Eating and Drinking in the Big Easy

So, I get to travel a bit for work.  Nothing extensive, just a few times a year to work a trade show and what have you.   The best part is getting the chance to go out and eat really good dinners on the expense account. In this respect, New Orleans was amazing. We didn’t have bad food the entire time we were there.

Wednesday–The first night we went to a place called Mila’s, which was new. We had wine with dinner, but since we ate so late, we didn’t really drink much afterwards.  I don’t really remember what I had. Some sort of fish.

Thursday– We went to Restaurant August, which is supposed to be the best restaurant in the Big Easy. The food was definitely good and the atmosphere was wonderful.  I had the rabbit tortellini.  Yeah, you read that right: rabbit!

We asked the waiter for a place we could go and get drinks and he recommended a place called Tommys… said they had a great wine bar, live music, and a cool/laid back atmosphere. Perfect! He said it was “a block and a half” up the street, so we were sold. After about 6 blocks later, we decided that maybe we were headed in the wrong direction and then we saw the sign, so we went in. We were promptly seated and given a plate of bruchetta. We had a bottle of wine, but the waiter kept asking us if we were ready to order… weird. Finally, I asked him if it was okay if we just had wine and he gave me a weird look and told me that he’d be happy to transfer me to the BAR part of the restaurant. Oops!

Apparently Tommy’s Cuisine and Tommy’s Wine Bar are two separate places. Oh, well. We had a few bottles (including my new fave– Barbera); got a little drunk and made it back to the hotel by midnight.

Friday— Amazingly enough, I woke up brite and early Friday morning and did some restaurant searching. I found this place called Tujagues, which was mentioned in a funny blog post I read a few weeks ago on Drinking for $11 a day in New Orleans. I thought it sounded good, so I went ahead and made reservations. It was raining when we left so we took a cab.

At Tujaques (pronounced Two- Jacks) we had the sazerac— the signature cocktail of New Orleans (which I later learned is also the newly named official state drink of Loiusiana). I’m writing this hungover so the mere thought of it makes my stomach a lil queasy… it’s not that it was a BAD drink, it was just really, really, really strong!! Rye Whiskey, bitters, pernod, and a little bit of herbsaint on the rim. WOW!

We each had one of those and decided to switch to wine. My colleague picked out a bottle that was supposed to be like chianti, but we were served something else. It was still excellent. I had some sort of shrimp pasta. It was good, but not memorable.  I was hoping for some spicy creole food, but no dice.

After dinner, we decided it was still early and we wanted to have a few drinks. The plan was to head in the general direction of our hotel and drink our way home– awesome! We stopped at this one french-looking bar (dark, wrought iron, exposed bricks) and I asked the bartender what his specialty drink was.  He said “Jameson on the rocks”— eek! Instead I got a vodka and coke and the boys got beers. We stayed there for one drink and then made our way down the road. We walked past an Irish bar that had a dog greeting us at the door and decided we had to go in.

We ordered a round of beers and then started playing one of those bar games… since we work for an educational association, we decided to go with the word games… it was fun, but $5 goes a LONG way in those machines. By the time my money was gone, it was raining again and we ordered another round. So much for our bar crawl idea! We had one more beer and then decided to head back.

We got about 3 blocks from the hotel and it started POURING down rain. I was toying with the idea of having a night cap at the hotel bar, but once I got a look at my drowned-rat self in the mirror, I decided to call it a night–thank god!

Saturday– Saturday night’s alright for fighting… or so they say. It’s also alright for drinking!

The last night of convention so we decided to go back to Tommy’s for dinner/drinks.  The food was amazing.  I had a delish crawfish bisque and the lamb.  TDF!

After dinner, we moved to the bar part. We were in this secluded room all by ourselves—comfy couches, chairs, etc. Anyway, we ordered a couple more bottles and all of a sudden this dude joined us. He was in HR but I can’t remember his name. He was waiting for his sometimes gf, Stacy, to join him. We all became great friends. I was even taking bathroom breaks with her. Weird.

This is where it gets a bit blurry. We drank a few more bottles and then decided to go back to the hotel (I hope someone paid!)… I don’t really remember the walk home, but thankfully I was with the boys, so I’m sure I was safe.

Then we decided that we weren’t finished drinking and needed to go to the Café du Monde and get beignets. Apparenly *I* was the one who got us there with my superior navigational skills… Weird.  We got beads and headed to bourbon street. I remember talking to some people on the street and I had some sort of drink. I think it was red b/c there was some read stuff spilled in my purse. Hmmm….

I’m not 100% sure how we got back to the hotel for the second time, but I know it was after 3 a.m. when I got back to my room.  Crazy, crazy night.


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