New Orleans Vacation – Where to Eat, Stay and Things to Do

Last we took a last minute trip to New Orleans. Chicken Legs got a new job, so we wanted to get one last trip in before he started. We have been wanting to take a trip to New Orleans, so we decided to go for it!
We got in town around lunch time and decided to eat in the hotel restaurant.

The restaurant was beautiful. The whole restaurant is under a skylight.

These were the first of many Blue Dog pictures we saw on the trip.

I got the Cajun Chicken Sandwich. It was SOOOOO good!

Chicken Legs got the Hurricane Po-Boy.It was cornmeal fried gulf shrimp, southern slaw, bbq remoulade sauce, lettuce, tomato, and spicy pickle. He ate every last bite.
We left the hotel and walked off lunch. We explored the sights of Bourbon Street and Jackson Square before dinner.

Dinner was at Irene’s Cuisine.

They had a lady playing the piano while we waited.

It was really busy. It was a good thing we had a reservation.

We were seated in the main dining room. There are pictures of celebrities all over the walls. Hota Kotb, Lenny Kravitz, John Stamos, Tim Matheson to name a few.

The meal started with some bruschetta. It was great.

We got an appetizer of Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli. It was really good. It was made with fresh pasta. The red sauce was fantastic. 

Chicken Legs had the Soft-Shell Crab with Pasta and Crawfish Sauce. He loves soft-shell crab. He devoured this! 

I went with the Meatballs in Marinara. It was super delicious!

We got bread pudding for dessert. We ate this like we were piranhas. 
I wanted to lick the plate. SO good!

Day Two started at The New Orleans School of Cooking. 
We signed up for a demonstration class full of cajun cuisine.

Our instructor was Anne. She was a retired kindergarten teacher. She has been teaching at The New Orleans School of Cooking for 14 years. She was fantastic! SO funny and informative. She grew in in New Orleans and told us all about the history of the city and the food. She also gave us lots of recommendations on places to eat.
Here is Anne working on the Jambalaya. Everything smelled so good!
Once Anne was finished cooking it was time to eat!! 
The meal started out with Abita Amber Beer. 
I don’t like beer, but I LOVED this beer. So did Chicken Legs. 
I am sure we will be drinking this at a tailgate this season.

First up was the gumbo. It was full of andouille sausage and chicken. Anne doesn’t use okra in her gumbo. She said it is slimy and usually disintegrates by the time the gumbo is done.  
OMG! To-die-for! I had two bowls. It was the best thing we ate in New Orleans. 
It was no wonder it was so good. Anne used lard and heavy cream!

Next up was the Jambalaya. It was made with smoked sausage and chicken. 

Dessert was a bread pudding with whiskey sauce. Crazy good!
The last thing Anne made was a batch of pralines. I can’t wait to get in the kitchen and practice!!
The Cooking School was the highlight of our trip. I HIGHLY recommend it! 
I will definitely go back the next time I am in New Orleans! They offer hands-on classes as well as the demonstration classes. Hopefully I will be in town for a hands-on class next time.

No trip to New Orleans is complete without a trip to Pat O’Briens.

We went in the afternoon and it wasn’t crowded. 
I had the Hurricane. I love these! I only had one, but I wanted two.

Chicken Legs went with the Bloody Mary. He loved it, especially the spicy green beans.

On the way back to the hotel we ran into some musicians on Bourbon Street.

Dinner was at Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse.

Dinner starts with some fresh bread and butter.

They also serve a crab toast.

Chicken Legs got the turtle soup. It was finished with some sherry. He loved it. He said it had a little kick. I had to trust him because there was no way I was eating turtle!

I got the chicken and sausage soup. Really good, but not as good as the gumbo at the cooking school.

Chicken Legs got the House Filet – a filet served with creamed spinach and Pontalba potatoes, topped with flash-fried Louisiana oysters and finished with bearnaise sauce. He loved every bite. 

I got the creole seasoned USDA Prime Sirloin Strip. YUM!

I got the Au Gratin Potatoes – potatoes with tons of gruyere cheese. 

Chicken Legs decided to get dessert, for the blog. He went with the Coconut Cake. It was heavenly!

Day three started out with lunch at a New Orleans classic, Felix’s Oysters.

We were the very first customers of the day.

Chicken Legs started out with a dozen oysters.

He ate every last one! 

Chicken Legs couldn’t decide which po-boy to get. He asked our waitress what she suggested and she told him to go with the Roast Beef Po-Boy. GREAT choice! It was delicious. I will be making a version of this at home. I wanted to steal his plate.

I went with a chicken sandwich. I know it is boring, but I don’t eat seafood. It was actually really, really good. I ate every last bite!

I am a hushpuppy freak. I had to try Felix’s. They were really good. They had a kick from the jalapeños in the batter. I almost ate them all. 
After lunch we went on a swamp tour by Cajun Encounters. We caught a bus and went over to Slidell, LA. We opted for the “small boat” tour. There was a maximum of 10 people on the boat. We lucked out and only had 6 total people on our boat.

We saw a gator as soon as we got in the water.

The guide tempts the gators with marshmallows and hot dogs. 

Our guide took us back into the swamp. This was part of the “small boat” experience. The larger boats won’t fit back here. It was really pretty.

We saw one last gator back in the swamp area. The guide named her Olive.
The swamp tour was really fun! We would definitely do this again. 
We had the swamp tour bus drop us off at Cafe’ Du Monde.

It is open seating at Cafe’ Du Monde. The menu is on the side of the napkin dispenser.

We got one order of beignets to split. They were gone in a flash!

Chicken Legs loved them!

We were worn out from the swamp tour, so we decided to eat dinner in the Davenport Lounge at the hotel. We also didn’t want to get back out into the oppressive humidity.

We got two appetizers for dinner. 
First up, Andouille Corn Dogs. I LOVED the presentation. They also tasted great.

The second appetizer we got was the North Shore Flatbread. It was a flatbread topped with tasso ham, andouille sausage, mushrooms, roasted garlic béchamel, and mozzarella. This was our favorite. 
I loved it so much that I got the recipe from the chef. I will be making this ASAP! Don’t worry, I will share the recipe on the blog.

Our waitress, Pam, arranged for us to have dessert. She brought us Baba Au Rum (their version of bananas foster) and Powder (their beignets with chocolate, caramel and vanilla sauce). 
We were STUFFED!
Before we started our drive back to The Ham, we stopped in at Cafe Beignet on Royal Street for breakfast. 
Anne, the cooking school instructor, told us that her favorite beignets were here at Cafe Beignet. 

We had to give them a try before we left. We liked them a lot, but we actually preferred Cafe’ Du Monde’s beignets. 

The last stop on our road trip was at Raising Cane’s in Hattiesburg, MS. My friend, Joy, raved about the chicken fingers on her blog. I made note of what exit it was on the way down at so we could stop for lunch on our way back.

OMG! BEST CHICKEN FINGERS EVER!! Seriously! I also really loved the skinny crinkle fries. I wish there was a Raising Cane’s in Birmingham. I would eat there all the time. Well, on second thought, maybe it is a good thing there isn’t one close by. I would weigh a ton!

We had a great trip to New Orleans! I am still full from all the amazing food!
I can’t wait to go back – in the winter! It was SO hot and humid on our trip. It was hard to breathe!
I already have a list of places to try.

Port O’Call – drink a Monsoon and have a burger
Palace Cafe – White Chocolate Bread Pudding
Mr. B’s – BBQ Shrimp
Arnaud’s – something with remoulade sauce

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