New Orleans- Day 1 Recap

a map of a cityWe’re back from our trip to Colorado and New Orleans. I wrote a little about our time in Colorado HERE. I had planned to write about our visit to New Orleans a little sooner but we were very busy and our hotel had an internet/ WiFi issue.

Kim, Lucas and I started off our visit to New Orleans feeling a bit tired but we still managed to have a pretty productive day. We spent a good deal of time walking around the French Quarter, tasting a bunch of local specialties and exploring some interesting parts of the city.

Here is a recap of some of the things we did:

  • Breakfast at Cafe Beignet
  • Katrina/ City Tour with Gray Line
  • Lunch at Johnny’s Po-Boys
  • Visited the French Market District
  • Shared some beignets at Cafe Du Monde
  • Had amazing burgers at Port of Call for dinner
a plate of food with powdered sugar
To start off our day we headed over to Cafe Beignet on Royal Street. They were crowded and had a line but the wait was under 10 minutes. After ordering I got to go to the back to see where they make the beignets. (Beignets are little French doughnuts served with powdered sugar on top.) Kim and I made the mistake of each getting our own order (which comes with 3 beignets). I liked the beignets but wasn’t overly impressed. I found them to be way too heavy and the dough lacked a sweet flavor.
a white house with graffiti on it
I was really looking forward to our Katrina Tour with Gray Line. After inquiring about the tour I was thrilled to be invited on the Katrina/ City Tour. Kim and I are not city/ bus tour types but to visit the areas affected by Katrina, this seemed like the way to go. The tour was filled with loads of information and we got to visit areas devastated by the storm like the 9th Ward. We saw some homes that were still in disrepair, a development being built with the help of Brad Pitt, stopped to visit an above ground cemetery, saw some amazing mansions in the Garden District and drove by a few other areas.
While the tour was filled with lots of interesting facts and we drove through many parts of the city, I wouldn’t recommend the tour if you like to really get out and explore. I’m glad that I took part in the tour since I was very interested in seeing and learning about what Hurricane Katrina did to the city of New Orleans.
a sandwich on a plate
Trying out a Po-Boy was a must during our visit. The plan was to go to one of the famous shops that I’ve seen on TV. While taking a cab from the airport the night before, I started chatting with the driver. He recommended that we go to Johnny’s for a Po-Boy. I got the same recommendation from the Katrina Tour driver so we figured that it was worth a shot.
Johnny’s was packed when we arrived. I had a problem deciding which Po-Boy to try so I asked the owner for a suggestion and found out that the roast beef was a top seller. Kim and I shared a roast beef Po-Boy and a half shrimp with cup of gumbo.
The roast beef lived up to the recommendation. The meat was really tasty but the stand- out part of it was the extremely tasty gravy. This was a messy sandwich well worth ordering. The shrimp sandwich was underwhelming. The shrimps weren’t bad but they just did not stand out in any way. We all really enjoyed the gumbo, a Louisiana style soup/ stew. This version had seafood in it and Lucas loved it too!
a display of alligator heads with signs
After lunch we went back to the hotel for a quick break and then headed over to the French Market District. The French Market is an impressive shopping area made up of various shops, restaurants, cafes, a farmer’s market and flea market spread out over six blocks.
By the time we got there, many of the booths in the farmer’s market were closed. We checked out some shops, tried out pralines and did some shopping. I ended buying one of the gator heads to add to my small taxidermy collection.
The French Market is definitely worth visiting for a couple of hours.
a group of people sitting outside a cafe
Years back I got to go to New Orleans for work. I didn’t get to do much but I never forgot the beignets from Cafe Du Monde. After eating too many beignets in the morning, this time Kim and I decided to share. We waited on a short line, getting them to go. I couldn’t wait to give them a try and was immediately impressed. Cafe Du Monde has been making beignets since 1862 and now I know why they are world famous. These beignets were perfect- light, fluffy, sweet but not over the top. They were the perfect dessert item and a must visit on any trip to New Orleans.
a plate of cheeseburger with a potato and cheese
For dinner, we walked a long way down Bourbon Street to get burgers at Port of Call. I heard about it on a recent episode of George Motz’s Travel Channel Show- Burger Land.
Port of Call was busy so we had to wait about 15 minutes for a table. You could smell the burgers from down the block and Lucas kept climbing the stairs, trying to get inside.
I had a cheeseburger and Kim had the mushroom burger, which are massive half pounders. They were full of flavor and hard to put down. It was a great burger and seemed similar to one of my favorites from home. Next time I’m in New Orleans, I’ll most likely go back.
That’s it for the recap of Day 1 in New Orleans. Keep checking back to find out more about what we did during our visit.

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