I recently traveled to New Orleans for a Wrangler focus group held during the AQHA Convention and I instantly fell in love with the city. Although this was a quick trip (Thursday-Saturday) I tried to discover or shall I say EAT as much as I possibly could around my meetings. This was my first trip to NOLA (I know, can you believe it??) and thankfully it was AFTER the mayhem of Mardi Gras. I’m sure a while back (ok, maybe only a few years) I would have been right there in the thick of the debauchery, but that kind of party doesn’t light my fire like it did before. I stayed at the Marriott on Canal Street, which was quite nice and had a very friendly and helpful staff, but this is a huge hotel that host large conventions, weddings, etc. so it was quite busy and lacked that New Orleans character that you would want if you were there on a little get away. As soon as I hooked up with my dear friend Robin Rich, the marketing manager for VF Jeanswear (Wrangler is a division of this company), our first line of business-HURRICANES! So Pat O’Briens was our place!
You could say I have built my tolerance over the years,but this was definitely a one drink cocktail, yet it was the best hurricane I’ve tasted. Pat O’Brien’s has a lively patio for drinks before and/or after dinner, but if you arrive around 10 p.m, be prepared to wait in line.
The next morning, we were in the mood for some brunch and The Court of Two Sisters was our pick. Legendary brunch buffet and a staple in New Orleans. We sat in the courtyard (best area to dine) and although it was a bit chilly, it was such a lovely setting. White table cloths, a little cajun music in the background, mimosas, and tons of yummy food to choose from. What more could you want?? When we finally pulled ourselves away from the endless buffet, we headed to our meeting and all I could think about was, “What’s for dinner??”
Our last night in NOLA, we choose K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen. Chef Paul Prudhomme opened this restaurant in 1979 and has built quite the fan base! When we arrived, it was buzzing with people. The staff was very attentive and the food was amazing! For starters- Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Caper Dill Remoulade and K-Paul’s Fried Oysters Pernod….I followed with the Caesar Salad and I finished with a heavenly veal special that was off the menu. To say that I enjoyed this meal is a total understatement! A definite MUST dining destination!
For our last stop before calling it a night, Robin and I decided maybe we should have ONE more hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s. When in Rome….right??? I wish I had more time to explore the city, there is so much history and I hear the guided tours by foot, bike and mule drawn buggy are well worth it. I have a very good feeling that I will be back very soon!
McKenzie M. “Bird”