After the Voodoo Museum visit (as outlined in Part 1), I decided to wander around the French Quarter before dinner. I loved walking through those tiny streets lined with balconies. And as always. the live music would emerge from every corner.
Before dinner and a testament to a balanced diet, I had my first praline. I had been to New Orleans many years ago, at least fifteen years. I remember two things: Bourbon Street and pralines. I chose a random shop, tried some samples, and chose a rum flavored praline. Quite tasty. If you like sweet, this is probably not the treat for you. It’s like a cookie made entirely of sugar; it’s sorta like solid caramel but I think it has a pecan base. I was quite pleased with this decision.
Dinner time finally came. We ended up at a little place on Royal Street. I was keen for fresh seafood, preferably not fried. I can’t really eat a lot of fried food without feeling ill. We ended up with a lovely peach and plum salad. It was light and airy. Not overly sweet. And then we each had gulf fish tacos. Sadly, it was not very good. The fish wasn’t very tasty and it had a lot of tiny sharp bones that proved a little daunting to eat. Oh well!
After dinner, we headed to a sponsored party at Antoine’s, a classic New Orleans restaurant. They are known for their fried oysters. When we got there, we went into a room and was immediately handed one of those legendary oysters. However, our greeters mentioned that “there were bankers all around the room.” I then realized we had accidentally crashed a party. I made our apologies and went to find our party. There, I finished my stolen oyster. It was fine but I’m not sure why you’d fry a perfectly good oyster!
Then it was time for the ghost tour. Readers of this blog know that I can’t resist a ghost tour. We ran several blocks to find the tour with Haunted History Tours since we were running a bit late. However, we caught it just as it began. Our guide was named Drew in a bowler hat (!), a vest, and a cane. This was most auspicious. For the next two hours, he lead us all over the French Quarter, telling us stories about New Orleans, its inhabitants and ghosts, of course. He was a great storyteller, making the city come alive for us. I highly recommend him.
Of course, the loudest screams came from a palmetto bug from another group…
When the tour was over, it was time for jazz! We went to Fritzel’s on Bourbon street since it was nearby and I didn’t want to deal with Preservation Hall lines. Fritzel’s was the only place our tour guide would recommend on Bourbon Street. He told us to go to Frenchmen Street (our next evening). And it was everything I wanted. The music was amazing. The instrumentation was a clarinet, banjo, double bass and drum set. It was fantastic. They played covers including “Hello Dolly” and “Ain’t She Sweet.” I was super happy about the last song since I had only heard recordings of it from the amazing Annette Hanshaw. The cover was 1 drink minimum per set, which was a little annoying since water cost $5. But it was well worth it!
Tomorrow, we’ll continue our adventures in the great city of New Orleans! That’s all for now!