New Orleans Trip Report, June 2018

I mingle with my peers or no one, and since I have no peers, I mingle with no one. — John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

Day Two

Today was essentially Eating Day, with meals at two of the Brennan family’s famous restaurants, sandwiched with a bit of wandering around on my own. I like both eating and being on my own, so this was a good day.

This was also the day before I left for the wedding site, so encroaching nerves meant that said meals were a bit heavy on the booze.

I started the day where days in New Orleans are meant to be started:

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Breakfast at Brennan’s is one of those things that’s all touristy, but it doesn’t matter, because it’s that darn good. Top notch service, top notch food and booze at breakfast. Can’t beat that.

I won’t go too much into my three-course, three-cocktail breakfast (though you should check out my dining report), but let’s just say I was feeling pretty good when I rolled back out into the Louisiana heat.

My destination?

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I am not a frilly girl by nature, but I had a wedding to attend, and I needed to spruce up my nails. I don’t know how I ended up choosing Salon D Nola (or, specifically, the nail side of the business, Salon D Nola Too) on Burgundy Street, but it was an awesome choice.

Very chic, but full of Southern Hospitality…so, very NOLA.

My nail artist even talked me into leaning away from my plain, boring beige nails, with what she called a “party nail”: one coordinating, sparkly nail on each hand.

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That’s about as fancy as I get, folks.

Afterwards, I  headed back to the room because it was hella hot. I spent as much time as I could on the balcony (interspersed with cool downs in the air conditioning), immersing myself in New Orleans culture.

Or not:

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Eventually, it was time to get ready for dinner. I left a bit early to do some shopping on Royal, mostly for the pralines I have to carry home with me from each trip. I also found myself in one of dozens of shops full of hot sauce and Louisiana souvenirs, and found this little guy:

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He’s a voodoo doll! Isn’t he the cutest?! Somehow I let B talk me out of him, and I still regret it…

It was finally time for dinner at Mr. B’s Bistro. I got there right at opening, but had to wait at the bar forever … where I entertained myself with their Orange Julius (no relation to your local mall).

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When I did sit down, I almost left because of the crap-ass table they stuck me at. So glad I didn’t. Mostly because of these:

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I am not even a huge seafood fan, but these Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Grits and Red Eye Gravy is the stuff of dreams.

I even found a recipe, and may attempt it myself. Or I will just go back…

After dinner and a bit more shopping, I landed back on the balcony in time to watch a Second Line go right underneath.

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Definitely the right way to end an all-too-short New Orleans break.

Read about Day One.

 

Breakfast at Brennan’s

We have a saying in our family: ‘When you die, see you in the saloon in the sky.’ And that’s where I’ll be. — Ella Brennan

I will admit right up front that there is a reason that some of the photos in this article are a bit, shall we say…fuzzy.

I had three cocktails with breakfast.

Let me repeat that: I had three cocktails…with breakfast.

I suppose there are other restaurants in the world where you can get away with such utter indulgence at the most important meal of the day, but I doubt any regularly do it with such panache – and make you feel so good about it – as Brennan’s.

Here’s the first of my trifecta of breakfast lushness: Brennan’s milk punch. I believe I had one each of the Caribbean milk punch (with Mt. Gay Black Barrel rum and Buffalo Trace bourbon) and Brandy (with…brandy). But honestly, who knows?

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I’m fairly certain, however, that this photo is of my second milk punch, and that I’d already sucked this one halfway down before I thought to take a picture. This is of many “artsy” shots I took on this particular morning.

Oh, and that’s freshly grated nutmeg, not black pepper.

We might as well get the third cocktail out of the way now, since I have no idea at what point in my three course breakfast (three course breakfast!) this arrived.

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Truth is, I can’t remember exactly what it was, except that it was not the Irish Coffee it appears to be. Or it was, but with a Brennan’s twist. I want to say it had amaretto in it, but it doesn’t appear on the online menus. I do know that whipped cream on top was flecked with real vanilla beans.

What I do know is that the waiter talked me into it (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) and it was delicious.

Let’s get to the actual meal, shall we?

I was seated by the window overlooking the lush courtyard, where sometime during the boozefest that followed, I took this “artsy” photo:

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I kicked off my breakfast with the most amazing version of ‘strawberries and cream’ you could imagine. The Louisiana strawberries were served atop vanilla yogurt, drizzled with basil oil and sprinkled with poppy seeds.

It sounds odd, but it absolutely works.

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My main course was a house specialty, Eggs Sardou, described in the menu as: housemade English muffins, coffee cured Canadian bacon, hollandaise, and Marchand De Vin sauce.

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What they are is the best version of Eggs Benedict I’ve ever put in my mouth (and I’m something of a connoisseur).

I’m also a connoisseur of grits, and the side of Georgia cheddar grits I ordered was so good I ate nearly all of them, even though I really did not have room.

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Speaking of not having room, what would a leisurely breakfast be without dessert? Strawberry sorbet over fresh fruit. I ate every bite, too.

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I might have needed a wheelbarrow after my three course, three cocktail breakfast, but it was very worth it.

If Ella Brennan’s ‘saloon in the sky’ is anything like this breakfast, hopefully you’ll see me there, too.

Brennan’s
417 Royal Street, New Orleans | 504-525-9711