Druckin Drinking Tour of NOLA

Hey y’all. Sorry for the delay. I am still trying to get back into the groove of my LA life, wherein I can hardly find time to breathe, let alone sit on a wraparound porch, listening to the creak in the eaves and the wind in the trees, cold mint julep in my hand. And speaking of mint juleps, let’s take a Druckin’ Drinking Tour of NOLA, shall we? Maybe it will help with my separation anxiety.

The Old Absinthe House

I stopped by one of my favorite bars in the French Quarter, The Old Absinthe House, and found it full of men in light-colored suits and ladies trying to keep their hair-dos from coming undone in the not-yet-oppressive humidity. The bartender explained that this elite group of lawyers, doctors, judges and CEOs often have a long lunch at Galatoire’s, followed by an afternoon drinking session that lasts from 2-7pm, when they go home to their families and, presumably, another cocktail. And here’s that porch I was telling you about:

Columns Hotel

If you go to New Orleans and DON’T get a drink at the Columns, there is really no point in continuing our relationship. (And I’d like my omelette pan and Little Britain DVDs back, please.) Aside from the fact that almost every Southern writer who ever mattered EVER has been there (Faulkner, Williams, Capote), they have a small, elegant table set aside for what have now become some of the most beloved words in my drinking lexicon: TO-GO CUPS. (!!!) There’s also Frenchmen Street:

But where are these French men of whom you speak?

Which is kind of bohemian and insider-y — where the locals go when they’ve had enough of the touristy Quarter. Great music (often free), and yummy foods, if you’re into that. I’m often into these:

Liuzza's bloody mary, photo by Chris Granger.

Those pickled green beans. DAMN. The bar is called Liuzza’s By the Track, and it’s Mid-City, close to Jazz Fest. I lost count of how many bloodys I had there — easy to do when they are only $6. After the fest, a crowd gathered to hear a Ukranian garage band play. (Literally. They were in a garage). If a car tried to work its way down the crowded street, everyone good-naturedly booed. A pretty girl swung open a half-door cut right into the fence, and flipped over a sign, “Ice Cold New Orleans-Style Lemonade, $1.” Bliss.

For the life of me, I cannot find the perfect photo of beautiful Esplanade Avenue with its graceful trees that look like ballerinas, nor one of awesome pal Ashley’s happy place, CC’s Coffee. What I found was this:

Not the car. The coffee shop. Silly.

And it is inherently awesome. We sat at one of those tables and had coffee, and that white, lacy house you see across the street was having a very genteel soirée that we considered crashing. Finally, what better way to end my series of homesick New Orleans posts than with beignets from Cafe du Monde. I’ve now had this three times as my midnight birthday dinner, and I hope to have it many more. My bon temps definitely rouled. I can’t wait to go back!

Sneeze and the world gets dusted.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Druckin Drinking Tour of NOLA

  1. John P

    You bring back soooo many druckin memories from soooo many years past. I too, can not wait too go back. Thank you!

    • debra

      when were you there last? i almost cried along with the raindrops when i had to leave. 😦 thanks for reading sugarplum!

      • John P

        I was last there about a year ago last February. It was overcast, rainy and dreary, but that was okay because I found a nice stool in a dark lounge and I ate and drank the hours away and listened to stories of the big lady (Huricane Katrina).

      • debra

        rain just makes you feel better about doing what you want to do anyway — sit in a bar, drink, and talk. 🙂 love you!!!!

  2. Michele L

    Ooooh, I am longing to take a quick trip. I must have a bloody mary…. NOW!

    You sure know how to celebrate your birthday chica!

    • debra

      those were bloody delicious. 🙂 esp the pickled green beans you could use as a cocktail stir stick! speaking of cocktails, we must go back to bar lubitsch (or similar) soon soon!

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