Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Of Waffles, Groceries, and Sweet, Sweet Jazz.

Waking early and refreshed on day 2 of my journey, I walked across the street to the Quartermaster Deli (a.k.a The Nellie Deli) and got a frosty coffee beverage and started the day with the wake up call of champions, a refreshing Camel cigarette. Having got my nicotine quotient up, it was time to head out for breakfast, and we walked down to La Peniche for breakfast. I ordered up my favorite item from there, a waffle topped with peanut butter and bananas, oh, and of course syrup. It may not be the healthiest way to start the day, but you can rest assured that Elvis would have approved. And look at how great he turned out….. Ok, maybe not the best example. 

Anyhow, it was time for a jaunt out of the quarter, and we headed out to do some thrift shopping. Yes, the Bugg likes to thrift. Why? Two good reasons. First, you never know what kind of VHS tapes you might find in a thrift shop, and I’ve often come across some gems. Secondly, the Bugg is a dapper fellow. I like to wear a lot of vintage, but it often comes with a hefty price tag. So if you’re ballin’ on a budget like me, then it’s a great place to go. Sadly, though I did find a Red Skelton Christmas Special tape, there were no new duds to be found. 

On our way back into the city, we stopped in at Dorignac’s Grocery Store. Like any city, New Orleans has its share of local groceries. In many places, I’ve seen this kind of place struggle to get by, but down here, they thrive. Dorignac’s is a great little shop filled with all you could want in groceries, meat so fresh looking it looked like they just cut it off the cow this morning, and a bakery where everything looks good. I picked up some Steen’s Cane Syrup and French Market coffee concentrate for Ms. Directed who had requested these goodies, and then headed over to the bakery to  pick up an Apple Fritter and a glazed chocolate donut. 

Heading back into the Quarter, and then it was time for lunch. That’s right there’s no rest for the hungry. We decided on the Napoleon House, a favorite with both locals and tourists alike. Most people, including my folks this trip, get the Muffuletta, marinated olive salad, then layers of ham, genoa salami, pastrami, swiss cheese, and provolone. Now, I’ve had the sandwich quite a few times and it is good, but I’m not a big fan of olives. So instead I opted for the Veal Parmesan Sandwich on a Rosemary Tomato Bun. The veal was thick, but incredibly tender, and coupled with the Amber Bock I was sippin’ on it made a great meal. 

On our way to Napoleon House, we had passed by Preservation Hall, and my folks saw their friend Ron, who is the manager of the hall and a performer in The Bingo Show. (Have I mentioned how great they were… oh, I did. Well, they still were). Ron invited us back to see The Preservation Hall Jazz Band tonight as his guests, and so we took him up on his offer. We arrived about 20 minutes before the doors opened and got right in much to the consternation of the young fellow first in line. As we were walking in he intoned, “Dude, this is the front of the line.” only to be told by the gatekeeper that we were guests. I guess this is the closest I’ll ever get to being “with the band”, and I didn’t even have to do anything unconscionable. 

We were in for another great show as the band, made of veteran musicians and some of younger performers (including Bingo Show bandleader Clint Madegen. Have I mentioned… oh, never mind.). They ran through some great numbers, and it probably goes without saying that they brought back the flavor of the bygone era of jazz perfectly. I really enjoyed hearing songs like The Tiger Rag, Sugar Blues, and Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? always tugs at my heartstrings. My Dad requested a number called I Wish I Could Shimmy like My Sister Kate which the band’s bass player sang, and it was damn near one of the funniest things I have seen in a while. So if you like traditional jazz, you owe it to yourself to go to Preservation Hall and check them out. 

Getting some dinner on the late side, we thought we’d walk over to Acme Oyster House, a restaurant I’ve always enjoyed, but often gets put down as a tourist trap. If it is, so be it, the food is damn good and I’ll be a tourist for the time I’m there. I felt like something a little lighter so I got the Seafood Gumbo, a side of hushpuppies, and a cold, cold bottle of Barq’s root beer to finish it off. It was wonderful and I ate it all down to the point where if I wanted any more I would have had to lick the bowl. 

For a nightcap, there’s nothing better than strolling down the street from Acme and getting a nice Café au Lait at Café du Monde. They are right on Jackson Square, and with a cool breeze coming in from the river and a thin Monday night crowd, it was quite peaceful to sip my coffee and enjoy the evening. Thus ending a second day in NOLA with a delicious treat. 

Now it is off to bed so we can get up and do it again, and I’ll be back tomorrow with more to report. 

Yours Truly, 
T.L. Bugg

P.S. Today’s Terrifying Tuesday is Mardi Gras Massacre and so I went to the spot where the coppers lost their suspect, the corner of Madison and Chartres. It’s kind of a backstreet, and it made me wonder if they lost him there because they had also “lost” their permits to be filming. For what it’s worth, here it tis. 

Also back on Sunday, when I reviewed The Cincinnati Kid, I wasn't sure where the location of the poker game, The Lafayette Hotel was. After determining there was no Hotel in the area by that name I went around and check some places out. I believe the location to have been the Royal Orleans hotel on St. Louis St. The Hotel in the film is only shown in exterior so this is only my best guess. 

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