New Orleans Day 1

My family and I are  currently visiting New Orleans for the very first time. I know, I know, I live in Alabama, how could I have never been to New Orleans before? Well, I have just never wanted to go alone and the opportunity to come has never really presented itself until now. Our friends from Spain wanted to visit The Big Easy while they were this close. So, here we are.

We arrived this afternoon in 5 o’clock traffic. We came in via Lake Pontchartrain. What a gorgeous view from the bridge. For others like me who have never been here before, you actually drive across the lake. They are still working on rebuilding a lot of the bridges that were damaged, but traffic flowed at normal speeds right up until we came to the downtown area of New Orleans where the businesses and Mississippi River is.  The only problem we had was when I10 and US90 merge together and traffic bottle-necked. There were a few tight moments as we were traveling as a 2-car caravan and only we had the GPS unit telling us where to go. One other out-of-towner was trying to merge in front of us and when we were the ones to let them over I got the best laugh of the day. Once they were in front of us they held a sign out the window that read simply, “I’m So Sorry”. It was a manufactured sign made specifically for this purpose. I told my husband that it is the answer to road rage because we were both too busy laughing to get angry.

We are staying in the warehouse district at The Embassy Suites. So far it has been a so-so experience with the hotel. When we arrived check-in was slow due to only one clerk and a line of guests waiting to check in along with the evening reception in the lobby at the same time. Once we got up to our room we found that the king-size bed in the suite was broken in the middle and therefore sagged. It was probably the frame and it was just frustrating. The second room was on the same floor but instead of opening into the indoor hallway off the elevators opened into an outside walkway. Unfortunately the room smelled moldy and of smoke. Finally we settled into a third room on the same floor, but this one also opens onto an outside covered walkway. It puts us further away from our travel companions, but at least we are still on the same floor.

After settling into our rooms we walked the 2 or 3 blocks to the Riverwalk so that our friends could get their first glimpse of the Mississippi River. We only had a few minutes on the veranda before we had to leave as the Riverwalk closes at the un-heard-of early hour of 7 o’clock.  We then decided to walk the area and find dinner. We ended up on Canal Street as the sun started to set and the neons came on. What a sight! People moving everywhere, neon flashing, music drifting on the wind, and the smells of wonderful cooking wafting down the street. Halfway up Canal Street we saw what looked like a good prospect across the street and crossed the 4 lanes of traffic to investigate. In European fashion, the menus of the establishment are posted outside so that passersby can get an idea of the fare offered inside. We looked over the menu and decided to give The Palace Cafe a try. I am truly glad that we did.

Once inside we were asked to wait a few minutes while our table was set for us. As we waited we had the chance to appreciate the architecture and decor. The spiraling staircase in the middle of the dining room is the focal piece while mirrors on the back wall give the illusion of space inside. There was also a bank of windows into the kitchen and the staff behind them was hard at work.

We only waited for a few minutes and were seated around a comfortable round table that easily accommodated our group of 7.  My husband ordered the Rotisserie Chicken with White Truffle Mashed Potatoes. I ordered the Bleu Cheese Salad with Sugared Almonds. My 17-year-old daughter also ordered the chicken dish. Dinner was truly a wonderful experience. My daughter finished her dinner and then proceeded to ask my husband for the rest of his. She made the comment that it, “made my mouth happy eating it.” She is a truly picky eater and this is a high compliment from her. 

I will post pictures soon.

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June 8, 2010. Home and Garden. Leave a comment.