Last weekend Angel, Andy, and myself headed down to New Orleans for Jazzfest. It was a great little mini-vacation from Dallas and from all the rainy weather we’d been having (although while we were gone the sun was back out here! Rats!!) We arrived Wednesday night to an incredibly humid New Orleans evening, but after checking in we promptly headed out to enjoy the town. Patty O’Brien’s was the first stop and I got to experience my first Hurricane (and no, I have no idea how I’d been to New Orleans before and hadn’t had one of these. But I guess my last trip there was full of other shenanigans!)
It has quite the kick on it, yowza! And it had to be washed down with a beer (and a shot or two.) The Sloppy Spoon was officially born, and night 1 in New Orleans was a success!! We all woke up hungry the next morning and after a round of showers, headed off to Surrey Juice Bar. It had all the delicious breakfast fanfare, and I happily devoured my migas. Angel ordered the banana pancake because not only did it have bananas in it, but it had peanut butter in the batter AND it was spread underneath of the pancake itself. I had a few bits, and it was pretty amazing!! Angel was also kind enough to share her pancake with the strangers sitting next to us!
After hiking it back to the hotel (it was about a 20 minute walk to breakfast), we loaded up on sunscreen and hats and headed off to explore a little bit. We decided the Riverfront was in our future and walked around the shops and stores down on the water. At one cooking store they had some great authentic spices and I settled on the “Slap Yo Mama” and “Punch Yo Daddy” varieties. And not going to lie, I’m excited to cook with them! About that time we decided to reward ourselves for all the walking we’d done that morning… happy hour lunch hour? Absolutely!
Drinks in hand (ps- I must say I was a big fan of the fact New Orleans doesn’t have an open container law, it made things so much easier!) we headed back out by the water and soaked up some sun. It was a good time to take a break because Jenna was on her way to meet us! We took a cab down to the Garden District and walked around some more. Angel experienced her first New Orleans cemetery, we walked by the house featured in the Benjamin Button movie, and made a quick pit stop in a little book store. Pit stops meant one thing… photo shoot
After a little more walking, it was about time to fuel up again. We stopped at a cute little brewery, and actually ran into some fellow Texans. They were from San Antonio, but we forgave them. Or I may have gotten distracted by some pretty phenomenal cheese fries with bacon and jalapenos. I was on vacation, and vacation definitely called for a beer and cheese fries at 3:00pm on a Thursday!
Maybe it was the sun, or the booze, or the bellies full of delicious food, but we headed back to the hotel where we napped for a solid 2 hours. We were out. But awoke and headed back out to the Garden District where we met back up with friends for the Mavs game at a sports bar called Tracey’s. Thomas finally got to come out and join in on the vacation fun!! I miss this hairy friend of mine! By the time the Mavs game actually started, we were finally starting to get hungry again. Luckily Thomas said this place had the best roast beef Po Boy in the city so I gave it a whirl.
Delicious, yes! Messy, yes yes!! Somehow I managed not to get it all over my clothes (no idea how that happened). Waking up Friday morning was a little interesting, Andy and I both confessed to still being completely full from our Po Boys the night before… (and from the gravy and cheese fries consumed.) After a quick shuttle ride.. we arrived at Jazzfest!
My first impression was.. wow. I could NOT believe the amount of people who were there. There were easily several hundred thousand people.
Jazzfest isn’t just a music festival, but a culture and heritage festival as well. There was all kinds of different authentic foods, craftsmen, glass blowers, artists, etc. I had heard great things about the crawfish pie, so that was a-top the list of things I was going to try. It didn’t disappoint, it was fabulous!
We listened to some Blue Grass music, we went inside the Blues tent and listened there, we went inside the Jazz tent and listened there and then pretty much camped out over by the Gentilly Stage waiting for Mumford & Sons to go on. It was getting pretty warm outside by this point, so what better way than to cool yourself off with a cold beverage… or two…
…and a photo shoot of our crazy selves?
Mumford & Sons was pretty awesome. They sound exactly like they do on their CD and I really enjoyed seeing them live. I won’t lie though, my favorite part of the weekend just may have been the people watching there. There were so many characters!!
After a quick rinse off shower back at the hotel, we headed out for a really authentic seafood meal. We went to Grand Isle where Angel got the seafood platter, Andy got crawfish etouffee, and I had the crab salad. I guess this place is known for their onion rings, and we started with those as our appetizer, and got a pitcher of beer to rinse it all down.
Thomas picked us up, where we headed back to his house in the Uptown area. I finally got to meet the newest addition to their little family (and the one that brought the dog-whisperer into their lives).. meet Grover!! He was very sweet.. and made a new best friend out of Angel!
Our last night in New Orleans started at a bar in Uptown. Andy quickly made friends with the bartender and she asked him when he was coming back…. ruh roh
Night 3 in New Orleans had a more interesting finish… a rat that ran across Angel’s foot at Patty O’s (GROSS!!), a few shots, a dance party at Cat’s Meow, and a sloppy spoon launch party back at the hotel.. that may or may not have ended up with one or more participants missing the bed and landing on the floor. In a word. AWESOME!
The next day was a little slower moving, but it was also going to be our last meal in New Orleans so it had to be just as amazing as the rest. Andy had heard about this burger restaurant called Port of Call over on the other side of Bourbon that came with a baked potato on the side! (And after the night we had, a burger and potato sounded like heaven!!) I got my potato loaded with cheese and bacon bits and it didn’t disappoint! When I got a little more than halfway through both I cut myself off, it was so delicious I could have devoured both.
It also warranted a walk back to the hotel, which at this point was easily a mile or two. But the weather was beautiful, we were stuffed, and so I don’t think anyone minded.
It was a great weekend!! I had potatoes with every meal, we laughed till we cried on several occasions, we heard some great live music, saw Jenna & Thomas, ate fresh seafood, and came back with new nicknames for everyone. I have to say, I love love LOVE traveling with good friends