Our trip to New Orleans, January 2011
by tobert on July 13, 2011
This hotel was exactly what I wanted. It was right on Bourbon street and within easy walking distance to the entire French Quarter, the river and the streetcar. We booked this hotel for one night leaving on a cruise the next morning.Check in was quick (although they originally couldn't find my reservation). We were given a room on the 5th floor facing Bourbon, and were allowed to check in early. Although most people who write reviews of French Quarter hotels, complain about the noise, I'm going to complain about the opposite. We wanted to open our window so we could hear the jazz music being played at the restaurant across the street, but the window was sealed shut. You could still hear through the window, but not enough to actually enjoy. I typically wear ear plugs when I sleep, so street noise was not a problem on the Saturday night, although Bourbon St was certainly hopping!The bathroom was not the biggest with a relatively small granite vanity, but they made the most of the space with some built in wall shelves. The water pressure was fine and overall the bathroom was in pretty good shape.There was a large LCD TV and a comfortable bed. The room was pretty good sized and included an in room safe. We did not bother getting the key for the mini bar.We never had to wait for an elevator and check out was equally as quick. They even allowed us a late check out.We did not use any other services in the hotel.We booked the room through Orbitz and paid a little more than I wanted to. I knew I was paying for the location. I got exactly what I wanted, but if I ever went back, there are probably some other locations that I'd prefer to stay in. Bourbon street doesn't really have much culture other than "party". There are other areas that have nicer restaurants. But, for my first visit to New Orleans, this was perfect.
Being our first time in New Orleans, we decided to stay around Bourbon Street for our weekend visit. We had walked past The Embers a few times and the second floor dining balcony looked just right for watching the craziness happening on Bourbon St below. We were there on a Saturday night, with pretty good weather so Bourbon street was pretty crazy. The first floor of the restaurant was empty. The second floor was pretty full inside, and unfortunately the balcony was pretty busy as well, so we got a table facing the side street. A table facing Bourbon quickly opened up, so we asked to move, but we were told by the waitress that we couldn't. Apparently they wouldn't be able to change us over to the different table in the computer. So, that started the night off poorly. Anyway, we made the best of our view and ordered. Fried Crawfish tails for appetizers. I got the seafood platter and my partner ordered the meatballs for the main course. Each came with a salad, and we ordered a secondary side of french fries.The salads came out first. I asked for my dressing on the side, and my salad arrived, smothered with dressing. My partner asked for his dry and this was served correctly. I mentioned to the waitress that I ordered my dressing on the side, and she said "well, I wrote it on the slip, they made it wrong. But I wrote it down correctly". Apparently, she had no intention of correcting the situation, and started to walk away. I spoke up and asked her if she could bring me a salad with the dressing on the side. She again repeated that she wrote it on the slip correctly and that it was actually the kitchen's fault. I'm not really sure where she was going with that. I again had to ask for a new salad. She reluctantly took it back. I was given a new salad a few minutes later.The appetizer came out with the meal, which was annoying. The fried crawfish were actually very good. We had just ordered them to try crawfish, and ended up being very pleased that we did.Both entrees were pretty good also. I wasn't given any ketchup with my fried seafood platter and unfortunately our waitress never came around to ask how we were doing. I eventually had to go inside to track down another server and ask if I could get a bottle of ketchup. The same thing happened when I needed a second beer.In general, the food was actually pretty good, and if you can get a table overlooking Bourbon street, this is a nice spot to be a part of the action, without actually being in the middle of the action. If it wasn't for our waitress, I would recommend this place. However, given the terrible service, I would probably find another restaurant with a balcony. There were a few more on the street.
Cafe Du Monde was on our must see list in New Orleans, and we're glad we went. It was a bit rainy and the line was very long, but it did move fast. It allowed us time to take some pictures of the surrounding area. The seating was a bit crazy. There did not seem to be a dedicated host, yet there was someone who was pointing at tables. But the tables weren't yet clean, and you felt like you had to run to it for fear that it would be taken. Given the line, there was no way to request a certain area of the restaurant. Like I said, our day was rainy, so it would be have been nice to be in the inside part of the restaurant.The Beignets were delicious, but they really put too much powdered sugar on top. I know that is probably a signature topping, but you ended up having to brush most of it off and then on to your table, because the plates were just big enough to hold the beignets.The coffee was pretty good and the service was quick. But, once they brought your beignets and you paid, you never saw them again. It was like take out, at your seat! This didn't work amazing for us because I decided to get a souvenir mug and then we had to try and find our server.Our seat was right next to the chairs that are lined up for employee breaks. That was unfortunate as we felt like we were being watched by people who were bored and needed something to look at.Overall, this was a fun experience, and something I would definitely recommend for all who visit NOLA. The beignets are delicious and the line moves pretty fast.
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