The reasons for my trip, in no particular order:
- Seeing this lovely lady, my hometown bff, d’Auria or Miss D if you’re nasty
- Seeing a beautiful city and the south for the first time
- Eating some delicious food
- Getting some one on one time with the boyfriend before he leaves again to Europe
- Utilizing the small week break in my intensive MBA program
- To get my haircut, buy jewelery, and see a NOLA fortune teller
Day 1 – Friday, February 27, 2009
I participated a lot less than I would have liked in the driving process. I was getting over a cold, coughing incessantly, exhausted from my finals, and really no help to anyone. Thankfully, I have a boyfriend that is a machine and drove straight through. I drove for 5 hours of the 33 hour drive. The strangest thing we discovered is that Tuscon wants no one to come and visit. Every exit off the 10 leading to Downtown was closed, which was more than bad because I was starving; and no one wants a Hungry Carina. I had my Blackberry out and was searching the Tuscon Yelp for the “Best Pizza” and found Zachary’s Pizza. Again the problem was that there was nowhere to exit for about 12 miles of Downtown Tuscon. My navigation lady, who was named Areola on the trip, didn’t know about this and was getting pissy that we weren’t exiting. I, too, was pissy (ha, I originally wrote pizza) and when we were finally able to get off the freeway, miles away from our destination, I stupidly made my boyfriend get back on going the other direction thinking then we could exit correctly. Nope, closed on that side too. Another 12 miles past downtown in rush hour with road construction and no way out. When Areola finally realized we were not getting back on the freeway she brought us to Zachary’s where we learned why all of the forks were bent. Super deep dish pizza and no clean knives was the culprit. It was delicious and almost worth the fact that when we were finished and got back in the car my Sirius XM radio (third roadtrip godsend after my boyfriend and a Prius with amazing MPG ) just stopped working. I fell asleep on the road to country on regular terrestrial radio and commented that, ” I always thought I hated country it is really good when trying to sleep because it is story time”
Day 2: Saturday, February 28, 2009
We arrived in New Orleans at around 9 pm local time and d’Auria, who lives in a huge house with 4 other sorority girls, was sleeping and relaxing with her mom who was visiting. The machine, aka the boyfriend, wanted no part in that. Since he was the main driver and antsy to go out I obliged and we hit Magazine Street immediately. We were shocked by the amounts of beads scattered among the city leftover from Mardi Gras and the fact that many bars either close whenever they feel like it or many are open 24 hours and never stop serving. The first night we hit up the Balcony Bar and the Bulldog, where we kicked some ass at Trivia and beat out all other teams that doubled us in size.
Day 3: Sunday, March 1, 2009
Went to Mother’s for gumbo and jambalaya in the afternoon, d’Auaria took us on a driving tour of the city, at night the boyfriend and I explored the French Quarter and heard some great music at the Old Opera House, not as good karaoke at Cat’s Meow, later the boyfriend discovered his favorite local bar Miss Mae’s where he could get a mixed drink and a beer for $3.50 and they never close. After playing pool and drinking too much I request to be taken home around 4 in the AM. The boyfriend took me back, tucked me in, and then went back to his new love Miss Mae’s until 6 in the AM.
Day 4: Monday, March 2, 2009
Ate an amazing burger and baked potato at Port of Call, went to the Cure which just opened for amazing cocktails and a great pickled red onion and orange salad, was introduced to my new favorite thing sweet tea infused vodka (double) with ice and water at the Boot, and back to Miss Mae’s. After a night out we were hungry and when coming back d’Auria and I decided to make sweet potato fries but fell asleep half way through. The boyfriend finished making them and brought them to us in bed. He said d’Auria’s favorite line of the night, “You guys aren’t even facing each other”. We slept back to back something I would never allow the boyfriend to do. Actually, ironically in the morning d’Auria was helping with the UG logo *notice the new blog banner* and I had come up with the catch line “We don’t Spoon, we Spork! UncouthGourmands.com”
Day 5: Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I got my hair cut at Urban Angeles from d’Auria’s favorite, and my new favorite, hair stylist Tara. Bought a beautiful oyster and pearl necklace (no, not that kind of pearl necklace) at Mignon Faget. Got some great candy and gummys (my favorite) at Lucky You! Candy Store where the women said to me, “I love looking at purchases like this, because I know you are going to love everything!” That made me so happy because I always consider myself a candy aficionado and pride myself on my palate. I got some gourmet grapefruit gummy slices, watermelon gummy bears, and little champagne drops in the same shape as those raspberry candies. We went to Squeal Bar-B-Q for dinner which was probably my best meal of the trip. I had corn and cheese grits, baked beans, pulled pork and brisket. d’Auria had collard greens with bacon (her favorite), baked beans and ribs. The bf had crab and andouille stuffed fried mushrooms. Later in the night we went home to rest from our food devouring and then the boyfriend and I went back out to drink more and play pool. I knew I had to go home after I knocked over the pool stick for the 5th time. So again I was taken home around 4 am and tucked in and then the boyfriend hit up Miss Mae’s. He had quite the adventure and I don’t think we saw him again until the early evening the next day.
Day 6: Wednesday March 4, 2009
d’Auria and I made gluten free cranberry, walnut, and banana muffins, drove to Metarie, Louisiana to get my Sirius XM radio fixed, and got Vietnamese food for lunch. We got back and thankfully found my boyfriend, who had only arrived minutes earlier, and then watched terrible reality TV for a while. Then d’Auria and I headed out to find me a fortune teller while the bf got some much needed rest. We walked past the row of them and then I said, “I want someone that speaks to me.” One lady said, “I am speaking to you”. There was then only one thing to say: fair enough. It wasn’t a great reading as someone that used to take tarot lessons for a while and talks to an astrologer regularly I consider myself an expert, like I am with gummy candy. Anyway, I crossed the last thing off my list. My mom called that night and since she knew d’Auria and the bf she offered to buy us all dinner if we stayed under $100. That is a budget I could work with so we headed to Delachaise for a bottle of wine and dinner. d’Auria had the steak and fries, the bf had the barbeque bruchetta, and I had tomato soup and a grilled cheese with pear butter.
It was a perfect last meal ($93 without tip), although I learned I am not suppose to toast on that or something ending. After that we headed to Pat O’ Brien’s Bar for hurricanes and dueling pianos. It was great entertainment and my favorite was the guy that played pennies on a platter in a silk vest. d’Auria then took us St Joe’s Bar which is famous for the Blueberry Mojitos for our last drink on our trip. I was cranky, maybe because I knew I was leaving, so I had a Hoegaarden instead but it was a good night and a great trip. We left the next morning and this time I managed to drive even less. I was too busy thinking of my new love New Orleans and missing my friend. New Orleans has such a pulse and is filled with what Uncouth Gourmands value most: good food, good people and a sense of community; above all else N’Awlins is a great neighborhood.