It was mid afternoon by the time KONGOS played their last song. After the concert, I was ready for some walking, so we headed down Esplanade towards the French Quarter. The weather was perfect, and I really enjoyed checking out the houses on the way. It was about 3 miles to our destination, the French Market, where we went to get a late lunch/snack at Central Grocery. We split a half muffuletta sandwich (a medley of ham, mortadella, salami, pepperoni and provolone cheese plus an olive spread on a special round roll), which wasn’t my favorite thing, but I was kind of starving at that point. We chatted with a nice couple from Baton Rouge who shared a table with us.
We wandered around for a little longer, then headed back to the hotel to change for dinner. We had reservations for GW Fins in the Quarter. There I had shrimp remoulade with fried green tomatoes and redfish, which I think I mentioned in an earlier post. I also had bread pudding for dessert.
By the time we were done with dinner, I was ready to sleep. I’d been up since 4 am. We walked down Bourbon Street, which was just starting to warm up, and just like that, day three was over.
The next morning, my husband got up to swim and I slept in for a bit before getting up to do a little exploring. Before 9 am, there were people in the bars drinking, making me really glad to be sober. I visited Louis Armstrong Park, three voodoo shops and bought one voodoo doll, paid a few dollars to a fantastic street band and just enjoyed the architecture.
I met my husband at around 11:30 in front of the Erin Rose Bar, which had the hidden gem of Killer Po Boys in the back. If I hadn’t heard about this place, I’d never have found it as there was no signage out front. We had to walk through a smoky bar to get to the ordering spot. We chose to get our sandwiches to go and brought them to Jackson Square to listen to music while eating. We got three because they all sounded good: shrimp, sweet potato and meatloaf. The meatloaf was the winner of the three because of the BBQ sauce. We might’ve finished all three.
Then we made our way to the voodoo museum, which was tiny but cool. I followed the instructions for a little voodoo ritual and my husband didn’t even laugh at me.
We also went into this cool locally owned shop called Queork, which sold items made out of cork. Basically, they’re treated so that they end up with similar durability to leather. I got this neat shoulder bag called “The Flapper” that has convertible style. I think we’re going to get some of their placemats when their website lists more back in stock.
Our afternoon plan was to visit the National World War II museum, which was a few miles from where we were. When we got there, it was about time for the Tom Hanks narrated film, Beyond All Boundaries. I can’t recommend this film enough, although I found parts of it rather terrifying, particularly the atom bomb “simulation”. It was a 4-D experience (sans 3D glasses — they used different technology for the added dimensions) and it was really well done. It was meant to mimic part of the soldiers’ and civilian experiences. I felt quite emotional afterwards.
After the film, we went to the other exhibits, including the newer Berlin exhibit and the Boeing hall that housed some real WWII planes. We ran out of time before the museum closed — we were there for over 3 hours and I think easily could have spent a few more there. And they’re putting in another building! If you’re in New Orleans, this is a must-see.
Dinner plans were for Emeril’s flagship restaurant. I tried to wear nice 1-inch heel sandals and regretted it almost the minute we hit the sidewalk. I never wear heels anymore (bad for running). The restaurant was packed, but not so loud we couldn’t have a conversation. I started with BBQ shrimp and it was amazing (my photo doesn’t do it justice). I’m not really that into shrimp or lobster, but if I lived in New Orleans, I would be all over it. It was done perfectly. For my entree, I got the pork chop, which was awash with a tamarind sauce and really beautiful to look at (it was pretty tasty too) and I had I side of collard green mac & cheese. We tried the King Cake monkey bread for dessert and I didn’t love it. But the rest of the meal lived up to expectations.
The next morning, I had a 3 mile recovery run that I did on the hotel treadmill. Interesting observation: things start late in New Orleans. There were two people (coworkers) in the gym doing a leisurely workout. This was after 8am. When I worked in an office, I was at work by then. My husband also had trouble finding yoga classes that started before 9am. I guess NOLA likes to sleep in. Except for those folks already drinking in the bars. But they may not have gone home yet.
We had a reservation for a cemetery tour at 10:30am, so I didn’t want to go too far — I could easily run a long time just to explore the city — and I also wanted to make sure I was going at recovery pace because I’m sort of bad at self-regulating when it comes to going that slow. As my husband and I were getting ready to leave for the 2 mile walk to the cemetery, we spied on a film crew outside our hotel. They were using the rather ugly parking garage to film some sort of street scene. We didn’t recognize the main actress from our 5th floor window — blond was about all we could discern — and the scene wasn’t particularly exciting. It seemed like maybe part of a cop show or maybe NCIS New Orleans. I was hoping for my favorite current vampire TV show, The Originals, but apparently they mostly film in Atlanta 😦 . I took a picture of the street scene, but it didn’t come out very good. It’s funny how many takes they took for what looked like a less than 30 second segment. No wonder movies/tv shows cost so much. It took hours to set up (they’d started the night before) and a few takes later, it’s over and on to the next location. They were filming things all over the city, including in the French Quarter, but we never figured out what all the productions were.
I’d signed up for a tour of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 with the group Save Our Cemetaries, which is a non-profit that uses the tour money to restore some of the grave sites. I thought we’d be part of a larger group, but we were the only two, which was fantastic. Our guide Jamie was extremely knowledgeable and clearly loved her work. The tour was supposed to last an hour and she spent over two hours with us. It was so interesting to hear about the people buried there and also about some of the spots used for film and TV.
After the tour, we went to Tracey’s, a nearby restaurant, for lunch. We ordered roast beef po’ boys and sweet potato fries. The fries were great, but the sandwich was just ok and kind of messy. We should’ve split one.
We walked off lunch by strolling through the Garden District and admiring the homes. We even saw a new townhouse project that I briefly imagined buying a second home from.
For our afternoon entertainment, we walked through the French Quarter focusing on mostly Royal Street. We also went to the French Market to buy hot sauce and seasonings for our son, some pralines for me, and my second voodoo doll from a store called Hex.
I hadn’t made dinner reservations, but we wanted to try something a little more low-key, so I used Trip Advisor and found Acme Oyster House. I had jambalaya and my husband ordered étouffée with fried crawfish. We were a little disappointed by this meal. It wasn’t bad by any means, just not very exciting. I’ve made better jambalaya myself.
We didn’t bother with dessert, but I ate the pralines. I especially liked the sweet potato one.
Ok, that’s enough blog-dump for one post. The next post will be the last of the New Orleans series and will include the swamp tour and our final (and best) meal.