Monthly Archives: August 2012

New Orleans Attractions

A Tour of the New Orleans St. Charles Streetcar Line

Two green streetcars heading downtown on St. Charles Ave. with church steeple in background.

Taking a ride on the streetcar

 

Day by day, the St. Charles Streetcar whirrs and clanks down the tracks, pervading the soundscape of Uptown New Orleans just steps from Southern Comfort Bed & Breakfast. Like the New York City subway, the streetcar’s distinct rumble and brakes can be heard from several blocks away. The oldest operating rail system in the country, this line of historic, green streetcars is an iconic piece of New Orleans’ colorful backdrop.

The line begins at S. Carrollton and Claiborne avenues at the front of Palmer Park, home of the monthly Arts Market. Traveling up Carrollton’s tree-lined neutral ground, streetcar riders pass a number of large, classic homes. Carrollton Station, a streetcar barn where the “Green Ladies” go to rest, is nestled just passed the crisscrossed tracks at Willow St. Beyond Willow stretches a more commercially condensed strip of shops and restaurants, with menu fare from all corners of the globe—Mexican, Lebanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian, Creole, classic American, and everything in between.

At the edge of Carrollton, the streetcar line turns onto St. Charles Ave in a neighborhood known as the Riverbend, named for its curvature parallel to the Mississippi River levee. More beautiful, oak-lined streets give way to the stoic, historical structures of Tulane and Loyola Universities, with the luscious, inviting greenery of Audubon Park across the street.

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New Orleans Dining

Late-Night Dining in the Garden District/Uptown Area of New Orleans

 

exterior view of the Delachaise Wine Bar located on St. Charles Ave. Actually looks like a steercar, cool copper roofing

The Delachaise Wine Bar, great place for late night eats.

Looking for some late-night nom noms? A long day seeing the sights or hitting the town can work up quite the appetite. Luckily, New Orleans has some of the finest food in the world, even at all hours of the night. Not far from Southern Comfort, your New Orleans B&B and throughout Uptown New Orleans, you can find a wide variety of grub whenever hunger may strike.

Delachaise (3442 St. Charles Ave) serves up a swanky menu of wine, beer, and high-class food—a substantial upgrade from your typical late-night apps and cheeseburger fare. From cheese plates, pate, and eggplant cannolis to smoked salmon cakes, frog legs, and Cuban twice-cooked pork, guests can enjoy a wide variety of classy dishes and imported beer late into the evening. They have an incredible selection of wine by the glass. This is  also a good last stop for dessert, their Chocolate Molten Cake is to die for.

Open 24-7-365, The Avenue Pub (1732 St. Charles Ave) boasts one of the largest and best beer selections in town, as well as a unique and impressive menu of nontraditional burgers, sandwiches, and appetizers. Try out the Dump Truck Fries, topped with pork roast, slow-cooked, au jus, and sautéed onions, Green Goblins, jalapeno, cream cheese, and bacon-stuff wonton shells, or The Tea Time, an Indian-inspired sandwich with chicken, kiwi, cucumber, and cucumber cream cheese spread.

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New Orleans Attractions

Audubon Zoo, a Popular New Orleans’ Attraction

Close up od giraffe at Audubon Zoo

Audubon Zoo

 

The Audubon Zoo is one of New Orleans’ most popular attractions . Named after John James Audubon, French naturalist and New Orleans resident in the early 1800s, the zoo sits on nearly 60 acres of land in the Uptown area of the city.   Audubon Zoo is managed by the Audubon Nature Institute which also oversees New Orleans’ famous Aquarium of Americas, the Audubon Insectarium, and a host of other research projects, parks, and nature and environmental-based endeavors.

The zoo is wonderful.   No matter the season, visitors can expect to see a large part of the zoo’s 2,000 animals  . Winter months will obviously be ideal for those species adapted to colder climates, but sometimes visitors can still catch playful penguins during the summer months as their tanks are temperature-controlled.   During warmer months visitors will notice the intense heat and humidity of this city, but viewing playful primates, giant turtles, leaf-munching giraffes, big, lazy cats, and the zoo’s intense swamp and reptile exhibit makes it all worth it.

Tigers, gorillas, and orangutans scatter the Audubon grounds.   The zoo even has a rare animal exhibit—including white tigers and albino alligators—that can be found year round.   The zoo is truly a spectacle, catering to all ages, groups or single admission, and has therefore become one of the most popular things to do for both New Orleans locals and visitors alike.

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New Orleans Dining

Char-Broiled Oysters, A New Orleans Seafood Favorite

Basket of char-broiled oysters covered in butter and cheese

Char-Broiled Oysters , Oh So Good!

Today I want to spotlight an excellent New Orleans eatery, Drago’s Seafood Restaurant, located downtown at 2 Poydras Street. Drago’s has been in business since 1969 and has maintained a reputation of fresh, delicious seafood especially their famous char-broiled oysters.  These oysters are arguably the best in town, with many restaurants around often imitating but never duplicating their flavor. They are cooked in their shell on a hot grill with a tasty garlic, butter, and herb sauce brushed over and dusted with a Parmesan/Romano cheese blend. Just add a little lemon juice, grab a cold Abita beer and you’ll be set! I guarantee you will be in food heaven! If you can’t get to New Orleans, than make your own!

 

Makes 18 Drago’s Charbroiled Oysters(Courtesy of Dragos Seafood Restaurant)

Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time: 5 minutes  Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

8 ounces (2 sticks) softened butter,  2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic,  1 teaspoon black pepper , Pinch dried oregano,  1 1/2 dozen large, freshly shucked oysters on the half shell,  1/4 cup grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses, mixed,  2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

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