Hope everyone had a great 4th of July. Mine was less than spectacular. I had begun coming down with strep throat, so spent the majority of the day in bed. It made me miss those sick days when there was a boyfriend/husband to spoil me with kisses, hugs, wonton soup and lots of cuddling. I only dragged myself out of bed that morning to see the matinee of “The Fault in Our Stars.” Though the movie was very good, let me warn you, if you’re feeling emotional about anything at all, AVOID THIS MOVIE AT ALL COSTS! You’ll spend the last half of the movie boo-hooing it up!
The Fillmore Street Festival happened to be that weekend as well. I made a quick run-through both days, but didn’t find anything to keep me there. None of the musical acts mesmerized me and I certainly didn’t need to spend any money. For the most part, you see the same vendors at all of the festivals in San Francisco – the Union Street, North Beach, Fillmore & Polk Street ones. So no need to panic if you regret not buying something; it will be at the next festival or the same festival next year!
My cousin’s band, Rebel Souljahz, did a great acoustic set at Pa’ina Lounge about a week and a half ago. CRSB opened for them. True to form, I got a picture with Chris and Sonny, who comprise CRSB. They were at the bar doing shots in honor of Sonny’s father, who (sadly) passed away of cancer on 4th of July weekend. There was also a picture with my cousin, of course, specifically so I could tag his Dad on Facebook!
The following day was Bastille Day, a.k.a. French Independence Day. What better time for me to get my French on?! I started at Amelie with two wine flights; first a red flight, then sparkling wine and champagne. A couple of my friends actually showed up, too. We moved on to Bouche, where the owner poured us Kir Royals and we dined on scallops “tartare,” as well as duck confit. I ended with a final drink at Café Bastille. (You know you’re getting old when 3 bars nearly do you in for the evening!)
Since then, I’ve done nothing of consequence, unless you count my two loads of laundry this past Saturday. My to-do list always consists of the same things – doing laundry, doing handwashing, cleaning my room, finding clothes/shoes/THANGS to donate, going to the gym, grocery shopping. It’s an exciting life, let me tell you – NOT!
On the up side, New Orleans is about a month away, possibly exactly a month from today. The most important thing when planning a vacation to the Big Easy is to get my ducks in order in regards to restaurants and live music. Although I’m a sucker for junk food (in the form of chips, licorice, gummy candy, sodas, fast food), I’m also a semi-food snob. That was most likely imbued in me compliments of my French husband. It’s been said that New Orleaneans have some of the most sophisticated palates in the U.S. due to their French, Italian, Spanish and Caribbean influence. My favorite New Orleans go-to’s are shrimp remoulade from The Gumbo Shop, gumbo from Mister B’s Bistro, bread pudding from Galatoire’s, muffelattas from Central Grocery, banana cream pie from Nola and those deviled crab thing-a-ma-jigs from a fast food place in the Riverwalk Mall. The thing that always touches my heart when sitting down to a meal in the Big Easy is that you’re often served cornbread! What a nice change from a crusty baguette! You KNOW my foodie destinations are, for the most part, all mapped out. I’m thinking K-Paul’s for blackened whatever, Antoine’s for their prix-fixe lunch and quarter martinis (or so I’ve heard), Galatoire’s for anything and everything and Killer Po’ Boys for another coriander lime gulf shrimp po’ boy. Number one on my new to try list is a Natchitoches meat pie; supposedly, those can be found at Quarter Deli. On my next to last trip I finally had some fried green tomatoes from Eat, but I wasn’t duly impressed, although theirs come highly recommended. My live music plans consist of hitting up the Candlelight Lounge on my first night, followed by Zydeco Night at the Rock N Bowl my second night. While attempting to zydeco, I could possibly hop on over to Ye Olde College Inn and give those foie gras macarons a try. Anything could happen the next two nights, as nothing definite is in the works. I could bar hop/live music hop on Frenchmen Street, drinking frozen daiquiris all along the way!
I can honestly say that the last time I tossed my cookies from drinking was a single night in New Orleans way back in 1996. That evening consisted of drinks at the Carousel Bar, more drinks at Desire and finally more drinks at some other bar on Bourbon Street (Cajun Cabin, perhaps?) while dancing with someone’s husband (at her request) to some live music. The best part of that evening? I didn’t spend a dime on drinks! Yup, things like that happen in New Orleans! Must be why I love the place; nothing is ever normal or expected. Besides, who can resist when a Southern gentleman with an exaggerated drawl says “Chere, you’re just prettyin’ up the sidewalk!”?!