For the love of all things whatever . . . where in the actual f@#k does one even begin to tackle the mind-blowing magnificence that is New Orleans?! See, when you pick a vacation spot, you usually have a checklist of things you look for: a spot with great food, great drink, great entertainment, a great vibe, great scenery, great history, great shopping, and so on. And usually, you end up picking a spot with 3 or 4 of those and you’re totally happy. But NOLA, amazing NOLA, has ALL of those things.
What we found most interesting and unique is, no matter what your vibe is, NOLA’s got you. Like, wanna take a bunch of your bachelor bros, fist pump at a club, see some nekedness, chug fruity cocktails from a cup as tall as the average person’s leg, bite heads off some crawfish from a dive bar, and end the night vomiting aforementioned fruity cocktail and crawfish freely all over the street? Well, NOLA is for you! Want to take your loved one for a nice, chill trip filled with classy jazz music, culture, history, perfectly mixed high-end cocktails, and nice, long, multi-course, dining experiences at James Beard Award winning restaurants? NOLA is also for you.
Now, as “down for whatever” and fun as we are, we opted for the later, since . . . well . . . we left our fist bumping, cocktail vomiting days somewhere back there in the early 00’s with MySpace and trucker hats. So, with that, what you won’t see in this roundup is anything about the liquid candy crap marketed as a Hurricane, the douchefest that is the techno pumpin’ bars on Bourbon Street, or the number of beads we had to throw to see some boobies, or how to curse your asshat of a boss with hack Voodoo dolls parading as real Voodoo culture. So if that’s the NOLA you’re interested in, we’re probably not gonna be your vibe. We promise it’s not that we’re snobs, and we weren’t above some of the cliché cemetery tours and a little Café Du Monde, but that is just not our vibe, bro!
Ok, so how that we’ve established that, let us attempt this incredibly daunting round up without overwhelming you. To make it digestible, we’re gonna break it down into drink, food, and entertainment (which covers music, tours, etc.)
See, this is the only place to start, because one does not talk about NOLA without talking about cocktails. It IS the supposed birthplace of the first-ever cocktail, the Sazerac, as well as the Ramos Gin Fizz, the Brandy Crusta, and a bunch more you’re about to see. And, as the birthplace of these cocktails, you better believe they were also perfected there too. Yep, it doesn’t get any better than sipping a perfectly prepared classic NOLA cocktail at a quintessential funky, cool NOLA bar like these . . .
This is it, THE cocktail to start it all. The first (debated) official “branded” cocktail consisting originally of French brandy and Peychaud’s Bitters named after Antoine Amédée Peychaud, the Creole apothecary that created it right there in New Orleans. Since then, variations have emerged to include American Rye Whiskey instead of French brandy and a dash of good ‘ole naughty absinthe. And then any combination there of. We were lucky enough to try (and LOVE) it two different ways ourselves . . .
Ok, maybe we’re stating the obvious here, but when trying a Sazerac in New Orleans, you kinda have to try it first at The Sazerac Bar at The Roosevelt Hotel. I mean, they DID name the whole bar after the drink after all. And it’s a super bougie, pretty hotel and bar that makes it worth checking out, even if a Sazerac isn’t your jam. Being the historical purists they appear to be, their Sazerac stays pretty true to the original recipe, with Sazerac Rye, Peychaud’s Bitters, sugar, and Herbsaint. As one would expect, this drink was a very well balanced concoction. The whiskey comes through strong, but the anise flavor of the bitters and the Herbsaint (an absinthe substitute) definitely hits you hard. Danny likes the flavor of anise a bit more than Kristien, but neither of us love it, so it was a bit strong for our tastebuds.
We have to admit, we preferred this version at SoBou to the original at The Sazerac Bar. In the pic you can see the Herbsaint rinse, which is basically an absinthe-less absinthe-like liqueur (remember that it was illegal for yearssss). The twist in this one though, was they used brandy, which warmed things up and rounded it out, even adding a little sweetness. Maybe it was the brandy, but the flavors combination just really came to together in the most beautiful way in this version, and the anise flavor was delightfully present, but light.
Ramos Gin Fizz
Since this drink was invented by Henry C. Ramos in 1888 at his New Orleans bar, the Ramos Gin Fizz has became immensely popular and perfected at The Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel. Consisting of Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, lime & lemon, sugar, egg whites, cream, orange flower water, and seltzer, this cocktail is NO JOKE to make. As in it takes 10+ minutes of constant attention, no joke. In fact, back in the early 1900s it was said some bars had 20 bartenders on staff at any time just to handle all the orders. Nowadays, thankfully, it’s not nearly as in demand, but it won’t stop a bartender from making an audible sigh when you order one on a busy night. But, sorry not sorry bartenders of New Orleans, we want everyone to know it is TOTALLY worth the wait and the dirty looks.
Originally made with Cognac, this refreshing beverage, invented by Joseph Santini in New Orleans around 1850, has taken on several variations using brandy, bourbon or rye whiskey. We were lucky enough to get a taste of this firsthand at SoBou, which was especially a treat since it’s not even on the menu. Since this is the first time either of us have ever had this drink, we have no basis of comparison, but, and we have to say, it quickly became a favorite. The way the whiskey comes together with the lemon juice, simple syrup, triple sec, Angostura Bitters and maraschino liqueur is so harmonious, we can’t believe more places don’t serve this beauty of a concoction. Not too sweet, not too boozy, not to bitter: perfection.
Although we (regrettably) didn’t have time to get this iconic NOLA cocktail at its original birthplace, the Carousel Lounge at The Monteleone Hotel, we were very happy to stumble into Bar Tonique at 1AM on our last night. See, from the outside it doesn’t look like much. But inside, inside we were immediately drawn further in like a moth to a flame by the pounding drums, shrieking guitar, and roaring voices of heavy metal music blaring from the speakers as the funky bartender quickly offered us an AMAZING novel of a cocktail menu. And while we were excitedly overwhelmed by all the beautifully boozy options so nicely organized by Cocktails, Sours, Slings, Punches, Succulents, Coolers, Ensembles, and Possets (Google all those definitions btw, super fascinating to learn), we knew we absolutely had to try a Viuex Carre before we headed home. Made up of rye whiskey, cognac brandy, sweet vermouth, Angostura Bitters, Peychaud Bitters, and Benedictine, this cocktail is most definitely in your face but somehow beautifully balanced to not overpower you with its bite. The light fruitiness of the orange and cherry coming from the bitters played really well off powerful herbal flavors of the Benedictine, and the sweetness of the cognac and vermouth helped to round it out. It really was the perfect punch you’d want to enjoy when listening to heavy mental. \m/ \m/
Where better to enjoy our first ever grasshopper than the very place it was invented, Tujague’s Restaurant, which happens to be New Orlean’s original stand-up bar with a stunningly ornate mirror behind the bar, shipped in its ginormous entirety from France in 1856? Created by the restaurant’s original owner, Philip Guichet, the Grasshopper consists of creme de menthe (hence the green color), creme de cacao, and cream, shaken cold with ice. This creamy glass of heaven far exceeded our expectations, especially Kristien’s, who doesn’t tend to love mint flavored things. Honestly thought, it wasn’t super minty at all, almost the mint level of a nice mint chocolate chip ice cream. In fact, this tasted like a boozy melted creamy mint chocolate chip ice cream . . . and what’s not to love about that?
Also seen in the photo above at Tujague’s, this cocktail actually originated in France, but was brought to NOLA with love shortly thereafter. Made from a simple combo of gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar, this was definitely the lightest of the cocktails we had on our trip. A nice brunch cocktail if you ask us. Not necessarily something we’d order again, as we like our cocktails to pack a little more punch, but it was a nice, refreshing switch up for us . . . plus it cooled us down hella good.
Frozen Irish Coffee
Ok this is the closest to cliche we got with the drinks, but seriously, this stuff is CRACK. Like you think coffee is crack? This is crack ON crack. Like, we had one every single damn day crack. It cooled us down and kept the buzz going . . . plus, we mighta had one or two before breakfast a few times. It’s vacation. Don’t judge.
So, there’s a crazy amount of controversy about who makes the better Frozen Irish Coffee: Molly’s at the Market or Erin Rose. The controversy? Well, many say they’re the exact same recipe, so it’s all in people’s heads. But here’s the thing . . . those people are dead wrong. Look, both say their recipes are proprietary, so we don’t know exactly what’s in each, but we know it’s at least a mind-blowing combo of Irish whiskey, coffee in some form, milk and/or cream, sugar in some form, and of course ice. Beyond that, whelp, your guess is as good as ours. Some say one or both add a little brandy, which we could easily see based off the taste, but no matter what the differences are in the blend, one thing is for sure: Molly’s was much creamier, richer and thicker, and that’s what put it over Erin Rose’s for us. Molly’s was like a boozy dessert, while Erin’s was like a boozy slushie . . . a little too icy/watery for our taste. Oh, and make sure no matter which you get, you ask for a whiskey floater on top. Because, whiskey.
Honestly, we wish we had more time just to get more drinks in because man, does NOLA get ’em right. We highly recommend booking a cocktail tour as part of your trip to get the interesting and fun stories behind the drinks and the bars. We did Doctor Gumbo’s Cocktail Tour which allowed us to get VIP service at a lot of the bars above, in addition to hearing all the engaging history and info that went along with it from a fun and knowledgeable host. And we met some cool peeps (pictured above), too, as we all got drunk along the way!
OK, before getting into our dining experiences, let’s start with the few quintessential NOLA foods we had to get, and where we got them.
Are these cliche and touristy? SURE. But come on, it’s FRIED FRICKIN’ DOUGH with sugar. How can you NOT? Now, we got a lot of recommendations of places that have better beignets than Café Du Monde (like New Orleans Coffee & Beignets Co.), but, since we were only going to indulge in them once our our trip, we felt it was our duty to go here. So, really late one night after some drinkin’, we hopped on over to the original location on Decatur Street, which is open 24 hours btw, and got a batch of fresh, hot ones and a frozen coffee to round it out.
Although we missed the alcohol on the frozen coffees of Molly’s and Erin Rose, Café Du Monde’s was pretty yummy, with the perfect amount of cream and sweetness.
As for the beignets themselves, they were pretty solid. Have we had better fried dough in its glorious variety of forms? Sure. But, they were nice and hot and doughy with just the right amount of grease to taste buttery but not stain everything they touch. And, there was the perfect amount of powdered sugar to make ’em sweet without hurting your teeth. Definitely worth checking off your NOLA list, but probably not the best beignets you can get for your dough. Haha get it, dough? Ehhh . . .
So, confession: we almost left NOLA without trying one of these. We just ran out of time and room in our stomachs. But, being the champs that we are, we told ourselves to buck the frig up and do this! We knew from our research that Central Grocery & Deli was THE go-to, so before heading home, we picked ourselves up one to eat on the plane.
Here’s the thing though, neither of us liked it for one simple reason: it was like eating a SALT SANDWICH. No joke. With marinated olives (salt), mortadella (also salt), salami (salty salt salt), Swiss cheese (surprise, more salt), ham (saaaaaaalt) and provolone (guess what? SALT), it was like a potential stroke layered between two GIANT pieces of bread (which was, actually, pretty great bread). Oooph, as much as we wanted to love this, it was painful to eat.
Now, we’ll admit, we’re not big candy people (dark chocolate excluded), but when in NOLA . . . of course, Loretta’s is THE place to go to get your pecany sugary fix, so one (really frickin’ hot) afternoon we decided to go for a walk to pick us up some . . . only to get there and see they were closed for renovation. But, fret not, there’s a little mini Loretta’s in the French Market.
So, like the good food bloggers we are, we grabbed ourselves one of every flavor available: peanut butter, chocolate, coconut, and of course, original. As far as pralines go, these were as good as they get, with that nice creamy, buttery texture, not grainy like some can be. We’re not the biggest fans in general, but did enjoy a few bites of each. Weirdly, though, each flavor kind of tasted the same as original, so we would’ve liked the ingredients of each of the flavors to come out more.
In case there was any question, this dish should make it pretty obvious how incredibly committed we were to eating as much of the quintessential NOLA foods as we could. Why? Three words: It. Was. August. Or if that didn’t hit the point home . . . it was hot as balls. Yeah, so while the idea of soup made our sweat glands tingle, when we saw chicken & andouille gumbo on the menu at Cochon, we knew this was our opportunity to seize, and so we did. With it’s beautiful dark, almost black, color, the”soup” base was the perfect thickness, not to rich, not to light. The andouille brought just the right level of smokiness, while the earthy chicken and the bright peppers and onions rounded things out. And, there was just the right amount of rice to make all the other flavors be the hero, too. It was a great balance of everything making it a perfect appetizer to kick off the entire meal, rather than feel like it was a meal in and of itself.
Smoked or Grilled Oysters
Now, there’s some debate over the supposedly best places to go for these bad boys (is it Felix’s, Royal House, Acme, etc.?), but since, seriously guys, we could only eat so much in this 4 day trip, we decided to get wood fired oysters as part of our dinner at Cochon, which we’ll get into in a few. Until then, please feel free to drool over the pic above.
Ok, so we’re only including this one because we want to preempt the (rightfully) angry comments of people asking why we didn’t try one, lol . . . see, after doing a ton of research, we were more than ready to chow down on a delish po’boy from Avery on Tulane, but alas, our craving was completely kicked earlier in the trip when we drove through Biloxi, Mississippi and stopped at Taranto’s Crawfish, Poboys & Seafood, a highly recommended Po’Boy spot. Although really well made (as you can see in the pic above), we quickly figured out that our generally healthier eating bellies couldn’t stomach that much deep fried food anymore. As we finished our drive to the resort in beautiful Fairhope, AL, we both thought we were going to have to stop to hurl every 10 miles. Fun times. Fuuuuun times. Ok
If you name your restaurant after a pig, you better believe we’re going there . . . especially with a restaurant like Cochon that has a worldwide reputation for their wood-fired goodness, Southern flare, and Cajun cooking. Now, we’ve already mentioned the nicely balanced gumbo and the smoky plump-a-rific wood-fired oysters, but there’s so SO much more to bestow upon your tastebuds. The star of the show was, no doubt, their namesake dish, the Louisiana cochon on a base of pickled turnips with crispy cracklin’ on top. The pork was cooked so delicately and had a full-out intense richness to it, balanced both in flavor and texture with the bright turnips and the crunchy cracklin’ that soaked up that mind-blowing sauce. The sides were on-point too, including the over-the-top cheesy mac & cheese casserole. Desserts are also a strong point here with dedicated Pastry Chef Maggie Scales making dishes like pineapple upside-down cake, warm peach pie, or a densely warm and rich satisfying bread pudding that we happily devoured even after such a decadent meal. We also loved that they offered bourbon flights to help accent our dishes! A definite star experience of our trip overall.
If you didn’t go to Commander’s Palace when in NOLA, did you even go to NOLA at all, bro?! It’s an icon, it’s a must, especially if you’re up for some fancy Southern fare and absolutely spectacular service. How fancy? Well, it’s hard to list off every honor, but here’s a big one and the only one you need: James Beard Best Chef, South winner . . . and it shows. From the beautifully grilled light redfish with the starchy plantains and bright peach salad pictured below, to the perfectly cooked al dente vegetable risotto topped with the equally perfectly cooked brown butter seared Diver scallops, everything was on point. But, what blew us away the most was the impeccable service. They have this uncanny way of making every single diner in their restaurant feel like they’re a VIP, getting the very best table, with the very best staff, and the very best recommendations (which we let flow in the form of amazing wine). Yeah, it’s safe to say this place lives up to the hype.
BTW, reservations are very highly recommended by us, plus you need to be aware of their dress code. Oh, we fancy, huh?!
Speaking of fancy must-sees, August is at the top of that list. Now, confession: we almost didn’t go here for one reason only⎯it’s like that movie that gets SO HYPED UP as the best movie you’ll ever see in your whole godforsaken life that there’s NO WAY it’s ever going to live up to your expectations so you don’t even want to see it and be disappointed. Yeah, that, but a restaurant of course. But let us just say, HOLY CRAP, are we glad we went here, because it truly was the BEST of our entire trip. From the lovely ambiance, the impeccable service, the beautiful wine list and cocktails, and the flawless food. Oooooh the food.
So we’re going to confess, we were far too swept up in this experience to properly document what we had, so sadly that beautiful appetizer you see above with the peppers, onions, basil, and shaved almonds is not on the menu anymore. But from memory we can tell you, it was truly divine– We remember it was such that perfect balance of sweet, savory and spicy that just makes your toes tingle! But even better, and FULLY burned into our memories from its pure amazingness was the duckling with figs, peppers, chanterelles, peanuts, and heavenly foie gras. OH EM GEEEE. The duck was cooked to absolute tender perfection, and the bright peppers with the earthy mushrooms, sweet figs and salty crunch of the peanuts rounded it out, and of course, the melt in your mouth foie gras took it over the top! Ahhh we still dream of this dish. And let’s not forget about the crispy P&J oysters, fried up crunchy on the outside and soft and buttery on the inside (which is no easy feat), resting beautifully on a bed of Louisiana cajun caviar and rich, creamy buttermilk. Mmmmm Then, just when things couldn’t get any better, we ended the nights with minds blown from their “Dirt Cake” cocoa nib panna cotta with a caramel milk chocolate ganache, passionfruit and coconut. Yeah, it was as amazing as it sounds. Add to that copious amounts of wine recommended by our wonderful waiter, and it most definitely lived up to the hype!
Court of Two Sisters
You know what the awesome thing about vacation is? It’s like a non-stop chance to have brunch every day. And you know the best thing about brunch? It’s an excuse to start drinking before noon. But, what makes brunch especially cool at many NOLA establishments is they add a layer of beautiful live jazz. And, sure, there were a ton of spots that we could have gone to for a jazz brunch, but we went with The Court of Two Sisters because we were unfortunately not there on a weekend and they’re the only one to offer one 7 days a week. What also makes this spot a good choice is that brunch is a HUGE buffet, which affords you the opportunity to try any southern, cajun & NOLA-only delicacies you mouth and belly desires. Now, the nature of buffets means they’re just making way too much food at once for it to ever blow your mind, but there were a few gems like the melt in your mouth cornbread, the candied pecan sweet potatoes, and the duck a la orange. And of course, the carving, omelette and dessert stations are usually pretty reliable at buffets, and this was no exception, especially the dessert table featuring Southern classics like pecan pie, Mardi Gras King Cake, as well as home-churned vanilla ice cream to top it off. Oh, and definitely get a seat in the courtyard when you go . . . you’ll thank us.
So when you talk NOLA breakfast, Brennan’s is usually the first place to come to anyone’s mind, so we knew we couldn’t leave NOLA without trying it. The first thing that will take you away to a magical place is the beautiful pastel decor, dancing into different styles and patterns as you meander from room to room to your table. Second will be the brunch-y cocktails, with so many bubble options from various bottles, to bubble cocktails to simple mimosas made with seasonal fruit purees that made them anything but simple (Kristien knows, she had five, to the point where she can’t remember what her seasonal fruit puree even was). And if you’ve ever wanted to try the funky concoctions that are Milk Punches, this is the place to do it. Danny thoroughly enjoyed the rich, dark creamy Caribbean version with Mt. Gay “black barrel” Rum, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, heavy cream, vanilla bean, and nutmeg, but struggled a bit with the odd combo of Brandy and cream in the Brandy Milk Punch version. And the third magical thing is (of course) the food. Kristien was thrilled with the rich, earthy, indulgent flavors of the creamed poached eggs with mushrooms and crispy onions pictured above, while Danny savored every bite of the more “lunchier” Louisiana bouillabaisse risotto, cooked perfectly al dente with a little saffron and topped with tender jumbo lump crab, littleneck clams and Gulf white shrimp. Oh, and if we were ever going to try the Turtle Soup, it would’ve been here as it’s supposedly amazing, but after watching the staff pull live turtles out of their courtyard fountain (hopefully to clean the fountains, and not for, like, ooooh . . . eating), we couldn’t bring ourselves to do it. Yeah, we’re pretty savage with our meat eating, but when you’ve had one as a pet, wellllll . . .
Sometimes it’s late and night and you’ve been drinking a lot, and ya just need to get down and dirty with some good ‘ole classically greasy rub. Let us tell ya, Dat Dog does the trick. The menu is full of amazing combos of hot dogs and french fries that will nurse any hangover or coat your belly in plenty of grease to start off or end a long night of drinking. Or, if you’re the customizing kinda person, pick your base weiner (duck, bratwurst, alligator, traditional, and more) and then go crazy on the toppings. The dogs had that snap you want, the toppings fresh and flavorful and fries were served up crispy and we got ‘um loaded up too, because why the heck not? Pictured her is their Jimmy’s Chicago Dog which took Kristien back to her trip to The Windy City. Plus, gotta love it: they’ve got plenty of great beer on tap and by the bottle, ya know, in case you decide you’re not drunk enough yet.
We can’t remember for the life of us how we ended up here at Bearcat Cafe for breakfast one day, way off the beaten path in a sort of hipster Brooklyn looking neighborhood, but we’re glad we did. Mainly because BISCUITS. NEVER. ENOUGH. BISCUITS. when you’re in the south. Hot, ooey gooey nooks and crannies laden, crispy crunchy toasted BISCUITS. With our favorite, sweet and just a tad spicy pepper jelly. And hidden behind those yummy biscuits in the pic is a giant plate of homemade ricotta with local honey, which Kristien refused to share even one bite. But that’s ok, because Danny refused to share his rich, tender, brisket hash with an oozing to perfection egg in a hole. Oh, and the menu is divided up by “Good Cat” with healthier options, and “Bad Cat” with more indulgent options. You can guess which we ordered from. Hey, it’s vacation!
If you’ve been reading along and are thinking, “Yep, their NOLA vibe totally sounds like my NOLA vibe,” and you, too, want to avoid the shitshow that is club music bumpin’ on Bourbon Street at night, then Frenchman Street is most definitely for you!
Picture a typical French Quarter style street lined with bar after bar with the harmonious sounds of incredibly talented jazz musicians gently (and sax-ually) wafting out of their open doors, beckoning you in to come in and dance the night away. Our favorite thing to do was to just pop in to a bar for a song or three, then pop on into another and another and another. And, with no cover charge at most places, you can just do this ’til the wee hours of the night. Though, be sure to tip the musicians please! One of our favorite experiences (see in the video above) was in the lobby of The Royal Frenchman Hotel where there were professional swing dancers just mingling amongst the spectators, spontaneously breaking into magnificent dances right in front of us, while the band did the same, with musicians (instruments in tow) strolling in seemingly randomly off the street and spontaneously playing a song or two with the band, and then, POOF, leaving just as surprisingly. HOW COOL IS THAT?
Two our our other favorites were d.b.a. and The Spotted Cat. We will warn you, though, while the music and space were awesome at each, the cocktails were not up to our standards at either, being far too sugary sweet for us. Order some beer, wine, or straight-up liquor instead and save yourself from entering a sugar coma.
What a lovely must-see (and hear) treat Preservation Hall is. A quaint little music hall opened in 1961 out of a pure love and desire to bring live jazz performances back to NOLA at a time when the NOLA jazz scene was near death due to the rising popularity of rock n’ roll and “pop.”
No matter what day of the week it is, you can catch a clappy, snappy, happy little 45-minute jazz performance in an intimate setting, starting at 5PM and every hour after that til the last performance at 10PM (except 7PM for some weird reason). You don’t have to have tickets ahead of time, but it is first come, first serve and you will have a line, so there are definitely no guarantees, so we recommend getting what are called “Big Shot Tickets” ahead of time, which are around $40 (vs. the general admission $20) and get you in ahead of the line and front row seating. Oh, and warning, if you go in summer, it is HOT AF in there, so be prepared with a tall cold drink from a nearby bar to cool you off (see above section).
If you’re an HGTV addict like myself, you’ll definitely enjoy seeing all the stunning Southern homes in the Garden District as well as street after street lined with picturesque Southern Oaks, Cypress, and Magnolia trees the likes of which you’ve only seen in magazines and magical Instagram photos. We highly recommend doing a guided tour, like the lovely one we did, since they can give you the architectural history as well as tell you which celebrities lived where, like our fave, Trent Reznor or even Lestat’s favorite: Anne Rice. And, you’ll get a tour of the historical Lafayette Cemetery as well, which is tough to tour without a guide.
And last, but not least, no trip to NOLA is complete without a “haunted tour” of some sort. For our vibe, we opted for a more historical and accurate tour that explains the truth of Voodoo and the stories that surround NOLA’s eclectic parades, celebrations and culture, rather than one that gives into the folklore and cliché stereotypes. With our tour, we learned a ton of really interesting history about NOLA, the people, the dialect, and the religions and people that played a pivotal role in each. We won’t spoil it for you, but we highly recommend it.
OK, WOW, that’s a wrap on our beloved NOLA trip! So here’s the sad yet awesome thing . . . we ate and drank as much as we physically could in a mere 4 days (without putting ourselves into a food and alcohol induced comas), and still, we haven’t begun to scratch the surface of what NOLA has to offer . . . including experiencing one of their amazing parades, parties or festivals for any vibe like Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest, or the one perfect for our vibe: The New Orleans Food & Wine Experience. Well, we guess that’s just an excuse to go back!