our night out in the Carrollton neighborhood
New Orleans Travel Blog› entry 4 of 5 › view all entries
I woke up late after sleeping off a hangover Tuesday morning. The four of us went out for lunch and tried some interesting local dishes in a lovely second-floor restaurant full of natural light from the open balcony doors. The good meal, a bottomless glass of ice water, and my sweet desert helped to soothe my head
That night I convinced the other guys to follow the advice I’d gotten from the local girls the night before. We started off on the main strip again and then we took a taxi uptown to The Maple Leaf Bar (at 8316 Oak Street) and caught an outstanding show by local legends Rebirth Brass Band. The Maple Leaf is a roomy house converted into a bar. The long garage bay is where the band performed. A tall wooden fence surrounded the backyard and overhead we had an unobstructed view of the stars. Between the band’s sets, we sat out back to talk and drink our beers and when we saw the flood of people flow back inside, we knew it was time to go in to gather around the stage again.
After a great time at the Leaf, we headed down the street and found another place the girls had suggested, Snake and Jakes Christmas Club Lounge on Oak Street, which is a popular hangout among Tulane students. Discovering we could have saved a few bucks on the long cab ride, we crossed the trolley tracks and then passed by a few residences with symbols of voodoo displayed in the front yards. As promised, a man bearing a striking resemblance to Santa Claus sat outside the door of the small bar that looked like an old shed. The interior was also unique and hip. It was dimly light and decorated with strands of Christmas lights and the low ceiling gave the place an intimate, if slightly claustrophobic, fee.
We stayed at Snake and Jakes until the wee hours and decided to get some late-night grub before returning to the hotel. In the cab I asked the driver if he knew of the place the girls had suggested to eat. He had and agreed it was good, but suggested a different diner that would be even better. Recognizing that taxi drivers know of every place in town and have the inside scoop, we revised our destination and went where he advised.
To my surprise, inside the restaurant we ran into the same two girls whose advice we had just ignored in favor of that from our cab driver. When the girls and I recognized each other and greeted, they asked me with surprise, “How did you know about this place?” The jambalaya was terrific! There was a bottle of hot sauce on each table and I added some to my meal before the first bite. Wow, that was hot! I love spicy food, so I enjoyed the rush, but I remarked that if a restaurant in Connecticut were to leave such a potent condiment on a table some customer would surely file a lawsuit.