I’m sitting here in Algiers Point, across the Mississippi River from The French Quarter, relaxing while my long weekend away winds down. My aunt and uncle graciously allowed me and my best friend from college to stay with them. Besides having a great visit with them, we had a great time touring the Crescent City.We learned about the origins of voodoo at Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo and then ate the most delicious gumbo and red beans and rice at Evelyn’s Place “where the bitch holds court”. And I’m not being mean – that’s the slogan, written all over the bar. Unfortunately we didn’t get to meet the old bastard that owns the place. Again, I’m not being mean – apparently everyone calls the owner, Frank, the old bastard.Saturday was a day of deliciousness starting out at Cafe Dumonde for cafe au lait and beignets. Lunch took place uptown at Juan’s Flying Burrito where I had the Bacon Azul Quesadilla and some kick ass margaritas. Dessert was vanilla ice cream with shaved Italian chocolate at Bracato’s.Back in Algiers Point I had an interesting breakfast on Sunday – scrambled eggs, sausage and home fries layered in a “to go” cup from Tout de Suite Coffeehouse. Delicious and ingenious. Finally I tasted my first Mufaletto at the Dock Cafe & Bar.The saddest and most astonishing part of the trip was touring the 7th and 9th wards, destroyed by the levees that broke and seeing home after home after home in disarray, disrepair or just flat out gone. Besides the FEMA trailors still around, countless neighborhoods are completely empty or marginally populated.We were told that each month the quarter seems to get more crowded and tourism picks up so that’s good news. I’m happy to report that the people were friendly, the weather was amazing and the company/conversation was wonderful. New Orleans is a city battling back. If you can get there, go and spend your cash. Besides enjoying great food and music it’s also the right thing to do.
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