After waking up and Ricky and Wendy’s and driving an hour, our last day in New Orleans started with a trip to Domilise’s for some po’ boys. A contraction of the words “poor boy,” po’ boys were likely first served to out-of-work folks in New Orleans as an act of charity. Tom ordered a fried catfish and American cheese, and Sarah got a roast beef and Swiss. I followed a random comment from a restaurant review and got a fried shrimp with roast beef (instead of seafood), gravy and Swiss.
We all got our sandwiches “dressed,” which means something similar to “with everything” or “in the garden.” The attention to detail was impeccable for a location that does so much business. Several times, I watched a fried shrimp roll off the toasted French bread on the counter. Each time, the lady preparing the sandwich would retrieve the tasty morsel and find a vacant spot on the loaded loaf to act as a home for the escapee. We sampled the local Dixie beer to wash it all down; its taste was, to say the least, po’.
Our stomachs full, we decided on an attraction that we hadn’t seen the equivalent of anywhere else yet: The Southern Food and Beverage Museum. We wound our way up to the fourth floor of the Riverwalk, an indoor shopping center in which each consecutive set of stairs was on opposite sides of the building. This forced visitors to walk the length of each floor before ascending to the next, a little confusing to us for our first experience above the first floor. The museum included quite a bit of interesting knowledge, including how New Orleans became such a party-centric city.
As it turns out, the city regulated all perishable foods and directed that they could only be sold in one of a handful of approved city marketplaces. These were big profit centers for the city but the regulations were presented to the general population as a measure to protect food safety and quality. Shops outside the designated marketplace turned to a very non-perishable commodity to generate income — alcohol. Couple this arrangement with the absence of open container laws, no observable liquor license requirements, and complete tolerance of public drunkenness and — voila — you have a city that parties every night.
The Museum of the American Cocktail, which was more like a small wing of the Food and Beverage Museum than a separate museum unto itself, was also pretty interesting, with a medium-sized selection of cocktail history and artifacts, including literature, old bottles, and specialty mugs. We gave the cocktail room about a half hour of our time before we stopped for a quick shopping break for Sarah and headed towards the frozen hurricanes bar on a lower floor of the Riverwalk.
Drinks in hand, we walked through the mall, an experience that only briefly felt like we were doing something wrong. We had been looking for a café or shop to buy Beignets, a treat we had heard about from Kitty our first Day in New Orleans. We found Café Du Monde. We were still full, but decided to split an order of three but didn’t follow Kitty’s advice to eat them with coffee. They’re dough balls with a crust the consistency of funnel cake crust. They were pretty tasty but didn’t complement the hurricanes. We finished and left for the Voodoo Museum.
The closest parking we could find was about five blocks away near a covered market. We walked along the market area for as long as we could, and on the way Tom found a generic phone charger to replace one that was lost in the depths of the car. We ran for cover from awning to awning and entered the museum.
Inside, we were greeted by the self-described only white Voodoo priest. We listened to his lengthy but interesting back-story and looked around. This was the second small but interesting display of the day. We read about a New Orleans priestess and had a look at some Voodoo alter displays and relics. There was nothing amazing, but the museum was worth the time we spent there—even with the rain.
On the drive back to Ricky and Wendy’s, we decided that we were definitely going back to N’Orleans that evening and would not be making the drive back to their house in Mississippi afterwards. We would be getting done too late and no one wanted to drive. We quickly booked a hotel and soon after arrived at our destination for some excellent shrimp scampi over buttered noodles, salad, and fresh pineapple. De-licious, especially the shrimp. Thanks again, Wendy!
Two hours later we had checked in to our new hotel and we were back on Bourbon Street. This night would be very similar to our first, and that was just fine by us. One notable difference was a Jazz band that we watched for an hour or so in one of the narrow bars where only three could sit abreast (creating a very good atmosphere). This night we knew about the dollar beers sold in shady alleys and spent much less overall. We brought Krystal Burger back to the hotel and once again slept like babies.