P and I decided to take a quick trip to NOLA for our second anniversary. Much better than cotton gifts, right? We both had the Monday of July 4th off and thought it would be a perfect time to go! It’s only a 5-6 hour drive from home so we left when we got done with work and then headed home after brunch on Monday. Though it was hot, we had a blast while we were there. Since we packed so much into the weekend, I have separated the trip into food & drinks and activities. This post will cover the food we ate with another post on the activities we did up soon.
We got in around 11 PM on Friday night due to P being in orientation all day (it was July 1st – the start of the new medical year). Since I was starving, we decided to check into our hotel and then find something to eat. We stayed at the Renaissance New Orleans Warehouse District Hotel. I booked this off of Priceline Express deals for a much cheaper rate! I definitely recommend checking out the Priceline or Hotwire Express Deals and Name Your Own Price before booking a hotel elsewhere. Our rate was even better than most AirBnB prices! Anyway, back to finding a place to eat at almost midnight.
Backspace Bar and Kitchen
We started walking toward the French Quarter and found Back Space Bar and Kitchen. It’s more of a bar than a restaurant with low lighting and a fireplace surrounded by chairs. We grabbed a table in the window and headed to the bar to place our order. For drinks, I ordered a Death in the Afternoon and P ordered a Moscow Mule. Both were amazing! Death in the Afternoon is a cocktail with champagne and absinthe created by Ernest Hemingway and shares the name with one of his books. We then split the Ham and Brie Apple French Toast. It came with a side of chips and is just as good as it sounds. We then headed back to the hotel to rest up for the weekend ahead. Going out on Friday night made our weekend seem even longer.
We slept in a little on Saturday since we went to bed pretty late the night before. After waking up,we headed to Willa Jean for breakfast. This restaurant is light-filled with tall ceilings and a more southern industrial feel. It is packed all day so I recommend making reservations. We were lucky enough to grab seats at the bar. For drinks, I ordered the milk money latte and P ordered a dirty chai latte. We always start with coffee in the morning because we are addicted to caffeine #noshame. Though both drinks were good, mine was better. I then ordered the avocado toast and P ordered the fried chicken sandwich from the biscuit situation section of the menu. Though I was hesitant to order something simple like the avocado toast, I was glad I did. The eggs were perfectly poached and the elements of the half sandwich complimented each other well. P’s chicken biscuit sandwich was also a hit. It came with Tabasco-honey, which added a sweetness and a spice to an otherwise ordinary meal. Before we left, we ordered one each of their frozen drinks to go (gotta love New Orleans’ lack of liquor laws). The Frosé and Frozen Vodka Lemonade were perfect to sip on as we walked to the French Quarter. We will definitely be heading back to this restaurant next time we take a trip to New Orleans.
Cafe du Monde
Since we had a late breakfast, we decided to grab a snack (a.k.a. beignets) to hold us over until dinner. We ordered a café au lait and an order of beignets to share. We got ours to go and the service was quick. Don’t be afraid of the line, it moves quickly. They were good but I prefer Cafe Beignet (see below). They also have restrooms, which are basically in their kitchen.
On our way back to the hotel, we smelled the amazing aromas from the line of street vendors located near Harrah’s Casino on Canal Street. We stopped at one and ordered jerk chicken with rice and sauteed onions and peppers. If you are nearby, check these vendors out. The food is great and the price is even better. I wished that I had the exact name for you but it was a madhouse to get your order in!
Since we were staying in the Warehouse District, this restaurant was a close walk and therefore perfect for dinner. The restaurant description is “elevated, pork-focused Cajun fare” and they really hit the nail on the head. We did not order any drinks as it had been quite a long day but their bourbon selection was impressive. And that’s coming from two Kentuckians. We started with dinner rolls (served before dinner) and fried alligator with chili garlic mayonnaise. These were essentially an alligator version of bang bang shrimp and therefore phenomenal. We split the beef short ribs with tomato, squash, pickled okra and slow roasted grits. The short ribs were perfectly cooked and fell apart with the touch of a fork. The grits were creamy and the vegetables on top complimented the ribs and grits well. We meant to go back to the butcher for lunch but ran out of time. This is definitely a restaurant I would recommend.
As hinted to above, this is my favorite place in New Orleans to get beignets. We stopped here for breakfast before our cemetery tour. We split an order of beignets, a chocolate croissant and each ordered an iced latte. The coffee is not as good as Cafe du Monde but the beignets are far better. There is a slightly longer wait as they are truly made fresh but he line is not as long. If you only have beignets once while you are there, go to this place over Cafe du Monde!
After our cemetery tour, we were famished and decided to grab a classic New Orleans lunch. We happened to walk in at a good time and were able to grab a table. The line grew fairly quickly and the small room became increasingly crowded. We split an alligator sausage po-boy (dressed) and a muffuletta. They were both very large sandwiches and we were unable to finish either one. That being said, they were both excellent. In you are in the French Quarter, this is a great place to grab lunch.
First of all, this place is gorgeous. After lunch at Johnny’s Po-boys and walking around the square, I had a sweet tooth to satisfy. Based on a Pinterest search, this was the place to go. We each ordered a scoop of ice cream – fudge ripple and peanut butter crunch – and I got a box of macaroons to go. The ice cream was delicious and very refreshing for a hot, humid New Orleans day. Though I am still working on the macaroons, they are also phenomenal. They have a huge variety of flavors and it was hard to choose only eight.
After two days of walking non-stop, we were exhausted. We decided to grab a bottle of wine on our way home, hole up in our hotel room and order room service. We started with the house guacamole and Cajun queso. The guacamole was average but he queso was much better. I ordered the gumbo ya-ya soup and P ordered the Legacy burger with fries. Both meals were also average. If you stay in the Renaissance New Orleans Warehouse District Hotel or nearby and are too tired to venture out, this restaurant is worth a second look. However, I certainly would not go out of my way to eat here in the future.
Ruby Slipper Cafe
As our last meal in New Orleans, we went to Ruby Slipper Cafe for brunch. If you plan on eating here, I suggest checking in on their app No Wait prior to going. This app lets you hold a place in line. Unfortunately, we did not know about this app until we arrived at the restaurant. The wait was approximately an hour, so we decided to grab a drink and head to the French Quarter one last time. I ordered a Bacon Bloody Mary, which was the perfect last drink to have. I suggest eating the bacon last as it gives it time to soak up some of the Bloody Mary. Once we got a table, we both ordered the Peacemaker. This lets you mix and match two of their eggs Benedict. I selected the Eggs Cochon (which means pig in French) and the Shrimp Boogaloo Benedicts. Pete selected the Eggs Cochon and the Chicken St. Charles. All three were fantastic but I liked the shrimp Benedict the best. After our meal, we packed up and headed home. We were sad to leave but happy to head home to our pups!
As you can tell, we managed to fit in a lot of meals in a short time. We walked everywhere so the calories cancel out, right? Stay tuned for a post on what we did during our log weekend!