New Orleans, LA

Dear NOLA,

I freaking love New Orleans. This is my second time there and it feels as magical as the first. There’s just something about the spirits there. Am I veering too much into the supernatural? Well, can I talk about how great the people of New Orleans are? The locals are so friendly and give the best advice and tips. The hospitality in this city is unparalleled. And then there are the houses. Just swoon worthy architecture along St Charles Avenue.

Places to stay: I have been lucky enough to stay at the Hotel Monteleone and The Roosevelt for work. I don’t remember much of Hotel Monteleone, but I do recall my room being very tiny. And I hear there’s haunted rooms in this hotel too! The Roosevelt had great amenities, service, and the room was spacious. I was very grateful for the complimentary bottles of water they provided (you get thirsty in the NOLA heat fast). But personally, Cambria Hotel New Orleans in the Downtown Warehouse District is more my style and I really enjoyed our time there. I lucked out with a large corner room filled with celebrity portraits, cross-bone wallpapers, a lounge, table nook, and a bright bathroom. Other hotels I would look into staying at next time: Old No 77 Hotel & Chandlery, Q&C HotelBar, and Catahoula Hotel.

Places to eat: Geez, where does one start? Okay, a great place for breakfast is Stanley. You can’t go wrong with the eggs and poor boy sandwiches. I love going to Cochon Butcher for lunch. The goal is still to try every single sandwich on their menu. So far I’ve done the pork belly, le pig mac, moroccan spiced lamb, duck pastrami, and pulled pork. Other amazing spots for lunch or dinner: Compère Lapin (those biscuits and their desserts are worthy of repeating), Luke (still the best bread pudding I’ve ever had), Magasin Kitchen (for a unique take on pho), Herbsaint (for like everything), and Pêche Seafood Grill (everything and oysters). If you’re wondering about Commander’s Palace, I would go to sit in that beautiful garden room, the service, the experience, and their famous bread pudding souffle with whisky sauce. What about Brennan’s? I would actually not recommend the famous banana foster, but everything else I had for dinner was great. You’ve got to have seafood in New Orleans! I recommend getting a platter at Seaworthy and the wood-fired oysters with chili garlic butter at Cochon. You know what I do avoid in this city? The beignets. I just don’t get the hype! I keep trying in hopes of being proven wrong but I have yet to ever finish an entire order.

Places to see: Definitely ride the streetcars. I love the St Charles Avenue route and it circles back into the city. Go check out Magazine Street. Do a cemetery tour – during the day if you’re a scaredy cat like me. Go explore the French Quarters and see Jackson Square! At night, head over to Frenchmen Street for live music.

I hope you get the chance to visit the magic of New Orleans one day. It makes for a great long weekend trip.

Sincerely,
Syl

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