Food & drink, culture & frivolity abound in the city that knows how to let the good times roll
By Cheryl Charming
(All photographs courtesy of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau unless otherwise noted)
For the past five years I have attended Tales of the Cocktail (www.talesofthecocktail.com) as a personality, author, seminar panelist, and moderator and each year I roam around the streets not really knowing where to go or what to see and taste. Well, I moved to the French Quarter in October of 2010 and now have a bit more information, so I thought I’d share it with you.
Below, is a little NOLA visitors guide to help Tales of the Cocktail visitors trek around the French Quarter and other parts of New Orleans. If you’ve never been to Tales then this will serve you well. If you are a return attendee then you might see something new. I hope you enjoy the information I’ve gathered. Also, if you have information you feel I should include, correct, etc. just Facebook email me.
FYI – This year I’m tending bar at The Bombay Club (830 Conti [CON-tie] – one block from Bourbon www.thebombayclub.com) Tuesday through Saturday. I work with a great bartender named Steven Lemley. In the 31 years I’ve tended bar, he is the best bartender I’ve ever worked with. It would be our pleasure to serve you. We open at 4 pm, offer live entertainment 7 nights a week, and have a wonderful food menu (our chef, Rickey Cheramie trained under Emeril Lagasse at Commander’s Palace).
If you have not reserved a Spirited Dinner for Thursday night, then you should know that we have Maine lobster night on Thursdays for only $25. It includes a 1-½ lb full lobster, salad, and a side. You must have reservations because we fly in the live lobsters based on reservations. On Friday we have entertainer, Judy Spellman and she’s great at getting the crowd going. On Saturday night we have the incredible Luther Kent (www.lutherkent.com) singing the blues. He use to be the lead singer for Blood, Sweat, & Tears in the 1970s. Starts at 9:30pm. I’ll probably be slammed those nights, so I won’t have much time to talk…but it should be fun to watch me in the weeds, lol.
BASIC NOLA INFORMATION
• The French Quarter (Vieux Carré [VOH- care-eh]/Old Square) is only 6 blocks X 12 blocks. It was the very first part of land built upon in the 1700s.
• There are four streets that border the French Quarter. Canal, Rampart, Esplanade, and Decatur/Mississippi River.
– Cross over Esplanade and you enter the Marigny Triangle and the best place to visit is Frenchman street. This area is where the locals go for drinks, food, and entertainment. The best way to get there is a cab or walk East straight down Decatur.
– Cross over Canal and you’ll enter a business type atmosphere, but there are bars of interest to visit.
– Cross over Rampart and…well, DO NOT cross over Rampart on foot at night. Only go as far as Bar Tonique.
– Cross over Decatur, keep walking, and you’ll end up in the Mississippi River 🙂
• All the streets in the French Quarter are one-way. There is no need to constantly look for the one-way signs when crossing a street…just look to see which way the cars are faced.
• The sidewalks in the French Quarter are very uneven and full of holes. The best shoes to wear should have a flat sole. Heels on women are dangerous. Wedges work well, though. Also, the streets are very dirty. so if you wear open toed shoes, then expect to wash your feet often.
• Cabs are very easy to get. They roam the French Quarter streets just looking for someone to pick up. People ask me to call them a cab all the time at The Bombay Club and I let them know that all they have to do is walk to the corner and one will go by every minute. If you are going to use a credit card then ask before getting in because some do not take credit cards.
• Banks/ATM. On both corners of The Hotel Monteleone there are two full service banks with ATM’s; Chase and Capital One.
NOTE: When you cross over Canal from the French Quarter the street names change. Here is the list:
Decatur to Magazine
Chartres to Camp
Royal to St. Charles
Bourbon to Carondolet
Dauphine to Baronne
Burgundy to University Place
North Rampart to South Rampart