THE ALTERNATE ROUTE TO NOLA

YOU PACK THE SNACKS, ILL MAKE THE PLAYLIST

Typically I only have the attention span for road trips four hours or less. I’ve been flying since I was young so I never spent much time on the road. But when I looked up the flight for New Orleans and saw they were $300+ for an hour flight, I figured why not just take the drive. It would only cost me about $60 to get there and back in gas. I know opting to take a road trip rather than flying sounds so cheap of me, but I just saved $240 on a trip just by driving there and there were minimal tolls to head there, so why not? Anyone who lives in DFW or Texas in general knows it’s FILLED with tolls, but this trip required less tolls than expected. Luckily, I had a friend who decided to fly from New York to Dallas to road trip with me because a flight to Dallas was way cheaper for her too. Her flight was around $120 roundtrip to Dallas compared to a $200+ ticket to New Orleans. It was a win-win for us both, so we made it work. What’s more fun than a road trip with your bff? I’ll wait. Here’s a tip, if you’re planning a road trip make sure to pack plenty of snacks for the road! Because we had PLENTY of snacks we literally only stopped to pump gas once and to use the bathroom. Shoutout to our other friend for packing extra snacks for us the night before, she’s the real MVP.

ALEXA PLAY NEW ORLEANS BOUNCE 

Now let’s get into New Orleans. For starters, it was waaaay different than I expected, but that could’ve been because of my lack of research. Typically I research so much about the places I visit, from the weather, to the best food places, to the best places to go out. But this trip was my friends birthday trip so I figured I’d just show up where and when she wanted to, no questions asked. The first thing I noticed when I got into New Orleans was that the TRAFFIC was ridiculous. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Our seven-hour road trip turned into about nine hours by the time we actually made it to our destination and this wasn’t even a peak weekend.

img_1796ezy watermark_22-04-2019_03-17-45pmThe second thing I noticed that caught me off guard, again due to lack of research, was that everything was live music! Don’t get me wrong, live music is cool and all and now I know that’s one of the biggest things there .. but while bar hopping? I just wasn’t expecting that. The first restaurant we went to was BB Kings and we had to pay a cover for the live music, which we weren’t even there for but the other restaurants had crazy wait times and man were we starving from a long day of traveling. Luckily, the food was GREAT. I love jambalaya and let me tell you it was amazing.. seasoned to perfection. And for those of you who don’t eat meat don’t let anyone tell you they can’t take the meat out of jambalaya, every place I’ve gotten it from can and will take it out if you request it! I also tasted some of my friends Mac and cheese and it did not disappoint either. I’ll put this disclaimer out there now, ALL WE PRETTY MUCH DID WAS EAT and drink.. but mostly eat so you’re welcome in advance for all the great food recommendations!

ezy watermark_22-04-2019_03-16-52pmThat night we also had beignets! Before I went to New Orleans everyone told me I HAD to try them, it wasn’t until I finally looked up what this food was that everyone was hyping up so much that I realized they are literally like zeppolis. If you’re from New York, you know exactly what I’m talking about. They’re served at just about every pizza place. But, they were a pretty good dessert. We went to Cafe Du Monde. This place was HIGHLY recommended and maybe we went on the wrong night, but the service was awful, the tables were dirty and sticky, and there were tons of drunk people. We went there another night during our trip and it was less packed and much better service and actually tasted better too! The hot chocolate was good too. It was a perfect way to end a long day. But, my friends went to Cafe Beignet after I left and they said it was much better, so try both and see which one you like best!

img_1797If your friends are anything like mine, bring shoes comfortable for walking.. you’ll do plenty of it! Because New Orleans has such a specific vibe there might be a few neighborhoods you want to walk through and maybe even take a few pictures. On Saturday, we woke up early and had a brunch in the house.. I don’t prefer to eat out even on vacation, so brunching in the house was great to me! Splitting groceries for at least one meal is cheaper than eating out every single meal! After brunch, we headed out on the town for drinks and a good vibe. Before going on this trip I bought a cool cup from Walmart for $4 just for day drinking and everywhere I turned people asked me where I got it from! So, if there’s a cool cup you see that gives you summer vibes bring it on the trip with you, you can bring the drinks from your hotel and  then when you’re done every place will fill it up  for you since you’re allowed to drink in the streets there. We also got on the trolly just for the experience and it was actually pretty cool even though you do have to wait on it, because sometimes it gets full. (NOLA WAS SERIOUSLY FILLED WITH PEOPLE) But, just do it for the experience it doesn’t cost much $3 for an all day pass and they only take exact cash unless you have the app. After walking around and riding the trolly we decided to try out a restaurant before we headed home to get ready for dinner.. weird I know. Like I said we ate a ton. BUT JOEY K’S RESTAURANT WAS TO DIE FOR. I’m telling you, it’s always the random restaurants that end up being so good. The crawfish and corn were seasoned so well, literally mouthwatering and it was only $8 for 1 LB which two orders fed multiple of us (We only ordered separately because we weren’t too sure who would be eating out of it BUT it was so good we ordered seconds) I’d go back to New Orleans just for this restaurant. We also ordered a shrimp pasta called Shrimp Magazine. They sent it out the first time with ham in it.. which we didn’t know was in it, so again, if you don’t eat meat be sure to specify that. The salad it comes with had meat in it too, which again I was not expecting, so I didn’t eat it. But, get your moneys worth and ask for it without. It was $19.45 but it was enough to feed two of us and it was SO GOOD too. I’m telling you this was only our second day on the trip and the food choices were impeccable.

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DID SOMEONE SAY SUNDAY FUNDAY?!

We all know I live for a good brunch and lucky for me so do all my friends, so we headed to The Country Club. When my friend first told me her plans of going there I wasn’t sure what the vibe would be like.. but AGAIN, the food was ON POINT. First of all, don’t be fooled by the fact that you can set up a late reservation, the bottomless mimosas stop at 3pm, no matter what time your reservation is for. We got there at 2:30 and had to just drink as many mimosas as we could in a thirty minute increment. Luckily, our server stayed close by and never let our mimosas get to the bottom. The bottomless mimosas were $18, so get there in time to enjoy them! Now, lets get to their menu! Oh my God, the truffle mac and Cheese was $10 of pure goodness! The crab cake benedict was enough for two people to split $24.  Clearly we were very big into sharing this trip because we wanted to get a taste of it ALL! If you don’t want to share they have the appetizer for $12. But, it was so good! It had to be the sauce it was in, this one I can’t stop raving about it, seriously. I also ordered shrimp as if my other two meals didn’t suffice and it was $20 for jumbo shrimp which was very good too but honestly at this point I was full so all I did was taste it. My eyes were clearly bigger than my stomach. SO, after you eat here you can head out to their heated pool and jacuzzi area which is so low-key and nice. We pretty much had the place to ourselves at this point! And it had saunas, too. I LOOOOOVE the sauna and it was perfect for cooling down after our swim, even though the pool was heated the cold air still caught up to us so the sauna was perfect before changing back into our clothes. And yes, you can still order mimosas out in the pool area for $6 after bottomless! A pass to the pool was $15 and the towel rental was $2. This brunch was definitely money well-spent.

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By the time we actually left the Country Club of course we were ready to eat again, so we headed over to Coop’s Place. The line was sooooooo long to even get inside the restaurant, so if you’re going to this place make sure you have time to wait. Across the street are some cool shops though for souvenirs if you and your friends want to take turns checking out while you’re waiting. Yes, the line was THAT long. Once we got inside, we realized this place was like a Dick’s Last Resort where they are so rude to you.. but don’t take it personally it’s actually kind of funny.  I had the Shrimp Creole here for $12.50, it was different than I expected but actually really good. I also got a side of Coleslaw and French fries but those weren’t anything special. I heard the fried chicken was good though, so try that out and the fries that came with that were seasoned with cajun spice and tasted good!

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The food was the biggest highlight of my trip, but aside from that we did head over to a bar one night that was playing hip hop on Frenchman Street (like I said everything else seemed to be live music from what I could see) but the bar wasn’t too packed, which I definitely liked because I was able to enjoy myself with out bumping into anyone or having drinks spilt on me. And the music was actually pretty good. We also headed out after that to Willie’s Pizza Joint, which was opened really late. By the time we got there most of the food was done but we were able to get pizza which wasn’t my favorite but Willie’s Cocktails were good!

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New Orleans was definitely a memorable trip and a weekend was the perfect amount time. I’d definitely go back to try Cafe Beignet because while Cafe Du Monde was good to be honest I still feel like I didn’t get to see what the hype was about. Of course, I’d love to experience the food again. And just a piece of advice for the ladies, we really wanted to dress up there but what we found out early in our trip was that it definitely was not the place for heels! There’s a ton of walking and even when you take Ubers there is so much traffic because of the number of people in the streets! If you’re ever in New Orleans I hope you use this as a guide to see twice as much as I did. I know you’ll have a great time and leave with a full belly.

Talk to you soon,

theknowledgeableother

 

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