Harbor Springs, Michigan, USA
May 07
Illustrator, Book Designer, Writer
Janice Phelps Williams is a book designer, illustrator, and writer. Learn about services for authors and publishers, as well as her artwork and books at www.janicephelps.com.


APRIL 27, 2011 8:30PM

A Few Days in New Orleans: Wonderful Food and Restaurants

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Mark and I had a great time on our short trip to New Orleans this past week. We walked, shopped, ate, listened, and learned the many reasons that folks from near and far love this wonderful city. Mark had been there before and already had a few favorite restaurants to share with me: The Court of Two Sisters, Emeril's, K. Paul's, and Johnny's.

With a Cannon PowerShot A2200 in hand, I was shooting right, left, and center and stretched beyond my comfort zone a bit, but getting closer to subjects than I typically would, hiding in a way, behind the camera. I'm sure I was not in the least invisible, but I did feel the ability to be bold in order to get the photo I wanted. Sometimes I missed it, but other times I was thrilled with the results, and tangible evidence of our happy time together in a place that seemed magical to me in a way, so infused with history as well as new energy and music embedded into the very mortar of old bricks, possibly bricks from Ohio, and cobblestones from Europe.

The flowers and trees whispered to me louder than the tubas, trumpets, and drums. The gentle paint colors of the Garden District and the gaudy brightness of Mardi Gras decorations in the French Quarter enticed me to take just one more picture. And woven around our time there was the Mississippi River, something I have always wanted to see.

I've many photos to share, so I'm going to break the posts up by category.

1) Wonderful Food and Restaurants
2) The French Quarter and Street Bands
3) The Garden District
4) Shopping, Books, and Miscellaneous
5) People and Animals


On our first night in town, we had dinner at K. Paul's Louisiana Restaurant. Above is a glimpse into the kitchen. Below is a photo of Mark perusing the menu, followed by the beautiful pear salad we enjoyed. I had to ask them to leave off the bleu cheese (allergies), but it was still super-delicious! Mark had a cup of gumbo and proclaimed it a winner (I had a spoonful and it was wonderful). For the entree, I had Blackened Beef with Debris Sauce, and Mark did as well.

Below is simply a window scene I liked very much. (I do not know what restaurant or kitchen this is looking into). Throughout the French Quarter there are many shops of all sorts and most of them have intriguing windows. If I lived here, I would spend one morning a week window shopping!

On Wednesday morning, we took a carriage ride (see "our" mule, Brown Derby, below) around the French Quarter, then stopped at Cafe Du Monde for coffee and beignets. Ah, they were divine!

At lunchtime, we headed over to The Court of Two Sisters. Below is a photo of the street view of the restaurant (taken later, in the evening). In the entryway hang many flags, including the one I've photographed.

Then, one goes through a welcoming area, past the sumptuous buffet, then out into a beautiful courtyard, resplendent with plants of all kinds, a large fountain, a canopy of woven tree branches and large umbrellas, and lovely tables set with linens. And, of course, music!

On Wednesday afternoon, we donned our swimsuits and I splashed around in the pool with a girl of about 10 or 11 who was happy to find she could touch bottom in the 5' deep end of the non-kiddie pool. We shared that it had been a long time since either of us was in a pool. After cooling off from the 86 degree weather (with very high humidity), I stretched out on one of the patio lounge chairs, closed my eyes, and nodded off under a sunny sky with a slight breeze.

Later in the evening, Mark and I made our way to Emeril's where the fantastic staff served us a wonderful dinner and dessert. For an appetizer, Mark had the angel hair pasta with crawfish, followed by "Shrimp and Grits." I had Thai lamb followed by a delicious 4-minute egg salad.

Dessert was, for Mark, banana cream pie, their signature dish and "unbelievably good." For me, strawberry shortcake and more fun photo opportunities!

On Thursday, we visited Johnny's for Po' Boys. I'd never had one before and as I was still full from Wednesday's indulgences, I ate the inside of the sandwich and skipped the bread.

We walked, walked, walked all afternoon in the Garden District (you won't want to miss the photos of these beautiful homes) and then went to Dickie Brennan's for dinner. I was less-than-thrilled with Dickie Brennan's, so no photos. The filet was nowhere near as delicious as I'd enjoyed at K. Paul's on Tuesday night, and while the service was excellent and the surroundings okay (like a good steakhouse anywhere), nothing about it stood out to me, and Mark's steak was tough as well.

We stopped in at the "5 Fifty 5" restaurant within the Marriott New Orleans and picked up creme brulee to take back to our room. I had several new books I wanted to look over, and I was feeling a bit sad due to news that morning that my dear friend, David, had passed away.

On Friday morning, I woke early and spent some time editing Jessica Bell's String Bridge.

At 6 a.m., a kind woman opened the door to Starbuck's and in I went for that blessed first cup of coffee.

I have always found baked goods at Starbucks to be dry and disappointing. But here in these glass cases were croissants that seemed to be the epitome of the croissant and muffins so tall and beautiful that I had to grab my camera and take a photo, much to the amusement of the gentleman nearby. I ended up choosing a blueberry scone, and it was delicious.

Our last meal in New Orleans was lunch back where we'd started, at K. Paul's. Mark had a po'boy and I had navy beans and rice. Yummy!

In our next post, you will see evidence of the walking we did, which allowed us to eat all this wonderful food with little guilt!

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