I don’t know about you, but for me there has always been something terribly exciting about waking up in a city that isn’t yours, knowing that you are going to have an adventure. Travel is such a huge passion of mine. I love gorgeous things, I’m female after all, but there is nothing I’d rather spend money on than a fabulous experience. Clothes hang in a closet only to be forgotten, and designer accessories are fun but they don’t rock my world. Travel is different. It is something you get to keep forever. It becomes part of you. It makes you more worldly, more interesting, and just plain more. It is kind of like an investment in yourself.
I don’t know why, maybe it was the travel, maybe the heat, all the walking I did the previous day, or all the eating, but the next day I was positively useless. Tired was an understatement. Still, we managed to visit Cafe du Monde for an obligatory breakfast of beignets, and for brunch we went to Commander’s Palace, a New Orleans institution. It was #1 on Crazy Kat’s list. Set in the Garden District, amongst all the real estate porn, it kind of sticks out.
It was a fun excuse to dress up and eat tons of food. But wow, we really did eat a lot! I should say “I” ate a lot. CK knows when to stop, I keep going until I am completely barfy (what is wrong with me?!). Brunch was a three course affair, and the courses were not exactly petite. We both started off with Louisiana crawfish boil beignets . For my main, I had a very decadent concoction: braised duck and blueberry pancakes. On top was a poached egg and foie gras hollandaise. Crazy right?
By the time we finished, it must have been around 1 o’clock. It was raining very hard (we encountered 4 afternoon monsoons during our 5 days). The streets flooded. We got back to our gorgeous little apartment and spent the rest of the day there, talking. It was lovely. I had some things I had planned, but I was completely out of commission for the day. We didn’t eat again that day.
On day three, all of my energy had returned. It was then that I had my favorite meal of the trip at an absolutely charming restaurant called Coquette.
Everything there was perfection, even the bread and butter. Good bread and soft salty butter is a hard thing to beat in my book. When it’s done right, there is nothing better. It was done right. I could have eaten plate after plate of just this, and l would have left happy.
The servings were not big, but the execution was superb. I adored these carrots I had as my starter. Funny, I had two super excellent carrot dishes in NOLA. I must try recreating some carotty goodness at home. Did you know carrots are good for your sacral chakra? That’s where all the feminine energy is– yeah, I just thought I’d stick that in there. I am obviously a total weirdo. I blame the fact that I have temporarily given up on men, and I now have too much time on my hands. Anyway, I doubt I have ever seen a more beautiful presentation of carrots than this…
For my main I had scrambled eggs with duck confit, summer squash, and spring onion. I haven’t had eggs that delicious since I’d gone to Paris. They were so soft and buttery.
The dessert was slightly odd. I never really get these “deconstructed” affairs, so I was a little caught off guard by what was listed on the menu as cookies and cream, but it was most certainly tasty. So I can’t really complain.
After that we walked around Magazine Street. It is lined with cute little houses that have been converted into shops and restaurants. What impressed me was that the shops were all unique. It is not filled with chain stores, like where I live. They are all independent businesses. There are loads of vintage and handmade goodies, and I would think a lot of it is stuff you wouldn’t find anywhere else. CK suggested we go to a store called Century Girl, which sold vintage clothes and accessories. By far, it was my favorite of the shops along Magazine Street. It is a bit of girly paradise, privately owned by a very sweet girl and her teeny weeny dog called Zelda (whom the customers seem to adore and take plenty of pictures of). OMG, I saw soooooo many things I wanted. I saw the most beautiful embroidered shawl from the 1920’s, but it was $500. There was a completely fabulous rhinestone necklace that I was ready to buy– but then I realized, I had no place suitable to wear such a monstrosity to without looking a little crazy. So I settled on a very beautiful ring. It was an early birthday present to myself. I just fell in love with it. It was kind of a splurge, but hey, a girl has to treat herself once in a while. Apparently it belonged to a singer who lived in the area. I love that the gold isn’t really shiny. The stone changes from purple to a bright pink, depending on how it catches the light. I’m going to wear it whenever I need a bit of pick me up.
Shortly after my purchase, it was time to go on our walking tour of the Garden District. I saw Sandra Bullock’s house (which she loaned out to Leonardo DeCaprio when he was filming Django Unchained–I loved that movie). I also saw Trent Renzor’s house, from the group Nine Inch Nails, now owned by John Goodman. There was so much eye candy, that I have to admit, I became a little bit desensitized. Well, except for this one:
This was Anne Rice’s house when she wrote The Witching Hour, one of my favorite books when I was in high school. It was also the setting for much of the story. That was pretty special for me, as Anne Rice was my initial reason for wanting to visit NOLA in the first place. I wonder if that was the tree where the spirit Lasher carved out his name. By the way, also on that tour, we saw Lestat’s family tomb (well, the one that was filmed for the movie Interview with a Vampire — but that movie mega sucked, so please don’t watch it. Read the book).
And can you believe, it was time to eat again? Oh yes, it’s always time for food.
We had dinner at a place called Domenica. That whole baked cauliflower is something that the restaurant is really known for. It comes with a delicious whipped feta. CK and I had a bit of cauliflower overload though. I had the chicken (pictured), and she had pasta. For desert it was more stuff of the fried dough variety. Domenica was nice, but I wouldn’t say it was exceptional. You are spoiled for choice in New Orleans. Here where I live, this meal would have been considered amazing. In NOLA it was just “nice.” I am still waiting for my Nobel Peace Prize. The one I earned by ingesting all those calories so that I can give you guys the real dirt on what to eat and what to save your fat pants for. Anyway, email me. I will tell you where you can send donations. I’ll probably use it to book myself into a fat farm.
Well, if you haven’t gained weight from reading this post, there is one more to come. Until then, I have an interview today. I reaaaaaaly need to get a job already. I hope I fit in my suit. I’ll be wearing my new ring for good luck.