Holydays in New Orleans: Still surprising after all these years

I know I posted about the fun I always have when I go to New Orleans just a few months ago, but every time I go there I do discover something new. And it’s such a magical place and so special to me and my family that I couldn’t resist posting about it once again.

First of all New Orleans in the end of December and beginning of January is especially vibrating due to the Sugar Bowl, played at the iconic Mercedes-Benz Superdome every January 1st.   However, the atmosphere was even more electric this year because not only the Sugar Bowl was at stake, but also a chance to play in the National Championship final in Arlington, TX. This was the first year the NCAA decided to organize a playoff to decide football national champion. And it worked great. New Orleans was even more agitated with everybody from Ohio State and Alabama conscious that it was a semi-final, a playoff game.

Of course, whenever you go to New Orleans, food is always one of the main attractions. And this year, besides all the usual suspects (Gordon Biersch Brewery, Couchon and Drago’s), we were amazed that we discovered somewhere wonderful that we’ve never been to: Deanie’s. As I wrote in the post title, New Orleans still surprises you even after you go there so many times. Anyway, Deanie’s is a staple of NOLA gastronomy and seafood and we only discovered it at our EIGHTH time in the Big Easy. However, the important thing is that it’s so good. Soft shell crab, Barbeque shrimp pasta, stuffed shrimp (with crabmeat, lots of crabmeat) and the little baked potatoes they serve as appetizers, all combine for an unforgettable eating experience. And it’s all for a rather affordable price! That’s a mandatory stop if you ever go to New Orleans.

Landry’s is also another usual suspect of all New Orleans restaurants. Actually, they are present in other locations throughout the South, but we have been mainly to the restaurants in New Orleans and San Antonio, TX. Their Bananas Foster dessert is really to die for, but this time what caught our attention was one of the greatest appetizers we ever tasted: Crawfish bread! It is like a Cajun version of an Italian bruschetta, and it’s simply amazing.

I could go on and on about food in New Orleans, but I wanna talk about other stuff, mainly the WWII Museum. It’s not an accident that it was voted the fourth greatest museum in America, the eleventh in the world and the top attraction of New Orleans. It is one of the greatest experiences you’ll ever have. I had been there last year, but this time they expanded it. Now there’s a new exposition called “The Road to Berlin” that chronicles the allied forces battles all the way until the Berlin bombings and the D-day invasion. It’s exciting, thrilling and rather educational. But it’s not only that. There’s also the Boeing pavilion, where you can see original airplanes from the war and engage in a submarine battle. I’m not kidding or exaggerating when I say that you should allow yourself about four days to go to the museum if you wanna see everything. And it is worthy.

Another thing I wanna talk about is obviously music. Everybody knows that New Orleans is the place for Jazz, Zydeco, Blues, Soul and R&B. But I can guarantee you that as a Rock And Roll fan you’re not going to be disappointed. Just this period I spent there, there was a Kiss tribute band playing every Friday and Saturday on Bourbon Street and a Journey tribute band that would play at the House of Blues. If you wanna buy some records you can go to Peaches Records, Louisiana Music Factory (great vinyl and rather friendly staff), Euclid Records and Skully’s Records. For some amazing T-shirts (including some rare vintage concert T-shirts) you can do a lot worse that checking out Kulture Vulture on Dumaine Street (I do advise you to have your credit cards ready, you can’t resist the temptation).

I wanna wrap it up talking about bookstores. Crescent City Books (much better now, after reforming), Librarie Book Shop, Garden District Book Shop and Faulkner House are those that I can point out as great options.

All in all, I’m never tired of New Orleans and it’s definitely one of my favorite places on Earth. I hope to come back many times more and if you have never been there, don’t even blink if you ever get a chance.

Current playlist:

Listening:

Iron Reagan – The Tyranny of Will

Orange Goblin – Back from the Abyss

Exodus – Blood In Blood Out

Watching:

Magic in the Moonlight (movie)

Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal” winner of the NABE Pinnacle Awards 2014 Fall edition.

NewPinnacleAward3D2 (1)

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/carlo.antico

Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico

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