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Top 5 Jazz Brunches

When it comes to food and music, nobody does it like New Orleans. Put the two together on a mid-morning weekend and it’s the creation of perhaps your most memorable meal in our culinary utopia. Here are our Top 5 recommendations for Jazz Brunches.

jazz brunches

Commander’s Palace Garden Room
Photo Source: Wikicommons

Commander’s Palace

Walk two blocks to our number one recommendation.  Brunch here features a special menu and Live New Orleans Jazz by the Joe Simon’s Jazz Trio. Saturdays and Sundays.

 

Cafe Atachafalya

Live music and a Bloody Mary Bar are the highlights at this uptown favorite.  Enjoy brunch Saturdays and Sundays.

 

Arnaud’s

A tradition in the French Quarter, Sunday only brunch offers Dixieland Jazz and a four-course prix-fixe menu.

 

Palace Café

Build your own mimosa and enjoy Sunday brunch with live music at this class restaurant in the French Quarter.  Sundays only.

 

House of Blues

Wait a minute; that’s not Jazz!  Some of our guests like things a little different from everyone else.  If this is you, try a Gospel brunch and get some praise on for your Sunday exhilaration vacation.

 

 

It’s summertime; so don’t forget to check out our special rates for that last minute getaway or stay-cation at our historic Garden District Bed and Breakfast.

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 5 Myths about Staying at a Bed and Breakfast

new orleans bed and breakfast

Make a new travel resolution!

A bed and breakfast or a New Orleans hotel? That is the question. Is more travel on your New Year’s Resolution list?  This year, add trying a Bed and Breakfast to your travels!  You might have considered skipping the bed and breakfast experience because you think it’s not for you.  Check out these Top 5 Myths about Staying at a B&B to see if a New Orleans bed and breakfast might be in your future for 2014 or 2015.

1.   Too many lace doilies 

We’re not all antiques and patchwork quilts.  More inns these days have a clean, sophisticated decor with modern furnishings and amenities.  Victorian homes like ours often feature rooms that appeal to different tastes.  (Our Evergreen Room might be just right for you.)

2.   You have to share a bathroom with other guests.

The majority of inns offer private bathrooms.  (All rooms at our New Orleans B&B have their own bathroom with shower, hair dryer, special soaps and other amenities.)

new orleans bed and breakfast

Who could say no to fresh breakfast?

3.   You have to eat a specific breakfast with total strangers at a specific time.

Many inns offer guests a variety of choices of breakfast or brunch as well as meeting needs for special diets or food allergies.  (You can take advantage of our continental plus breakfast anytime between 8:30 and 10:30am, and we are glad to offer gluten-free, sugar-free or vegan items if you’ll let us know ahead of time!)

4.   You have to be home at a certain time.

Guests are almost always given keys to the main house and guest room doors, providing them with the flexibility to come and go as they please.  (All Grand Victorian room keys also open the front door to our New Orleans bed and breakfast.)

5.   B&Bs are only for couples and prohibit children and pets

Many inns offer family units with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, and a number of inns offer pet friendly rooms as well.  (While the Grand Victorian is not the best option for the youngest family members; our New Orleans bed and breakfast easily accommodate older children with roll away cots, kid-friendly snack items all day, and free wireless internet.  We also have a new pet resort spa just down the street if you want to bring your furry family member along.)

We hope we have debunked some of the myths surrounding life at the bed and breakfast inn, and you come to the Grand Victorian for your inaugural visit.   Check out our rooms and specials pages for the one that is just right for you!

 

The Top 5 Seafood Restaurants in the New Orleans Area!

Last week, we penned a Love Note to Louisiana Seafood; now that we’ve extolled its virtues, here is our top 5 list of where to get it. The restaurants are recommended by staff (and guests) and in close proximity to our New Orleans bed and breakfast.

1. Jacques-Imo’s is best described by Bonnie Rabe’s favorite menu item, the Innkeeper of New Orleans Garden District bed and breakfast “Godzilla meets fried green tomatoes.” This Carrollton area restaurant is a perennial favorite because there are always different kinds of fish prepared in a variety ways. A perusal of their current menu lists over 20 seafood entrees from Fried Mirliton with Oysters to Amberjack Provencal. They only take reservations for large groups, so hit this popular eatery early.

 

Crawfish Macque choux

Crawfish Macque choux

2.  Mandina’s has been a mid-city institution since 1932, and the post-Katrina renovation is bigger and better. Check out the “House Specials” menu for our favorites including Trout Meuniere, Grilled Shrimp over Pasta Bordelaise and of course, their famous Turtle Soup.

3.  Superior Seafood is the new kid on the block that has an old New Orleans feel to it. It is located on the historic streetcar corner of St. Charles and Napoleon Avenue. It features an oyster bar including a sampler plate that serves two traditional New Orleans fare–Bienville and Rockefeller–plus something new called “Angels on Horseback.”

4.  Guy’s PoBoys – 5257 Magazine, New Orleans, LA, 504-891-5025. It is the proverbial hole-in-the-wall as Guy’s doesn’t even have a website and takes cash only. Sit down for a few minutes as all the po-boys are individually made by the owner. Hang out with the locals, have a Barq’s Rootbeer, and talk about the daily news as this is a nostalgic place of days-gone-by.

5.  La Thai may sound strange to some as we have a Thai restaurant on our list, but Chef Merlin’s Jumbo Lump Crab Cake is what keeps us coming back on a regular basis! Chef Merlin has won several seafood awards including 1st Runner Up as the King of Louisiana Seafood, 2010-2011.

 

Shrimp po boy - ask for it "dressed"

Shrimp po boy – ask for it “dressed”

 

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the best seafood restaurants in New Orleans, so you’ll have to make several trips to the Garden District bed and breakfast to experience them all.

 

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!