Need to get out of the Houston city limits for a weekend? You’ve come to the right place! Last weekend, I talked three of my friends into taking a trip with me to New Orleans. For those of you going stir crazy thanks to non-stop construction, traffic and the influx of early tourist for the rodeo, I suggest you get in the car immediately and head east on I-10.
Below is a brief list of the things/places I would suggest on your next trip to NOLA.
539 St Philip St, New Orleans, LA 70116
MAKE A RESERVATION. I repeat, MAKE A RESERVATION!! My friends and I called to make one, but they were no longer taking reservations for the night. Our party of four arrived at 7:30pm and were quoted an hour wait . We ended up waiting over two hours for a table. Did I mention you should MAKE A RESERVATION? I swear they only sat our party because I tired of waiting and brought up the topic of leaving very loudly. The food was good, but not worth a 2 hour wait. Although, I don’t think any food would be worth a two hour wait. They had a great, but selective menu. Dessert was great! Had I known they’re dessert was so good , I wouldn’t of waited two hours for a table, I would’ve just order dessert to-go and ate it on my way to Bourbon Street.
The Ruby Slipper Café
200 Magazine Street. New Orleans, LA 70130
This was a lucky find by my friends and I. Our hotel room was literally across the street and our bathroom window over looked the café. On Saturday morning, we heard a lot of commotion downstairs and had no idea why people were gathered downstairs below our window. On our way out, we noticed their menu posted out front (great marketing idea). I laid my eyes on the Bananas Fosters French Toast and my stomach never looked back. The wait for a table was only 30 minutes despite the large crowd already gathered outside. The waiting list moved quickly, they called names off the least at least every five minutes. I had coffee and the Bananas Fosters French Toast (pictured right) all for $11.00. One small side note, I liked how they asked everyone to wait outside as to not crowd the entrance of the café. I appreciate not having eyeballs staring me down for my table. Plus, it was a nice day outside, so I didn’t mind the fresh air.
Royal House Oyster Bar
441 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130
I’m not a huge fan of oysters, but you don’t have to be to have a great meal at this place (despite the name). Due to our previous experience at Irene’s, my friends and I arrived at 6:30ish. Despite the crowd out front, there was no wait at the door. Check. They also served Blue Moon (fellow Texans will understand). Check. We had the Garlic Butter Crab Claws as an appetizer. It certainly shut up this seafood critic. Dinner and dessert was amazing check check check. A major plus for this restaurant was that they let you carry your own drinks inside the restaurant. A woman even walked in with her hurricane. On top of a great meal, we had exceptional service from our server and the management staff. The Manager-On-Duty even stopped by the table to see how we were doing. I would definitely recommend this place to a friend.
Do go to Bourbon Street, but don’t go out past 2am on a Saturday, according to a friendly gift store clerk. Bourbon Street is the 6th Street of New Orleans. Ever visit to New Orleans must include a trip to Bourbon Street. We went to Pat O Brien’s, Gold Mine, a decent after-hours place for hip-hop music and dancing. There was a cover charge of $5 at Gold Mine.Which isn’t too bad from my past experiences. I did wish I visited Saints and Sinners owned by the one and only Channing Tatum. The website made it look upscale and fancy. However, when I walked by it, it looked like your common 6th Street bar in Austin. There were couches outside featuring two half-naked girls dancing around them. I would’ve liked to see the inside though. Next time.
This is the part of town where the locals go to get away from the tourist ravaging Bourbon Street. The vibe on Frenchman Street was very different from Bourbon. I could tell there were a few business professionals unwinding there after a long work week. Frenchman is a great if you’re looking for a live jazz band. We initially wanted to go to Blue Nile, but they were charging a $10 cover. Luckily, there was a place next door that did not charge a cover. I enjoyed it there. People watching here was amazing! Even if you hate jazz, it’ll be worth the music to do some people watching, hours of amusement there.
Manny Randazzo King Cakes
3515 N Hullen St, Metairie, LA 70002
This is the place to go if you want the best king cake in the state of New Orleans. Everyone else is merely an imitation, seriously. When we arrived at around 11am, the line was already out the door. So if you want a Pecan Praline filled King Cake (like I did) you need to be there at 8am when they open (not kidding). They were already out of Pecan Praline when we arrived so I go the apple filled king cake and I was not disappointed. Manny Randazzo is located outside of New Orleans in Metairie. It was about a 15 minute drive from our hotel in downtown New Orleans. Worth the drive and worth the small wait.
Café Du Monde
800 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116
Go. Trust me. Just go. Coffee and Beignets. Plus, our waiter gave us the hats. Love them to death.
Thank you, New Orleans. You were a gracious host.