by adwells on April 20, 2011
I have a confession to make. I’ve never really loved New Orleans. Shhh…I know, that’s shameful for a Southerner. I just really never understood what all the fuss was about, what with voodoo, plastic beads and people flashing each other. Eh, not exactly my cup of tea.
My husband loves the city and always said I wasn’t “doing it right” and should trade Bourbon for Magazine. Well, last spring I tagged along as he went to the Big Easy for business. We hit up the French Quarter Festival and browsed the art along the fence, which is, admittedly, super fabulous and of course I wanted to buy a piece from each artist. (Art is one of my many weak spots.)
We were told to try Galatoire’s for dinner, because we never had. I have to admit that going to dinner on Bourbon made me roll my eyes, but we quickly discovered why it’s quite the institution in New Orleans. You walk in off of wild and crazy Bourbon street and through the historic doors and you get it. It just felt fancy. I was like a little girl playing dress up.
We sat down and realized that everyone else around us knew exactly what to order. We were the obvious newbies amongst the seasoned regulars. We had to ask for a menu, because Galatoire’s is tailored to the regulars, who simply add to their running tab.
The restaurant was founded in 1905 by Frenchman Jean Galatoire and was quickly distinguishable by its familial style of dining. The menu is the creation of a long line of Galatoires that have preserved their impeccable cuisine.
I ordered the crabmeat sardou and was not disappointed, to say the least. The French cuisine is to die for. But just as great as the food itself is the atmosphere and traditions that envelop you as you make yourself at home at Galatoire’s, which has stood the test of time at a whopping 106 years old.
After dinner, we headed on over to Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub. Much more enjoyable than the Cat’s Meow, I must say (although I do love a good round of karaoke). At Fritzel’s, the music took center stage. I have to say I’ve never seen a place like this. Everyone’s chairs were turned to face the stage and one side of the room was complete with stadium style seating, where people were packed in like sardines to get a taste of the rich, unique, jazz music.
Fritzel’s is in the French Quarter and has been a home away from home for Jazz aficionados and musicians from all over the globe since the 60s. The lady that was sandwiched between myself and her fiance on the side seating struck up conversation. She was from Switzerland and her fiance was a musician who plays at Fritzel’s on occasion and they come to New Orleans for Fritzel’s and Fritzel’s alone. “You’ll find three types of people here,” she told me in her sultry accent. “You’ll find the bar flies, the music lovers, and the musicians. But that’s it. No one is here for anything but the music. Well, and maybe beer.”
The music was hopping and the place was packed. If you have a heart for music, skip the karaoke and stop in at Fritzel’s next time you’re in the Big Easy. You won’t be disappointed.
I’m coming around. Each time we’ve been back to New Orleans, I get a little softer on the city. And for the record, the husband was right – Magazine is more my speed. A post on that shopping adventure later…