Monday, November 21, 2011

From the French Quarter to the Graveyard

Felix's Restaurant and Oyster Bar on Iberville
BLT:  We strolled up and down Bourbon St. – each bar had a live band (or Karaoke!) – there was a group of LSU students that were all playing brass instruments – they were fantastic! We headed down towards the ferry, and stopped at Felix’s on Iberville. There we had raw oysters and alligator, both blackened and fried. I was a little hesitant at first, but got the oysters down! And, a little to my surprise, they were DELICIOUS!! The alligator was yummy as well. The ‘blackened’ seasonings were tasty, and my love for fried foods continues with alligator.

TL:  Otton, this picture of the front of the Monteleone Hotel is for you.  Sorry it was so late in the day.

BLT:  We made our way down to the ferry to ride to Algiers and back. 

TL:  This jester greets everyone as they come and go from the Ferry.

 BLT: The sun was setting and the skyline of New Orleans was just gorgeous. We could see Saint Louis Cathedral as well as many other majestic buildings in the distance.
Once we got off the ferry, we were in the hunt for another meal (of course!) – we were looking for beignets and café au lait at Café Du Monde. On the way there, we caught up with a parade – what a sight and so much fun! The band was playing ‘When the Saints Come Marching In’ and they were headed to a restaurant – we walked and sang with them until the pull of beignets could be ignored no longer!
Toni gave me fair warning – don’t inhale as you take a bite! These wonderful, scrumptious, crispy doughnuts covered in powered sugar were just HEAVENLY. Paired with café au lait – I was pretty sure I was hearing angels singing! I heeded Toni’s advice and didn’t inhale, but it didn’t stop me from getting COVERED in powdered sugar!
Again, to walk off the stupor of our latest meal, we walked back to Bourbon St. in search of music and a drink. Most of the bands were playing rock and roll at this point, but we found the Maison Bourbon, with a 5-piece jazz band – this is just what we were looking for! This bar was one of my favorite parts of the trip – this is the Bourbon St. experience I had been hoping for! We each had a glass of wine and were entranced by the music… the band was just incredible!
Once the band went on a break, we decided it was time to head home. I know I was incapable of eating anything else, and we were going to have a great day ahead of us!
TL:  My feet were tired!

BLT:  On Friday, we got up and went to the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. We had tried to go the day before, and they have to close it now by 3pm since the statues that adorn some of the graves are being stolen.

BLT:  I had never been to a southern cemetery before, and this was quite a treat! The graves are all above ground, and most are so, so old… It’s quite amazing. 

TL:  Sharleen--This one's for you. 
BLT: Of course, we saw the Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau’s tomb....

BLT: Several ‘bribes’ have been left to her – candy, gum, trinkets, and a bottle of liquor or two, and several ‘xxx’ markings, left by those hoping that Laveau’s spirit will grant them a wish.  

TL:  Sharleen, I left a bribe for you with the request that you win the Lottery. Now, if you win you can thank me..and Marie.

BLT:  It is certainly understandable why these cemeteries are called "Cities of the Dead".

BLT: Once we had our fill of the cemetery, of course we were hungry! We were told not to miss a meal at Mother’s, so off to Poydras St. we went. We found Mother’s on the corner of Poydras and Tchopitoulas (say that name 3 times fast, and I’ll give you a dollar!). When we drove up, there was a line of about 20 people waiting just to get IN to the restaurant! Toni dropped me off at the curb and gave me very strict instructions – ‘We want a ROAST BEEF PO’BOY, OVERDRESSED, WITH DEBRIS’. I had to repeat it a few times to make sure I got it right, and into the line I got. I kept muttering our order to myself to make sure I didn’t forget – I’m sure that the others in line thought I was either CRAZY or REALLY HUNGRY!
Finally, we were let inside (only about 20 at a time are let into the restaurant, you place your order at the counter, then find a seat, and your food will be brought to you), and the smell was outrageously intoxicating… You walk right past the hot stations where they are slopping together the most incredible sandwiches and hot plates… I was in a daze when the woman finally caught my attention – ‘M’AM! WHAT CAN I GET YOU?!” I clumsily repeated our order (which I had to struggle to remember since my mouth was watering so ridiculously!) and waited for our po’boy and French Fries to come up… about 10 minutes later, our lunch was handed over, and off to find Toni I went. We met up across the street (she had to park about 4 streets over!) and we found a lovely park bench to sit and eat… and man oh man, it was delicious. I was so concerned about getting the order right – I forgot to get napkins! Minor details when you’re eating a sandwich like this… so, we just had to lick our fingers! Might just be one of the best, most flavorful meals ever – tender pot roast, on the RIGHT kind of French Bread (I learned quickly that there is DEFINITELY a difference in the bread used to make po’boys – and apparently, nobody makes it like Mother’s), juicy, with mayonnaise, a little lettuce for crunch… I am craving one as I type!

BLT:  Once we finished eating, we had to walk to Halcyon II (which was good to stave off the quickly-approaching food coma!) – we found the Piazza d’Italia, a lovely site with really interesting architecture. Apparently, it is the site of the St. Joseph’s Day Celebrations – sorry we missed it!

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