Last Thursday morning I headed to New Orleans for a work meeting and was semi dreading it. I had been there a couple times before and was not a fan, sorry to any New Orleans readers nothing personal. Anyways, I knew that I hadn't given the town a fair chance since I had actually only been when I had little to no time to see the history, sites and culture of the city. So, I was dreading this trip a little but after I met a chef on the plane I started to turn my mindset around.
I was sitting next to a gentlemen and happened to notice there was "chef talk" on his phone and he was also reading through a New Orleans cookbook. I couldn't help myself, I knew he was the perfect resource for eating my way through the city. I started up conversation and by the end of the flight I l had a list of some gems that were a must stop at.
I was traveling with my boss and a couple of coworkers and our first stop was a local favorite, recommended by the chef, Parkway Bakery. It was hidden on the outskirts of the tourist area tucked away among neighborhood streets. We sat at the bar and all ordered po' boys. The bartender let us in on the history of the bakery and we learned that the po' boy originally was the poor boy made to feed the street car workers that worked twenty-four hours a day. The sandwich was cheap and consisted of homemade bread, potatoes and beef drippings. Hidden behind the walls of the tavern were stories of how the bakery really made their money. There was illegal gambling going on the back that made all of their money. Each night they would burn all the evidence in their nightly fire and that started Parkway Bakery. In short, they had the best shrimp po' boy I have ever had, so delicious! If you are in or traveling through New Orleans, this is definitely worth the stop!
That evening I shopped through the outlets, wondered along the river's edge and had my first beignet. The evening was capped off with dinner at Mother's. This is a restaurant famous for their southern home cookin' where people line the sidewalk and many celebrities call this a fave. We stopped in for a bowl of Cajun red beans and rice. I went into this trip with several things I knew I wanted to enjoy while in town: red beans and rice, shrimp po' boy, gumbo, crawfish and beignets. I basically knew I was going to be eating some...Spoiler, goal achieved.
Friday, after a few a meetings I enjoyed gumbo for lunch at walked through St. Louis cemetery #2. This was on one of my coworkers must do list while in town and I must say it was very interesting. I had no idea that their graves were structured this way and we even saw a couple that were broken open with the casket exposed...a tad creepy.
After a couple more meetings me and coworker, Patti explored Bourbon Street. Holy cow! In my opinion, I thought it was much crazier than Vegas! Of course minus the hookers every two steps but oh my word! I spared you the inappropriate pics I got but how cool is this guy?! I enjoyed a margarita, listened to some great music, took in all the sights and headed back to get ready for a work reception.
Saturday morning and most of the afternoon was filled with work but we were able to take a tour in the late afternoon. I was given a few passes for the bus tour and after two hours we saw so much of the city and I learned so much about the history and culture that is among their streets. I can only assume this was a southern belle convention of some sort...haha I don't know but I loved it! We ended our trip with a little shopping at H&M. I now have a different perspective of NOLA and its not bad...still smells terrible but I'd go again.
Worst part of the trip...I was in flight when the Lilly for Target sale began and before that everything was already sold out online when I was finally able to get the site to load. Huge disappointment! My first stops were to three different Target stores as soon as I got home and after another stop today in hopes of returns this is all I was able to snatch.... If Kate Spade ever collaborates with Target I'm camping out. Mark my word.