Tag Archives: cafe du monde

Suggestions for taking kids to New Orleans and Plantations

My sister and her husband are going with their three kids to New Orleans over New Years so here’s some thoughts on things kids in particular might like or find interesting:Dining at the Camelia Grill in NOLA

– Near the Garden District, the famous Camelia Grill is a great place to get a burger or omelette smothered in chili, sitting at the curving counter watching the entertaining waiters. (see photo above) You can take the street car almost all the way there, I think, although the St. Charles line may still be under repair so you may have to transfer to a bus. Camelia Grill isn’t far from Tulane.

– Walk along Frenchmen Street at night to hear some live jazz (the kid are probably too young to get into the bars but there are often musicians playing on the street who sound just as good…to this untrained ear at least.) St. Louis Cemetery #1 ( think it’s #1) worth a trip as is French market and nearby Cafe Du Monde for beignets (touristy, yes, but for good reason.) For a look at the lingering devastation of Hurricane katrina, take a tour led by someone at  lowernine.org. (You’ll need to call ahead to book and have a car so the guide can drive you around.(504) 278-1240)

– For good neighborhood place famed for Cajun classics, try Mandinas (excellent gumbo and po-boys)…or Luizza’s By The Tracks (it was closed when we went due to a power outage but the owner pointed us to Mandinas nearby.) Both are out-of-the-way and you have to take a cab (so you may not want to do but does give you a feel for real life beyond the French Quarter or Garden District.

– In Plantation County, near the fabulous Laura Plantation is B&C Seafoods where you can try several local delicacies including an alligator burger or boudin balls (deep fried balls of a creamy sort of sausage.) You can also more familiar stuff like a crab cake with hush puppies. A great down home atmosphere. (see photo below) The kids will probably like Oak Alley Plantation perhaps better than Laura. Oak Alley is more touristy/with people dressed in period costume (hooped skirts) while Laura is more humble but gorgeous and tour is more focused on history and realities like slavery, from what I recall.Dining in Plantation country

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Filed under Louisiana, New Orleans

The French quarter by day and night

I see why people come to new Orleans in October. The weather is glorious and there is more of the same to come. As advertised, our hotel, the historic Frenchmen hotel is funky. The best feature is the courtyard where I am sitting now, beside a tiny pool (I forgot my suit) and hot tub bordered tightly by two-story wood frame buildings with balcony catwalks,painted pink with blue trim. Hard not to yell “steella” from the balcony. This is the best part about the hotel…plus the price $169 for our loft with doublebed and sofabed. The sofabed is the worst part…the mattress feels more like a web of wire springs. I put the cushions atop it, which helped. The location is good and not. Perfect for visiting the music clubs along Frenchman street but as I feared, pretty noisy. Even with ear plugs I could hear the faint sound of horns, but hey, it’s new Orleans. Some partiers even gathered around 3 a.m….on a Monday morning no less. You have to admire their energy and party hearty spirit.

Last night we did the obligatory walk down bourbon street which was particularly rowdy thanks to a saints game. We far prefer Royal and Chartes streets, with their elegant balconied buildings and antique shops and galleries. The city is a visual feast. We had coffee at a nearby bohemain coffee house that seemed to be a local favorite , Envie, after having the obligatory chicory coffee and beignets at cafe du monde last night. We wandered through the flea market, discovered the French farmers market was closed due to a water problem (lots of repairs going on here, mainly the roads. Not sure if it’s Katrina related.) we also visited st. Louis cemetery #1′ where Russ was excited to find the above ground tomb of a legendary chess master, paul Morphy. We tried to eat at Luizza’s by the tracks, but it was closed due to a power outrage so we had gumbo,and po-boys at another famous old neighborhood spot in mid city, Mandinas, which was very good with lots of character. There is a plaque about 12 feet from the ground showing how high the floodwaters of Katrina rose. Glad it survived. We took the canal streetcar bAck which was fun. It suddenly stopped midway and we had to transfer to a city bus due to track construction.

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