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During the height of the pandemic lockdown, I could only think about places that stimulated all the senses. Places like Las Vegas and Nashville, and New Orleans.
Having lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for 12 years, I’ve had my fair share of good times in New Orleans. From Mardi Gras parades and balls to stomping in the French Quarter, singing along at Pat O’s, and sitting at tables full of Cajun cuisine, it is everything you imagine it to be.
But I knew I wanted to go. So, I put it on my calendar and started booking. I was in town for four days, and while I didn’t cram my schedule, I did get to see and do some things on my list.
Here are the highlights:
Mosquito Supper Club
Eating at the communal table at MSC was the no.1 thing on my to-do list. I saw some sort of clip about the Supper Club several years ago on a cooking channel, and it’s been on my mind ever since!
Chef Melissa Martin opened Mosquito Supper Club to celebrate Louisiana food and culture and support local fishermen and farmers by buying and cooking their fish and produce.
The Supper Club is an ethical and sustainable restaurant in that it only operates during the season and is only open for one dinner service four nights each week. It uses only local ingredients and pays its employees a fair wage (plus benefits and days off).
I booked my reservation months in advance and had the option of adding a wine tasting and a signed cookbook to my reservation. I added both (the cookbook recently earned a James Beard Award!). I wanted to get the MOST out of this experience.
The dinner service is one big table located inside a house not far from the French Quarter. It’s a four-course tasting menu, and it’s entirely based on the ingredients that are in season.
Of course, the meal will be different every time, but in case you are curious, my dinner included: sweet potato biscuits, murder point oysters, crab claws, shrimp and watermelon salad, oyster soup, tomato and cucumber salad, roasted corn and peach salad, fried Higgins stuffed crab, and a blackberry dumpling.
It was absolutely fabulous — the food and the entire experience! It was such a beautiful tribute to the Louisiana coast, and I admire chefs like Melissa who are on missions to celebrate and save their hometowns.
St. Louis Cathedral
I had to stop by this institution — not only is it a famous symbol of New Orleans, but it is also the oldest cathedral in continuous use in the US. I had the privilege of standing as a bridesmaid in a beautiful wedding here many years ago.
Cafe du Monde
I couldn’t go to New Orleans without a stop at the famous Cafe du Monde! There was a long line as usual, but I had my heart set on a cafe au lait and an order of beignets — it was worth the wait!
The French Market
Located in the French Quarter, French Market is six blocks of shopping. It was founded as a Native American trading post and is the oldest of its kind in the country.
I don’t think I’ve ever visited French Market, so I was excited to see it. There were many shops and food vendors — you could spend an entire day here!
I bought a handmade Mother of Pearl Ring from a local artist and an icy cold strawberry lemonade 🙂
The Sazerac House is at the corner of Magazine and Canal Streets, and it’s just a few yards from where the Sazerac cocktail was created in the 1800s.
Today, the Sazerac House serves as a museum to its namesake cocktail and explains New Orleans history through the lens of cocktail culture. The museum tour is free, and there are plenty of delicious samples along the way.
Not only is the museum so lovely, but it was also put together nicely, and I enjoyed seeing the displays and interactive videos. Drinkers and history buffs alike will enjoy this spot!
The Court of Two Sisters
Located in the French Quarter, the Court of Two Sisters is famous for its daily jazz brunch! It’s named after the Camor sisters, who ran a shop on Royal Street.
I had drinks here on a previous visit to New Orleans but wanted to have the jazz brunch! While the food is nothing crazy, it’s good, but the atmosphere is what you get with this one. The courtyard is so pretty, and there’s live jazz music!
Stoney Clover Lane
As a recent Stoney Clover Lane fan, I was excited to see a brick-and-mortar shop with all the cute accessories inside. The shop is located in Uptown and is totally pink on the outside — pink paint, pink shutters, and even pink rocking chairs on the porch!
The inside is adorable, too, but I was so in awe by all the pre-made options they had for sale. The entire shop was also full of items dedicated to New Orleans (that aren’t available online), such as local symbols, sayings, and patches.
Each shop does these dedications, which I think is cool. I bought two bags highlighting New Orleans jazz, and I know I’ll treasure them for years to come!
The Real World House
A visit to New Orleans wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the “Real World” house. Technically, there are two houses because MTV came to the city two separate times.
The Belfort Mansion is right along St. Charles Avenue in the Garden District and was home to seven strangers for the show in 2000. The second season and cast were filmed in 2010 at 1633 Dufossat Street is just a few yards from St. Charles Avenue.
As a reality show junkie, I love seeing places I’ve seen on the shows I love!
And that’s a wrap on my New Orleans trip! I stayed at The Brakeman Hotel, located inside the Basin Street Station. It was within a 10-minute walk to the French Quarter, and had huge rooms, plentiful parking, and a little museum in the lobby!
I booked my hotel via the Hotel Tonight app (I use it to book ALL my hotels), and I have a code for 20% off (up to $50) if you want to try it: HPHILLIPS96.
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