Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Little Trip To The Big Easy

It was down right cool when I went out to get the paper today - it felt wonderful. Now that we’re home after yesterdays 9 1/2 hour uneventful drive, I’ll post about our week long trip to New Orleans.

Bev and I have a time share that we bought for trading to go other places, with the problem that after we bank it, we don’t get around to using it. We had a week that expired last February and we extended it until the end of August and after searching, Bev found a place in the Garden District in New Orleans were we could go. We waited until the last minute, checking in on August 27. This is the first of eight posts about our trip and I'll try to throw in some new stuff to break the monotony.

We decided to take two leisurely days to drive down rather than a tiring single day to cover the 650 miles. We took our little Honda Hybrid and got 50 MPG out on the interstate. It was nice to fill up at the end of day one and only need 7 gallons. I wanted to drive for two reasons. First was that I like to go exploring and knew a couple of days doing the in-town things via public transportation would be plenty for me (I wanted to also see some of southern La.). The second reason is that air travel is almost always aggravating. Seems as though we hardly have a flight where the planes and luggage do what I’ve paid for them to do. Maybe I just feel more in control when I’m driving and not at the mercy of the increasingly unreliable airlines.

Steph, over at Plain Chicken, had sent us a list of possible eating places in the Birmingham area, but we ended up going through there at between meal times. Thanks for the effort Steph and I’ll save the list for next time. We ended up staying in Greenville, Al, because we’d seen a restaurant sign advertising great smoked turkey. So we checked in at a motel 200 yards away and the desk clerk confirmed it was good, so off we went. On arrival we were surprised to find one car in the lot and soon discovered why – closed.

We went back to the motel clerk and he advised they had all of the chain places but the only other local place he knew of was a BBQ joint just around the corner. I’m spoiled by my own BBQ and rarely eat it out unless I have heard from several folks whose opinions I trust that it is good – Dead End BBQ in Knoxville for example. I’d still rather go to the local BBQ than a chain place and when I drove into the parking lot to find 25 motorcycles, my spirits were lifted. On talking to the pit master, he advised his ribs were killer, so I ordered a ribs and chicken combo and Bev got a pulled pork plate. The easiest thing to start with was the wing of the breast quarter. I was pleasantly surprised, it was moist, tender, smoky, and with a nice rub. It was all down hill from there as the ribs and breast were both way over cooked and dry and while tasty, they weren’t even helped by a generous addition sauce which I had ordered on the side – I know the trick of hiding mediocre meat under sauce. Bev’s pulled pork came already sauced and it too was very dry. I believe one of the keys to a great BBQ restaurant is being able to keep the meat hot without drying out and it seems few have mastered it. Oh well, at least it was filling with the one other good thing being the sweet potato fries. Turns out the cyclist seemed to be a group of older locals trying to recapture their youth and were meeting at the local joint - they probably went to the ice cream parlor next.

I’ll have pictures or tomorrows adventure – thanks for stopping by.



  1. I'm with you on detesting the hassle of air travel. The last time I flew, with hubby and 3 kids, all red-haired, my ticket was flagged, and no one would tell me why. It took 2 supervisors and an hour of standing around at the Denver airport to get me on the freakin' plane! I told hubby to save our money, because when we have to go back to Wyoming for our daughter to graduate from law school (next year), I'm chartering a private plane. (OK, maybe I'll drive. But chartering a plane sounds so fun, doesn't it?)

  2. On my last cushy corporate job pre-Katrina, I got to fly in our company jet when I had to travel and let me tell you it is a world of difference. I sure got spoiled. I have a flight out to San Francisco soon and I'm anxious to see how that goes. Gonna think positively. I love to drive most places - or I should say ride since The Cajun is usually the driver. He likes to travel at night. I do not.

    Hate that you missed your smoked turkey - bummer! You know I never thought about keeping meat hot without drying it out, but I bet that is a pretty big challenge with a BBQ restaurant. Our place down here is pretty busy so I think it's out as fast as it's ready pretty much. It's pretty good stuff, but then I've never had yours either. :)

    Happy Labor Day Weekend Larry!

  3. I love road trips and if I have the choice would always pick car over plane. i adore New Orleans, we're planning to go back one of these days. Can't wait to hear about your trip. The Garden District????? I sure hope you were able to eat at Commander's Palace!

  4. I'm a huge fan of car trips - such a fun way to see the country. Can't wait to hear your NOLA adventures!

  5. My favorite part of car trips is hitting the back roads when time permits.

    Dead End and making your own BBQ sets high standards when dining at BBQ joints, doesn't it?


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