Monday, November 10, 2008

Po'Boys and Partying

October 23, 2008

Our bodies needed some replenishment after the Katrina tour. Literally. We decided on a quick lunch at the oldest family-owned po'boy sandwich shop in NOLA:

Johnny's is a tiny, quick and casual place. I had the oyster po'boy. As hungry as I was I still could only eat half of my sandwich.
Eddie had the muffaletta, which is only sold as a half sandwich. But what a huge half it is! I definitely preferred the flavors of the muffaletta over my po'boy. It's all about the olive salad in the sandwich.
It was starting to rain again after lunch, so we retreated to our hotel rooms and lounged the afternoon away. In the evening Eddie and I headed to a New Orleans institution for dinner:
There was a line of almost 15 people outside the door. The line moved quickly though. It wasn't too long before we were sitting down at the oyster bar. We started off with a dozen raw oysters accompanied by a local brew, Abita Pecan Harvest. I'm not a huge beer drinker, but this one was nicely balanced and went well with the oysters.
I also had hush puppies. Eddie had his usual cup of gumbo. Don't let the sign below fool you. The service was actually great. Very efficient and friendly. The wonderful advantage of sitting at the bar was having an oyster unexpectedly turn up on your plate when your shucker thought you weren't looking. Curtis totally hooked me up with at least another 1/2 dozen oysters on the house.
After dinner we met up with my friends for a night of drinking and dancing. As we walked towards our first stop of the evening, we passed by one of my favorite window displays. It's a little hard to see in this photo, but those are all Ken dolls, dressed up in some of the best Barbie outfits.
We kicked the night off at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar. The oldest building in the French Quarter, legend has it that it was used as a hideout for pirates as they traded their balck market goods. Despite being on Bourbon St., this place retains the feel of being a neighborhood bar. Perhaps that is because it is a few blocks off of the main party row. Or because it is so dark and almost dive-y on the inside. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed it a lot.
We managed to get a great table in front of the piano man, who fit in with the dark, pirate-y vibe of the place.
Yes, I had more hurricanes. Note Eddie's "asian glow" after just 1-1/2 drinks.
After a few drinks and some of the most hilarious conversations I had in a while, we headed back down Bourbon St. in search of a good band. We ended up at the Bourbon Street Blues Co., dancing along as an '80s cover band played. Ignore Mr. Emcee's and Mr. Fraggle's serious faces; we all had a fun time.
The Southerner might have been having even a bit more fun than us old boring married folks.
We definitely did start feeling like old folks the closer it got to 2am. There were plenty of places where the parties were still going strong, but we were beat. It was time to stroll back to the hotel.