23 September 2009

Drink, Eat, Drink, Repeat (thanks, Kim!)

Saturday, 19 September 2009

How lovely it was to sleep in this morning!!  We had a date to meet Jim and Alex in the lobby at 11:15, so we were able to take our time.  No breakfast needed, as we were heading for a gastronomic experience at Galatoire’s, a New Orleans institution – and it was just down the street, so no worries!  Alex is a NO planner extraordinaire, and we were along for the ride and loving every minute of it!  Even Jim and I were on time for this fine day, so off we went.  Let the good times roll!

Galatoire’s opens at 11:30 and doesn’t take reservations for the downstairs dining room, so we made sure to be there early.  First stop – the upstairs bar.  Bloody Marys for Jim and me, Mimosas for Rex and Kim, and a brandy milk punch for Alex, and before we had finished them, it was time to get our table.  Jim and Alex are regulars here on their trips to New Orleans, and Bryant is their server of choice – we can see why!  He was great!  Baskets of fresh bread were waiting on us, and our drinks were quickly refilled.  Garlic bread was next, followed closely by shrimp remoulade and oysters en brouchette.  We had a couple of salads, one with shrimp and one with crabmeat, then it was time for the main courses.  Alex and I had two of our favorite things – Eggs Benedict and a filet, Jim had broiled drum, Rex had poisson meuniere amandine, and Kim had a filet.  I think.  We also ordered cauliflower au gratin, onion rings, and asparagus with Hollandaise to share, and there was plenty of Bearnaise sauce for our meat.  Rex, Jim, and I decided to try a Pimm’s Cup, and Kim and Alex stuck to beer. 

One thing I love about New Orleans restaurants, beside the obvious, is that they are lined with mirrors so you can see everything going on around you.  We had fun people watching, and were pretty sure we had spotted a celebrity.  Kim recognized Laurie from Trading Spaces, and sure enough, she and her husband were there celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary.  We sang Happy Birthday about half a dozen times (but not to Rex!), too.  The table behind us looked like the Sopranos had come to town, complete with a little kid who looked like Eddie Munster and who kept falling asleep between courses. 

You may think we’d eaten so much that we couldn’t possibly want more, but there was more!  Alex had arranged for us to have some Café’ Brulot (a brandied coffee drink that Bryant flamed at our table), and I even had two cups of it.  And I HATE coffee!!!  Out came dessert – a couple of chocolate sundaes for Jim, Kim, and Alex and an order of banana bread pudding (not banana bread, but bread pudding with bananas) for Rex and me.  Oh my.  When we looked at the time, it was 3:30 -  we had been there for FOUR HOURS!!!!  What a special treat!!  Thanks, ALEX!!  When you come to New Orleans next time, make sure you save time for Galatoire’s – get a feel for the experience at www.galatoires.com.

We waddled back to the hotel thinking we might spend some time by the pool (don’t ask what we were thinking – I had not brought a maternity bathing suit with me and I’m sure the one I had wouldn’t hold me after that lunch!!) but there were too many young people out there, so we just put on our shorts and t-shirts and went for a walk.  Somehow we ended up at a bar, one that may be the oldest continually operated bar in the country.  It was Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, which we thought was fitting, since Saturday was “Talk Like a Pirate Day”.   Read all about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lafitte%27s_Blacksmith_Shop.  It is home of the Voodoo, a frozen concoction that tastes like a grape Icee but is full of vodka.  A most dangerous combination!!  We all had to have one, of course, and since Florida was kicking Tennessee’s butt, some of us (Jim, Alex, and I) had a second one for the road.

This time we walked down to Jackson Square, watching street performers and just taking in the sights.  I loved seeing all of the creative hanging signs outside the shops that lined the streets, and the balconies covered with lush green plants and laced with wrought iron were so pretty!  Somehow, we ended up back at the voodoo place, where the three of us had yet another drink.  What were we thinking??  By 8:30 or 9:00, we were thinking we might should eat (what?!?!) so we got a table at Mona Lisa’s pizza, where I am told we enjoyed really good garlic cheese bread and a couple of pizzas.

It was a fun, full day, but it was time to call it a night.  We walked back to the hotel (wasn’t this a cool shadow we saw along the way?) and made plans for the morning, and I’m sure the rest of the gang didn’t think I’d remember enough to write this!  And I know David and Kim enjoyed getting our text messages from the Mona Lisa!!

It would have been the perfect Saturday if the Vols had won…


PS  Thanks, Jim and Alex!!

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