At the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic Chadd and I took a weekend trip to NOLA (don’t judge us okay, it was a pre planned trip, y’all). Anyways, I found that when asking people about New Orleans the reviews are widely skewed, you either love the city to bits and pieces or you’d rather pass. My experience was kind of in the middle of these two, so I thought I’d come on this little virtual diary of mine and share my thoughts!
I found that when asking people about New Orleans the reviews are pretty widely skewed, you either love the city to bits and pieces or you’d rather pass.
There are parts of New Orleans that I adored and certain parts that I wouldn’t be mad at not experiencing again, ya know? In short, everyone was right – the food was INCREDIBLE, the culture was rich and bourbon street was v v dirty.
NOLA DAY 1 - BOURBON ST
We landed in New Orleans around 7pm and it was straight out, you know how it goes – get off the plane, get ready and head out. We opted to eat dinner on Bourbon street and found a little cajun place that honestly isn’t worth mentioning, sorry but not that sorry. This was the first restaurant we went to in NOLA and our impression can be summed into ‘that was good but not as good as we were expecting after hearing everyone RAVE about New Orleans food.’ I can’t say I went to Bourbon st. expecting to fall head over heels, but I think it’s definitely one of those boxes you just have to check! So we set out to get our obligatory hand grenades and learn how to throw beads from the locals. The whole open container business is definitely fun and just outside of what I’m used to, but despite downing several tequila sodas I still couldn’t help but sober up a little every time I looked around and realized how gross the entire street was and how terrible it smelled. Okay, but that being said, Bourbon st. still remains a box you have to check so let me tell you the two bars you need to visit hands down.
The Cats Meow
Hands down the most fun bar I visited on Bourbon st., also hands down the grossest bathroom situation I’ve ever experienced. Can’t win them all I guess, maybe I just went on an off night but maybe just try to remember to empty your bladder before trying this bar.
Okay, so I did notice that this seems to be a chain and they have one in the French Quarter as well but I was told this is where you have to go to get yourself an OG hand grenade. The bar is pool themed, complete with life guard bartenders. If you are looking to spice up your insta story, this is the place. Order a shark attack and have your phone pulled out ready to record. (on a side note – maybe don’t order a shark attack if you are wearing white)
NOLA Day 2 - The French Quarter
Day 2 was exponentially better than day 1 so if you’ve been thinking that this post has been pretty negative, well you’re right but its about to get real good! The French Quarter was infinitely more our scene, cute, clean, a little bouji, and a lot of fun.
We started day 2 with brunch at Tableau. AMAZING. Start your food journey with some fried green tomatoes and end with the creme brûlée – it’s a must. Hands down the best creme brûlée I’ve ever had, okay. The mimosas here are bottomless and the atmosphere is chic but be smart and make yourself a reservation! Also, make sure you have some cash on hand to tip the band when they come serenade you!
Next we took a quick stroll around Jackson square where I fell in love with some street art which I convinced Chadd to get for us after a few drinks (It’s all about strategic timing, am I right?). Genuinely, I love street art. It just tells a story in the best way, you know? There’s something very intimate about handmade art that I absolutely adore. Not to mention supporting something small and local always gives me the best warm fuzzy feeling. I’ve always wanted to get my tarot cards read and what better place than New Orleans? So I walked past the tables until one felt right and sat down. Y’all I haven’t been that nervous in a long long time but over all I was really happy with my reading! Thats for another post though
This little bar is right around the corner from Jackson Square and it might be the oldest bar I’ve ever been to. They only take cash and the place is covered in law enforcement patches from all over the world! I highly recommend this little hole in the wall.
This is another NOLA classic that I was told I absolutely had to visit and let me tell you I was not disappointed. Pat O’briens was so fun and their hurricanes will definitely have you feeling some type of way, if you’re getting my drift. Supposedly, the concept of the bar is 4 different bars in one, like the bar we went to in Chicago, but I honestly couldn’t tell you since I spent my entire time sitting on the patio.
Alright so story time, we did not intend to go to Bourbon House to eat. In-fact we stumbled on it completely on accident. Our original intent was to go to Acme Oyster bar for dinner since it was on our highly recommended list. There was a HUGE line outside of Acme that Chadd left me to wait in while he ran inside to use the bathroom. Typical. *eye roll* At first the line outside wasn’t terrible, although, it did smell pretty awful outside. When the line started moving forward, however, I simply could not take it any longer. It smelled – and I cannot stress this enough – like I was standing in a port-a-potty that had not been cleaned in at least a decade. Basically, I was like this is a huge NOPE for me and frankly I don’t care what kind of delicious food is inside, I cannot bare the smell in line. So, we headed next door where we literally ate probably THE BEST MEAL of our lives. Like, no really. Let me walk you through what you have to order – go ahead and start yourself off with some charbroiled oysters aka orgasm in your mouth. Next the filet mignon, medium rare (of course). Finally finish off your meal with an espresso martini for dessert. Iconic. A must.
To finish off the evening we took a stroll to Cafe Du’Monde. The walk was about 20 min but well worth it. The beignets at Cafe Du’Monde are a classic. This is a New Orleans staple you just cannot miss. I’m talking the fluffiest warm center and mounds of powdered sugar, trust me and pair it with a latte.
How we drank and didn't get hungover
Last but certainly not least let me tell y’all how I said ‘catch me later w all that’ to my eminent hangover and kept the party going all weekend! DrinkAde was sweet enough to send me some of their hangover prevention drinks. They are packed full of of vitamins, amino acids, nutrients, and minerals. DrinkAde works by helping the body neutralize toxins, restore vital nutrients and rehydrate…all countering the effects of alcohol. These babies come in two different flavors prevention is limeade flavored and boost (my favorite which contains caffeine) is berry flavored!