I hope you aren’t terrifically bored by my tale of our NOLA trip. Next up is our dinner at Emeril’s…
The rain started a few minutes before Denis and I were to leave for the restaurant, which was a mile away. We had the hotel call for the shuttle service, and he arrived quickly and began taking us to Emeril’s. He was a local guy – a lifelong New Orleaner (is that what they are called?). He told us about being on three Mardi Gras crewes, driving through hurricanes on a motorcycle when he was younger, and various other fun tales. He was a nice guy, and it was nice to meet a real-life local as opposed to the many transplanters we came upon during the weekend.
We arrived at Emeril’s and went inside to check in. The maitre d’ claimed that we had not confirmed the reservation. I informed him that I had called the morning before and confirmed. He got huffy and once the P’s arrived he ended up placing us in a far back corner in a side section as opposed to the main dining room. It was just as well because we loved our waiter, Chris, who was a dead-ringer for a young John Turturro. He was attentive, friendly and did just about everything LP asked of him.
We noticed when we sat at the table that there were charger plates with the Emeril’s logo at each place setting. They were chipped and didn’t look that nice. What was weird was the moment we were all seated they took the plates away and replaced them with plain white plates. Denis commented that the charger plates should have been PRISTINE since they were only used for decoration and not actually used for service. We tended to agree. Combine that with the rude maitre d’ and we weren’t convinced that we were going to have a good time.
However, with Chris’ tender care, we ordered our dishes (we each ordered something different) and waited to see what would happen. Well, the food arrived and it was just delicious. We all sampled each other’s dishes and really enjoyed ourselves. Denis will hopefully type up his review in the next day or so, but LP, JHP and I agreed that the food was outstanding, Chris was delightful, and because of those two things it was worth four stars out of five. We’ll see what Denis ends up deciding – he’s tricky that way.
After dinner we parted ways to change into more casual clothes again and met up and walked Bourbon Street in all it’s decadence. It was crowded, and I couldn’t imagine what it’s like during JazzFest or Mardi Gras. A madhouse, I’d say. After a few more drinks in various bars we all opted to head back to our rooms and get some sleep. We agreed to meet up on Saturday at Cafe du Monde for beignets and coffee.
After a great night’s sleep we met up with the P’s at Cafe Du Monde and chowed down on wonderful beignets – a highlight of any NOLA experience. If you don’t know what beignets are, they are like donuts, only not. They are covered in powdered sugar and served right out of the fryer. They are wonderful and impossible to duplicate at home (trust me, we’ve tried).
We then headed over to the French Market where we sifted through a multitude of tchotkes looking for gifts and trinkets to take home. It was packed and hot, so Denis and I took a breather to have a snowball (or sno-cone, whatever you want to call it). Denis had one called Ice Cream and it really tasted like ice cream! Mine was plain old strawberry flavored and was just what the doctor ordered as relief from the heat. Denis and I have decided to open a snowball business. Along with the plethora of other things we want to do (write a novel, write a screenplay, win the lottery, etc.).
When we all got sick of the people we opted to head to Margaritaville’s, the Jimmy Buffett bar near the French Market. The drinks were tasty, but man is that place annoying. I mean, it was one JB song after another. I feel bad for the people that worked there – it has to be like hell on earth to hear the same stupid songs over and over again. A parrothead, I am not.
From there we did more walking, more art seeking, and more drinking. I’m not sure where and when. But I do know that we parted ways around 4 p.m. to go change into more fancy clothes for our next dinner, at Bella Luna.