New Orleans: Eating and Drinking Beyond the French Quarter
Posted on February 19, 2018
New Orleans is a city that can’t contain itself. You see it in the music that spills out into the street, in the tree roots heaving up slabs of asphalt in the Garden District, and in the rhythms, carried on the air that set people dancing.
That’s the kind of joie de vivre that permeates the city, where the rhythm of life carries residents and visitors from one celebration to another throughout the year.
It’s not just the famous (or infamous, depending on your take) Mardi Gras, but festivals devoted to gumbo, the creole tomato, the oyster, and cocktails. There’s the Running of the Bulls (just substitute derby girls for angry bulls) and the Red Dress Run (where runners don red dresses) and, coming up soon, the Running of the Santas. Any excuse for fun will do.
You can meander through the streets with a drink in hand, unlike anywhere else in the country. Leave a drink unfinished, even at an upscale spot like Tableau as I did, and you’ll be offered a to-go cup. It can be a little surprising for those who are only used to seeing a disposable cup hold caffeinated stuff. I demurred but the bartender was insistent. “City rules,” he told me as he sent me into the dusky evening with a bordeaux-filled paper cup.
Never mind that I lacked the grace of a native and ended up spilling it over my legs and shoes. To make it work, slow down and relax.
Many cocktails were born in New Orleans, such as the Sazerac (America’s first cocktail, in the 1830s), the Ramos Gin Fizz, the flaming, boozy Café Brûlot, and the Hurricane. In some cases you can even have them in the original spot. (click to read full article).