Better with Bacon
Can you believe it? Free bacon with your drink! And it’s not just a gimmick, the wine list at the Orleans Grapevine is sophisticated and you can order tasting flights at Happy Hour prices. The tiny courtyard out back has a fountain and a few tables, snag a seat there if you can.
Cool Tunes, Good Eats
I lucked out at Marigny Brasserie on Frenchmen Street as fried green tomatoes were on the menu and local musician Salvatore Geloso was laying it down. Dude’s a dedicated street musician and if you can track him down, you won’t regret it. Frenchmen Street has a block party vibe and plenty of jazz venues. Waaay cooler than Bourbon Street.
Some Kinda Sarnie
It’s the signature sandwich from NOLA and there’s no better Muffaletta than the original made to order at Central Grocery and Deli on Decatur Street. The secret is the olive salad that’s layered in with the cold cuts and cheese. Eat in at the counter or get it to go but be prepared to queue if you go around the lunch hour.
They say that ordering beignets and coffee at Café du Monde is mandatory for visitors to NOLA but one look at the tourist hordes massed beneath the green and white awning sent me scuttling. The good news is that Café Beignet’s sugar- powdered pastries are every bit as good and they have two locations in the French Quarter.
Only For Grownups
The Sazerac is NOLA’s signature drink. It’s a potent cocktail, made with whisky, bitters and absinthe. The version I had at Muriel’s, on a verandah with a view of the street performers in Washington Square, was devilishly delicious. Muriel’s is housed in a former bordello – this gorgeous heritage building, reputedly haunted, is well worth a peak.