Between libations and travel delirium, the evening went hazy after that. We walked our first of many trips to Bourbon Street, where I learned exactly what it would be like to attend a Jimmy Buffet concert at the Florida State Fairgrounds, or Fantasy Fest in Key West; but truly, a combination of the two. I flashed back to one decade ago, when my new boyfriend (now husband) drove hours crammed in the back seat of a two-door car, with an ear infection, to experience Mardi Gras on that very same cobblestone with his fraternity brothers. Jealousy couldn’t begin to describe my mental state at the time, imagining him bearing witness to smoking hot, Red-Bull-touting skanks willing to shed their tops for a necklace. But when he returned to school carrying a giant stuffed snake he stole from an eight-year-old and smelling of stale booze, he appeared more scorned than filled with secrets. Apparently, the only women who shed their tops are the ones you’d never want to see topless. All these years later, I finally understood.
And to The Ruby Slipper off Magazine Street for serving the Catfish “St. Peter,” which I’ll forever deem the “Double Down” of brunch delicacies: grilled catfish lost atop a giant fried grit cake, topped with poached eggs, spinach, and tomatoes, doused with a Creole mustard hollandaise, and pierced with a three-shrimp skewer, like a toothpick in a giant club sandwich. I was exhausted just describing it, let alone eating it.
The New Yorker in me does have one sticking point, though: the beignets. Café Du Monde, beignets, powdered sugar, chicory coffee, blah blah blah. I just wasn’t feeling it. The cookies and cream donut at District, way down Magazine Street, was a thousand times tastier (see Twitter).
As our perpetual four-day hangover neared its end, it was only fitting to stumble upon one final meal at Surrey’s Café & Juice Bar, where an unassuming menu birthed my favorite sandwich, perhaps of all time: the crab melt. Jumbo lump crab, melted muenster, and remoulade, stuffed between toasted sourdough bread. Paired with fresh carrot ginger juice, my last few bites of New Orleans were easily savored, much like the memories of a bachelorette weekend.