Did you even experience New Orleans if you didn’t consume booze, nudes, and lots of food?
I embarked on my very first trip to New Orleans, Louisiana that week to do just that. My trip started off with a BANG! in the form of a hand grenade, dubbed “New Orleans’ Most Powerful Drink” on Bourbon Street.
It was just 6pm when I arrived that Wednesday evening but the streets were already packed with bars FULL of people slamming drinks! It wasn’t Mardi Gras, but it definitely could have been.
All the locals and uber drivers I talked to said it was always lively and energetic like this. People got WILD there and had no shame in flashing it all.
With no set plans on the very first night, I stepped into my very first strip club ever on Bourbon Street.
Not bad for the first night eh?
Cajun vs Creole Food
As an amateur to the southern food scene, I must admit that I couldn’t tell the difference between Cajun and Creole food or culture. Food is food though and I landed at two highly recommended places.
The day after the strip club, Josh and I headed to Cochon, a French Cajun eatery that pretty much every foodie highly recommends.
With a pork focused menu and a twist on cajun food, it was really really difficult to choose just a few things. Everything was phenomenal, ESPECIALLY the crawfish pie! The fried gator was tasty too- similar to chicken but a bit chewier.
My appetite grew that week and my body was prepared for Commander’s Palace, an award winning Creole restaurant and one of the supposedly best restaurants in NOLA.
It’s a bright blue building in the Garden District of New Orleans that you can’t miss. The southern hospitality is what you’d expect and the food is just delicious.
And just when you thought I couldn’t eat any more…
My food adventure continued as I had to experience for myself what so many have claimed to be “The World’s Best Fried Chicken” at Willie Mae’s Scotch House.
Voted by travel channel, food network, and hailed by food critics as one of the BEST fried chicken restaurants in the nation, Willie Mae’s lived up to the hype. Not only was the super lightly battered crispy homestyle southern chicken incredible, but the mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, and biscuits were also out of this world.
But is it really The World’s BEST Fried Chicken??? I’m still deciding…
I was there during the week of Jazz Fest, a huge music festival just outside of the French Quarter. Regardless of that, there was music EVERYWHERE. There were musicians on the streets, music in bars, music venues, and music wherever you went.
Josh and I stopped by Preservation Hall for traditional New Orleans jazz and it was awesome. If you have time, definitely check this place out! In the evening, we went to Frenchmen Street where every bar had a local jazz band playing.
Biking around New Orleans
On one of our free days with no agenda, Josh and I rented bikes to explore the city. On that trip, I tried almost every mode of transportation possible: Fanboat, Steamboat, Car, Bus, Trolley, walking, and even paid a guy to bike us around on a cycle rickshaw. But my favorite mode of transportation was still biking, especially in New Orleans. The roads are relatively flat and the weather in spring is perfect for discovering the city by bike.
And I stumbled upon many things I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for biking aimlessly around the city like the Benachi House and the French Market.
Oak Alley Plantation
There is so much to explore outside of the French Quarter and we decided to take a day trip to Oak Alley Plantation. The entire place is huge with so much open space to enjoy the shade beneath the trees.
It’s a well maintained place but my only complaint is that the inside and outside of the buildings have been so touched up to the point that it lacked the authentic feeling which made it hard for me to connect to the history of the place.
There are a few plantations nearby Oak Alley Plantation and each one is unique in its own way so I’ll have to come back and check out the others sometime.
New Orleans: Love Dat Place
What a great city. With just a week to spend there, I got a taste of the city and I want more. More of the joie de vivre spirit to live.
I held a baby alligator for the first time, was apart of the second line parade of a New Orleans Wedding Parade, learned how to play craps at Harrah’s Casino where I almost lost it all, had the best crawfish outside of the French Quarter, the softest beignets, and I could go on and on.
With a rich culture and tightly held traditions that’s filled every corner of the city from Bourbon to Magazine Street, New Orleans has more than impressed me.
And after eating my way through the city, I think I finally understand the difference between Creole and Cajun. Or do I?
Til next time NOLA~