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Trip Report - Aug 3 to 8

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Ottawa, Canada
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Trip Report - Aug 3 to 8

Day 1 - Sunday August 3rd/Monday August 4th

We didn't arrive until 12am and we were hungry. We checked into Hotel Provincial and then walked to get a yummy grilled shrimp sandwich on a bun from Verti Mart and went to bed.

Day 2- Monday August 4th

We were picked up at 7:45am for our Honey Island Swamp Tour. We saw one big croc (I forget his name), at least 5 medium crocs and I small croc named Elvis. Along the way we saw a big black grasshopper, lots of turtles and a couple of different birds. Our tour guide fed the crocs hot dogs and marshmallows along the way. They would swim right up close. It was great. The guide was great as well - he really knew his stuff. The scenery was amazing. All the gum trees in the water and Spanish moss hanging from the trees. I loved it. We were brought back to our hotel and we decided to nap.

After our nap we went to Gazebo Cafe for a dreamcicle before making our way to Daisy Dukes. I had an Amazon.com 'Groupon' type thing and wanted to make sure I used it. I decided after that that they have my favorite gumbo. Their oysters were pretty small. I had the shrimp po-boy, it was good. I also had the bottomless bloody Mary but I only had 1.01 because it wasn't my thing. I much prefer Caesars.

From Daisy Dukes we walked up to the Moon Walk along the Mississippi River and walk to the French Market. We walked around there for a while and Margaret bought a pretty hat.

After that we went in the pool and had a drink at our hotel's Ice House Bar. I had a refreshing Pimm's Cup and she had a sweet Hurricane.

We then got ready for dinner at ACME. Once we got there we waited in line for about 15 min. I tried the Charboiled Oysters and they are delicious! I also had some raw oysters, crab claws and craw puppies. I liked the puppies but could have done without the crab claws (too plain). Margaret had their trio of jambalaya, beans and rice and gumbo. I tried some gumbo and it was pretty bland.

We went from their to the Famous Door. We listened to a couple of songs, but left because it wasn't really busy and I think it's for an older crowd. We made our way to Pat O'Brien's and sorry to say we both had mojitos. We told each other that we would be back for a hurricane later. We spend most of our time at the dueling piano bar. It was a lot of fun.

Day 3 - Tuesday August 5th

We went to Cafe Envie for breakfast. She had a breakfast sandwich and I had a bagel with lox. Both were comparable to the breakfasts we would have back home. I tried a Cafe au Lait and she had a coffee. We both think the coffee in NOLA is a little strange. haha.

From there we walked around the French Quarter. We had lots of time until our Cemetery and Voodoo tour with Spirit Tours at 1:15pm. We wondered around, in and out of shops along the way. I bought a bunch of little souvenirs in the 600 block of Royal. The closest public washroom before our tour was at JAX brewery, so we quickly went there before our tour.

It was the hottest day of the summer so far so the cemetery tour was a bit brutal. I kept spraying sunscreen every 5 minutes. Haha. It was awesome to see and very informative. Not that I remember anything other than the Marie Laveau and Nicolas Cage tombs and the different styles of tombs. We ventured to the visitor centre next door to talk about Voodoo in air conditioning. It was great. He didn't know too much about Voodoo, but it was enough.

We then went to Antoine's and he showed us around all the different rooms. That was pretty cool. I would have loved to go into a mystery bar from the women's bathroom back in the day. My favourite room was the escargot room. I wish I were a man, then I could be a part of the group and eat escargot! MMM. All the pictures everywhere were interesting to look at.

From there Margaret and I went to Canal Place. She had some time to shop as I had an appointment with Cari Roy in the business district. I took a taxi there. She was awesome. I really thought that she knew what she was talking about. I am excited to see how it turns out. ;) I had to book 2 months in advance for the only time slot left during my whole trip.

I met Margaret back at the mall and we shopped around for a bit. After that we wondered back to the hotel and dropped our stuff off. We went to Coop's for dinner. It was the best meal we had so far. I had a couple of pieces of fried chicken which were alright (but I have had better) the jambalaya was awesome! and I tried fried oysters and those were great too. Margaret had the shrimp creole. She loved it. I had a bite and I couldn't wait for more. I told her that we would be back!

It was early to go out to the bars, but we did go to Cafe du Monde for a beignet with our leftover beer from Coop's Place. The beignets were pretty crunchy and I like soft donuts. After that I was eager to try them at Cafe Beignet on Royal as I heard the beignets there are the best.

We just chilled out in our hotel room until it was just after 9pm. We decided to go down to Frenchman street. We tried Snug Habour but hardly anyone was there, so we spent some time at The Spotted Cat where most people seemed to be. The band playing was very entertaining. Once they went off stage we started making our way to Yuki's but we stop at the corner to listen to the street performers for a while. Once we got up to Yuki's the door sign turned off. :( From there we went to Lafitte's for a beer. The vibe there is neat, we spent most of our time sitting outside listening to the piano and singing along. We were getting pretty hungry by then so we crossed the street and went to Clover Grill. I had the biscuits and gravy and some tater tots and Margaret had an omelette. I enjoyed the biscuits and gravy but I couldn't finish all that. Haha. Margaret thought her omelette was too buttery, but she still enjoyed it.

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Trip Report - Aug 3 to 8

Day 4 - Wednesday August 6th

SoDakMac picked us up for breakfast at Elisabeth's and it was fantastic! I loved the praline bacon!!! I had the catfish breakfast, but I wasn't feeling very hungry. I finished my fish, which was alright and had a couple bites of egg. Margaret had the breakfast sandwich. She also couldn't finish it all. I would go back just for an overdose on praline bacon it is soooooooo yummy. We had great company with Mac there with us. We told him all about our trip so far and what we had planned next. He thought we were keeping super busy, but we thought we were going at a fine pace. He was awesome enough to even give us a lift to Mardi Gras World after breakfast. THANK YOU MAC!

Mardi Gras World was good. It's interesting to learn about and makes you want to come back for Mardi Gras! Margaret and I were thinking that we should go for our 40th birthday (14-16 years from now, haha). It was neat to see all of the floats and props being made/recycled. We each had a sno ball there. I expected something way better, but it was still alright to enjoy in the heat.

We made our way, by taxi, to the Garden District. It started raining by the time we got there so we decided to hide under a tree and wait it out. It soon stopped and I pulled out my phone to follow along with a free walking tour write up I found. We wondered all over and even stumbled upon NCIS New Orleans filming a scene at a home on Coliseum Street. After the tour we called Pascal's Manale and made an early dinner reservation. We were done early so we had a drink at the cafe/book store up the block from Commander's Palace. We looked around there for a bit and walked up St. Charles. We thought we were going to have to take a bus, but since we had so much time we decided to walk there. I stopped at a cafe along the way to change. It worked out fine.

We were still 30 minutes early and the only ones at Pascal's Manale, but we sat down anyways. We ordered the caprese salad and raw oysters. I had the BBQ shrimp and she had a shrimp pasta dish. I enjoyed the bbq shrimp but not as much as I thought I would. It was a pretty blah experience all around. We could have saved a bunch of money by eating at Coop's Place, but thats okay. We finally got to go on a street car. The route was under construction on St. Charles but we transfered to the bus and back on a street car just fine. It took 40 minutes to get back as we were way out. We went to Canal Place to use the washroom and walked back to the hotel.

We went into the pool for a bit, the smaller one since there were kids in the large pool. We were there for an hour or so before getting ready to go out.

On our way out we stopped in Jackson Square and I had a tarot reading and Margaret had her palm read. She was bang on with Margarets palm reading. I thought my tarot reading seemed a bit over the top as the stuggles I am going through with my "MIL" about my schooling isn't too rough. But she is right, she is against me going back to school. Mostly because it effects her baby boys life. Haha.

We went out to the Carousel Piano Bar in the Monteleone Hotel. It was cool to check out the rotating bar, but it's too expensive for drinks (it's comparable to Ottawa, but crazy when you can go two doors down for half price). We made our way back to our hotel after that to get a good nights rest.

Day 5 - Thursday August 7th

We went back to Cafe Envie for breakfast since it is nice and close to our hotel. Margaret had an omelette that she didn't complain about and I had bagel and lox again. I got an iced coffee, it was yummy. I love the fact that you can sweeten your own with simple syrup. In Ottawa you just get it sweetened automatically or nothing and the only options are grainy sugar. bleh!

It was scorching hot but we walked the Moon Walk to Riverwalk Outlet Mall. I bought a very discounted wallet from Coach ($270 down to $80!!!) and Margaret bought some Ray Bans (her first pair of expensive sunglasses!). We went on the Algiers Ferry and had a Blue Moon at Dry Dock Cafe on the other side. We made our way back across the ferry and decided to go to Coop's Place again! We shared the jambalaya, green beans in bacon sauce and shrimp creole. It was SOOOOO good!

We went on a Haunted Walk Tour with Spirit Tours. It was awesome. Judy was very informative. We went all over the quarter, but it didn't seem to be too much at all. It was almost 2 hours long. Many stops along the way and she makes sure you take pictures just in case! :O I didn't see anything in mine though. haha.

After the walk we went to see Big Al and the Blues Masters at The Funky Pirate. It was a good time. It's hard to find a seat, but we squeezed in. We stayed until they went on a break. I feel like everyone goes on break when we just finish our first beer. I would have stayed longer but we decided to go to Pat O'Briens again and watch the dueling pianos. I had a hurricane! It was alright, not really my thing. It tastes like fruit punch. I really liked the rum drink on their menu. I remember it had malibu rum and whipped cream but I can't remember what else. It was yummy!! Our bartender Johneika was amazing. She saved our seats when we went to the bathroom. I made sure to give her a great tip.

Day 6 - Friday August 8th (final day)

We decided to go to Cafe Beignet for breakfast. It was awesome. I had the hash and margaret had... I forget. But the beignets afterwards were amazing. I am glad we tried them. WAYYYY better than Cafe Du Monde.

We mostly stayed in the French Market the rest of the afternoon - watching street performers, buying last minute souvenirs. We made sure not to leave without some pralines!

Overall it was a great trip. I would definitely return after I check some other boxes on my bucket list. :)

Orlando, Florida
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2. Re: Trip Report - Aug 3 to 8

The gator at the Honey Island Swamp might have been El Whoppo; Cari Roy books way ahead as I tried the beginning of June for the end of July and no go as she was booking into late September then; both times At Cafe Beignets the breakfasts were very average and beignets flat and tough-only been disappointed at cafe dumonde twice in over 100 visits. We think that Pascal's Manale is living on a long past reputation on their BBQ shrimp so we agree with you. You packed in a lot on your visit. How was the service at Coop's? So many have indicated the rude service lately.

Schulenburg, Texas
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3. Re: Trip Report - Aug 3 to 8

Thanks for a great report! That sure was nice of SoDakMac to squire y'all to breakfast and Mardi Gras World. Coop's has been rather controversial on this forum for the past couple of years, and it's good to hear you liked it. My DH and I also enjoy Pat's Piano Bar. Johneika is the daughter of another of Pat's jewels, Cherlyn......the Canadian sisters (Deny and Herm) are very good friends of theirs. I've had the pleasure of meeting and being served by Cherlyn, and it sounds like Johneika is a chip off the old block. I must try Cafe Beignet on our next trip; several other recent posters have mentioned its goodness. Again, thanks for sharing......you and Margaret did a lot!

New Orleans...
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4. Re: Trip Report - Aug 3 to 8

Which jambalaya did you have at Coop's? They have regular (rabbit and sausage) and supreme (same, but also with shrimp and I think some other seafood). My husband *loves* the jambalaya supreme. We were talking about it yesterday, and he called it "The measure he measures all other food by". :)

Glad you enjoyed the trip, come back soon! :)

Schulenburg, Texas
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5. Re: Trip Report - Aug 3 to 8

So many have praised Coop's jambalaya, Petsi and Rodent. I really was tempted to try it when we ate there a few years ago, but just did not want to find a hare in my food ;).

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Trip Report - Aug 3 to 8

The service at Coop's Place was good. The first time we went we had a blonde women in her late 20's early 30's and it was nothing special just regular restaurant service. The second time it was a man about the same age with black hair. He was straight forward. It was hard to tell if he was being rude or not, we thought he was cool though. It may just be their style?

He explained the difference between regular jambalaya and jambalaya supreme. We decided to get regular in case the supreme came in a huge portion since we were splitting three dishes between the two of us. I would deifnitely try the supreme in the future though. :)

Edited: 13 August 2014, 20:48
Mitchell, South...
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7. Re: Trip Report - Aug 3 to 8

The Question is: When are you coming back?. You did quite a lot but just scratched the surface. Great to meet you and Margaret. Tell her not to talk so much ;)!

Kansas City
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8. Re: Trip Report - Aug 3 to 8

What a nice thing to do, Mac! Not surprised. :)

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9. Re: Trip Report - Aug 3 to 8

Petsi23, I'm glad you found Coop's enjoyable.

It's nice to see another TA member who realizes that Coop's is really a great place. It gets bad press sometimes, but I've never had a bad experience there. The only times I've ever seen the staff get "snarky" with a customer was when the customer got "snarky" with the staff first. They simply won't put up with it, and they shouldn't have to, as their food speaks for itself. That's why there is always a line outside the place for dinner, and usually for lunch, as well.

They serve very good food at a very reasonable price, period.

Edited: 14 August 2014, 00:24
Toronto, Ontario...
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10. Re: Trip Report - Aug 3 to 8

great report, Petsi! You and Margaret certainly covered a lot of ground (but like Mac said...it doesn't scratch the surface!) "when we're 40...in 14-16 years"...sigh! To be young again! :) Being so young, I completely get that you want to scratch other boxes off the bucket list...but NOLA has a way of creeping back in your thoughts...in your blood...in your soul....let us know when that starts happening (well, I guess we'll see you back on this board then!:)

Jody is amazing (Jonika) She is "our niece" as we consider her mom Cherlyn as "our sister". Thank you for tipping her well. Most people don't realize that the servers at Pat's make only about 2 bucks an hour wages (from which tax, pensions, health care etc) is deducted. They basically live on tips. I see people leave a quarter and it makes me want to get up and slap them!

I've eaten at Coops only once. The fried chicken I had there was INCREDIBLE. We were going to make it a regular stop, but they ran out of fried chicken the next time we tried and we just have never made it back (too much food, too little time) It does get slammed a lot, but so does Fiorella's, and I love it there too! To each his own!

Glad you got to meet Mac. He's a great guy and we look forward to seeing him again in October!