Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Quick Weekend in the Big Easy

A good friend of mine from work is moving to New Orleans. More correctly, she got a big promotion, and she's moving to New Orleans to take said promotion. While I am thrilled that she got this very deserved opportunity, I am selfishly sorry for myself, because I will miss her like crazy.

At any rate, she went to New Orleans over the weekend to hunt up a place to live. When I heard of this, I decided to crash her hotel pad and enjoy myself for the weekend. Here's how it shook out:

I didn't leave Jackson until about 10 a.m. I was chilling out with little man and hubs, and I almost chucked the whole trip all together when I was telling Clay it was time for me to go, and he said "Clay go? Go?" I got a little verklempt and almost couldn't leave him.

But forge on I did, because I had lunch at Middendorf's to look forward to. If you've never been to Middendorf's, you are missing out on the most perfectly fried thin catfish in the world. In the WORLD. I am so not kidding. There used to be huge Middendorf's billboards all the way down I-55. They're gone now, but the restaurant is still there. It seems to be about the only thing in the tiny town of Manchac, Louisiana.

Anyway, after fortifying myself over a nice helping of catfish, I cruised on into New Orleans. We were staying in the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel, located on Commons Street. It was a great location - just outside the Quarter. It was quiet and yet still convenient to everything. We were on the 16th floor in a nice room with two queen beds. They had valet parking, some great common spaces on the first floor, and a fun bar and restaurant.

Said friend took me to see one of the units she was eyeing before we did a bit of retail damage in the Shops at Canal. I was woebegone when I realized I found the perfect store for me at 5:25 p.m. (We had dinner reservations at 5:30 p.m. Boo. And may I also say, hoo.)

Already obsessing over the green dress I didn't get to try on and the purple coat that I KNOW would have looked fabulous on me, I walked with sweet friend to Cafe Adelaide, a divine little restaurant located in the Lowe's Hotel.

Once there, we were awarded our Christmas jingle bells (The restaurant gives them out to every guest during the month of December.) and commenced to dine. I had the fried oysters, the delightful soup of the day (a creamy potato made with Yukon Golds), and then the absolutely palate-enthralling satsuma strudel, topped with vanilla ice cream. Throw in a few delicious cocktails and some lagniappe (a tiny cup of minestrone, a small shot of thick egg nog), and I was STUFFED. Service was great, and I think each of us got out of there for about $40.

Not to worry, though. I didn't have to drive to see the show we'd bought tickets for. The cafe has a Broadway Express shuttle, which ferries patrons from the restaurant to the theatre and back again. They even validate parking for the car you drove to the cafe. It's completely brilliant.

We went to see The Color Purple, and it was wonderful. (I'll post a full review later.)

After that, well, I was so bloated and tired that I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

The next morning, in a few hours of pure luxury, I got to STAY IN BED. I read a bit of my novel. I chatted with sweet friend. I lolled in my jammers. Those of you with young children know what a rarity this is.

I finally roused myself from the cocoon of covers in time to head over to The Court of Two Sisters for what is, perhaps, the most sinful brunch served on planet Earth. It's pricey (about $30 per person), but for the money you get a HUGE, all-you-can-eat buffet of New Orleans goodness. Omelets and eggs benedict made to order. Piles of fresh fruits and desserts. Breads, rolls, and biscuits. Turtle soup. Ham, bacon, sausage. Cornbread dressing, divinely-seasoned grits, and all kinds of entrees that would be perfectly at home on the luncheon table. I loaded up about three plates, while repeatedly telling myself that we were all going straight to hell for gluttony. Needless to say, we ate a metric ton. We took our time, though, listening to the jazz trio and enjoying the light-filled dining room. (Oh, and trash talking. There was definitely some of that.)

After that, it was time to hit the road for home! Now that sweet friend will be in New Orleans, you can bet I'll be visiting more often. I now have 3-4 friends in the city, which gives me even more of a reason to make the occasional weekend trip!

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