#WeekendWarrior - New Orleans
We just celebrated Willow's birthday and of course that meant we had to take a trip. I suggested Costa Rica but he had his sights set on our for real favorite city of New Orleans. As much as my heart hurt to not get out the country, it was his birthday so it was his choice. Don't get me wrong, I love me some NOLA and I still have a few friends there so it's always a good time when we go. Hopefully this will be the first of many installments of NOLA in the #WeekendWarrior series. Let's Geaux!
Welcome to Home of the Hand Grenade! This is always a first stop for us. Willow loves these more than he loves me I think. Hand Grenades are famous and when you take a trip to New Orleans it's one of those things you have to do just because it's that famous. Now, if you're looking to get a good buzz then have one and enjoy a few other drinks on Bourbon St. If you're looking to turn the f**k up, have two. If you're trying to make your worries go away temporarily then have three and say a prayer. These things are super strong and can cause short term memory loss, random episodes of sleep and a damn good time.
This is another one of our favorite stops in New Orleans. It's just good food and friendly customer service. You can fall into a few touristy type places or generic bars but not this place in my opinion. Their meat pies are spicy, their fried green tomatoes are topped with a shrimp remoulade and they have a hurricane that will put you to sleep. Especially after you've paired it with a hand grenade or two. This time we gave their chicken and waffles a swing and it was everything you could want out of a chicken and waffle dish. The waffle was so good and the chicken was full of flavor. Again, this is a spot we always come to and we've been to New Orleans five times in the last two and half years (I told you this was our favorite city).
So even after all that we had another stop to make and that's a chicken spot throughout Bourbon called Willie's Chicken Shack. That honey butter biscuit gets me every time. It's definitely a drunk stop before going to bed.
Now it's time for the best meal and time of day; BRUNCH! My good friend Cara picked us up from our hotel and we headed over to Press Street Station. Press Street Station is part of NOCCA. New Orleans Center for Creative Arts is a regional, pre-professional arts training center that offers students intensive instruction in culinary arts, dance, media arts: filmmaking & audio production, music (classical, jazz, vocal), theatre arts (drama, musical theatre, theatre design), visual arts, and creative writing, while demanding simultaneous academic excellence.
I'm a sucker for some good french toast so when I saw they had sweet potato french toast it was just natural for me to get it. It came sprinkled with sweet and spicy pecan and a nice covering of powdered sugar. I feel like I'm shortchanged if the powdered sugar isn't on the heavy side. It also had a side of peach and blueberry compote but I didn't care for it too much. The side of bacon was delicious too.
Willow opted for the breakfast sandwich. It's breakfast sausage, pimento cheese, arugula, fried egg on housemade sourdough, and served with breakfast potatoes. Cara got the gouda grilled cheese and it smelled so amazing. I had a tiny bite and now I'm on a grilled cheese kick.
After brunch we wandered around the French Quarter and visited the French Market for a little shopping and browsing. It got super cold so we made a pit stop into a bar and watched a little football, listened to some good music and had some good drinks. We also stopped by my favorite little bakery Sucre. It was Willow's birthday and he didn't want cake but I did so I made it happen for me. After a few hours of that we decided we needed a nap because we had a long night ahead of us. We met back up with Cara and our friend Seimeka and the real adventure started.
If you want to get off Bourbon and get some real authentic and local fun you have to stop on Frenchmen Street. It's local and live music heaven. To hear the sounds of the music coming from the doors as you walk by is so amazing. You get a little jazz, a little blues and maybe even a little reggae. We hopped around, took shots, danced and just enjoyed the night. By the time we realized what was going on it was 3am and it was time for food again.
Look, let me be honest. This place is nothing but awesomeness fried up in some catfish and chicken wings. We came here on our previous trip in March and I've had dreams of this food. Yes it's just catfish or shrimp or a chicken wing but it's so damn delicious. It's open 24 hours and we even ran into Big Freddia just chillin, ordering up some food like it was nothing. I wanted to be a groupie but I held it together. Back to the food, It's a little pricey but worth every penny. They even sell cake by the square. It tastes like my grandma made it and it is everything! Their corn grits make me wanna cry their so good. I'm sure there was so much butter in the them and the mac and cheese but it's all worth it (for the moment).
So as you can see we went in. I think it's going to take a full month to get this food weight off but who cares. New Orleans has good food so why cheat yourself while you're there. Willow had a great birthday and as always it's good to see my friends and just kick it. Until next time foodie fam!