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Thursday, June 5, 2008

New Orleans -- The Garden District & Ferry Ride 5.25.08

*  Commander's Palace - Brunch                       *  Garden District walking tour
*  Johnny's po-boy - Afternoon snack            *  Harrah's Casino
*  Ferry ride to Algeter                                         *  COOP

The next morning, we took the St. Charles Streetcar to Washington Avenue. It was a 10 minutes ride from our hotel. Riding the streetcar was a really enjoyable experience that brought back nostalgia of the old times.

Jazz Brunch at Commander's Palace was recommended by many locals so I made a reservation a few weeks before our trip. The restaurant was right next to St. Louis No. 2 Cemetery. Unfortunately, the cemeteries were closed on Sunday. UGH..... definitely an oversight on my planning. 


I soon realized why the restaurant was loved by so many people. There was an aura of timeless elegance and southern hospitality about this place. The perfect service would satisfy the most difficult customers. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by every single staff we passed by. The Jazz band would come by every table to play music and chat with you. The main courses were served at once for the table no matter how big the party was. At one point, I saw 8 servers holding the entrees standing behind each guests of a party of 8. For that reason alone, I wanted to host a party for 20 people just to see them serving the main course!

Appetizer: Turtle soup
This was the first time I had turtle meat. The soup was a little too salty for my taste. Turtle tasted like ground beef.

Appetizer: Shrimp Tasso Hanican.
This dish was an eye candy! And it tasted as good as it looked. I loved the beautiful color of the sauce.

Main Course: Softshell Crab & egg.
I was never a big fan of softshell crab, but this dish totally won me over. The mustard sauce added an extra kick to the fried crab.


Main Course: Gulf Fish
The fish was pretty good, but I enjoyed the crab more.


Dessert: Strawberry shortcake
Strawberry shortcake is one of my favorite dessert, but this one by far was the best. The crunchy biscuit, whip cream, and fresh strawberries was a perfect combination.


Hans loved this bread pudding with the creamy whiskey sauce. The texture of the bread pudding was creamy, soft, and much better than all the bread puddings I had during this trip. 

Coming out of the Commander's palace around 1P.M., I was buzzed and happy. The chef in Commander's Palace seemed to be a big fan of cooking with liquors. We could taste all kind of liquors in pretty much every single dish.
We followed the guidebook's walking tour, began to explore the beautiful houses in Garden District.  There were so many periods and styles of architectures: Greek revival, Gothic revival, Creole cottage, shotgun houses, and etc.  I wish I had a better understanding of the history and characteristics of these architectural styles.  My favorite was 2425 Coliseum Street, John Goodman's house.

It was another hot and humid day. By the time we finished the walking tour, I was sweaty and tired again.  We decided to head back to the hotel to freshen up.  The streetcar was packed with visitors, and every stop had a long line of people waiting.


We rushed out of the hotel again around 3:40 to beat the 4 o'clock closing time at Johny's Po' Boys.  
It was another restaurant we wanted to try. 


Po' Boy is a hero sandwich with cooked meat, such as fried shrimp, fried oyster, roasted beef, etc. for your choosing.  To be honest, I did not care for it.  I would choose a Muffuletta any given time.

After Johny's Po' Boy, we decided to take the ferry to Algiers.   We passed by  Harrah's Casino and the shopping mall.  

The ferry ride from the French Quarter to Algiers took merely 2 minutes. Mardi Gras' world was closed by the time we reached Algiers.  We walked around the block and returned back to the French Quarter.  The ferry ride was a relaxing pastime until we hit the next eatery: COOP'S. 

Coop's Place was another low-key, straight forward, and rustic restaurant/bar. 

The crab meat stuffed jalapeños were really good, 
especially if you like spicy food.



Fried Chicken with Rabbit & Sausage jambalaya, red bean & rice, shrimp and creole.
The fried chicken was really good. 
I could not differentiate what's what from the rest of the pile.

After dinner, we walked back to our hotel along Bourbon Street.  Knowing that we had to get up early next morning for the swamp tour, we forwent a crazy night out of drinking and spent the night at our hotel rooftop swimming pool instead.

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