Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Orleans – Days Three, Orientation

We were still needing to get caught up from being gone for a week, so Labor Day was just a work day at Almost Heaven South. Of course it could be argued that every day is a holiday when retired and it would hard to dispute. And now back to NOLA.

The hard rain continued on Saturday, but fortunately, I like to spend my first day in an area getting oriented. We drove around and located some of the places we wanted to visit, eat, shop, and buy seafood. We found several DDD places in the garden district, located spots in the French Quarter and found Willie Maes Restaurant.

It was featured on a food show, which we saw, as the best chicken in America and since it was 12:30, we decided to give it a try. It used to be called Willie Maes Scotch House and is now being run by the founder’s granddaughter, who was working in the kitchen.

We had to wait a few minutes for a seat and according to our waiter, their business is out the roof since the TV show aired. As for the chicken, it was delicious and lived up to it’s billing – which seems to be unusual. Here’s my plates – 3 pieces of chicken sided with some red beans and rice.

While we got right in, this is what we found upon exiting and they’re standing in the rain.

As you can see it’s not in a very prosperous area and seemed to be the only business around.

Actually, I’ve been surprised at the condition of most of the structures I saw while driving around. While there are many big old homes in the Garden District, most were in dire need of a good painting and the real shocker was the closeness of the homes as seen here. And if you live here, it would be hard not to know your neighbor – this is typical house spacing.

A little further out, St. Charles Street, near Tulane and Loyola, there are some truly big fine homes and I can almost imagine their owners of antebellum times, sitting on the porch, drinking mint juleps and contemplating the state of things.

There were very few tall structures in the Garden District so at 12 stories our condo building may have been the tallest around.

The building had a roof deck and this is a shot of the Central Business District with the Superdome on the left.

For dinner, we walked down the street to Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro and I had a crab and crawfish bake appetizer and Bev had a popcorn crawfish salad and both were good. We weren't very hungry and had to pass on their famous cheesecake dessert.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.



  1. When we went to NO we hit all the world famous eateries and this is exactly why we wanted to return the next year, to hit the small DDD (but still famous) joints. We were so afraid some of these didn't survive the catastrophe. Glad to see this one did. It was on our list. There are old neighborhoods in Downtown Denver where houses are that close. Whe I drive by I wonder if one cold even walk inbetween them.

  2. I haven't been to New Orleans in many years but still remember how wonderful the food was. That's a mighty good looking chicken dinner. Don't you wonder how they could build houses that close together?

  3. Larry, That chicken has me drooling and my stomach growling! Looks great! Willie Mae's is on my short list for when we visit New Orleans next year. As for the houses being close together...it's not much different than some of the old 'shotgun' bungalows in Chicago or the homes on 'the hill' in St. Louis...except these homes need more paint! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  4. Looks like an interesting trip. Isn't it sad when you get to a wonderful place and your impressions are marred by small things like lack of fresh paint? And the closeness of those houses reminds me of "suburban" Los Angeles, where the houses seem to be maybe 4 feet apart. I feel as if you really need a fence in that situation to have any privacy and therefore get along with your neighbors.

  5. I'm glad to hear you got one good meal so far! That chicken sounds delicious.

  6. Looks like a wonderful time Larry! Thanks for sharing the pics with us. :)

  7. Not that it matters (unless you are mailing something) --St. Charles is AVENUE --not Street.. We lived there in the '80's ---and the World's Fair was there at that time. Since nobody in the world attended the World's Fair, we locals had it to ourselves. We had a season's ticket for the family --so we visited it almost every day... It was FABULOUS.. Pete Fountain had a restaurant and so did Al Hurt. We had some of the best gumbo in the world and fabulous Bread Pudding...

    Glad you went to a neat neat city!!!

  8. Yep, those are called shotgun houses and are common in the less prosperous areas of the city. We used to have tons of them over here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast too mostly around The Point (the eastern most side of Biloxi, now known as Casino Row) till they were destroyed by Katrina. They got their name for being a straight shot - you could shoot a shotgun from the front door and it would go all the way thru the back door without hitting anything! You can literally reach out one window into your neighbors window - can't keep many secrets when you're that close to your neighbors LOL! I'm sad to hear that about the Garden District of New Orleans. Used to have some beautiful homes there, and it was more high society if you will, but I suppose they probably lost a lot of residents like we did after "the hurricane."

    Thanks for sharing your trip! Sounds like the life of a foodie!! :)

  9. The fried chicken looks tasty! I've never been to N.O. but have always wanted to go.

  10. Are those individual servings or family style? That plate of beans would fill me up for two meals, I think! Glad to hear the place lived up to the expectations. Line out the door in the rain....that's telling.

  11. Loving your travel logs. I see what you mean about the homes being so close together. One morniing when I lived in Las Vegas, I sneezed and heard the guy next door said God bless you. No joke.

    Happy travels



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