New Orleans Primer: What To Do Until Tipoff

Rule #1: Bourbon Street is nothin’.

It’s filled with titty bars and places that’ll sell you overpriced drinks with more sugar than alcohol. It’s the place to go if you’re looking for a fight, or looking for people who are looking for a fight.

Which is to say: O V E R R A T E D!!!!!!!!

Royal Street has some nifty shops and galleries.

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Get outta the Quarter.

(Okay if you’re going to stay, check out Pirate’s Alley. Get a sense of history. The Faulkner House. And you can almost envision Jean Lafitte leaning against the lamp post, cutting the deal with Andy Jackson to beat the British. The Napoleon House has some history.)

And, yes, Cafe du Monde, is a must do. Best at about 2:00 in the morning. Don’t wear black. The powdered sugar will ruin your outfit.

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Take the trolley up St. Charles. It’s one of the great urban thoroughfares. Get out and walk.

Audubon Park is sweet. The Camellia Grill seems to be a must do for all ex-frat boys.

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The best of the classic old line New Orleans restaurants is forever and always Galatoire’s. Which is the ONLY reason ever to step on Bourbon Street. It’s right by the corner of Iberville, next door to a naughty lingerie shop.

It’s worth the wait to sit downstairs. Ask for my man Bob Noncarrow to wait on you. Tell him I sent you.

Clancy’s uptown is also a great local eatery. Brigsten’s at Riverbend. Mandina’s on Canal. Frankie and Johnnie’s on Arabella for po boys and onion rings. Cochon if you can get in. Actually American Sector, the restaurant in the WWII Museum, is mighty fine, run by John Besh.

Drago’s for one of the world’s great guilty pleasures. Grilled oysters. Slathered in garlic butter and Parmesan cheese. I’m hungry just writing about them. The original is in Metarie. The one in the Hilton by the casino is just as good if not as funky.

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Except for the House of Blues, you’ve got to leave the Quarter for the best local music. Maple Leaf at Riverbend. Carrolton Station. Howlin’ Wolf in convention district. Frenchmen Street. Snug Harbor for Jazz. Check Offbeat, the local music mag, for listings.

One of THE great music stores is in the Quarter. Louisiana Music Factory. It’s right across the street from House of Blues.

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That outta get you through the weekend.

After all, you do need to leave time for hoops and trash talk.

– Seedy K

2 Comments

  1. Marty
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    A block away from Howlin’ Wolf is a great seafood restaurant, Rio Mar. And there are many galleries, both antique and contemporary art, on Royal. Contemporary art galleries on Julia Street.

  2. cbcard
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    BBQ shrimp at Pascal Manale’s are mighty fine too.

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