New Orleans has been a place that I’ve long wanted to visit and I’m so glad that I finally got a chance to go. My dear friend Jenn came up with the idea to go here on one of our trips together and it absolutely did not disappoint. Some highlights ahead.
We stayed at the regal-as-hell Le Pavillon and it was phenomenal. So happy we stayed here. It was within walking distance of pretty much everything we wanted to do and see. We stayed on the seventh floor and our room was a decent size, with a bed more comfortable than any bed I’ve ever slept in. They offer a nightly peanut butter and jelly sandwich special in the lobby, and while I didn’t partake in the free sandwich, I did get a hot chocolate (with freshly whipped cream) that was ridiculously good, all cream should be freshly whipped. It’s one of the most haunted hotels in New Orleans (part of the reason we chose it) and I do swear that I heard some shady shit at night in our room.
On our first night, we went to Drago’s for charbroiled oysters and let’s get this straight: charbroiled isn’t for everybody. I happily ate most of them, but I don’t know that I’d order them again. I’m not a huge fan of smokey food in general, so definitely keep that in mind if you ever see these on a menu.
We took the gorgeous St. Charles streetcar to have lunch at Commander’s Palace (where they have .25 cent martinis with every entree) and it was lovely. Any time I drink a martini, if I want to drink it slowly and really savour it, I’ll always get a gin martini with a twist. Gin forces me not to drink quickly because it’s such a disgusting liquor. Works every time. I tried turtle soup for the first time and it was good, but wildly decadent-tasting. That could be attributed to the veal stock (veal stock is always so rich, I find), but it was still a great soup.
We indulged in .75 cent oysters for the happy hour at Luke, which were wonderful of course. When has an oyster been anything less than desirable? (…when it’s charbroiled, according to Jenn!)
I bought coffee beans for Nathan from French Truck, which came with a free coffee that… tasted like coffee? I’ll never have any idea what constitutes a “good cup of coffee” and nor do I want to know. On average, I find that people who have super strong opinions on coffee also have bad personalities, but maybe that’s a generalization. Prove me wrong, world!
We had crab cakes and catfish at Mr. B’s Bistro where the service was great and the food was good (the crazy hot, fresh baked bread may have been the best part). Cheap martinis with lunch were had yet again - this has to be a NOLA custom because I’ve never heard of another city providing this perk.
We visited the Carousel Bar at the beautiful Hotel Monteleone. I really wanted to get an up-close shot of the stunning hotel sign atop the building, so I finagled a way to let someone at the front desk grant me a temporary hotel key card to get past some of the upstairs locked doors to see if I could make it out onto the private roof. We got pretty close and only had one last barrier to go when that final door defeated us and we didn’t quite make it out. We did manage to see the rooftop pool (so lovely) and half of the sign. No good photo opportunities, but still - what an incredible hotel.
We ate the bananas foster at Brennan’s (where the dessert was invented) and yes it was good, but waaaaaay too sweet. Like obnoxiously so. I guess that’s what it’s supposed to taste like? In any case, I’ll definitely think twice before ordering it ever again anywhere else. One bananas foster is enough for a lifetime.
I visited my first strip club and it wasn’t a terrible experience! Honestly it would’ve been a perfect experience if there were less men allowed in. I understand the appeal now.
I don’t have cable at home, so whenever I’m in a hotel I get pretty excited about it being available. My favourite thing to watch? Martin on BET. It’s always on when I want it to be. And they showed BOTH Martin Halloween episodes while we were there, so that was pretty magical.
Have you ever had Zapp’s Potato Chips? Holy shit are they better than every other chip.
We had dinner and listened to piano at The Roosevelt. I’ll forever love eating and drinking in old, beautiful hotels. They’re so nostalgic and with certain details that newer hotels can’t hold a candle to.
Of all the things that we did, my favourite was probably swimming in the hotel’s rooftop pool with Jenn drinking wine from a coffee cup during a rainstorm right before the thunder and lightning started. I’ll never forget that.
Some things that I’d absolutely want to do next time? Eat the Oysters Rockefeller at Antoine’s, go on a ghost tour and obviously get beignets. Yes, it’s insane that we didn’t do these things, but in all honestly, we drank so much one night that the next day had to be spent mostly in that heavenly hotel bed. It was meant to be that way.
If you’re interested in seeing my Instagram Stories from the trip, I made them full story in my Highlights section on Instagram.