Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How the blog began…
This is my first blog entry and the story of how this all came to pass. My hope for this blog is to be a recollection of stories from myself and those I meet, a potential guide through the incredible city of New Orleans, and some helpful hints for visitors and locals alike.
Monday night I met up with some friends at Domenica in the Roosevelt Hotel for happy hour.  We were meeting a mutual friend who was in town from California for a conference. So began my night with the astrophysicists. I had my usual share of Old Fashioneds as we chatted over our pizzas*.  I shared the wild mushroom pizza that had a beautiful yard egg dropped into the center of the pie.
The pizzas at Domenica are some of the best in the city. The thin crust, fresh ingredients, and good sauce to cheese ratio makes them a perfect starter to a great night. After starting the night with cheap eats and drinks, we walked through the lobby of the Roosevelt to get a drink at the Sazerac Bar. This restored bar is a must visit for anyone who wants some old-time class mixed in with their New Orleans experience. I lovingly refer to it as the bar from The Shining, but with its dim lighting, worn leather seats, and backlit bar, it is the whimsical place to enjoy an Old Fashioned, Ramos Gin Fizz (Huey P. Long’s drink of choice from this bar), or its namesake: the Sazerac.
As the night progressed, our group of physicist visitors started to get hungry again. We set out for the Quarter. We stumbled down Dauphine until we hit Conti and behold: Déjà Vu.  This is a classic example of looks can be deceiving, especially in NOLA. I was a true Sunday regular at Erin Rose on Conti for at least a year after first moving to the city and I passed Déjà Vu quite often. It never occurred to me that behind the sketchy looking front lie a true gem. This is an awesome bar to grab good food, a cheap drink, and listen to a great jukebox 24 hours a day. They offer breakfast, po’boys, burgers, bar food, even steak and seafood! My group of 12 or so grabbed one of their long tables and a waitress was soon over to take care of them. These Californians were amazed at the quality and price of their food and drinks. I was still full from my pizza earlier and decided to partake in my favorite pastime, talking to random people at the bar. This is where I met Jenny and Paul of Toronto. It is Paulie’s 50th birthday and they decided to take their first trip to New Orleans to celebrate. So far, they were enjoying the city and Déjà Vu especially. As with most encounters with people in NOLA, we became fast friends. I helped Paulie pick out some Stones on the jukebox, we talked about the city, and Jenny suggested I write a blog. “I’m going to check back in a week and you better have started writing one!” And here it is: the blog. After the physicists finished their meals, which included feeding me fried pickles at the bar, we said our goodbyes and continued our night. A night that would not end until 3am jamming out to open mic night at Maison on Frenchmen Street. Another great Monday night in New Orleans; complete with great food, music, drinks, Canadians, and astrophysicists.
*Tip of the blog: Domenica offers Happy Hour 7 days a week from 3-6pm. Pizzas, beer, wine, and well drinks are all half off!

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