theme song of trip Formation – Beyoncé
Length of stay : 3 days, 3 nights
How we got there
Megabus round trip from Atlanta to New Orleans (approx. 8 hrs each way)
WHERE we stayed
SpringHill Suites New Orleans Downtown | 301 St Joseph Street New Orleans, LA 70130 USA
It was affordable and offers complimentary hot, buffet-style breakfast (eggs, grits, waffles, yogurt, etc.). We stayed in a Suite (1 King, 1 pull-out) which was suitable for 3 ladies who would spend more time outside the hotel than in. Staff were warm and the place itself was modern and plush for the price (trust me, I am picky). We kept our leftovers from restaurants in the mini fridge and I watched Deliver Us From Eva and B.A.P.S for the first time while getting ready for our days out.
WHERE to eat
Now if you didn’t guess already, the main focus of this trip was FOOD. We wanted to sample as much authentic NOLA cuisine as we could pack into 3 days. Before coming we asked friends, administration staff and a fav. professor (all NOLA natives) what places to check out on our trip. They DID NOT DISAPPOINT. We actually had a running bet on whether the next food experience would be sub-par/ ‘meh’ because it seemed too good to be true. By the end of the trip we were pleased to say we enjoyed every. single. meal.
Here is where and what we ate (not in order of preference):
- Mother’s Restaurant : I got the World’s Best Baked Ham Dinner ( ham & 3 sides). The wait staff were awesome and humored us by saying “baby.”
- Cafe Du Monde : Beignets, duh.
- Boucherie : took the streetcar here and passed Beyoncé’s rumored NOLA abode (we may or may not have gotten off to take a picture like the fan-girls we are on the way back). Went for the referred -now hold onto your seats – Krispy Kreme Donut Bread Pudding.
- Plum Street Snoball : A cute place and a leisurely walk getting there from the streetcar stop. Being the critic I am, I got my usual pink lemonade- sour apple combo to compare their snowball to Snowy’s in Bermuda. Tasted almost identical. Still prefer the home team though ❤
- The Praline Connection : We got a Soul food Sampler. It was bomb and right on the opposite street corner was THE BEST live brass band we heard during our time in NOLA. The young musicians played jazz-meets-latin fusion with well-received Michael Jackson medleys intertwined. We jammed to the music and took in (with amusement) the other tourists jiving after what seemed for them to be a full day on Bourbon Street. Possibly one of the most memorable experiences during the trip. That’s what we came for after all -good food and great live music.
- ??? Take out place : So I was adamant that I would have a Cajun crawfish boil experience while in Louisiana so we looked online and found a place. On calling the number, the worker seemed like he was rushing me off the phone (The noise in the background indicating the place was busy was presumed to be a good sign) and he assured me that although it was a take out spot, there were chairs and tables to eat at. We took an Uber to what seemed to be ‘backatown’ and at the end of the ride the Uber driver seemed concerned (which was worrying coming from a 6’+ , buff guy). We sped-walked to a place that was lowkey sketchy, but I comforted myself with the fact that it seemed to be the neighbourhood eating spot so it had to be legit and would not taste of gentrification. No chairs nor tables. Butcher set up. On our way out someone was robbed at the nearby Dollar Tree. We called an Uber, vowed not to tell our parents about this adventure, and ate our spread downstairs on a long table in the hotel. It was an eventful night but the food was worth every second of it. We had bags of seasoned crawfish,large shrimp, juicy sausages and corn on the cob. Though I won’t tell you where we went (not just because it was semi-dangerous but also because we really aren’t sure if we even went to the place we called) but I will say find somewhere *safe* and get you a low country boil.
Trip Fav : Willie Mae’s Scotch House
They have the BEST [I said THE BEST] fried chicken you will have in your life. Great portions and affordable. James Beard Awarded. Food Network recognized as ‘Best Fried Chicken in America’. Go there and get your life ‘kay?
I got cornbread, mac & cheese (that was ‘meh’ but the chicken definitely made up for it), a leg, breast and thigh and seasoned green beans (which comes w. rice and gravy). Needless to say, the portions were generous and we had more than enough to take home and enjoy the next day.
WHAT we did
- Cajun Swamp Tour : really cheap because we found a coupon online. Held an albino snake and a baby gator. Guide was HILARIOUS and we saw a ton of swamp life and learned history of the area. I suggest having a rental to go out there because Ubers don’t really go out that far (taxi back was expensive) so we were stranded for a couple hours.
- Dillard University : It was interesting to see another HBCU campus. It was beautiful with large oaks covered in spanish moss and startlingly white buildings.
- Strolled through the French Quarter, Bourbon Street and Tremé
- New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
- Self-toured St. Louis Cemetery #1 : It was beautiful in an eerie way. Saw Marie Leveau’s mausoleum.
- Street Car to the Garden District : It was cool for us -who hadn’t rode a street car. The architecture and how that differed as we passed each neighbourhood was beautiful. The locals were helpful and a lady put us onto the location of King Bey’s mansion. We collected thrown Mardi Gras beads (they are hanging in my room now) at each incorrect stop and chatted until the next car came.
It was truly the best trip I’ve had so far and the 2nd girl’s trip I helped plan. I had a lot of memorable firsts and I will always recommend New Orleans to anyone wanting to take a trip to an American city with great food, fantastic culture, unique history, friendly people and a lot of heart. I can’t wait to return and show more of my loved ones the place that stole my heart in 3 days.