New Orleans Weekend Review

Finally got around to writing up an overview of my weekend in New Orleans while there with Team Challenge for the New Orleans Half Marathon.

I got into NOLA around 1 p.m. and headed to the hotel. I was starving after I got my stuff in my room, so I ventured out to find some food. I stumbled upon a po boy place just a couple of blocks away and got a grilled shrimp po boy to kick off the weekend of southern eating.

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After that, I wandered around the area close to the hotel before heading back to get dressed for dinner. I had a reservation at Commander’s Palace. This was the one restaurant I definitely wanted to go to in NOLA – it has been on my list for a very long time. I left early so that I could explore the Garden District a little bit before dinner. I walked around and checked out Lafayette Cemetery. It was closed, so I just had to look from the outside.

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There were a lot of old, beautiful houses in the area as well. I’m a sucker for big columns on the front of a house.

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Then, it was time for dinner.

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I knew I wanted to try a soup and Seafood Gumbo sounded too good to pass up. To follow that up, I had the Crispy Crawfish and Cream Cheese Gnocchi. Both were soooo good!

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The service at the restaurant was great. It’s definitely a fine dining place. There was always someone there to make sure I had what I needed and I watch the servers simultaneously set down plates at other tables. Probably one of the fanciest places I’ve been to. So glad I treated myself to that meal.

In the evening I met up with some fellow MN and Wisconsin Team Challenge folks and hung out in the hotel bar for awhile.

On Saturday morning, I got up and headed out to breakfast at a place my cousin had recommended — The Ruby Slipper. I had a Florentine Omlette and the buttermilk biscuit was to die for! I could’ve eaten a dozen.

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That meal was my fuel to head out on a cemetery tour with a couple of my Team Challenge friends. We toured the St. Louis Cemetery. It was so interesting to hear about the history of the city and the different ways people are buried. The cemetery is maybe the size of a city block, but more than 100,000 people are buried there and it’s still used today!

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This is the tomb of Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans.

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After the tour, I headed over to the expo to get my bib and check out the vendors. At this point I was getting excited to hit the course!

Saturday evening was the Team Challenge pasta party. It was held at Mardi Gras World, which is the warehouse where all of the parade floats are stored. We feasted on pasta and heard from some inspirational speakers to get ourselves pumped up for the race.

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Sunday morning was all about the race. You can read more about that in my race recap, but later in the evening was about eating more food. A group of us headed over to the House of Blues for drinks and eats. Everyone was pretty beat after that, and most people were leaving early on Monday, so Sunday night was spent relaxing and watching the Oscars.

I got up early on Monday morning to head over to Cafe Du Monde to get beignets and coffee for breakfast. So much powdered sugar, but soooo good!!

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I got them to-go and sat on some steps across from Jackson Square to take in the view.

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I walked around the park to check out the area. There were musicians and artists set up around the perimeter of the park. I wandered in some shops along the street on my way to the French Market. It’s basically like a farmer’s market and flea market. I picked up a few souvenirs and headed back towards the hotel because I had a lunch reservation to get to.

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I could not come to New Orleans and not eat at one of Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants. I went to Emeril’s for lunch. I sat at the chef’s counter so I had a view of the kitchen while I ate. I ordered the chicken and waffles with watermelon slaw to get a good last southern meal. It was absolutely delicious!

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After lunch I was able to meet up with a friend from high school who was in town for the race as well. I explored Bourbon Street with her and her friends for a couple of hours. We found a couple of fun places to grab a drink including an outdoor patio complete with some jazz music.

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Before long it was time to head to the airport for my flight. It was so hard to leave the warm weather and come back to MN, but it was a great trip and I’m so glad I got to explore this cool city!

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