Sunday, June 20, 2010

"You know, the Devil lives in New Orleans."

One of our earliest encounters with a local character in New Orleans was an old guy pointing out a statue of an angel. As we walked away, he told us, "you know, the Devil lives in New Orleans." Probably truer words were never spoken. Fortunately, a friend of the Devil is a friend of mine.

We arrived in New Orleans late last Sunday, and left last Friday early. I have not been to many true metropoli, most notably Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Toronto. With those I had few preconceptions, save DC. I grew up in Army towns, and the hugeness of a major city was beyond my comprehension. New Orleans, on the other hand is a preconception. I am happy to say, it lives up to the hype.

Now, I have to admit I was initially put off. We hit Bourbon Street during trash collection. Following a garbage truck while on foot is not the way to create a good first impression, however that impression was quickly replaced by a love for the French Quarter. We stayed at The Dauphine Orleans, on Dauphine Street, one block off of Bourbon. It's a nice place. Not ridiculously nice, and full of middle-aged couples with their kids, and oldsters who are there to sit by the pool. Not being right on Bourbon, and not during Mardi Gras I am sure, meant that you could go to the room and sleep without being pass-out-drunk.

Favorite places in New Orleans:

Favorite Bar

I really liked a few of them for different reasons.

Erin Rose is right off Bourbon (on Royal, IIRC) and had quite a few locals in it. It is a bar. Just a bar. There's a jukebox and a TV, but otherwise you go there to drink and talk. Good way to get away from the tourist feel.

Maison Bourbon is a nice little place that has old-style New Orleans Jazz, live. It is right across the street from a rock bar, which was loud, but it is amazing how the Jazz band was able to cut right through the noise.

Rita's Tequila is another, that leads us also into the restaurants. Rita's has a nice staff, good recorded music, and a huge tequila section (if you are into that kind of thing). $2 margaritas and domestic drafts on Tuesday.

Favorite Restaurant

The Red Fish Grill is a great place, but pricey. Excellent bar and bartenders. Pretty good wait staff (the waiter was good, but his support guys kinda sucked), great food. I had the eponymous red fish with vegetables and fried potatoes and crawfish remoulade. Theresa had a salad and a great rum-flamed shrimp done up with a cucumber sauce and fried beet shavings. It was like eating sushi, and was delicious. We finished with chocolate bread pudding that would make you, as the locals might say, slap your momma in the mouth.

Back to Rita's Tequila, we went there for fish tacos. They had other basic Mexican dishes as well. Their salsa has a great smokey flavor with visible chunks of garlic. I think the fish tacos were the special that night, and only $4 for two tacos with chips. It is grilled fish rather than deep fried, and we almost ordered another round.

Favorite Cultural Attraction

Yes, we did something other than drink. The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is a lot of fun, and the Cabildo State Museum was interesting and informative. I guess in all I would have to say Cafe Du Monde might have been my favorite. Sure, it is a coffee house, but it is a bit of history. Cafe Du Monde hearkens back to the time of lunch counters at the drug store, that many places have done away with.

Favorite Strip Club

Now, we only went into three of these, so I'll just mention them all in favoritism order least-to-most.

Little Darlings is a bit scary. I think it is part of the Hustler empire, as they had ads up for the other Hustler clubs. Now, Little Darlings is not scary because it is a, to use the popular euphemism, "urban" strip club. The girls are hustling dances. The bartender was lousy, and the place was kinda dirty. I have been in similar clubs elsewhere, and felt less comfortable here. To the right is "Woo-Woo" who way gracious enough to pose outside.

Babe's Cabaret is a strong second for me. The staff was good, and the dancers were very naturally built. No fake tits or ridiculously thin girls.

Rick's Sporting Saloon was easily the best of the three. It was not busy when we were there, but the staff was good. The girls mostly looked like strippers you see on TV shows. Some a little rougher around the edges, but predominately thin, long legged chicks with good pole skills. They all seemed nice. We talked to one, Niki, for a while and had a good time. Also we got a couple's dance from her which was, lets say, nice.

Okey. That is all for now. I'm sure I'll think of other things to post, and will likely bore you all with holiday snaps in the coming days.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Take me with you next time.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I have never been but of all the places I have actually been too, it always struck me as the one I would feel most at home visiting. European touches combines with American indulgence. My kind of mindset.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@Dr. Monkey - I'll meet you in Atlanta on the way. All planes go through Atlanta ;-)

@Cal - I would love to live there, but like Oscar Wilde, "I can resist anything but temptation."

Video Zeta One said...

I was there the exact time as you. Did you notice a haggard looking bloke with whining kids at his tail? Imagine Gilligan & Whiteplume together in one spot.

I've been going to NOLA for years and my favorite spot was always O'Flaherrety's... but closed after Katrina. I was glad to see a lot construction and new rennovation taking place.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@Gilligan - that sucks that we did not get together. You were not at the same hotel, were you?

There was a lot of renovation going on in the Quarter. Lots on the second floor, so I gather that is housing.

I'll have to let you know when we are planning to go again (probably won't be for a while).

Video Zeta One said...

No. Different hotel - The St. Pierre on Burgundy... right across the street from where Tenessee Williams lived. Sounds fancy, but it's not - wife freaked when she saw a rat. Got the night free though... but I digress.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@Gilligan - That sucks that we did not know we were around at the same time. I mentioned on Twitter, but did not post at AiN that my house would be empty for a week ;-)

Nathan said...

Yeah, the Devil lives in New Orleans, but I hear he lost his house to Hurricane Katrina. He's currently operating his evil empire from a FEMA trailer.

Also, hooray for couples lap dances!

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