The thing about New Orleans, I’ve discovered already, is that everyone wants to give you their restaurant recommendations. This is a good thing, so long as restaurant suggestions don’t play like car mechanic recommendations. Everyone has a A Guy, and they are sure he is better than every other guy. And if you don’t go to your friend’s guy … well, you’re taking your carburetor into your own hands, aren’t you?
We have a list of suggestions — not a suggestion, but lists — from at least three different people. Our friends at this conference are arriving today with similar lists. It is a remarkable thing.
One of the places we were told that we must go was a little dive bar and grill. The directions were “Go here and look across the street.” The idea being that you’d never see this place if you were looking for it:
We were told two things. First, order the macaroni and cheese, which is not on the menu, and they will treat you like locals. We forgot this instruction entirely, mostly because we were trying to work up the courage to follow the second piece of advice. The second tip was that we had to order the peanut butter and bacon burger:
The burger was, we were told, life changing. As in you will leave the place a different person. That’s a lot to say, and a lot of pressure to put on a burger. Oh, but this burger brings peanut butter and bacon to the party, too. The waitress agreed, this was a good burger. So we ordered them:
It was OK. The peanut butter overwhelmed the burger and you only occasionally noticed the bacon. It was very filling, go figure. It was a half a pound of beef with a whole lot of peanut butter. But we’d walked five miles last night. When I woke up this morning I was sore and tired and dehydrated. And then we went down to the fitness center and ran a 5K before lunch. The burger was fine, but it wasn’t something that you should order often because beef, bacon and peanut butter. So maybe it is a “when in New Orleans” thing. And you wouldn’t need it very much more often anyway.
We emerged from the place the same people. But later tonight I found myself thinking about how a peanut butter burger sounded like a pretty good idea …
This is the view from our hotel room in the Sheraton. Down that road there are some great neon signs that I’ll have to take pictures of later. The river is nearby. We found Jackson Square last night. Bourbon Street, which we haven’t even considered visiting, isn’t too far away. We’re apparently in the center of the business/tourist haven.
Now almost all of our conference friends are here. The conference begins (and my first panel presentation is) tomorrow.
I’d tell you about the place we had dinner tonight, which was also on a list from well-meaning friends, but the dining experience left something to be desired. Let’s say it this way, the meal was so weird that someone looked at a watch and wondered how long it would take us to go from getting the check to leaving the table. Consult this post’s title, above.