Mapping Jaunted's New Orleans Field Trip.
Last week we told you where to drink in New Orleans. But after our Big Easy adventure, we wondered what visitors do when they're not downing hurricanes or nursing hangovers.
Turns out, they're picking up hammers.
Located about 20 minutes outside the French Quarter, Habitat for Humanity New Orleans, has been hosting on-going builds and offering affordable housing to its volunteers since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.
Twenty bucks (or roughly the cost of two of those fancy drinks) buys you a cot for the night in a revamped elementary school and a chance to relive those summer camps days.
But just what does that mean?
The nominal fee covers three square meals of peas, carrots and canned ravioli in the communal cafeteria and access to communal bathrooms, showers and rec rooms, too.
Volunteers can work for one day or an entire week--which still leaves plenty of time for drinking.
Inside the Hotel Monteleone, the Carousel Piano Bar & Lounge could be one of the city's top cocktail spots. After getting slammed last week during this summer's Tales of the Cocktail, things were considerably more quiet when I popped in early this week.
The most notable feature of the bar is its in-the-round format, complete with moving floor: The barstools actually rotate around the bartender all night. (Thankfully, the spinning is quite slow.) Gossiping about all the fellow drinkers you'll spy as the wheel turns is almost as much fun as the drinks.
Speaking of, they're terrific. You won't find any hand grenades at the Carousel. This place is all about the classics, like negronis, sazeracs and lots of bourbon. Fortunately for me, my room was right upstairs.
New Orleans probably has more stories about drinking than any other place in the world. And the man to tell you about them is Joe Gendusa, a Gray Line tour guide who's been leading cocktail tours of the French Quarter for five years. (He's so expert that the reality show Blind Date asked him to ferry some young lovers on a pub crawl for an episode.)
Not to worry, though. Joe's tour isn't all history. After detailing famous locations and buildings, he'll also tell you which bars make the best hurricanes (Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop), mint juleps (Court of the Two Sisters) and Pimm's cups (Napoleon House Bar & Cafe). In other words, make sure you go on the tour with a full stomach.
With all the drink stops and hiking, the tour takes just under three hours, so wear some comfortable shoes. And if you want to remember anything that Joe tells you by the time the walk ends, maybe you should take a notebook, too.
More New Orleans Travel Map.
When the first family of New Orleans restaurants opens a new place, you pretty much have to check it out. So a friend and I went over to the Loews New Orleans Hotel to have lunch at Cafe Adelaide. Since it's run by the Brennan clan--of Commander's Palace fame--I knew I'd have fun, I just didn't realize how much.
Since opening in 1990, Emeril Lagasse's original has likely become one of the best known restaurant in the country. There's not too much to add to Emeril's hagiography, but it's worth noting that even with all his restaurants and shows, quality at his flagship is still as high as it was more than 10 years ago when I first ate at Emeril's.