Exploring New Orleans, Day 2

Had another lazy morning, and decided to loaf around the hotel room until Liz was available for lunch. We decided to hit up a nearby place called The Green Goddess, thanks once again to the great Huffencooper Guide to New Orleans (courtesy of Cinnamon Cooper and Andrew Huff).

One of the things I love about the French Quarter is the lack of alleys. With every street, you turn the corner and it’s just more shops and restaurants and places to visit. The one downfall with this is that much of the trash piles up on the sidewalks, but overall… I like the feel of the area.

There’s not much seating at The Green Goddess, so we had a (very) slight wait until a table opened up. The whole feel and look of the outdoor area reminded me a lot of Florence, Italy.

Mostly, they serve breakfast/brunch, with a few sandwich lunch options. So it timed out well that we got in a little before noon. Though we already had breakfast, Liz and I ended up ordering some brunch-type items.

I got the Kina Cocktail (a homage to the Vesper, with equal parts Miller’s gin, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, Cocchi Americano Aperitif, and a twist of lemon) and Liz got the Ginger Kid (Dolin Sweet Vermouth, Miller’s Gin, Pimm’s No.1, and a dose of ginger syrup).

For food, they didn’t have my first choice of the Acadian Country Breakfast: Two sweet potato biscuits stuffed with pan fried boudin patties served with a side of truffle grits, house made pepper jelly, and Steen’s syrup, along with two crab boil poached duck eggs. So instead, I got the Duck Confit Boudin Hash: A crunchy hash cake made of pulled duck confit, Creole Country boudin, and fingerling potato, served with crab boil poached locally sourced chicken eggs inside a sweet potato biscuit, a side of truffle grits, foie gras butter, pepper jelly, and Steen’s cane syrup.

Liz got the vegan and gluten free South Indian Uttapam: a savory pancake cooked with petite green peas, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and panch puran, rolled up and filled with a vegan curry vegetable medley and topped with a young coconut slaw, tamarind chutney, and crunchy spiced dal.

The one drink I had knocked me back, and the food was delicious! I think this might have been Liz’s favorite spot, out of all the places we went to eat.

Later on in the afternoon, we wandered around some of the shops in the French Quarter. Up unti today, most of our forays had been in the early evening – usually after many shops were already closed for the day. So today, we had the luxury of going in and visiting a few spots.

One place Liz wanted to check out was The Quarter Stitch – a place that’s primarily about needlepoint, but has a lot of yarn for sale. I spoke to the proprieter, and she didn’t want photographs due to many of the items being copyrighted works of the individuals who made them. It didn’t register to me at first, but along much of the store… there were tons of incredibly detailed, intricate needlepoint pieces displayed. Looking back, I totally understand the hesitation of having some of those things photographed (I saw a few pieces that were going for upwards of $200 – $400).

I did get permission to take a few shots of just the yarn, which was permitted. It’s a little tough to see immediately, but sitting on the countertop was a little doggie named Leif Ericson. Now that I think about it… my first thought was to the explorer, but perhaps he was named after the actor?

A closeup of Leif, who was adorable and all sorts of friendly… regardless of his explorer or actor lineage.

Outside the famous Cafe du Monde.

Table, aftermath.

A slight view of the seating area. Though the ceilings are high, it’s still a bit loud.

An order of beignets, with a cup of strong chicory coffee. I remember liking the coffee way more the first time I was here, for some reason.

Liz, with her cafe au lait.

Later in the evening, we were lucky to meet up with Meagan and Mike, who were both in town for Mike’s brother’s wedding. What a stroke of luck to be able to meet up, so far away from Chicago.

Liz and I were due to fly out in the morning, and they had just arrived earlier in the day… so it timed out well that we were able to meet up for dinner. We found out they were heading to Napleon House, and this was perfect as I had been planning to head back to order a Pimms Cup (something I didn’t get, when we first ate here for lunch).

Turns out, Meagan and Mike both hadn’t had dinner yet, so the four of us settled down for some grub and some drinks. We got to talking a good while, and I have to say… it was a pleasant place to have a relaxed dinner and conversation. Most of the places I had seen were all pretty crowded or noisy, so it was great to be able to have a more subdued evening (with it being Halloween and Bourbon Street only a few blocks away).

I’ve been missing all the folks from EI lately, so it felt nice to catch up with Meagan a bit. Doing so in a completely different city made it even nicer, and more fun.

We called it an early night, given the fact that we had to still pack. On our way back to the hotel (and all throughout the day, honestly), we spotted a TON of folks dressed up for Halloween.

But here’s the thing – part of me kept the camera in check this vacation. I felt way too “touristy” having the camera out, and felt way more subconscious about taking photos. Also… Bourbon Street New Orleans Halloween is a different type of thing to me.

Normally, I’m all about people dressing up and Halloween being this kind of child-like return to play and imagination. But about 80% of the people I saw were doing the skuzzy Halloween thing, and it made me feel like the entire crowd was going to start having sex with one another, right there in the streets. It felt like a dirtier, grosser, more “adult” version of Halloween than I’m used to. And so, despite all the great opportunities for photos… I just didn’t shoot all that much.

For a short part of our walk back to the hotel, we fell in directly behind an old guy walking with his arms around two women. The ladies were wearing nothing but pasties, sports jackets… and I think nothing else. I saw one woman stretch her arms, and she had on nothing south of the border. All I saw was her butt.

One guy, who passed them and was walking the other direction, muttered out loud: For Halloween, I guess I’ll just be nekkid.

Oh New Orleans, you so crazy.

Exploring New Orleans, Day 1

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