Saturday, 22 February 2014

Birthday Weekend

Three of my college roommates came down to visit me for my birthday weekend - how sweet of them!

A quick overview of events!

Wednesday: On Wednesday evening, I picked Celina up at the airport and we headed right to Luke for Happy Hour. Half off fresh oysters and cocktails? Don't mind it I do! 1.5 dozen oysters and a Sazerac cocktail later, Celina and I headed to the French Quarter to enjoy the sights. We stopped by Pat O'Brien's to pick up a famous Hurricane cocktail and impromptu headed to a concert at Preservation Jazz Hall. There is something about those New Orleans classic jazz numbers that get me every time! We finished our night by splitting an order of beignets at Cafe du Monde.

Thursday: The next morning, we headed to District Donut and split a siracha maple glazed donut and a Mexican hot chocolate donut. The siracha maple glaze was subtly spicy, and sweet - yum! The Mexican hot chocolate donut was a force to be reckoned with - thick chocolate icing (nice and spicy) and more chocolate filling. Woo! Later that afternoon, Lissie arrived and we went for a late lunch at Parkway Bakery. Roast beef po'boys for everyone! A few hours later, Allix arrived. We headed to Bulldog for drinks and bar food. I always wanted to go to this bar (and was waiting for a bunch of Yalie bulldogs to go with me - perfect!)

Friday: Friday morning, we headed to the Bywater neighborhood to grab brunch at Elizabeth's - known for its pecan bacon and calas (sugary, deep-fried rice fritters). The bacon was to-die-for!!! Really crispy and salty-sweet. I could eat that everyday! I also like the restaurant because it is covered in Dr. Bob's artwork.

Later that afternoon, we headed up Tchoupitoulas to NOLA Brewery for their weekly "brewery tours." Every Friday, scores of New Orleanians have a big party at NOLA Brewery - they bring tailgate games like corn hole, invite many friends, and enjoy unlimited free beer from 2-3pm. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon! Here is a shot of the beers they were offering that afternoon:

That evening, our friend Caroline invited us to attend the Tulane Medical School's Prom. We got all dolled up in cocktail attire, headed to the American Sector for Happy Hour (.75 cent BBQ sliders). The American Sector restaurant is in the heart of the WWII museum in New Orleans - it is 1940s themed and serves its food in tin cans and other bizarre 1940s objects. Then we made our way to Med Prom. Tulane hired a live brass band - they were fantastic! Eventually, everyone was dancing and enjoying the upbeat music. We finished our night by heading to Cafe du Monde (again!) where we proceeded to have powdered sugar fight.

Saturday: On Saturday, we headed to the Quarter for brunch. Jackson Square was bustling! I've never seen the square that packed with street performers, artists, and tourists (everyone was out to enjoy the first 70 degree/sunny day of spring!) We put our name in for a table at Stanley! and headed to Croissant D'Or to grab almond croissants to tide us over for the 2-hour wait. My friends from Tulane/the archives also joined us for brunch -- too fun! I enjoyed the Eggs Stanley -- an ultimate eggs Benedict-type dish. The Bloody Marys were delicious too!

We rested for most of the afternoon and ordered take out from MoPho (a new Vietnamese restaurant in my neighborhood). The Fowl Pho was AMAZING! Best pho broth I have ever tasted. That evening, we headed to Bourbon Street to sing karaoke, drink tourist-y cocktails, and enjoy people watching. Fun!

Sunday: My birthday! We headed to my favorite restaurant, Commander's Palace for their fabulous Jazz Brunch. The service is impeccable, the staff is so friendly, and the place is adorable -- all of the tables have clusters of colorful balloons. Too cute! There is also a live jazz quartet that goes around to all of the tables and plays for them. I had a brandy milk punch (a classic New Orleans brunch cocktail) and a decadent meal! I started off with the "absinthe oyster dome" -- a creamy oyster soup with fluffy puff pastry. My main course, the Sportsman's Brunch was PHENOMENAL! Griddle cakes drizzled with cane syrup, toasted pecans, and roast duck. Yum! I finished off the meal with Commander's famous bread pudding souffle.

After brunch, we walked through the neighboring historic cemetery before heading home.

Later that night, Celina left for California. The remaining three of us had sushi for dinner and cannoli from Angelo Brocato's!

Monday: We somehow got everyone packed and to the airport!

A very successful birthday weekend, indeed!

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