Let me set the scene: Four college friends, unsure of how they afforded to simply arrive in New Orleans, find themselves at a near 5-star brunch in the city's most famous restaurant, having napkins draped over their dresses (by someone else), and a live jazz quartet slowly bopping around the gorgeously set table. Fresh blueberry mojitos and delicate mimosas add pops of color to the white linen. A three course menu is awaiting our attention.
And we cannot stop laughing.
Laughing perhaps because we were delusional from the non-stop sweating in the drenching humidity of Nawlins. Or maybe because only 24 hours earlier we'd been dripping in swamp goo from an airboat tour watching our guide kiss alligators - all of which made the current pampering seem semi-ridiculous (Major Key Alert: Airboat swamp tours are a must). We bonded beautifully with the waiters and waitresses who seemed refreshed by our low-key attitudes. I know personally I found myself saying "thank you so much" every other minute.
Here's my modest order - one that I suggest every and anyone get:
1.) Shrimp and Tasso Henican Wild Louisiana white shrimp stuffed with spicy Cajun ham tossed in Crystal hot sauce with pickled okra and five pepper jelly
2.) Spiced Peach & Honey Lacquered Quail - Broken Arrow Ranch quail stuffed with Creole boudin, rum barrel hot sauce kimchi, summer cabbage and boozy peach honey glaze
3.) Strawberry Shortcake Local strawberries on a fluffy buttermilk biscuit with powdered sugar and Chantilly cream
Based off this small sampling, you can imagine how incredible the rest of the spread is. Let's not forget about the blueberry mojitos (a chef's favorite) and mimosas that seemed to never run dry - and may have made our laughs a little louder. The disbelief continued as I polished off my quail and the dessert was on it's way out. As Jenna heroically put it, "I was born ready." To cap it off we decided it was only right to be as over the top as possible, so we ordered some unnecessary cappuccinos as well. The live jazz kept on coming as we were serenaded and began the long but glorious process of winding down our meals. We rolled out of there squad deep and boozy brunch deep. To our delightful surprise, one of New Orleans' famed above-ground cemeteries was directly across the street from Commander's Palace.
The cemeteries are beautiful but also dilapidated. We strolled them a while taking in the eeriness. Eventually we mozied down to the National World War II Museum. Though we only had limited time before they closed, it was enough to feel transported into the world that was plagued by the second world war.
From oysters and jambalaya to French Street's popping jazz bars, local artists, Bourbon Street, and our personal favorite - the swamp, New Orleans has character like NO OTHER. Nothing like a place full of character for four girls full of character. We'll be back Nawlins. Most importantly, we'll be back blueberry mojitos.