Bucket list for NOLA


If you are only an occasional visitor to New Orleans, you can’t get to all the good spots in just one trip — or two trips or three trips. These are a few of the places on my bucket list of places to go:

Preservation Hall

Although the building isn’t much to look at, Preservation Hall and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band are quintessential New Orleans. Here’s a snippet from the Hall’s website:

“Preservation Hall opened its doors in 1961. The hall was created as a sanctuary, to protect and honor New Orleans Jazz which had lost much of its popularity to modern jazz and rock n roll. …On any given night, the hall is filled to capacity with people eager to hear New Orleans jazz played by veteran musicians in their 70’s and 80’s and younger musicians learning and embracing music that is both sweet and very beautiful.

Preservation Hall opens at 8:00pm every day. Music begins at 8:15pm. Admission is $15 per person and all ages are welcome. We close our gates at 11:00pm.

Carrollton Station

We made it to Brigtsen’s for dinner on our last NOLA trip (highly recommended), but we didn’t make it the few extra blocks to Carrollton Station, one of many neighborhood bars in New Orleans. It is just one block off Carrollton after the St. Charles streetcar makes the bend. Click the photo to visit their website. If you follow “Treme,” you’ll remember the bar as the location for Susan Cowsill’s rendition of “Crescent City Sneaux.” Great song. You can read more about Cowsill and that scene here. Click here to see Cowsill sing the song on YouTube (although the site misspells the Cajun-ized “Sneaux.”)

Howlin’ Wolf

Howlin’ Wolf is another music spot worth visiting. Howlin’ Wolf is located at 907 Peters St., which is the in Warehouse District. Here’s just a bit on this place, taken from its website: “The Howlin’ Wolf has a long history as one of New Orleans’ finest locally owned and operated venues. Named after the legendary bluesman Chester Burnett, New Orleans was introduced to the Howlin’ Wolf in 1988, when it opened up in Fat City. After outgrowing its’ space in a cotton warehouse, the venue relocated to what was previously the New Orleans Music Hall, in the Warehouse District.” For its website, click on the picture.

Maple Leaf Bar

Another the outstanding neighborhood bars in New Orleans. While visiting Tip’s in 2013, one of the bar patrons said that he lives near the Maple Leaf and it was his favorite. Rebirth Brass Band often can be heard there.

Vaughan’s in the Bywater

Kermit Ruffins played this joint every Thursday night for decades, but he stopped that gig in August 2013. I hate to have missed Kermit’s concerts here, but I’d still like to stop by for some other authentic NOLA music. Here’s a story from the Times-Pic on Kermit’s run at Vaughan’s.

Muriel’s & Crabby Jack’s

One of my favorite blogs is Gallivance, the operators of which I’ve connected with via our WordPress sites. (If you have a WordPress.com site, the WordPress Reader is a great way to access and interact with other blogs.) This blog features a husband and wife team that has travelled/is travelling the world, and their site features great travel recommendations, photos and stories. Here’s what James had to say about a couple of places they visited recently:

Muriel’s on Jackson Square has a prix fixe lunch menu that is very tasty and great value. Also, Crabby Jack’s (see comment above) is some of the best seafood we’ve had in a long time (and we live on the coast). It’s a bit out of the center, and is a classic, plain hole in the wall. But you won’t regret seeking it out. Portions are huge as well and prices are good. …

(From the earlier comment on Crabby Jack’s) …We had lunch there and it was wonderful. While we were in NOLA, I searched online for “best cheap eats” and Crabby Jack’s turned up. Terri had the 1/2 shrimp 1/2 oyster poboy, and I had the catfish. It was the best seafood we’ve had in a while, and we had great leftovers. It’s definitely on our list now. And the location was no problem for us, we wanted to go to Jefferson anyway. When we first moved to NOLA, we lived in Jefferson for 6 months (yuck), so we wanted to see if we could find our old apartment, and we did.

~James

Boucherie

We watched chef Nathaniel Zimet compete on the Food Network’s “Chopped.” Here’s Nola.com’s story on his victory. The food at his Nola eatery, Boucherie, sounds pretty darn good.

Brennan’s

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, this restaurant is sure to draw raves from visitors. It gets especially high praise for its breakfast menu. Brennan’s is touted as the originator of the Bananas Foster.

Cochon & Herbsaint

We stumbled into this restaurant by mistake when we were looking for its companion cafe, Cochon Butcher. I wouldn’t have passed up the muffaletta at Cochon Butcher, but the reviews for Cochon, another Donald Link enterprise, are outstanding, too. And while I’m at it, I might as well try to get to Herbsaint, too.

Galatoire’s

Galatoire’s is another of the tradition-rich restaurants that have made New Orleans famous.

Borgne

Borgne’s was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation award as best new restaurant in 2013. It is a John Besh restaurant.

High Hat Cafe

4500 Freret Street, highhatcafe.com

La Petite Grocery

4238 Magazine St., Blue crab beignets, lapetitegrocery.com

Cajun Village Cottages

This B&B is actually located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. According to the website, it features eight Acadian-style shotgun houses dating back to around 1900. There’s a neat blog entry about the restoration of the cabins at this link. The owners also operate two highly recommended restaurants nearby.

Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge

This little dive bar has been getting all sorts of pub — too much, possibly. One recommendation comes from this article in Garden and Gun magazine, which put the place on its list of 50 best Southern bars. Despite the recent spate of publicity, getting to Oak Street is still on my list of places to visit.

Circle Bar

And as long as I’m hitting all the spots in the lyrics to “Crescent City Sneaux,” add the Circle Bar to the list.

Cure

This Uptown bar specializes in exotic cocktails. Sounds like my kind of place.

The Old Coffeepot Restaurant

As heard on “Splendid Table,” Jane and Michael Stern talked up the Callas Cakes at this restaurant, located right next to Pat O’Brien’s.

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