So we took the afternoon flight down to NOLA on Friday and after catching a cab down to the French Quarter, we settled into our hotel. LX had used some points to get us an upgrade and we had a nice little suite. After we unpacked and refreshed, we hit Bourbon Street. Now if you haven’t been to NOLO, Bourbon St is the main drag. It’s jammed back with bars, strips joints, bars, restaurants, and a few bars. And since there is an open container law in NOLA, you can buy say a hurricane in one bar, walk down the street drinking it, and then wander into another bar. It’s just a little bit crazy. We headed to Pat OBrians and had a hurricane to start our trip off right. It was sprinkling and a little bit chilly, but we were cozy at the bar and having a good time chatting. And it was early, so I suggested another drink before dinner. Which in hindsight was not a good idea and sadly a typical problem I seem to have. The first drink is so delicious! Let’s have another. And then half way through the second drink, I’m hammered. Hey, I’m a lightweight. So feeling more than a little bit buzzed we hit a restaurant and sampled some fine creole and Cajun food. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel to change before we hit the gay clubs. But LX lay down on the bed, I snuggled up to him, and the next thing you know it’s midnight. And that’s all she wrote. So much for a wild Friday night in NOLA!
Saturday, we got up and hit the gym and then had a fabulous brunch at Brennan’s. Brennan’s is a famous restaurant in NOLO and my parents went there when they lived in NOLA when my Dad was going to Tulane. It really was quite amazing and we spend most of the afternoon wandering the art galleries on Royal St, Jackson Square, and the old market trying to walk it off. We did stop at Café de Monde which is a requisite tourist stop for coffee (or hot chocolate) and begniets. They were good, but we had better ones later that weekend. We did wander back to Bourbon St and wandered up to where the gay bars were. The Saints were playing that day and the gay bar was packed with guys watching the game. We stopped there for a beer to two to watch the game. And the clientele. We both loved the little twink with the Saints jersey and the pink feather boa who would do a little prance when the Saints scored. It was quite amusing.
At some point we left the bar and headed back to the hotel. LX had lined up a culinary adventure for the evening and we wanted to go back to rest a bit before dinner. Needless to say, even though we were two blocks off Bourbon, I can tell you the exact time the Saints won the game. Dinner was amazing. There was a section on the menu called, “Feed Me”. You pick the number of courses (I think we did 4), the chef comes out and asks what you like or don’t like (spinach, mushrooms, anchovies), and then he goes back and whips up a little culinary feast for you. It was really, really, really good. After dinner we changed into the proper gay attire and went back to “our” end of Bourbon St. The Bourbon St Pub was packed downstairs and hopping upstairs. They even had a drag show (which was just okay). Standing on their balcony, we looked down Bourbon Street and it was just a mob scene with everyone celebrating the Saints win. After a bit, we wandered over to Oz, the dance club. And while it was packed, I was not impressed with the DJ. When you play some good dance music, you just don’t play one or two lines of the hook and then minutes of just percussion. They started to play some really good songs, but I could never get into it because they wouldn’t play the rest of the song. So bad DJ, bad!
The next day, we had sort of a leisurely get up. I say sort of, because we had to change hotels (long story, but Sunday and Monday night were free), and we had a spa appointment. And I have to say that the scrub and massage I got at the Hotel Monteleone was amazing. It was just fantastic. I’ve got some freaskishly dry skin (TMI) so getting sanded down and then plied with some lemon grass oil was just fantastic! After our spa treatment, we headed to Central Market to get a muffalata sandwich. Another one of the requisite tourist things. And as we were walking, I’m like, are you sure it’s open on Sunday? I had tried to go there during my last trip to NOLA and it was closed. And sure enough, it was closed. But we ended up eating at this dive (and when I mean dive, I mean DIVE!) that was just amazing. It was some classic southern/Cajun food and it was just amazing. After lunch, we caught one of the cable cars out to the Garden District. This is where Tulane is located and the neighborhood is fascinating and very, very pretty. LX and I just wandered around the park and then just walked for a bit and talked about all sorts of things. It was really fun. After wandering for a couple of hours, we headed back to the hotel for a little disco nap and then we headed up beyond Bourbon St to a place famous for its burgers. We had to wait a bit since it was packed, but the burgers were phenomenal. And instead of fries they did baked potatoes. Just yummy. After eating we decided to see if the gay bars were hopping on a Sunday night. As we approached Oz, I heard a familiar song and I basically pulled him into the club and onto the dance floor. It must have been a new DJ because the music was FLAWLESS. David Guetta, Black Eye Peas, Madonna. There was this amazing Lady Gaga/Annie Lennox remix that rocked the house. We burned up the dance floor for a good hour before finally retreating to our hotel. It’s not that we’re old, it’s not. We just had a full day planned for Monday.
So we got up, hit the gym, and then got our rental car. Our destination was Oak Alley and the plantation homes that are about 90 minutes outside of the city. It was a gloriously sunny day and a good day to head out of town. Our first stop was Oak Alley Plantation. We got there just in time for the tour from a woman in period costume, but definitely no southern accent. Kind of weird. So the viriginia oaks were planted over a hundred years ago in parallel lines creating this “oak alley” that really was quite beautiful. The house itself, and it’s history was interesting as well. I loved how the guide would talk about skilled slaves. I’m sure they were skilled. But they were still slaves. But let’s just skip over that. Apparently the wife of the owner stayed at the house during the Civil War even after it was shot at by a passing Union ship. So just kind of interesting. After a mint julep, we headed out to lunch and then another plantation house. This one was also a B&B. Kind of interesting, but there is NOTHING to do in the surrounding area, so after one night for the experience, I’m not sure why you’d want to stick around. We got back to NOLA in time to change for our last fantastic dinner, at Commander’s Palace. Commanders Palace is a tradition in NOLA and is consistently ranked as the best restaurant in the city. We had a fantastic meal taking advantage of the tasting menu with the cocktail pairing. It was just fantastic. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to pack up and crash. Our flight left at 6AM so it was definitely an early get up.
So seriously, everywhere we went, people would say, “Who Dat?” “Who Dat?” “Who Dat?” And if you aren’t from NOLA, you’re saying: “I don’t know, who is it?” And can’t you people speak English. Well it’s from a famous saying “Who dat dink dey gonna beat dem Saints.” And apparently it’s just “Who Dat?” for short. Fine, I’ll play your game. “Who Dat?”