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New Orleans Jazz Fest & Heritage Festival 2018


The weekend of April 27 to April 29, Jeremy and I visited our friends Kristyn and Jason Schellhaas in New Orleans. I’ve only been to New Orleans once before, and that was a few years back to visit them. Last time I unfortunately came down with a horrible bug and was extremely sick the entire weekend. So, this time I was looking forward to being healthy and being able to taste the New Orleans Cajun style food and drinks. Jeremy and I met Kristyn and Jason while living in DC and have stayed in touch with them after they moved to New Orleans and Jeremy and I moved to Atlanta. We had an amazing weekend filled with perfect weather, great friends, fabulous food, drinks and live music. 

Friday Festivities

Friday afternoon Jeremy and I took a half day off of work and landed in New Orleans in the afternoon. Kristyn and Jason graciously hosted us in their beautiful home for the weekend. They live in Metairie, a suburb about 20 minutes outside the city of New Orleans. Friday evening we grabbed pre-dinner drinks at the Sazerac Bar, located in the Roosevelt Hotel in the Central Business District. At the Sazerac Bar, the boys ordered an ‘Old-Fashioned’ and Kristyn and I ordered the ‘French 75’.

French Revolution

After pre-dinner drinks, we had dinner at French Revolution in the French Quarter. Since I was so sick last time I was in town I couldn’t taste anything at French Revolution and was so jealous of everyone’s food. So, I kindly asked Jason and Kristyn if we could go back this time. Jason had to make reservations 3 months in advance because this restaurant is so popular! If you can get reservations here, book immediately!

I don’t think you can go wrong with anything off the menu. But this is what we ordered. For appetizers Jason and I both ordered the ‘Seafood Gumbo’ with Louisiana seafood and scallion rice. Jeremy ordered the ‘Death by Gumbo’ with roasted quail, andouille sausage, oysters and filé rice. Kristyn ordered the ‘Cajun Fried Oyster Salad’ with crispy bacon and blue cheese dressing. For the main course, I ordered the ‘New Orleans Red Fish’ with stuffed artichoke, crab calas, spinach crema and caviar butter. Then, Jeremy, Jason and Kristyn all ordered a filet. For sides we shared asparagus and gruyère potato au gratin. For dessert the four of us shared ice cream and an order of the ‘Creole Cream Cheese Bread Pudding Crème Brûlée’ with blueberries, cheesecake, lemon and almonds.

After dinner we went to the Hot Tin Rooftop Bar at the top of the Pontchartrain Hotel and had a few drinks before calling it a night.

New Orleans Jazz Fest & Heritage Festival

Saturday morning Kristyn and Jason took us to get beignets at Cafe’ du Monde. We didn’t go to the famous location in the French Quarter (we went last time we visited), but we had breakfast at a location near their home in Metairie. You can’t go to New Orleans without having beignets! After breakfast we got ready to spend a day in the sun listening to live music.

Part of the reason we picked the last weekend in April to visit Kristyn and Jason is because of the New Orleans Jazz Fest & Heritage Festival. Jason got us VIP tickets through his client for a private tent with drinks and less crowds so we could enjoy the music but also still be able to talk to one another. During the day the musicians were mostly locals and lesser known bands. Towards the end of the afternoon/evening more popular artists performed. We watched Common and Khalid perform at the end of Saturday. Other headliners were Jack Johnson and Rod Stewart, but we didn’t see them since they were performing on other stages. We left Jazz Fest around 6:30pm to get ready for dinner.

Commander’s Palace

Saturday night we had dinner at Commander’s Palace, another New Orleans’ restaurant staple. Similar to French Revolution, I’m sure everything is amazing at Commander’s Palace. Jason, Kristyn and I started with ‘Gumbo du Jour,’ a rich stock slow cooked with fresh regional ingredients spiked with Louisiana hot sauce. Jeremy started with the ‘Soups 1-1-1’, a demi serving of three soups: gumbo, turtle and soup du jour. I couldn’t get down with trying turtle soup. Made me sad! Then, for entrees we all ordered the same thing, Commander’s famous ‘Pecan Crusted Gulf Fish,’ with crushed corn cream, spiced pecans, petite herbs, and Prosecco poached Louisiana blue crab. For dessert Jeremy and Jason both ordered their own ‘Creole Bread Pudding Soufflés’ and Kristyn and I shared the ‘Banana Foster’, which our waiter made fresh right in front of us at our table.

Saturday night we went straight home after dinner since we were exhausted after spending all day at Jazz Fest and then stuffing our bellies at dinner.

Mr. B’s Bistro Jazz Brunch

Sunday we all slept in and then had a jazz brunch at Mr. B’s Bistro. Kristyn and Jason really pulled out all the stops and wined and dined Jeremy and I for the entire weekend. For appetizers we all started with the ‘Gubmo Ya Ya,’ a rich country style gumbo made with chicken and andouille sausage. Then, Kristyn, Jeremy and I all ordered the ‘Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits,’ a sauté of pecan smoked bacon wrapped jumbo Gulf shrimp served with creamy stone ground yellow grits and red-eye gravy. Literally I could have died and gone straight to heaven after that shrimp and grits meal. Jason ordered the ‘Mr. B’s Barbeque Shrimp,’ a signature dish with Gulf shrimp barbequed New Orleans style, served in the shells with a peppery butter sauce and French bread for dipping. Then, for dessert we all shared the bread pudding and hot pecan pie.

French Quarter Sunday Funday

After our jazz brunch we walked around the French Quarter and visited Kristyn’s parent’s condo. The condo is located right near the St. Louis Cathedral and is overlooking Jackson Square. Since the location is so perfect, the waitlist for this condo building is about 15 years, but one of her parent’s friends got the call someone moved out of this unit and it was available. Then, they jumped on the opportunity and invested with a few other couples to share for certain weekends throughout the year. We opened the windows and listened to the beautiful jazz music playing in the background. Then, I got a palm reading and Kristyn got a tarot card reading in Jackson’s Square. Jeremy and Jason weren’t too thrilled about that. When in New Orleans – right?!

Then, Jeremy and I had to head to the airport to go back home to Atlanta. It was such a fun weekend! Now, I’m in serious detox mode after eating the most delicious food and drinks with amazing friends.

xx,

LB

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