Happy Fat Tuesday, all! Traveling to New Orleans soon (like my sister, Carly), or already there celebrating Mardi Gras?
Thanks to an article written by Brian Yaeger, from Draft Magazine, we’d like to share with you good places to drink, eat, and soak in the “Naw-lins” lifestyle. Dr. B and I went last year and it was a blast. Enjoy!
“New Orleans is a good-time city; mix in this year’s Super Bowl crowd, and it’s an all-out bash. While cocktails reign supreme, the beer scene’s making some noise, too, so cheer on your team and laissez les bons temps brewler (let the good times brew).”
Though the Jackson Brewery is now a shopping mall and Katrina prevented the Dixie Brewery from turning 100, the Big Easy is still brewing. New Orleans Lagers and Ales Brewing (Irish Channel, nolabrewing.com) entered the market in 2008 with a light blonde ale, coupled with the approachable NOLA Brown. Soon enough, they were turning people onto Hopitoulas IPA, named for the brewery’s address on Tchoupitoulas Street. Between its brand-new Mecha Hopzilla Double IPA and other creatively brewed (and named) seasonals such as Hurricane Saison, it’s no wonder the Friday open house brewery tours are flooded (with people).
Across Lake Pontchartrain, Covington Brewhouse (Covington, covingtonbrewhouse.com) has three beers on the market, including the flagship Pontchartrain Pilsner, but in the land of voodoo, they have some soon-to-debut tricks up their sleeve.
And while you’re on the north shore, visit local stalwart Abita (Abita Springs, abita.com) at the new brewery or the pub housed in the original brewhouse. The new 25th anniversary Select Series (which celebrates with creations like an imperial oyster stout) and Big Beers lineup (including Double Dog, an imperial version of the iconic Turbodog) demonstrate the brewery’s still on its game.
The good times roll after dinner, before a concert, or anytime since bars are open 24 hours a day—part of the reason it’s the City that Care Forgot. Take Avenue Pub (Lower Garden District, theavenuepub.com), a hit among beer geeks and cooking staffs (yes, restaurants close); relax upstairs in the balcony bar overlooking iconic St. Charles Avenue. Several of the taps are locals and the bottle list, as Satchmo himself might say, is worthy of building a dream on. d.b.a. (Marigny, dbabars.com/dbano) offers the best of everything, considering that adjacent to the 20-tap bar is a stage graced by the liveliest rock, blues, jazz, Cajun and brass bands around, all on the best nightlife crawl in town: Frenchmen Street. The Bulldog (Uptown, draftfreak.com) on Magazine Street, another excellent spot to soak up local culture, focuses on draft beer as indicated by the oft-photographed water feature with dozens of fountains springing from actual tap handles. The second location in Midtown is equally great. If you’re ailing from too much ale, there’s a Cure (Freret, curenola.com). This forward-thinking hotspot on Freret Street proffers bitters by the dropper and bucketfuls of swank courtesy of award-winning bartenders. The kicker: While the restaurant-bar is located in a renovated firehouse, it’s mercifully smoke-free. If you’re after the bacchanalian Bourbon Street experience, slip into Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop (French Quarter, lafittesblacksmithshop.com), one of America’s oldest bars. There, the hurricanes contain actual fruit juice (and seemingly even more rum) yet are still cheaper than the other guys’. After one or two, sing along with the endearingly awful piano man.
To read more about dining and lodging, please visit the original post at Draft Magazine.
Hope you have a great trip, Carly and other travelers!