Tom and Leslie’s Travel Blog Part 1: A Taste of New Orleans

Recently Tom and I had the pleasure to travel to the colorful and “rowdy” city of New Orleans for a business conference. It was on my ‘bucket list’ to go, so I was very excited. New Orleans is an active 24/7 city of many sights, sounds, and of course the world famous food concocted by world famous chefs. Unusual Creole flavor profiles not to be forgotten.  We thought it would be fun to share our experiences. If you’ve been to New Orleans before, we’d love to hear all about your favorite spots. If you’ve never been, we encourage you to put it on your bucket list.

We’ll dedicate this first post to the food. We had many tasty meals while on our trip. Here are some of the highlights.

Roosevelt Hotel Restaurant

The Roosevelt Hotel is just a short walk from the French Quarter and just about anything and anywhere you want to explore. It’s a beautiful property with an amazing handmade timepiece greeting you at the hotel’s main entrance. “Mystery Lady Timepiece” was made by E. Farcot and displayed at the Paris Exhibitions of 1867 and 1878.

We had many delicious meals at the Roosevelt Hotel Restaurants from crab and crawfish omelets to the best Gumbo I’ve ever tasted, served by the nicest and most fun loving people. We were hugging each other at the end of the week.

For starters, on our 41st wedding anniversary, I thoroughly enjoyed the Braised Beef Short Ribs. The demi glaze was so light and perfectly seasoned, I asked for more! Tom dove into the rich Three Cheese fresh Shrimp and Crawfish dish (loads of creme!). Homemade hot and fluffy rolls were too tempting to turn down.

            

While we ate, we had live music; a pianist and alto singer breaking my heart with all the best. Lots of Cole Porter. When they played “Have I told you lately that I Love You?” that did it! That’s our song. We were celebrating; besides I already had two glasses of excellent robust red. I looked at Tom and said, “You know we gotta do this, right?” Yup, right there with the restaurant packed at every table, we got up and danced; just us. We were dancing by the serving credenza, and Eddie, one of our servers who enjoyed serving us with an exaggerated Fred Astaire style, came behind us. I said, “Sorry Eddie if we’re in your way.” “I’m lovin it up!” he said.

Carousel Bar

As far as drinks were concerned, we were told by every cab driver, guide, and everybody at the hotel that we just had to have a “Pimm’s Cup” at least just once. Thirsty after a walk about, we went to the famous Carousel Bar. Tom ordered one and I took a sip; kinda too sweet and bitter at the same time. Instead I had Rev. Stiggin’s Pineapple Daiquiri. Delicious! The bar itself rotates; yes, the whole bar!

           

Mandina’s Restaurant

Mandina’s is a neighborhood restaurant well acclaimed by the locals. We had to take a cab to get there. And, yes, you take cabs; not Ubers. Much safer. The place is very homey and simple with a combination of Italian and Creole cuisine. It was hard to choose, especially with my milk allergy. In the end, Tom’s choice was a packed fried oyster Po-Boy. He pushed me to take a bite and I wanted to spit it out! It’s the damn texture I can’t deal with. But you gotta try, right?

My meal was eggplant with shrimp, crab, and crusted ham in a roulade sauce. Very good, but so rich I only ate half that little dish. I wasn’t a fan of the pasta. Just the basic southern Italian heavy noodles with the marinara on top.

            

We did have tapas at another restaurant on Frenchman’s Street on the 2nd floor where we first saw the wedding party parade. I had two orders of the fresh crab cakes {ok, I was hungry from all the walking!} while Tom had the fresh crawfish tacos. You could get very fat trying all the dishes. One thing though, our main server at the Roosevelt Hotel, April, said everybody makes Gumbo different, and her momma makes the best. She was going to sneak some in for us, but I didn’t want her to get into any trouble. Yeh, I think all for all for me …. Gumbo is the main go to.

Again, these are just a couple of our most memorable meals and I think we’re still recovering from all the food and drink! Been working it off for weeks now; cardio, cardio, cardio. If you ever find yourself traveling to New Orleans, please let us know if you need any recommendations on where to stay, eat and see. 

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