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When is the Best Time to Visit New Orleans?

French Quarter

Spring in the New Orleans French Quarter

You are thinking about that long-awaited journey to New Orleans, but can’t decide on when to come.  Do you like crowds or quiet balconies? Parades or garden tours?  Festivals or concert halls?  Here are a few tips from the Grand Victorian staff to help you decide.

SUMMER for the amazing deals

Summer is hot and so are the special deals you can find to design that economical vacation or stay-cation to enjoy all that the city has to offer.  COOLinary menus allow you to try 2 and 3 course lunches and dinners for low prices.  The festivals continue with Creole Tomato, Cajun-Zydeco, Essence, Satchmo and weekly free summer music offerings in our incredible parks.  The Grand Victorian also offers great summer rates for a cool respite after your sizzling summer days.

MARDI GRAS for the bucket list

You have to experience it at least one time in your life, and we can help you make it the experience you will enjoy.  There are many ways to experience Mardi Gras – parades, costumes, family picnics and ribald entertainment from the masses.  We do Mardi Gras family style in the Garden District, where our home is right on the parade route for over 50 parades during the two-week season.  When you’re tired of the crowd, just jaunt over to the porch to enjoy the pageantry from afar.  It is usually during February or March, check the calendar as the date changes every year.

Mardi-Gras

SPRING for the music festivals

If you love the live local music like we do, then April is for you!  French Quarter Festival and Jazz Festival are the weekends we enjoy most in the city.  An abundance of musical talent on 10 or more stages plus an over-abundance of restaurant food tasting choices can tempt even the most solitary traveler.  Make the festival one of your own design by choosing which musical acts to enjoy or which food booth to park your chair near.  Great spring weather added onto these elements make spring the easy choice for your next New Orleans vacation.

 

The Grand Victorian tends to book early for Mardi Gras and the spring festivals, but we always have good deals in the summertime!  Make this historic New Orleans bed and breakfast your home away from home this year!

Top 5 Jazz Fest Foods 2014

 

Cochon de lait po boy

Cochon de lait po boy

There are over 65 food booths at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival; it can make it hard to decide what to eat. As the staff of our New Orleans Bed and Breakfast attend and sample the food booths every year, we are sharing our Top 5 Jazz Fest Food selections with photos taken from last weekend’s feasting.

1.    Cochon de Lait Po-Boy from Love at First Bite Caterers. (See photo above) A must have item at least once per weekend!! While the main ingredient of this po-boy is the pork (cochon is roasted suckling pig), this Cajun treat’s highlight is its extras. It is dressed with cabbage and creamy Cajun sauce. The combo of tastes are wonderful. Make sure you pick up lots of napkins before you walk away with this one!

2.   Crawfish Strudel from Coffee Cottage.  There are many crawfish dishes on the grounds, but the the light and flaky pastry shell that makes this one my all time favorite crawfish dish in the world.  It’s savory, not sweet, but they also have the white chocolate bread pudding at this booth.

Crawfish streudel and white chocolate bread pudding

Crawfish streudel and white chocolate bread pudding

3.   Spinach Artichoke Casserole, Seafood Au Gratin, Sweet Potato Pone from Ten Talents Catering. This plate has veggies, a rarity in the Jazz Fest diet, plus a slightly sweet dessert. It also has the additional factor of being easy to eat while traveling between stages.

4.   Crawfish Sack, Oyster Patty, Crawfish Beignets from Patton’s Caterers. The sacks are thin crepes filled with a wonderful crawfish etouffee, tied at the top w/ a green onion & the entire thing gets quick fried until the outside is crispy. The crawfish beignets are a non-sweet adaptation for the traditional delicacy deep fried, bite-sized crawfish bread balls served with a tasty but light remoulade sauce; fabulous.

 

Crawfish Sack, Oyster Patty, Crawfish Beignets

5.   Guil’s Gators from Sharon and Guilherme Wegner. If you want to try an alligator dish, my friends Sharon and Guil don’t run a restaurant anymore, but every year they make these fried alligator bits with jalapenos and onions. They are great tasting and not too spicy or gamey. 

Don’t forget to get seek out the Rosemint herbal iced tea  or strawberry lemonade at Congo Square to wash it all down.

It’s not too late!  There is one more weekend of Jazz Fest, and we have a last minute availability for any 3 nights between April 30 and May 4.  Check our reservations page for your last minute getaway to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival!

 

 

 

Top Five Jazz Fest Foods 2012

 

Cochon de Lait Po-Boy

There are over 65 food booths at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival; it can make it hard to decide what to eat. As the staff of our New Orleans Bed and Breakfast attend and sample the food booths every year, we are sharing our Top 5 Jazz Fest Food selections with photos taken from last weekend’s feasting.

1.   Innkeeper Bonnie’s favorite Combination Plate is a tie between two booths which she chooses depending on who has the shortest line:

  • Spinach Artichoke Casserole, Seafood Au Gratin, Sweet Potato Pone from Ten Talents Catering. This plate has veggies, a rarity in the Jazz Fest diet, plus a slightly sweet dessert. It also has the additional factor of being easy to eat while traveling between stages.
  • Crawfish Sack, Oyster Patty, Crawfish Beignets from Patton’s Caterers. The sacks are thin crepes filled with a wonderful crawfish etouffee, tied at the top w/ a green onion & the entire thing gets quick fried until the outside is crispy. The crawfish beignets are a non-sweet adaptation for the traditional delicacy deep fried, bite-sized crawfish bread balls served with a tasty but light remoulade sauce; fabulous. (The oyster I give to a friend!)

 

Crawfish Sack, Oyster Patty, Crawfish Beignets

2.    Cochon de Lait Po-Boy from Love at First Bite Caterers. (See photo above) A must have item at least once per weekend!! While the main ingredient of this po-boy is the pork (cochon is roasted suckling pig), this Cajun treat’s highlight is its extras. It is dressed with cabbage and creamy Cajun sauce. The combo of tastes are wonderful. Make sure you pick up lots of napkins before you walk away with this one!

3.   Creole Stuffed Bread from Creole’s Lunch House. Get the “original.” It is a thin bread covering filled with sauteed & seasoned ground meat & chunks of pork sausage. It comes wrapped in a small paper bag, which makes it an easy “take, store in your backpack, and eat later” treat. It’s good even at room temp! Bonnie says:

The same elderly Creole lady from Lafayette serves from her chair at the front of the booth every day of Jazz Fest. She is always cheerful and remembers me like an old friend, always asking about my New Orleans B&B. I always get two breads to go on the last day of Jazz Fest (1 for post Jazz Fest blues and one for my Mom). She always says “Another good one! See you next year!”

 

 

4.   Crawfish Strudel from Coffee Cottage. This is the first beeline stop every year for Rachel, as it used to be just inside the gates. Bonnie always calls it “breakfast strudel” because it goes really well with the first cold beer of the day! The year after Katrina, it moved locations and caused a mild panic attack until an emergency consultation with the information booth in Area 2. There are many crawfish dishes on the grounds, but the the light and flaky pastry shell that makes this one my all time favorite crawfish dish in the world. (They also have the white chocolate bread pudding in a non-guilty bite size portion!)

 

Crawfish strudel plus essentials:  flip flops, wipes, sun glasses

and white chocolate bread pudding (in box)

5.   Guil’s Gators from Sharon and Guilherme Wegner. If you want to try an alligator dish, my friends Sharon and Guil don’t run a restaurant anymore, but every year they make these fried alligator bits with jalapenos and onions. They are great tasting and not too spicy or gamey. They also used to make the softshell crawfish poboys, but haven’t been able to get those since the BP oil spill. (Sorry no photo, they had run out by the time we got there Sunday afternoon.)

There are a cornucopia of food options to try as you travel from stage to stage. Don’t be afraid, they are all good or they wouldn’t be at Jazz Fest. When you want to know what is great about NOLA, visit the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast in New Orleans and the local innkeeper will give you all the local scoop. See you at the fest!

 

Jazz Fest 2012 Your Grand Victorian Guide

New Orleans…home to Jazz music, Mardi Gras, and the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast...will now see its streets inhabited with the sounds of music as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest 2012 is dawning! The Jazz Fest cubes have been out for awhile, now that the French Quarter Festival is over, it’s time to turn our attention here as the New Orleans Jazz Fest begins April 27 – May 6, 2012. What are the cubes? As Chris Rose says, they are…

“…those hallowed, nearly mystical linear graphic guides to whom is playing when and where at the Fair Grounds on any given day.”

Marcia Ball – an annual Do Not Miss performance for Grand Victorian Innkeeper

 

Locals spend hours pouring over and researching what acts to see at what times. Here are Wesley Hodges’ special picks for each day. The highlight is the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and many special guests including Ani Defranco and Bonnie Raitt, would be taking over the coveted responsibility of closing down the Gentilly Stage on the festival’s final day. The spot was previously held by The Radiators, who played their Jazz Fest farewell set on May 8, 2011.

 

This article by Keith Spera shows how jam-packed each day is, living up to its promise that every year will be better than the last.

Artist Anders Osborne

There have been many changes in the lineup; this NolaVie blog has links to previous concert appearances by some of the fill-ins that may help you decide. The loss of Levon Helm, Eddie Veddeer and Jill Scott has made for some interesting fill-ins.

Offbeat Magazine has the cubes for download, a new and improved iphone app and the best guide to pick up when you’re in town or once you get to the hallowed Jazz Festival gates.

 

For other suggestions on “Jazz Feasting” and other delectable items to tempt your tastebuds at this year’s Jazz Fest, check out this Gambit article for all Foodies as it provides a superior overview.

 

We would love to have you come by and visit us at the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast to tell us about your experience at this year’s Jazz fest!

Photos by Masahiro Sumori