Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New Orleans, Louisiana (October 2011)

This is a past post from Magen's old blog, chronicling a trip taken in October of 2011. Excuse the poor writing style. She was still figuring out her groove. 



Road trips are the best, right? I mean, you really get to travel to several places. I think it's half the fun. On our Epic Road Trip of 2011, Ashley and I drove the whole of Louisiana (starting point was my family farm in Northern LA.) It was glorious and delicious. 


Our first stop was Baton Rouge, LA. There is a chain of Mexican restaurants that we ADORE. Unfortunately, most of them shut down and the only locations still open are in Houston and Baton Rouge. Lucky for us, Baton Rouge was on our way! We arrived around 11:30 and do what we always do on vacation, eat ourselves sick. 



After lunch, we drove down to the Big Easy to find our hotel. Neither one of us had ever spent much time in New Orleans before. (Shameful, since my entire family is from Louisiana for as far back as anyone can remember.) It took a little while to locate the hotel, with all of the one way streets. We opted to valet since the parking in the area is a little (and by a little, I mean a lot) crazy. Plus, the valet parking was in a secure garage, and we were leaving a few pieces of luggage in the car. We stayed in a cute little Best Western in the French Quarter. I chose this hotel because I had Best Western gift cards. The hotel was nice and clean but with that New Orlean's touch. 




After we settled into our hotel, we started walking! The weather was warm (but not hot) and a little humid, but not as bad as the smoldering NOLA summers. We headed towards the area with the most shopping. I saw so many cute independent businesses: from bookstores to music stores to sweet shops. There was even an acoustic show in one of the music stores. We continued walking around looking at all of the architecture and weird shops. We went to Jackson Square (where we witnessed a wedding!) and came across a pedestrian mall that had dozens of artists and fortune teller booths. This is also where we started to see street performers. 









 










While in the area, we made our way to Café du Monde for beignets. This place is probably the most well known stop in NOLA for the French doughnuts. They are SO delicious. I heard they have great coffee, too. Don’t miss this spot if you go to New Orleans! It’s a tradition and it’s delicious. It’s also open 24 hours so you have no excuse! After our snack, we headed towards Bourbon Street, stopping at several shops on the way.






While on Bourbon Street, we saw even more street performers. Some were kind of scary, I’ll admit. Some were very funny. Some were pretty much naked. (As in, thong and body paint and boots. And that’s all.) I wouldn't bring kids after dark. We stopped to listen to live music at several places. There are PLENTY of live music bars that have no cover- so if you’re a music lover, I’d recommend it. 





After a few hours on Bourbon Street, our stomachs were rumbling. We caught a cab to go to another part of town to Jacques- Imo’s. We always find our restaurants before we go to a new town. There’s nothing I hate more than spending money on food that I don’t like. We heard Jacques-Imo’s was a must, so we decided that would be our dinner spot. The wait was atrocious. I think we waited nearly two hours. The place used to be a house (two houses, actually). They have seating outside and in every nook and cranny in the two houses, and it is still PACKED to the brim. We also noticed a lot of locals, which is a good sign. Instead of hanging paintings on the wall in the bar/waiting area, there were framed paintings on the ceiling! It looked super cool. We shared the fried chicken dinner and loved it. Next time, I’d like to venture out and eat a more adventurous dish. For our first time, we kept it simple.




After we finally ate, it was pretty late (and we were pretty tired!) So, we caught a cab back to our hotel to call it a night.


Food Recommendations:
Ninfa’s |  Baton Rouge, LA (Mexican)
Café du Monde | New Orleans, LA (Beignets and Coffee)
Jaques- Imo’s | New Orleans, LA (Cajun)



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