This was my second time returning to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Brittany and Kara joined me again and we had a few new friends come along too.
Our plane touched down late Wednesday night. The plan was to get some rest, but then three of us headed out on a beer run. One thing led to another and we ended up staying out all night. The next morning we caught a cab to the Quarter and sat down at Ruby Slipper for brunch. We piled up on eggs, potatoes, bacon, pancakes and bloody mary’s. I think we would all agree in saying this was the best meal of our trip.
Walking down Bourbon Street in the morning is a startling sight. It looks seedy and smells of wet… I don’t know, wet something. The street is hosed down to wash away the beer from the night before and big trucks idle to make deliveries. I always have fun showing newcomers Bourbon by day before we quickly slip onward to the prettier scenery of Royal Street.
Beyond the cathedral and Jackson Square, the French Market is a fun place to explore crafts made by local artisans and order small tastings of the local food. Or just grab a drink…
The students from nearby schools get to march in the Mardi Gras parades, and while we were walking to lunch we passed a bus loading up with kids and their instruments. The streets are so narrow, traffic was backed up behind them.
For lunch we stopped at Napoleon House for muffulettas and a pimm’s cup. I was really excited to see if I could get a vegetarian version, and guess what… It worked! The server told me he couldn’t vouch for a meatless muffuletta but I told him I’d be the taste tester. It was delicious! There was plenty of flavor with the three cheeses and the olive salad. My sister even gave it a try and a big thumbs up.
The rest of the group loved their meaty version though (who can blame them). I thought a quarter sandwich was more than enough and the boys, who ordered halves, ended up eating a quarter and taking the other one to go.
After lunch we grabbed some beignets for dessert. Cafe Beignet on Royal is my favorite spot for this.
Full of beignets we called an Uber (it can be hard to hail a taxi during Mardi Gras) and headed back to our Garden District rental to rest and get ready for the parades!
A visit to the French Quarter is a great way to kick off any Mardi Gras trip. I love going early in the morning before the rowdy crowds, sleeping off the previous night, spill out of their hotels.