Men’s Bathrooms, Ladies’ Bathrooms

Women may not realize this, but ladies’ rooms are almost mythical places to many men.

We’ve heard tales of the pink palatial rooms that are kept spotlessly clean and equipped with chaise lounges and other luxurious features. But we haven’t seen them, of course — they’re forbidden territory.

There’s nothing mythical about men’s rooms, however. This photo of the facilities at one of the joints along Frenchmen Street gives you an idea of what to expect.

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El DeOrazio And Friends

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The first act on tonight’s music crawl on Frenchmen Street was El DeOrazio & Friends. Wow, were these guys fantastic! The pumped out terrific blues riffs, and DeOrazio is a spectacular guitarist. What a treat to sit within five feet of a great group and enjoy live music!

They were so good I bought one of the CDs. Support local music!

Food On Frenchmen

I’m not sure what’s better in New Orleans — the food or the music.  It’s too close to call.

We started our evening on Frenchmen Street at 20140530-103158.jpgthe Praline Connection.  It’s a cool soul food spot where the waiters wear black pants, black Fedoras, and white shirts with neckties.  The tables in the restaurant have a permanent plastic covering for easy clean up and feature two condiments — a hot sauce, and a hotter sauce.

We began our meal with some appetizers and our first beer of the evening — a local brew called Abita Amber that was quite good.  The appetizers, selected after careful analysis of a menu that was filled with tantalizing options, were alligator sausage slices with a thick and tangy tomato dipping sauce and fried chicken livers.  Both were excellent.  I’ve always had a soft spot for fried chicken livers, and these were plump and crunchy.

20140530-102952.jpgFor my entree I ordered crawfish etouffee.  I’ve loved that dish since I spent time in Lafayette, Louisiana on a case in the early ’90s and had my first crawfish etouffee at a wonderful restaurant called Cafe Vermilionville.  The Praline Connection version of this traditional Cajun dish more than met my lofty expectations.  Served with a volcano-like mound of white rice in the center of the gravy and tender crawfish tails, with cornbread to crumble over the top and help to soak up the goodness, it was the perfect start to our New Orleans adventure.  We ate every morsel and were ready for some music.

 

Two Talents At The Apple Barrel

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This little duo at the Apple Barrel — did she say their names were Hillary and Miles? — are great. The guy plays like Django Reinhart and the woman has a fabulous smoky voice. Blue Gardenias was awesome.

So far we’ve stopped at three places, heard three totally different kinds of music, and they’ve all been fantastic.

Nawlins

IMG_0697Next week at this time Richard, Russell, UJ and I will be in New Orleans.  It’s going to be a boys’ weekend, complete with lots of live music, oysters, cajun food, and beer.  Our goal is to hit every music venue on Frenchmen Street during our visit.  Given the astonishing number of joints on that stretch, it will be a challenge.

I’m looking forward to the trip to catch up with the boys and also listen to some live music.  There are few better things in life than experiencing great music in an exotic venue, with an ice-cold beer in your hand.

If anyone has suggestions on good places to eat or listen to live music in New Orleans, we’d love to hear them!