San Antonio was a bust... we worked our asses off and were too tired to do anything at night except eat and go to bed. The first night, Tuesday, we wanted to have dinner at Pappadeaux's and make our own little Mardi Gras party, but alas, we weren't the only displaced Cajuns with that idea! The wait for a table was 2 1/2 hours, and we were all grubby and exhausted, so we blew that off and ate at a dumpy little mexican place.
Wednesday night we decided we would eat in the bar at the hotel, since more than anything, we needed to get our drink on! The Olympics were on the TV, and Miss Ginger hates to admit how much fun we had watching the women's downhill skiing! If you saw the telecast, you know there was some deal with the snow that was making the course particularly treacherous, and after about the 6 skiers ended up skidding widly down the mountain on their asses, we had tears in out eyes from laughing so hard! "Yard Sale!" we would cheer as skis, poles, boots, etc. were flung all over the ice! We were that dangerous combination of drunk and tired that made such sophomoric humor seem hilarious!
Thursday was uneventful but busy, and finally Friday came and Miss G jetted off to NOLA to meet up with Bubba J for their birthday bash! After a couple of martinis at the hotel bar, we crossed the street to Palace Cafe and had a beautiful meal! Palace Cafe was created by Dickie Brennan almost 20 years ago, and Miss G remembers going there with Momma G and Daddy G when it first opened. The restaurant is housed in the old Werlein's Music Store, which was an insititution in New Orleans for many years. Werlein's was a music store of grand scale, because so many musicians make New Orleans their home, and it was, at the time, THE place to by instruments, sheet music, and parts for all things musical. Inside, there was (and still is) a cast iron spiral staircase which leads to the mezzanine, which is where the pianos were displayed. Werleins had an enourmous selection of pianos, and Baby G loved to see them whenever he went shopping in NOLA with Momma G. The food at Palace Cafe is delicious, and Miss Ginger completely enjoyed her Barbequed Shrimp appetizer, and the Pecan Crusted Mahi Mahi she had for dinner! Palace Cafe should definitely be on your "bucket list" of New Orlean's restaurants!
Saturday, we played at the casina for a while, where Bubba J won and Miss G lost. And that's not a typo... we dubbed it "the casina" a long time ago, in honor of the way our neighbors from the Mississippi Gulf Coast pronounce it!
After paying her voluntary taxes to the Louisiana State Government, Miss G headed back to the hotel for a long, much needed nap! Then, it was off to dinner at Emeril's NOLA, which was on Bubba J's "bucket list". The wait for a table was quite long, and as we pondered waiting or changing, the maitre' d said "I'll have two seats at the chefs table in about 45 minutes". Score!
While we waited, we decided to walk down to the bar at Tujagues for a cocktail. Tujagues bar is ancient- it survived prohibition, and still stands today very much unchanged. Bubba J had a super single malt scotch, and Miss G had a delicious martini while we bantered with the bartender.
Then back to NOLA, for one of the greatest meals Miss Ginger has ever had. Not only were we at the Chef's Table, which is really more like a bar that surrounds the oven end of the cooking line, but we were at the end, right next to where the head chef calls out the orders and handles the plates as they come off of the line. It was all very "Top Chef", and he was quite cordial and chatty when he wasn't busy dealing dishes!
Miss Ginger had a Andouille Crusted Gulf Drum, and Bubba J ordered a Ribeye, medium rare. Both were delicious, but as we were eating, the Chef turned to us and said.. "that steak's not medium rare- it's too well done. Let me do it again!" We hadn't even said anything to him, he just noticed on his own! Bubba J had already eaten part and was enjoying it, so he declined the chef's offer and finished his meal. Afterward, the chef sent over his 2 favorite desserts, which really wasn't necessary, but greatly appreciated! NOLA is another "must do" restaurant, and for a couple or a solo diner, it would be totally worth requesting the Chef's Table!
After dinner, we walked down to Pirate's Alley Cafe, an adorable spot Miss G discovered last fall when she went to the quarter with her Cousin JC. Pirate's Alley Cafe is also an Absinthe House, and absinthe has become quite rechechez in the quarter once again! Absinthe was once banned because it was thought that the wormwood herb was a drug that caused hallucincation. Modern absinthe does not contain wormwood, but it is still like 110 proof and will knock you on your ass! Miss G thinks it tastes terrible, but it's fun to watch the pomp and circumstance suyrrounding the drink. First, a sugar cube is suspended over the glass with a slotted spoon especially made for the purpose, and the liquor is poured over the the sugar cube. Then, the cube is lit afire to carmelize a bit. Finally, water is dripped from an absinthe fountain, disolving the sugar and diluting the alcohol to a drinkable condition. As the water mixes into the liquor, it begins to cloud. It's a drink best sipped very slowly, but of course, there were drunk tourists kicking them back like tequila shots! Miss Ginger is quite sure they all felt terrible this morning!
Miss G slept in the big cushy first class seat of the 757 in which she came home, and is now rested up and ready to celebrate again tonight, lesbian style! That's sure to mean more drinking and over-eating! When this birthday week is over, Miss G MUST get back on her diet!