Tuesday, November 10, 2015

72 Hours in NOLA: Day 2

On Day 2, we woke up bright and early to grey skies.

We had tried to make reservations to have dinner at Cafe Amelie but they were closed for a private event. So, we did the next best thing and headed over to have breakfast at their more casual sister space, Petite Amelie.
The weather was drizzly on and off. It wasn't the best situation, however, it did create a bit of relief from the 80F weather.

I had the brighten up juice, which was made with carrot, ginger, spinach, and apple. It was bright and refreshing.
H got the jalapeno popper waffle panini and I opted for the chicken and waffle panini. The portion sizes were perfect and both sandwiches were so delicious. The jalapeno popper had a nice spice and a good tang from the goat cheese and of course, bacon is delicious in everything. The chicken and waffle was generously loaded with tender chicken, smothered in melty cheddar, and the contrast of the sweet maple syrup totally hit the spot.
After breakfast, we headed over to where our walking tour was meeting. Unfortunately, due to the weather, the walk had been canceled so we had to shuffle our planned schedule around a little. We ended up walking around the French Quarter.
LALAURIE HOUSE
H made me watch American Horror Story: Coven prior to our trip and it made us really giddy about visiting all of the sites from the show. Our first stop was Madame Delphine Lalaurie's house. Her story is quite the interesting one. Apparently a fire broke out at her home and when rescuers showed up and broke into the structure, they found slaves tied up and dismembered and mangled. Definitely makes for a great horror story, right?
Well, the house is actually owned by a regular human now and whoever lives there set up this amazing display.
We watched this guy pop out and laughed. The second time it happened, it actually scared me because I was staring and waiting for it, trying to capture it on video.
MARIE LAVEAU'S HOUSE OF VOODOO

Marie Laveau is another real life figure portrayed in AHS so we popped by the voodoo shop. There are no photos allowed inside but I managed to grab a cheeky peek by angling the photo of the sign a bit.
OLD ABSINTHE HOUSE
Needing to kill some time before meeting up with friends for brunch, we did what anyone does to kill time in NOLA: drink.
We went to an absinthe bar and watched our bartender do a classic bohemian pour and cheers-ed to the possibility of hallucinations. Unfortunately, absinthe is hardly what it was back in the Prohibition era so we just had ourselves a nice (albeit normal) buzz going.
REVIVAL OUTPOST
Of course, the other awesome time-killing activity is to shop. We did a little vintage perusing at the Revival Outpost. I found an amazing dress but it was too big in the boobs. So, I took a cheeky little selfie of my outfit instead.
MURIEL'S JACKSON SQUARE

After a busy morning, we wandered over to Jackson Square for brunch.
Because it was Sunday, there was a lovely little jazz band playing. It was a little loud at first, but then they rotated over to other rooms to perform for everyone else at which point, it was nice ambient music.
H and I each opted for classic brunch cocktails; she went for a bloody mary and I went for a mimosa.
H opted to have two appetizers as her main. She started with the goat cheese crepes with crawfish, which were super delicious and spiced so well.
 And then she had the gorgonzola cheesecake. It was totally weird in an amazing way.

I went for the soup of the day to start, which was a sweet potato soup with sausage and corn; so tasty. And then for my main, I had the shrimp and grits. The grits were super creamy and the shrimp were seasoned perfectly.
S had the eggs benedict. The eggs were slightly overdone but the hollandaise was so good.
J had the classic brunch which came with turtle soup (that I forgot to snap) and was surprisingly good. I didn't know what to expect as I'd never had anything made with turtle before. The main was a redfish court bouillon, which was a well-spiced, tomato-based fish stew. The fluffy white rice absorbed the sauce; it was great.
For dessert, we shared the bread pudding that came with J's trio and the creme brulee. The bread pudding was so good! The caramelized sauce and the tender cake-like pudding were unlike anything I've ever eaten before.
The creme brulee was tender and flecked with vanilla bean. It was almost as good as the creme brulees I've enjoyed in France.
CURE
To satisfy yet another checkmark on our AHS:Coven list, we headed to Cure for happy hour. The bar is gorgeous and it's the setting where Cordelia gets blinded whilst visiting the toilet so we were apprehensive to use the facilities.
The drinks selection is really cool and sexy because the working bartenders curate the list. I went for a Pimm's cup and found it super fresh and delicious. Next summer, I'm going to have to play with making my own recipe.
I also tried the other classic NOLA cocktail, which is the French 75. It was super sweet and perfect for anyone who hates the taste of alcohol but still wants to get a buzz on.
COQUETTE
For dinner, H and I parted ways with J and S and headed over to Coquette. Since we were still a bit full from our huge brunch, we ended up sharing three small plates, which turned out to be the perfect amount of food.
The beef carpaccio was super tender and the pickled cabbage gave the rich meat a much-needed acidic brightness.
The ceviche was served in a citrusy, cilantro-laden sauce. The fish was tender and well-prepared (no stringy, chewy bits, thank goodness) and the wedges of mandarin orange were sweet and a nice complement.
The favorite of the evening was the ricotta gnocchi. It was served with wild mushrooms and a savory, meaty sauce and a generous dusting of parmesan. I need to give this recipe a go. Perhaps this weekend (once I return from GCI?).
SPOTTED CAT NIGHTCLUB
After dinner, we hopped in a cab and headed over to Frenchman Street to listen to some obligatory jazz. I'm not a big fan of jazz but since it's what NOLA is known for, I felt I had to give it a chance. At the Spotted Cat, we listened to four really young musicians playing some hectic music. I feel like such an old lady when I say I don't like a certain type of music because it's too "loud" and "chaotic" but honestly, if I can't pick out a tune or figure out how anyone "practices" the pieces, then I'm out.
THE MAISON
However, I much more enjoyed myself at The Maison. The music was much more believable (meaning I could imagine someone actually practicing this music instead of just mashing together a random collection of notes emphasizing the dissonance instead of the melody) and the main guy was multi-talented. He was singing, playing harmonica, sax, and flute. It was entertaining.
At about midnight, we declared ourselves pumpkins and headed back to our hotel, where we proceeded to play with the Poppin' Cookin' sets that H had bought. I know, we're so cool.
I'll be sharing Day 3 tomorrow; it was my favorite so come back for that!

xoxo.

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