I first visited New Orleans with my daughter in April of 2015. (See previous posts regarding Layfette Cemetery, a swamp tour, visiting Laura Plantation, and, of course, the fabulous food!)
During that visit I was especially mindful of, and mentioned, wheelchair accessibility.
I returned to New Orleans in February of 2023, this time with my two sons and their ladies, and our two service dogs.
Our main focus was finding great food throughout the day, and taking the dogs to new and welcoming places!
(Note: Although I had visited some of these locations previously, Leah researched and suggested many of the restaurants, and George found two out-of-area parks for the dogs to explore.)
In a future post – “Kilo and Harley Visit New Orleans” – I will focus on the dogs, parks, cigar shops, cemeteries, and parades.
But this post is all about NOLA food!
Bearcat Cafe – Uptown
Although Kealoha had to work online during the week, her 11:00 am start time on Wednesday allowed us to travel to Bearcat Cafe on Jena Street for breakfast.
We were seated inside, where Kilo and Harley were able to lay quietly under the table and out of the way. Our server was patient with our questions, gave good suggestions for gluten-free / special diet entries, and even shared the recipe for the outstanding cauliflower grits!
(To read more, see my TripAdvisor review of Bearcat Cafe, and more yummy photos!)
Cafe Du Monde
Since this was the first time Leah and Kealoha had visited NOLA, of course we had to take them to a New Orleans classic: Cafe du Monde.
We were staying in an AirB&B on Frenchmen Street, an easy 30-minute walk to Decatur Street and the powdered sugar-coated goodness of beignets and cafe au lait. Again the dogs lay at our feet, unfazed by the people, the boisterous jazz ensemble on the corner, or the little birds seeking sugary crumbs.
To accommodate Kealoha’s work schedule, we went early on a Tuesday morning and were delighted to find many empty tables. We each ordered a cafe au lait and a plate of beignets: three freshly-fried puffs of pastry heaping with powdered sugar. Yum!
In 2015 Amanda and I had a birthday lunch at Commander’s Palace, and I wanted my sons to have the same great experience. So I encouraged them to have a “day date” with their ladies and take them to a fancy lunch.
They all ordered the special “Mardi Hog” pork belly lunch, George imbibed in the 25-cent martinis, and the four of them shared a strawberry shortcake for dessert. They came home full and happy!
District Donuts, Sliders and Brew
One afternoon we grabbed lunch at District Donuts on Harrison, another suggestion of Leah’s. Although we missed breakfast and the Hot Chicken and Honey Butter Biscuit, we were delighted with the sliders and desserts we ordered!
Click link for TripAdvisor review of District Donuts on Harrison.
Traveling from Florida, Kealoha and George arrived in New Orleans a few hours before we Texians did. Kealoha had to work, so George found a cigar shop (Crescent City Cigars) and chatted with Tracy, the owner, who recommended we eat at Coop’s Place on Decatur.
We had lunch there the next day, and found Tracy’s recommendation to be spot-on! Red Beans and Rice with Smoked Sausage, Steak Po boy, Cajun Pasta, and Blackened Redfish. All delicious!
And the pups were comfortably tucked under the table, enjoying the smells!
As we were planning our trip – and our food destinations – I had only one request: Gumbo at Camellia Grill! And it was as delicious as I remembered!
Click here for TripAdvisor review of Camellia Grill plus more photos of deliciousness!
The only eatery we visited twice in one week, Cochon Butcher’s sandwiches and sides were worth the cross-town drive!
In fact, our second visit was on a Saturday and many streets near Cochon Butcher were blocked off for the Krewe of Pontchartrain parade. That didn’t deter us; we circled tighter and tighter until we were within walking distance, then found a parking spot and walked in the rain to get to our muffaletta and cubano sandwiches. THAT’s how good they were!
See my TripAdvisor review of Cochon Butcher for yummy details!
The guys went to the cigar shop and the ladies went to a wine bar. And afterwards, at the bartender’s recommendation, we walked a block or two down Bourbon Street to Clover Grill for great diner food!
See my TripAdvisor review of Clover Grill for more details.
Another of Leah’s suggestions, noted to have “yummy bar food, po boys, oysters, loaded fries, wings,” was Cooter Brown’s. And the food was, indeed, yummy!
Kealoha was especially excited about the Tuesday Night special – Louisiana raw oysters on the half shell for half-priced dozens. After sharing with the rest of us, she enjoyed nearly 2 dozen!
Please go to the end of this blog post for a special tribute which includes raw oysters.
AND FOR DESSERT …
Along with cheesecake and pecan pie at Camellia Grill, and sweet treats from District Donuts, we did seek out one other fabulous dessert shop.
This tiny shop offers the best specialty Italian desserts. We brought home Lemon Ice, rum-flavored Sciallotti gelato, and an array of sweets – including freshly-made cannoli that reminded me of my visit to Sicily a dozen years ago!
A SPECIAL TRIBUTE
When I started this blog in April of 2012, one of my greatest fans – and a frequent commenter – was Ted Hess, Carrieanna’s uncle and my sweetheart’s older brother.
Ted’s remarks were always encouraging. He appreciated my adventures and, especially, my photography.
Frankly, one of the reasons I’ve maintained this blog is because I knew Ted enjoyed it so much, and it enhanced his connection to Carrieanna in a special way.
When I visited New Orleans in 2015, Ted encouraged me to have oysters on the half shell and a beer on his behalf. Alas, I could not bring myself to eat raw oysters, and Ted teasingly commented about that omission.
Ted passed away last November, and I have lost a great fan and supporter.
So when given the opportunity, at Cooter Brown’s, to have a raw oyster in his honor, I had to do it. Kealoha was happy to share her bounty with me.
George suggested I have a Vodka Oyster Shooter. Kealoha and Leah joined me in this toast.
Cheers and Godspeed, Ted. Thank you for your humor, wisdom, and enduring support. We miss you.