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One of the things my husband and I were most looking forward to in New Orleans was enjoying all of the cities fabulous Creole and Cajun cuisine! Click on the links to read about these cuisines. One of the places we were looking forward to eating was the famous Commander's Palace, in the beautiful Garden District of New Orleans. This restaurant has been a landmark since 1880!
We could see why their haute Creole food was a favorite of many visitors and locals. The portions were generous and the serve was impeccable. The Commander's Palace menu changes frequently, according to the fresh ingredients available. I enjoyed a Shrimp and Tasso Henican appetizer and a Seafood Risotto, while my husband had a Confit Beef Belly and a Chargrilled Cowboy Rib eye. We forgot to photograph the dessert we shared--the famous Commander's Palace Bread Pudding Souffle. It was the perfect ending to the perfect meal!
Another evening we ate at Acme Oyster House, on the recommendation of a woman and her daughter who were on a tour we were on. This popular restaurant does not take reservations, and there was a long line to get in, but it was worth the wait. It had a casual atmosphere, and, again, the portions were enormous! I was happy to see soft shell crab on the menu -- one of my favorites and nearly impossible to find in the Denver area. The original restaurant was established in 1910, and serves over 10,000 raw oysters a day!
Another place we made sure to make reservations for was The Court of Two Sisters, for their Jazz Brunch, held outside in the courtyard during good weather. We enjoyed their remarkable selection of sumptuous hot and cold buffet items , as well as freshly prepared Egg Benedict and pancakes. while we listened to the jazz band play.
Even as casual lunch in a little cafe was unique! I had a Shrimp Po'boy and my husband had a Muffaletta sandwich. We also treated ourselves to a couple of New Orleans signature drinks--a Hurricaine and a Cajun Bloody Mary.
One of the most beautiful and iconic hotels in NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) is the Hotel Monteleone. This luxurious hotel has a long and interesting history. It has housed so many famous writers that is was designated as a literary landmark by the Friends of the Library Association, a distinction shared by only two other hotels in the the United States.
It is also famous for it's very unique Carousel Bar and Lounge! Sit at one of the 25 seats on the slowly revolving bar, and you will join over 65 years of customers who have enjoyed a drink here.
Among the many nicknames New Orleans has earned over the years, "The Big Easy," conjures up its musical past and present. We saw many street musicians everywhere we walked. Bands and solo artists, music of all genres, all artists hoping to be heard and discovered for their distinctive sound and talent.
We went of an interesting walk and talk held by a ranger from the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, where we learned about the beginnings of musical jazz The ranger recommended that we visit the Old New Orleans Mint building which is now one of the Louisiana State Museums. This free museum holds many historical and rare photographs of the beginnings of jazz, and the instruments of many famous jazz musicians, such as Fats Domino's piano, Louis Armstrong's cornet, Emile "Stalebread" Lacoumbe's banjo, and Louis Prima's trumpet.
Fortunately for us there was a special program going on at the Old Mint Museum the day we visited. It was the 250 anniversary of the arrival of the french speaking Arcadians' arrival in Louisiana, after they were driven out of Canada's Maritime Provinces by the British. We enjoyed learning about the beginnings of New Orleans Cajun culture through the talk, songs and dances. More photos and story about this very touching and informative event can be seen on this link. We really felt privileged to attend this event and learn the story if these displaced people who added so much richness to the culture of Louisiana.
New Orleans is a city so rich in history, culture, music and good food that I could never tire of visiting it! If you visited New Orleans, what was your favorite experience?
In my next post I'll show a couple beautiful Louisiana antebellum sugar cane plantations we visited, along with a fun swamp tour! I hope you will join me then!
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