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Weekend Getaway: 10 Things To Do During My New Orleans Visit

February 25, 2015

If you could only spend four days in New Orleans, what would be the top things to do during your visit?  Well, I’ve been doing a little research of the beautiful city and there’s obviously no way I can do everything it has to offer.  So how do I decide between the historic French Quarter art, dining, shopping, entertainment and architectural treasures?  Without a doubt, I do plan to experience a few New Orleans traditions by stopping at Café Du Monde, and the Gumbo Shop.  No night is complete in New orleans without enjoy traditional jazz while dining at Palm Court Jazz Café.  But there’s plenty more traditions that I have yet to experience in NOLA and I’ve made a list that I hope to accomplish in one weekend.

1. New Orleans new restaurants

There’s a few new restaurants that the locals have been chatting about and I hope to experience at least one of them, such as Balise for a casual dining experience, Brennan’s for New Orlean’s classic dishes, Red’s Chinese for Chinese and Southern food cuisine, Purloo for Southern Style food & Latitude29 for exotic drinks.

2.  Try a Po-Boy

I’ve never tried a Po-Boy, so if I’m going to have one, it might as well be in New Orleans, right?!  Now the difficult part of trying a Po-Boy in such an amazing city will be which one I would try first?  There’s the Corned Pork Belly Reuben Po-boy with sesame sauerkraut, duck liver mousse and roasted red pepper dressing by Boucherie and the Slow-Roasted Duck po-boy by Jacques-Imo’s and so many more.

3.  Try the best boiled crawfish & freshest seafood

I’m a sucker for fresh, delicious seafood and Louisiana has plenty of it.  Which is why I plan to explore all the fresh seafood options.  For starters, crawfish is a must!  The plan is to stop by New Orlean’s seafood markets, like the Westwego Shrimp Lot, Big Fisherman Seafood or Broadview Seafood.  If we’re too lazy to drive out, I hear restaurants like Peche, Borgne and Casamento’s are the spots to check out for fresh fish.  But for the best crawfish, we’re definitely checking out Seither’s Seafood,  Frankie and Johnny’s or Perino’s Boiling Pot!

4.  Learn how to cook cajun cuisine

Sure, we can enjoy the delicious cajun cuisine while we’re in Louisiana, but what happens when we come home to the west coast?  I know that after trying all the delicious foods, I’m going to want more when I come home.  In fact, I know that right after I share all my instagram photos of my delicious trip, friends and family are going to ask, “Did you get the recipe?”.  Which is why I plan to take a Creole & Cajun Cooking Class at Crescent City Cooks School during my visit.  Now tell me that doesn’t sound like fun!

5.  Eat as many oysters as I can!

Yes, New Orlean’s offer a variety of seafood dishes, but my personal ultimate favorite is the oysters.  Which is why we plan to try Pascale’s Manale or Casamento’s for raw oysters on the half shell.  For charbroiled oysters we hear Antoine’s and Acme Oyster House is the spot.  One oyster dish I have yet to try are fried oysters and I hear Liuzza’s by the track and Domillse’s are the place to try this version!

6.  Try real Southern Barbecue

Not that I would get tired of eating seafood and oysters, but I do plan to change it up with real southern barbecue.  After all, New Orlean’s ranks pretty high in all it’s culinary offerings, so I can only image the barbecue will be out of this world!  A few spots we have our eyes on NOLA Smokehouse, Shortall’s Barbecue at Twelve Mile Limit and The Joint in the classic Bywater.

7.  Try New Orleans Sno-Ball

So what’s so special about New Orleans Sno-ball than Southern California’s?  Well I’m going to find out.  For starters, I just found out the New Orleans Sno-Ball has been a city tradition for over 70 years. The delicious treat was originally served by push-carts venders and shaved by hand, the sno-ball’s popularity exploded with the creation of Ernest Hansen’s Sno-Bliz machine in 1939. Three locations on my radar is the original Hansen’s Sno-Bliz and Plum Street Snowballs.

8.  The Ramos Gin Fizz

Every time I mention that I’m planning a New Orleans visit people always talk about the Hurricanes.  Which I’ve had and don’t intend to do it again.  Let’s just say my body was able to handle all the mixed liquors at a younger age.  This visit I’m excited to try The Ramos Gin Fizz!  The cocktail was named after its inventor Henry C. Ramos, owner of the bygone Imperial Cabinet Saloon in downtown New Orleans, Ramos originally called his 1888 cocktail the New Orleans Fizz. The drink proved so popular that Ramos had to employ anywhere from 12 to 20 bartenders just to shake the frothy contents.  So you know it’s going to be good!  I hear the Bar Tonique and The Sazerac Bar are the spots for the best Gin Fizz in town.

9.  Listen to great Jazz music

New Orleans is also known for great music.  You can walk down Bourbon Street to Frenchmen Street and find live music to suit every musical taste. I have my heart set on traditional New Orleans jazz, R & B, and Blues.  Not sure where to find the best venues, but I’m sure we’ll find something amazing and unforgettable.

10.  Check out a historic or haunted tour

With a city full of history a historic tour is a must, but I as much as I enjoy history, I think a haunted tour would be more fun!  In New Orleans you can find many types of tours, such as Drink and Learn Tour, a Madams Of New Orleans Tour and even a Culinary Bike Tour!  But this visit I may consider doing a Vampire Haunted Tour by a psychic!

I know what you’re thinking, will I be able to accomplish my list of things to do during my New Orleans weekend visit?  I think it’s possible.  In fact, if there’s a recommendation you would love to share that I must add to my list, please feel to share.  Tweet me @sparklinglala or comment below.

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  • Reply Eddie Espinosa February 26, 2015 at 1:52 am

    Hi Lala!
    If your looking for restaurants in NO
    I was there 2 years ago and went to Mr B’s and it was amazing
    The BBQ Scrimp and fried oysters are great.
    Also “August” is a great John Besh restaurant and Commanders Palace is a classic favorite of NO
    Casual place is ACME oyster house… You have to go to Cafe du Monde and have beignets ( World Famous)…and a classic NO bar is Pat O’ Brian’s and have a Hurricane. A classic NO cocktail
    Love me some French Quarter… There is a famous round bar at a hotel in the French Quarter that revolves.
    It’s called the Carousel Bar inside Hotel Montelone
    Have fun!

    • Reply Lala Castro February 26, 2015 at 6:10 am

      Thanks for the recommendations Eddie! Will have to check it out. 🙂

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