N’Awlins, Day 2

Well, it is has been a busy day thus far. Kevin has already chronicled it, so I don’t have much to add, but here are a few additional thoughts on food, shopping and the weather.

Breakfast at Brennan’s was every bit as good as Kevin said, if thoroughly decadent. Most places serve orange juice for breakfast. Brennan’s serves mimosas. Just the thing if you have been up partying all night. Although the Bananas Foster is their signature dish, the things I was most impressed with were the turtle soup and the Crepes Fitzgerald. Whatever they did to the strawberries for the latter, I need to learn to do it. The creamed spinach was really good too.

As I was taken photos of the building on our way out, our server offered to take us on a short tour. In particular we got a look at their “wine room”, which has windows on the new wine cellar. Why a new wine cellar, you ask? Because the restaurant lost 35,000 bottles of wine to Hurricane Katrina. Ouch!

After that we spent a lot of time walking, or rather waddling, around the city. I have not done much in the way of shopping, but I do what to note that if you like dolls or masks then this is a good place to come. In particular I would like to recommend Maskarade. I could have spent a fortune there, but actually trying to transport the masks back home ourselves would have been daft. The thing to do is order from the web site, and keep the packing so that you have a safe way to take the mask to conventions.

Oh yeah, and I need contact lenses. Masks and glasses do not mix.

I have to admit that I was underwhelmed by Cafe du Monde. I’m not a big fan of the chicory-laced coffee, the beignets seemed below par, and our server was brusque to the point of rudeness. Obviously I’m no great expert on beignets, and there’s an argument that whatever they serve at Cafe du Monde is what they ought to taste like. However, I’ve had beignets at Creola, and the I thought they were better. The ones at Cafe du Monde were larger, and they were doughy in the middle as if they had not cooked through properly.

We are currently watching the Weather Channel, where they are reporting that 60% of the people of Galveston have decided to stay. This has all of the sound of the disaster in the making. I’m glad that the folks I know have made it to safety, although “safety” is very relative. Ike is such a big storm (it is 8 miles high too), that a friend who is in a hotel in Austin reports that she’s found a hurricane warning notice in her room. There are likely to be a lot of tornadoes too. We are due to fly out on Monday, and New Oleans will still be in the tornado warning zone then.