To start off our first night in New Orleans, we headed to The Famous Gumbo Pot on Decatur street. We got to the waterfront restaurant just in time to see the sun set and enjoy a couple of rounds of hurricanes before ordering some of New Orleans’s finest food.
I indulged of the “stuffed crab dinner” over pasta. It came with the creamiest sauce that would’ve caused me to lick the plate if I could've eaten all that was on the plate. I tried my hardest to eat as much as I could, but two stuffed crab shells over a plate of pasta was a bit much. John enjoyed the jambalaya, but after trying our friend's “jambalaya pasta”, he was a little jealous.
All four of us stuffed our bellies and ate a little extra just to savor all of the incredible flavors. The Famous Gumbo Pot is a perfect afternoon choice for drinks and a meal near Bourbon Street.
A New Orleans gem hides across the street from the Renaissance Hotel on Tchoupitoulas Street. The beach-themed bar, Lucy’s The Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant, served good drinks with hearty meals to kick off our day in the Big Easy.
John had the monstrous Santa Cruz Skillet with three eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon, ham, and other cheesy goodness. I had the Whitney Harrison Huevos Rancheros. It is a classic dish served with fresh ingredients like pico de gallo, eggs, and tortillas. The only downside was that I had to ask for more tortillas, because mine got soggy from the mountain of beans.
All in all, Lucy's is a great place for breakfast skillets with a relaxing, West Coast atmosphere. If nothing else, it is a nice change of scenery from the usual New Orleans style.
We have heard this place gets pretty wild at night, so we will definitely be back to experience the retired surfer bar scene!
Lafitte’s is one of the oldest institutions on Bourbon Street and is possibly the oldest bar in the United States! A friend told us about this bar, and we have been back on a handful of occasions since our first experience.
We love how the piano and hundreds of candles set the mood. I've been lost in thought as the piano notes roll and found myself imagining the scene when the bar opened in the 18th century. Whether its with friends or the two of us, we always enjoy a nice, casual evening here.
To read more about it’s history check out their website!
It took Taylor and I a few trips to New Orleans before we were able to go to the world famous Café du Monde. After passing the extraordinarily long line several times in one day, we decided the best time to go would be after a night out on the town.
Needless to say, at 2 am, the line was much shorter than it usually is. These were the most delicious beignets we've ever had the pleasure of eating. Pair a sugary plate of those with a cup of delightful coffee, and you'll have the perfect treat to end your long night out in New Orleans.
This is truly a great Dallas restaurant with a fantastic menu and cocktail list. My sister and I were really lucky we were able to enjoy lunch here one Saturday afternoon. My beer was served in this huge chalice, and it was awesome!
To start our meal, we ordered the “Texas Goat Cheese” which was a gooey, melted cheese topped with whole cloves of roasted garlic with fresh French baguettes. Although the huge cloves of garlic were a bit much, they were large enough to move to the side with no problem.
Kendall enjoyed her entire chicken salad sandwich, and I enjoyed some shrimp skewers over a bed of rice. We discovered, at the end of meal, that first time customers get a free piece of the Rustic's incredibly fluffy and scrumptious peanut butter pie, so we capped off our meal with pie on the patio. I have to say this is a pretty darn great spot to be.
*The menu has changed a bit since my last visit, so I would love your comments on the new menu. We will have to go back soon and try it!*
Silky O’Sullivan’s is world famous for its “Diver Bucket”. It's a gallon of an unknown liquor concoction. This bucket has all the sugar you need to make it out till 3am, so grab a handful of friends and straws and enjoy your night!
Stay and enjoy some dueling pianos if they're good. John and I have seen struggling performers up there on a Tuesday night, but everyone has fun regardless. If you get hungry, enjoy some of the fine food options that Silky's has to offer. It's located near the FedEx Forum, so it's in the prime location to start your bar hopping after a Memphis Grizzlies win.
Judging it’s exterior, I guessed the crowd that awaited Lou and I inside of this local dive bar. We were welcomed into the bar by the owner, who was very friendly and welcomed every guest with a smile and a handshake. He kindly notified us that they were a cash-only bar and pointed out where the ATM was.
We were fortunate enough to hear the band Moxie playing a mix of 80’s cover songs and original compositions. The band brought out an interesting crowd to say the least. We stayed through their first set for one round of drinks, but once they took a break, we decided it was best for us to do the same. If you like a traditional pool hall near the beach, this place is just for you.
Chico Feo is the true definition of a beach bar. It has no roof or walls and is just an open patio. A steel drum player did his thing, while Lou and I ordered a round of Coronas (Chico Feo doesn’t have their liquor license!) and cheered to our expectations for a great weekend to come.
After watching the people next to us order some grub, we decided we’d have some as well. The menu was quite eclectic; I ordered a pork taco and a chicken taco, while my cousin ordered their goat curry. I assume that Lou’s curry was as good as my tacos were, since we both devoured our meals. We enjoyed the music for a bit longer and decided to find a bar with some cover, as a storm was quickly approaching.
39 Rue De Jean has been voted the best French Restaurant and lays claim to the best mussels in Charleston. I can’t verify that their’s are the best in town, but I can say that I’ve never had better. Taylor, Lou, and I enjoyed a substantial serving of their Pistou mussels, which were served in a basil pesto sauce with bread for dipping. The mussels were a wonderful primer to what would be an even better meal.
Lou seemed quite satisfied with his steak, and the “De Fruits de Mer” seafood platter that Taylor and I split did not disappoint. We filled our bellies with shrimp, clams, raw oysters, and a lobster tail covered in crab meat. 39 Rue De Jean may have competitors, but this place has to be at the top of anyone’s list for the best that Charleston has to offer.
Taylor and I always seem to find awesome dive bars, and our trip to Charleston was no exception. The Griffon is an English pub off of Queen Street just steps from the Cooper River and Waterfront Park (home to the famous pineapple fountain).
The first things we noticed as we entered the pub were thousands of uniquely decorated dollar bills posted on every inch of the establishment’s walls.The bills provided endless entertainment as we decided our order. We were tempted to order the “best fish and chips in Charleston” but decided to hold out for dinner and order a caesar salad, a basket of fries, and round of cold brews.
Once we had enjoyed our food and drink, we played a friendly game of darts with a local who told us all about his favorite places. He and his wife suggested that we try 39 Rue De Jean for dinner. The Griffon is a perfect place to have a good bite, wet your whistle, and get a feel for local Charleston.
Page’s Okra Grill gave Taylor and I the best value of any place that we ate at in Charleston. I ordered a chicken biscuit covered in jalapenos, eggs, and sausage gravy called TJ’s Hot Mess. Taylor got her seafood fix with the Shem Creek omelette. Neither of us could finish our meals, and I couldn’t believe the price when the check made it to the table.
The value was superior, the food was absolutely delicious, and the specialty drinks were quite refreshing. Go for the best Bloody Mary in town and stay for the unbelievably inexpensive meals.
It’s hard to miss this local dive bar’s giant yellow signs advertising it as “the coldest, cheapest beer in town”.The Warehouse is in the heart of Savannah’s downtown scene right on the Historic River Street. Not only did the signs grab my attention, but the sweet sounds of James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and Lenny Kravitz coming from the live band perked up my ears and kept me dancing all night long. The atmosphere and people were welcoming and friendly to all of the tourists including myself. They weren't lying about the cold and cheap beer, so I enjoyed a few Southbound Scattered Suns before following a group to Savannah Smile's Dueling Pianos. The Warehouse was the perfect place to start my solo trip!
This bar is in the City Market area of Savannah which is a quick five block walk from River Street. I walked up the staircase to find a crowded dance floor and tree vine lights hanging from the ceiling and poles. The music they were playing was a bit more of the popular club and rap music, so I stood outside with my new friends and enjoyed my vodka sour with a great view of historic downtown Savannah.
I had worked up quite a late afternoon appetite after a long hot day of strolling around Savannah’s historic sites. When I walked in, the two cooks were jamming out to some awesome 90's hip-hop classics behind the counter. I placed my order and sat down in the tiny pizzeria.
I enjoyed two (larger than my face) slices of cheese pizza while singing along and bobbing my head with the few locals that were there. I finished off my slices with a glass bottled Coke and headed out of town with a full stomach and a big smile on my face.
Follow the bubbles in the sky from River Street to Smile's Dueling Pianos, and you won't be disappointed. Even on a Thursday night, the bar was packed with bachelorette parties and locals alike. The pianos and drum set are up on a nice stage that allows for plenty of dancing room.
The musicians did an awesome job playing any song that was requested so long a few dollars were thrown their way. They played a range of music from Johnny Cash to Brittney Spears and never lost the crowd's attention or energy throughout the night. If I had more than one night in Savannah, I would’ve stayed until the piano player’s fingers fell off, but I wanted to keep exploring and see what other places had to offer.
Halfway down a staircase behind Smile’s Dueling Pianos Bar is Savannah’s very own speakeasy. I don’t remember the password, because the guy I got my information from kept messing with me. Regardless, the gatekeeper unlocked the door and let me in.
Once the door opened and I pushed back the curtains, I felt like I had stepped back in time to the roaring 20's. There were girls in flapper dresses and all of the bartenders were wearing white shirts with bow ties. I hate that I was there on a Thursday night and didn’t get to see someone shred on the piano or saxophone resting on the stage. Even without the live music, the smooth jazz playing over the speaker set the mood as I lounged on the velvet couches and enjoyed my mojito.
This Savannah gem is all over every 'best breakfast' list, and it is not oversold. This great little diner is covered in autographs and local newspaper clippings. I sat at the counter and overindulged with a large plate of their famous stuffed french toast.
Four pieces of perfectly cooked French toast stuffed with strawberries and cream cheese filling topped off with whipped cream is what my brunch dreams are made of. All of that food with a glass of orange juice for under $10 just can’t be beat.