Wednesday, January 03, 2018

New Orleans French Quarter Trip Mini Review

Although I am not a foodie and actually tend not to drink alcohol, I think the French Quarter is a great place to visit. I never visited New Orleans until recently, but have now gone to the French Quarter three times in the past 2 1/2 years. This most recent trip was December 26-29, 2017. Below is a mini review in the form of lists.

Southwest Airlines Chicago Midway/New Orleans
Took an early morning flight and slept the whole way. Sweet. Despite some rough weather, the return flight was only a little bit late. Southwest has always treated me well, which included a free companion pass for my wife

Ground Transportation
Transportation from MSY to our hotel and back was via Uber. The pickup wait was short both times and the rate was reasonable.

For the second consecutive trip, we stayed at the Wyndham Garden Barrone Plaza. It is located one block from Canal Street, so it technically is not in the French Quarter. It is quiet and inexpensive. The rooms are smallish, but who is spending time in their room when the French Quarter is a two minute walk away?

As I mentioned, I am certainly not a heavy drinker. However, when on a vacation and when playing recreational poker, I drink a bit more than usual. Drinks this trip included:
Bloody Mary
Long Island Ice Tea
Pimm's Cup
Vodka Gimlet
I still believe the best Hurricanes are found at Pat O'Brien's.

Cooking School
My wife took a hands-on cooking class at New Orleans School of Cooking. She absolutely loved it! In fact, she will be fixing most of the items she learned to make for dinner tonight: Yam-Crab Bisque, Beef Grillades and Grits and Bananas Foster.

Cafe du Monde -- our choice for beignets and coffee au lait
Cafe Beignet -- Mrs lightning wanted to try it. Coffee and beignets were just okay.
Daisy Duke's -- great friend green tomatoes and red beans and rice
Louisiana Bistro -- we had been referred here and tried the "Feed Me" chef's choice three course dinner. Small portions and a disappointment.
Napoleon House -- another place where we were referred - for its muffuletta, which was heated to melt the cheese. It was really good, as was the first Pimm's Cup I ever had.
K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen -- excellent dinner - drum and stuffed pork chop. 
Old NOLA Cookery -- good fried seafood platter, great desserts including bread pudding that my wife loved, causing us to go back a second time just for dessert
Hobnobber's Variety Bar and Restaurant -- good cajun lunch spot

I played five sessions of $1/3 NL in the time in town at Harrah's New Orleans. I lost a buy in at the first session and then won at the last four. There were some aggressive regulars, so I tightened up and played tight-aggressive after the first session. Management seemed pretty good. Drink service was uneven -- sometimes very quick, sometimes tough finding a cocktail waitress. Dealers were okay,sometimes being a tad loose with the rules, sometimes not, like when I got asked to take my cocktail napkin off the table! For some reason I can't quite put my finger on, there seems to be a bit of a negative vibe to the room. Some players and dealers seem to be a bit grouchy. The tables are nice, a restroom is nearby as well as a cashier cage. I liked playing there, but didn't feel quite at home.

The short period between Christmas and New Year is a good time to visit the Crescent City. We usually get out of town right about when the majority of the Sugar Bowl crowd starts appearing. Much of Bourbon Street is currently being torn up. If you liked the old uneven cobblestones, you might not like the changes.

Although I have only been to New Orleans three times it is quickly rising up my list of favorite U.S. cities. We basically stayed in the French Quarter this entire trip, and we strongly recommend it for a good time for eating, drinking and relaxing.

Thanks for reading!


Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Thanks for the report. Glad to hear the poker went well. Say 'hi' to Mrs. Lightning for me.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Ace said...

New Orleans and SF are two tourist destinations that I haven't visited yet.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Tony Bigcharles said...

so u found a hotel for $299 a night and thought it was cheap?

3:50 AM  
Blogger thundering36 said...

LOL Like lightning would ever pay $299 a night for a room! There are rooms there for $76 a night.

I want to hear more about that cooking school. So you play poker while mrs lightning slaves over a hot stove in order to cater to your newly acquired tastes for Cajun 'gator? Hmmm... seems about right.

8:05 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@MOJO - Thank you, sir. And yes - I did tell Mrs. lightning that you said "hi." I am considering playing the Seniors/Super Seniors events this summer, so watch out!

@Ace - definitely a great place to try someday for you.

@Tony - My total for three nights, including all taxes and fees, was less than $225. That is quite a bargain for being minutes away from Bourbon Street.

@thundering - You obviously know me too well. Paying $299/night for a room? Mwahahahaha!

I actually slept in late when she went to cooking class (10am - 1:30pm) since I had been playing poker until about 4am the night before. Last night, she made the bisque, grillades and grits, and Bananas Foster for dinner. We'll work on the gator next trip. You would have liked the restaurant visits.

8:45 AM  
Blogger The Neophyte said...

Good post Lightning, glad you had fun and made some money too. NOLA is foodie heaven. And 3 nights for under $300 is cheap as hell there. The fact that Mrs Lightning took classes to cook things you like is all bonus.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous KenP said...

Daisy Duke's -- great friend green tomatoes and red beans and rice

Glad you made great friends with the green tomatoes. :)

N.O. is a great town. Always want to go with the next size up in pants for the ride home.

3:36 PM  

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