Friday, September 9, 2011

Wine Traveler’s Travels Vol 11 (From the archives #10 is missing)


Well this is the trip I have anticipated for a long time.  I have always wanted to visit New Orleans, this week I’m off to Tulane University Hospital. Thanks to a friend of mine in Tech Support who was there recently I have booked a room at a guesthouse in the heart of the French Quarter.  I was able to upgrade my airline seat to first class on Delta.  The flight was very pleasant as it was a Boeing 757; the breakfast was scrambled eggs with cheese and Canadian bacon in an English muffin.  I know what you must be thinking; “Can you say Egg McMuffin?” But it was much better than that, and came with home fries and a bowl of fresh fruit.  My connecting flight was in Dallas a very short wait and I was back in the front of another 757, this time we were served a nice salad with grilled chicken.  I landed in New Orleans and the Hertz Car was some four-door model that I quickly got changed to a Mustang, Emerald Green this time.  The Hertz computer gave me directions based on the address of the Guesthouse I was to stay at.  The name of this very charming establishment is Orleans Cottages; the directions got me right to the door.  I fell in love with the neighborhood right away.   Lots of old renovated homes with cast iron balconies and very clean streets.  I later found out they wash the streets weekly and garbage pick up is daily.  I was within walking distance of Bourbon Street. The guesthouse has three levels of accommodations I was in one of the midsize ones.  Each was nicely decorated with a different theme. My room had a very comfortable bed with an Iron headboard a sitting room with a TV and a day bed a bathroom with a shower and a kitchenette with a mini-refrigerator, a microwave, and a coffee maker.  If you ever have the pleasure of visiting the New Orleans area I recommend you stay here, the Number is (504) 522-2561.  The first night there, David Deitrich, one of the owners of the guesthouse invited me over for cocktails and showed me the wrought iron furniture he makes.  He also made some great recommendations for places to visit and eat.  I then walked down to check out the pubs, what an experience.
            Tuesday morning, after coffee, I went to the hospital just down the street and had a very enjoyable day working with some exceptionally nice nurses.  That evening when I returned to my cottage I was chatting with the owners, David and his partner Dan, about where to eat and they invited me to join them at an Italian restaurant called Venezio’s.  I had a dish called Eggplant Vatican.  It was a shelled out piece of Eggplant with a seafood mixture including crawfish, scallops, and shrimp served with a side of fettuccine.  And we had a bottle of a very fine wine I don’t recall the name of but thoroughly enjoyed.
            Wednesday was another great day at work with another fine evening.  This evening I was in the mood for seafood and David suggested a place called Jack Dempsy’s.  He offered to drive since I had been admiring his PT Cruiser, what a cool car. I’m trying to talk Gail into trading in her Volvo for one the payments would be lower and the gas mileage is better.  Jack Dempsey’s is one of those restaurants that the locals like to keep quiet about.  The food was awesome and the price was great. We shared the seafood platter for two.  The platter had fried fish (both catfish and whitefish), oysters, shrimp, stuffed crabs, and crawfish pies.  And that came after the bowl (not cup) of Gumbo and a side of the best macaroni and cheese I have ever had.  There was so much food left over that David took it back and shared it with Dan the next day and there was still enough left for me to have lunch when I finished work on Thursday, all this for $21. 

Thursday I was able to finish early and visit the French Market where I found some great feather Mardi Gras masks at an unbelievable 2/$5, so I got one for Gail and each of the boys, along with some beads.  This was such an enjoyable trip I want to go again real soon.  When I boarded the shuttle bus from the car rental to the terminal the Driver asked me if I enjoyed my stay in her city.  I responded “yes but I would be as big as this bus if I stayed much longer.”  She asked me where I had eaten and when I mentioned Jack Dempsey’s she said “I had the best date in my life at that restaurant, I didn’t much care for the guy but it was the best seafood ever.”  My flight home was un eventful but enjoyable as it was First Class on TWA so who could complain, for some reason though I slept on this trip home I usually don’t sleep on planes.

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