Last week I was in New Orleans for a tech conference. The conference itself was nothing to write home about, but I did enjoy the bits of the city that I got to see, even if the food apparently hates me. We got in on Monday night and, after depositing our bags in our rooms, we headed out for a late dinner, looking for something local. We were staying in the Warehouse District, right next to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, which could practically be considered a city in its own right. Our conference was in Hall H. I never saw past Hall E. The thing is 1.1 million square feet. Million. Sixth largest convention center in the nation. Anyways, we wandered down Convention Center Boulevard and ended up at Mulates. I have several food allergies including thyme and bell pepper so I ordered the alligator unseasoned. It was great. It came with a twice-baked potato. I’m okay with potatoes. It was covered in cheese. What could go wrong? The potato was spicy. My lips started to burn. By the time I got back to my hotel room I was having an allergic reaction. (Not anaphylactic, thankfully.) So, that was fun.
On Tuesday, we ventured out for lunch to Two Chicks Cafe which was a great little cafe. I ordered the strawberry and cream crepes since crepes are a weakness of mine and they were fabulous.
For dinner, our boss wanted to walk down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter so we headed that way. I did a little shopping at the voodoo/witchcraft shops and we ended up at Pier 424 Seafood Market for dinner. I was hoping for just some plain shrimp to feast upon, but they had a shrimp boil so we got a dozen of those, a dozen oysters (which I passed on since I’m allergic but they were HUGE), and crawfish dip to split between the four of us. It was decent, but not what I’d been looking for (and I ended up getting an attack of gastrointestinal pain at 6am that nearly sent me to the hospital, so thanks, New Orleans!). After that, we strolled a bit and headed towards Cafe du Monde for some famous beignets. They do live up to the hype!
Jackson Square and the Washington Artillery park were pretty cool from what little I saw. It would have been great to explore a bit more, especially to get out of the tourist district and really see New Orleans, but I was stuck with what the group wanted. Definitely thinking about doing another trip next year and really seeing the sights (and hitting every occult shop possible). After the horrible pain I was in Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I was pretty much sticking to convention center concession stand food and ordering in pizza. My resident cooks/foodies tell me it’s probably the sassafrass that I’m horrifically allergic to but either way, next time I visit, I’m avoiding anything with the word ‘cajun’ near it. Just thinking about it makes me twinge.