and the Fairgrounds.  At Canal and Carrolton there was a shopping center that had a large Rouse's Market where finally found a bottle of the vanilla.  I've yet to try it as we have an open bottle of Trader Joe's vanilla and my wife won't let me open the NOLa vanilla until the TJs is gone.
     
    We walked toward the Fairgrounds and never did see a Carrolton Street car.  We turned down Esplenade to go to the Fairgrounds and though we had been walking quite a bit, we still weren't hungry enough to stop at Luizza's by the Track.  Hopefully next trip.  I want to try their BBQ shrimp Po' Boy.
     
    http://www.nola.com/sites/liuzzas/
     
    We finally got to the track, which is now has a casino as well.  We found a Groupon for admission for 2, plus programs and $20 worth of concessions and that came in very handy.  We did have to walk through the casino to get to the clubhouse and thought we might contract emphysema.  The ventilation system was pretty poor. 
     
    We found a concession stand and got a bowl of pretty good gumbo and several bottles of water.  The gumbo had nice chunks of chicken and sausage and there were 5 crab claws in it with a nice bite of meat on them.  We made it to the seats and prepared to lose money.
     
    http://www.fairgroundsracecourse.com/
     

     

     
    There were quite a few Christmas trees set up all around the clubhouse and casino.
     

     
    I always marvel at how majestic the horses are.
     

     

     

     

     
    Two of our many losing tickets.
     

     
    A view of downtown NOLA from the clubhouse.
     

     
    We headed back toward City Park and there was bus already there so we didn't have to wait for the streetcar, other than the transfer to the Canal street line to get back to downtown.
     
    We walked back to the French Quarter as no trip (for me) is complete without a Krystal burger.
     

     

     
    We headed back to the hotel to rest up for dinner, which would be Mandina's.  And still no Hubig's pie, but that would be resolved Friday night.
     
    To be continued...
    post edited by eruby - 2014/01/09 15:37:24
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    leethebard
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 12:53:46 (permalink)
    Keep it up...looking great...Krystal burgers look like White Castles??? Are they?
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    eruby
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 12:57:39 (permalink)
    leethebard

    Keep it up...looking great...Krystal burgers look like White Castles??? Are they?
    Indeed!

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    Sundancer7
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 14:29:49 (permalink)
    I have ate at the Krystal in NOLA many times.  They are great after a night of imbibing in the Quarter.
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN 
    #15
    TnTinCT
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 15:08:22 (permalink)
    I haven't explored much of New Orleans as my trips have been fairly structured business meetings. Is the public transpo system fairly easy to navigate? Your references to jumping on/off buses, etc. - how much advance knowledge would you need to navigate the city?
    #16
    Foodbme
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 15:22:55 (permalink)
    EXCELLENT PICTURES!
    #17
    eruby
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 15:25:09 (permalink)
    After a short nap, we headed out for the Canal Street streetcar for the short trip to Mandina's.  Not being from the South, but being very impatient, it always surprises me that cars block the streetcar tracks and that the streetcar drivers don't just push the cars out of the way.
     
    We ordered the veal parmigiana, which was excellent 10 years ago, but htis time was bit thicker and less tender.  Good, but not remarkable like last time.  We also had the broiled Drum, and that was a very good piece of fish.  We started out with a cup of the turtle soup, and the version at Mandina's, which they serve with sherry is our absolute favorite in NOLa.  We also had the turtle soup at Pascal's Manale but it was nowhere near as good as Mandina's.  I blew it with the pictures and only have an exterior shot.
     

     
    Of course no trip to Mandina's would be complete without dessert at Angelo Brocato which is a short walk across Canal Street.  We've been lucky enought to have cannolis at Isgro's and Termini Brothers in Philly, and several place in New York, but the ones at Brocato are our absolute favorites.  And that they have excellent Italian cookies and pastries as well as fantastic gelato is just a bonus.  No wonder they've been doing it for more than a century.
    http://angelobrocatos.com/
     

     
    We had the stracciatella
     

     

     
    Other than not picking any winners at the track, Thursday was a big success.
     
    Friday morning started out at Mother's
     
    http://mothersrestaurant.net/

    Many people label this a tourist trap, but we had a good late lunch there our very first trip and wanted to try it for breakfast.  We got there before any line had formed, but there was already a big crowd at the order counter as well as eating.
     
    My wife had over easy eggs and country ham with grits, and I opted for the black ham biscuit (which I read sells out pretty fast) and a side of sausage.  I though my ham would have been more like burnt ends, but it was still very good.  All the staff was friendly and efficient.  You ordered at the counter, paid,  and they brought your food out to you.   When we left, there were 10 or so people lined up outside. 
     

     

     

     

     
    Per their sign, cash only at Mother's.
     

     
    The early bird gets the  worm   ham biscuit.

     

    Coming up next, The World War II Musem.
    post edited by eruby - 2014/01/10 08:21:58
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    eruby
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 15:28:59 (permalink)
    TnTinCT

    I haven't explored much of New Orleans as my trips have been fairly structured business meetings. Is the public transpo system fairly easy to navigate? Your references to jumping on/off buses, etc. - how much advance knowledge would you need to navigate the city?
    The streetcars are fairly easy,  there are 3 or 4 fixed routes with maps on the cars.  Kiosks on Canal Street vend 1, 3 or 5 day passes and you can also buy passes at Walgreen's.  We only rode busses that were going where the street cars went, but all the drivers were very friendly and will give you any help you need.
     
    Of course being ISTJ means I do a fair amount of research before hand, but NOLa is pretty easy to get around with public transportaion IMO.
     
    http://www.norta.com/

    post edited by eruby - 2014/01/09 15:30:14
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    rumaki
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 15:32:08 (permalink)
    I LOVE Brocato's.  I've been there every time I've gone to New Orleans, and it never disappoints. And I love the neon sign!
    The last time I was there (a couple of years ago), I spotted Mandina's, but had no idea whether it was good or not.  On that occasion, I had gone to Brocato's in the mid-afternoon, for a snack, and had other dinner plans, but I'll keep it in mind in the future.
    #20
    Foodbme
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 19:03:09 (permalink)
    In your condiments picture, CRYSTAL's is my all time favorite.
    IMHO, Head & Shoulders better than the overhyped/highly promoted Tabasco.
    I love Biscotti! I'll bet Brocato's is outstanding!
    post edited by Foodbme - 2014/01/09 19:06:32
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 19:57:59 (permalink)
    leethebard

    Keep it up...looking great...Krystal burgers look like White Castles??? Are they?

    God no! They bear a resemblance, but they don't come close to the goodness and wonder of White Castles, six of which I had for lunch today.
    Caveat: Krystal Burgers made me quite sick once.
    #22
    ann peeples
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 21:26:24 (permalink)
    Great report, eruby!
    #23
    CCinNJ
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/09 23:03:51 (permalink)
    Wild Turkey 101...Beignets...horse racing & a neon sign that reads Cassata!

    Fun stuff eruby & beautiful photos!

    Cassatta is old-school Sicilian quite delicious & you don't see it too often.

    This is a Cassatina (individual Cassata)...





    Cassata is a symbol of luck. It coulda helped a little @ the track.
    #24
    eruby
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/10 08:19:46 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    In your condiments picture, CRYSTAL's is my all time favorite.
    IMHO, Head & Shoulders better than the overhyped/highly promoted Tabasco.
    I love Biscotti! I'll bet Brocato's is outstanding!
    We don't like Tabasco either.  Ten years ago we discovered LA Gold at Parkway Bakery where we went for Po' Boys. It's like Crystal mixed with a bit of Tabasco.  We bought a few bottles in NOLa and have been mail ordering ever since as we don't see it in Maryland, though stores do have Bruce Foods yams.
     
    http://www.lagoldhotsauce.com/?utm_source=brucefoods.com&utm_medium=brand-page&utm_campaign=general
     

     
    This trip we found Cajun Power Garlic Sauce while shopping for pralines at the New Orleans School of Cooking.  We bought a bottle and when we tried it at home, we loved it.  We already mail orderd a good supply.
     
    http://www.cajunpowersauce.com/
     
     
     

    Michael Hoffman

    leethebard
    Keep it up...looking great...Krystal burgers look like White Castles??? Are they?

    God no! They bear a resemblance, but they don't come close to the goodness and wonder of White Castles, six of which I had for lunch today.
    Caveat: Krystal Burgers made me quite sick once.

    I'd agree that White Castle is better than Krystal, but my favorite is the  erstwhile Little Tavern.

    CCinNJ
     
    Wild Turkey 101...Beignets...horse racing & a neon sign that reads Cassata!

    Fun stuff eruby & beautiful photos!

    Cassatta is old-school Sicilian quite delicious & you don't see it too often.

    This is a Cassatina (individual Cassata)...





    Cassata is a symbol of luck. It coulda helped a little @ the track.
    I'd have prefered the 80 proof Wild Turkey, esp. at 11 in the morning.
    #25
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/10 08:20:13 (permalink)
    eruby

    My wife had over easy eggs and country ham with grits, and I opted for the black ham biscuit (which I read sells out pretty fast) and a side of sausage.
    And a fine-looking biscuit it was!  I can understand why it sells fast.
    #26
    eruby
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/10 09:00:01 (permalink)
    With full bellies we headed off to the World War II Museum, a nice little walk up Magazine Street.  A few friends had been there and we knew we were going to have an wonderful experience.
     
    http://www.nationalww2museum.org/
     

     
    We got there not long after it opened and purchased admissions, as well as Tickets for the movie Beyond All Boundaries
     
    http://www.nationalww2museum.org/visit/beyond-all-boundaries.html
     
    We had tickets for the Noon showing so we signed up for a docent's tour of the exhibit on the war in the Pacific Theater at the welcome desk.
     

     
    There was another table with a couple of paratroopers from Utah Beach, and I thanked them for their service which they shrugged off. We spoke briefly, but then there must have been a lot of dust there as tears started forming in my eyes.
     
    Ws started the tour of the Pacific Theater.
     

     

     

     
    MacArthur at the peace treaty signing
     

     
    There was a min-exhibit on the propaganda from both sides.
     

     

     

     

     

     
    A very brutal war.
     

     
    After the tour, we walked across the street to another building (the Museum in still expending) where Beyond All Boundaries was showing.  This was an excellent Hollywood type production.
     
    Beyond All Boundaries, showing exclusively in The National WWII Museum’s Solomon Victory Theater, is a 4D journey through the war that changed the world. Narrated by executive producer Tom Hanks, Beyond All Boundaries features dazzling effects, CGI animation, multi-layered environments and first-person accounts from the trenches to the Home Front read by Brad Pitt, Tobey Maguire, Gary Sinise, Patricia Clarkson, Wendell Pierce and more.
    Once again, the theater must have been dusty.  I cannot recommend this movie, or museum highly enough.
     
    After the show, we went to yet another building (huge!) that housed several planes and vehicles and artifacts.  There was also a serchable computerized exhibit on all the WW II Medal of Honor Winners. 
     

     

     

     

     
    My Gal Sal
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Gal_Sal_(aircraft)
     

     

     
    We spent 5 1/2 hours in the complex and we could probably spend 5 days without seeing it all.  It really was an incredible experience.
     
    We headed back to the hotel for a little rest.
     
    http://www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel/NewOrleansRoyalCrescent.aspx
     
    More to come.
     
     
    post edited by eruby - 2014/01/10 09:02:11
    #27
    EdSails
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/10 09:55:06 (permalink)
    What an amazing museum, I am tempted to wear my father's WW2 USAAF trench coat when I go. It seems like you have really had a great time, ruby. glad that you enjoyed it. Excellent report!
    #28
    Big Frank
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/10 09:59:03 (permalink)
    My wife and I visited the WWII Museum last October. I agree, it is a wonderful experience.
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    leethebard
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    Re:New Orleans - December 2013 2014/01/10 10:45:33 (permalink)
    That museum is some place...I enjoy studying about WW2. That movie presentation would be a highlight!!
    #30
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