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trip report, May 24-29: Final Chapter

Hartford...
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trip report, May 24-29: Final Chapter

WEDNESDAY: We got up early so we could catch an early breakfast at Jimmy J’s at 115 Chartres Street. The shrimp and grits off the lunch menu and the Tuscan-style eggs: poached eggs over polenta were especially good. It was a small restaurant, maybe only 10 tables, but with really colorful, fun décor with lots of painted skateboards painted by a local artist. Rose with particularly friendly helping with the punctuation of some of the local streets. With the impending rain (with possible flooding conditions) she recommended that we pick up some poncho at Mr. Binky’s next door. (Mr. Binky’s turned out to be an adult novelty store. Lol)

After bidding a fond farewell to our NY traveling companions, we headed back to the flea market for some last minute Saint souvenirs, when we received a text from my friend that the olive salad she purchased at the Cooking School got confiscated at the airport as she neglected to pack it in her check-in. Lucky for her we were steps away from the Central Market, so we popped in and picked up a quart that was already bubble-wrapped and packed in a box ready for travel. For $13.39 it was a bargain (and I think a better brand than she had originally!)

Oh, and just aside note here: WE get New Orleans... (a lot!) sadly, I don’t think our NY friends did.

Hubbie and I were really in the mood for some oysters—so back to Acme Oyster House for ½ dozen oysters, some fried crawfish tails, and a taste of the Oyster Rockefeller soup (fried oyster, spinach, Parmesan cheese and a hint of herbsaint). I am a fan of the soup!!!! Sitting at the oyster bar watching Ronald (who was there in that very same spot 6 years ago) shuck our oysters gave me a chance to check in for our next day Southwest flight.

We needed to walk off our lunch, so we headed back down to the ‘quiet’ part so we could see how Le Richelieu was doing. This was the hotel we stayed at 6 years ago, and I hadn’t seen much talk about it on the recent posts. I was quite impressed, it looked freshly painted on the outside and it made me wish that we stayed here again this time. Such a lovely walk in this quiet part of the Quarter.

We wandered into Marsh Bayou, a newly opened fishing store. With hubbie being a huge fisherman, he had quite the conversation with Ben Tiblier (and his sweet dog Willimae) about fishing charters and such. The conversation quickly turned to food (of course) and giving him the choice between Red Fish Grill and GW Fins—he said, “Hands down, GW Fins”. Turns out his neighbor Tenney Flynn is the chef there. So the decision was made….I needed to make reservations for that night! During the conversation, Ben let it be known that he hated the fact that people came to the city and would spend all their time on Bourbon Street with all its debauchery and miss out on see the “real” New Orleans.

A quartet was playing at the Market Café, and I spied the “best frozen daiquiri” sign, so we decided it was a great excuse to sit and, what else? have a drink! The rain was holding off and made for great people watching while listening to some great music.

Because we had opted for the 7-day pass on Hop on hop off bus, we were able to ride it back to hotel (anyone that is staying for any length of time in the Quarter might want to take advantage of this, with the buses running every 20 minutes or so from each stop, it serves as a great ‘taxi service’)

It was pouring rain as we left the hotel for the short walk (or run in this case!) for our 6:45 dinner reservations at GW Fins. There were only a few tables occupied at that point but it filled up very quickly! We told Sean, our server that we would like to share an order of Seafood Gumbo (with shrimp, oyster & lump crab) priced at $9 as our appetizer. We were very impressed when they served it to us in our own bowls. It was so plentiful, I had to ask Sean if he understood that we only ordered one to split—he said, absolutely, we split it for you. (I still say we both got huge portions—and we happily ate them!) I ordered the Scalibut- their own creation: scallops thinly shaved and seared into the Alaskan Halibut served over Maine Lobster Risotto; hubby had the Parmesan Crusted Mahi with asparagus, crispy capers and jumbo lump crab. After dinner Cappuccino ala Fin was a great ending to an amazing meal. Also impressive was seeing the owner working the room, taking the time to speak to all the diners. The food was absolutely delicious (If I could have licked the plate, I would have!). I highly recommend this place!

After dinner we stopped back at the room with every intention of resting up ½ hour or so before heading out to listen to some music, but the week caught up with us….I laid down and was out! It was certainly NOT how I wanted to spend my last night in New Orleans, but we had been on the move from the time we got here.

THURSDAY: We maneuvered around the active construction going on right outside Red Gravy’s doors, just as it opened for breakfast and were greeted with a smiling Michael who seated us near the window. What a warm, welcoming, cozy place this is with the deep wood and red accents. I chose the ‘Uptown’: 2 eggs with their ‘famous’ meatballs, red gravy (marinara), grits and garlic bread. I loved the idea of the meatballs for breakfast!

We had enough time to walk on down to Central Grocery for our muffuletta for our trip home (we got the whole –ate half on the plane and the rest for lunch the next day back at work. (Our seatmate on the plane as well as my co-workers the next day were very, very jealous!)

Off to the airport at 11am. Luckily I checked my boarding pass and found that we were selected for TSA pre-check, as the line for the scanning machines were HUGE! We sailed through, well until I stepped through the x-ray and set off the alarm—turns out my leather sandals have some sort of metal in the thin sole. Whaaaat? Even the TSA agents have never seen that…..so sadly, I had to take off my shoes afterall! GRRRR!

Thus ends our time in New Orleans, and I miss it already. We hope it won’t be another 6 years before we get back there. Many thanks to everyone who helped me with my questions on the board.

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember,

and remember more than I have seen.”

– Benjamin Disraeli

Texas
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1. Re: trip report, May 24-29: Final Chapter

Loved every bit of your trip report! Thanks so much for taking us along! :)

Bethlehem...
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2. Re: trip report, May 24-29: Final Chapter

I was all ready to order the scallops at GW Fins until the waiter described the "Scalibut" and that was it, I was sold! So glad I did, it was marvelous and unlike anything I've had before. We also saw the owner working the room, but he never made it to our table...apparently an old acquaintance was seated behind us, so he spent almost our entire meal at that one table haha. Sounds like you had a great end to your time in town!

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: trip report, May 24-29: Final Chapter

These trip reports of yours are fantastic! Thanks for sharing! Hard to believe you are a "60-something couple" as you stated originally; so much energy.

Greenwood, Louisiana
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4. Re: trip report, May 24-29: Final Chapter

You have a real knack for writing trip reports. And it is quite obvious that you "get it." So sorry your friends didn't, but some folks just don't know what they're missing!

Orland Park...
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5. Re: trip report, May 24-29: Final Chapter

You did such a great job with your report! Thanks for writing!!

Hartford...
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6. Re: trip report, May 24-29: Final Chapter

Thank you everyone for the positive feedback, hope it will help someone planning a trip. LOL Chris K. I believe in doing and seeing as much as possible on vacation. I hate to miss anything and besides I can always recoup when I get home!

Moncton, Canada
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7. Re: trip report, May 24-29: Final Chapter

Sounds like a great trip. Txs for sharing with us.

Schulenburg, Texas
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8. Re: trip report, May 24-29: Final Chapter

I've enjoyed reading every word of your report, GalViolet. It sounds like you really made the most of your time in New Orleans. GW Fins has been on my bucket list for some time, but it's moved up a notch in priority now. Thanks for sharing, and I really loved the details!

Birmingham, AL
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9. Re: trip report, May 24-29: Final Chapter

I enjoyed reading every post of your trip report. Hope you get to come back to New Orleans very soon.

Orlando, Florida
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for New Orleans
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10. Re: trip report, May 24-29: Final Chapter

BTW the lobster dumplings at GW Fins are terrific.