Thursday night started innocently enough when Queen G met up with Beth and Bucko at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, where we had a couple of beers, caught up on our day, and watched the carriages go by as we waited for Shane and Matt to return from the zoo. Once the boys got there, we decided to go eat at Port of Call, and that's where things begin to get a little blurry.
Port of Call is sort of a locals' treasure- you won't find them advertising in any of the hotel room magazines; there are no ads on the taxicabs. It sits unassumingly on the corner or Esplanade and Dumaine, in the midst of what is essentially a residential part of the neighborhood. Yet, when you go there- because you must- plan on about an hour's wait for a table in one of the 2 small dining rooms, or at the bar. Order a Monsoon at the bar- because you must- and sip it as slowly as you can. Please don't gulp it down like it's the best, most potent mai tai you've ever tasted. Because then you will want another. And that did not bode well for our girl....
Unfortunately, Queen G does remember it all... to well. As those of you who have imbibed with The Queen know, she get's kinda loud when she drinks. She doesn't mean to, she just gets so gosh darn excited when she's having a good time with her friends. And her voice carries. Lord, does it carry. So when she told the story of one of her favorite YouTube clips, a diner from another table felt compelled to express her offense to the subject matter. The Queen is still scratching her head trying to figure out why this girl was so offended...
After a delicious burger and at least 2 delicious Monsoons, our troop departed to expore the magical French Quarter. Queen G remembers all the places, if not the exact order.
I think we went next to the Funky Pirate to hear Big Al Carlson, another must do. Big Al has been crooning the blues on Bourbon for years, and is considered one of the greatest stars on the New Orleans music scene. I think all would agree he is also one of the biggest stars on the music scene!
During Big Al's show, Bucko handed Ginger a Hand Grenade, supposedly one of the strongest drinks served in the Quarter. Now, our Queen is not used to consuming all of that rot-gut liquor we usually serve the tourists, but she has to admit that by that point in the evening, that Hand Grenade tasted pretty good! After that, things get a bit fuzzier.
We definitely walked the length of Bourbon to try to catch a glimpse of the ancient Chris Owens, hoping she might be at her club, but alas, no such luck. Chris has been performing at her club on Bourbon Street since the early sixties, so she's no spring chicken. Yet she still spackles it on, cinches it in, and shakes it like she means it! She doesn't perform nightly any longer, but does appear from time to time. (BTW- this picture is VERY old!)
After a lengthy discussion about whether the swinging legs were still swinging outside of one of the old strip clubs, we walked down to the location of the old Big Daddies Strip Club to see for ourselves. Queen G has heard that back in the 60's when the place opened, a real "lady" sat on the swing, but she only remembers the cheesy mannequin legs seen here, moving back and forth on a jerky electric mechanism. Nowadays, the old strip club is closed, and in it's place is an offshoot location of the "gentlemens club" Rick's Cabaret. Rick has really spruced the place up, and has opened up the window and replacing the jerky legs with a complete mannequin on a swing. Still cheesy, but a modern, updated cheesy.
Once we solved the leg dilemma, we stumbled over to Molly's at the Market to pet Mr. Wu, but he was nowhere to be found. Or we were too drunk to find him. Or something like that!
In the absence of said kitty, and by some miraculous stroke of good judgement, we decided to call it a night. And thank goodness we did! Queen G was a bit worse for the wear the next day, be she soldiered on, making an on-time arrival at our point of muster- Harrah's Casino. After a bit of unluck, we crossed the street to the RIverwalk Marketplace, where we sat in on an entertaining cajun cooking class and picked up a couple of kitchen gadgets.
Friday evening was a much calmer affair as we checked out perhaps the most famous form of traditional New Orleans music, Dixieland jazz, at Fritzels. Then we headed down to the Old Absinthe House, another ancient place with dust older than dirt!
After a couple more beers, we walked across Bienville Street to the Desire Oyster Bar at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, where we had delicious oysters, fried green tomatoes, and even a bottle of bubbly to celebrate our last night together. The food was delish, but it was made even better by Joann, our server, who has worked at the Royal Sonesta for over 30 years, and did everything for us except spoon the food into our mouths! She made us a special cocktail sauce right at the table, brought us a complimentary bread pudding at the end of the meal, and did it all with a smiling pride that you just don't often see in the service industry these days! Queen G will DEFINITELY go back to see Joann whenever she is in New Orleans!!
With our lovely meal complete, it was time to say goodbye to my new best friends! Beth has been online friends with Miss Ginger so long, it's like we've known each other forever. What a great foursome they were, and Queen G is thrilled to have had the chance to spend time with them!