One may under estimate the power of the birthday month, but don’t be fooled. On August 1, I received my first two cards, one from my insurance agent and one postcard from Starbucks for a free drink.
August 31, I had lunch courtesy of Lenny’s, who sent me a birthday coupon for a free regular sandwich.
Be impressed people, be impressed.
On my actual birthday morning, the day began with fruit trifle, a decadent chocolate raspberry cake and delicate tea cookies all lovingly created by friends/co-workers.
We extended the celebration to Spice Avenue for lunch and indulged in delicious Indian food. The management works hard to keep improving the restaurant which is evident by the constant upgrades in the room, the buffet, and even on the dish name plates. Strangely, the air conditioning wasn’t working and it was super dark, so we ate sweating in our seats and squinted at each other in the dim light.
I rushed through my post-work run, because that night we were going to eat at Cerami’s.
One of the best parts of my week was Friday, when Ben and I headed out of town for my birthday weekend! He scored us tickets to a Saints pre-season game and it was my first trip to the Super Dome. Yes, I know, it’s just pre-season, but football is football and watching the Saints play in the Dome, in New Orleans can’t be beat.
The Saints were playing the Chargers and had their first string in until the 3rd quarter. The most I got to see of fellow MU alum Chase Daniels, was him pacing the sideline sporting the backwards cap like usual. Be it pre-season, there were 70,000 fans in the Dome that night.
Oddly enough, the stadium food in the Dome leaves a lot to be desired, and is far from the good eats you can find throughout the city. The regional flavor shines through with dishes like alligator sausage, crawfish pie and jambalaya, but none of it looked appetizing. I settled for a pasty-looking doughy pretzel, and Ben got a hamburger made out of mystery meat. The higher up you sit in the dome, the lower the quality of food gets.
One shining star of being in a Southern football stadium (or maybe it’s just New Orleans) is the Bloody Marys. I ordered one and promptly took a photo, the serving lady was very amused. Nothing screams tourist like taking a picture of your drink! Anyhow, it was delicious, spicy, and adorned with picked green beans, lime, celery, and olives.
The next day, we were supposed to head to the Gulf Coast to take a boat to Ship Island, but the weather was bad and ferry rides were canceled. Instead we ate breakfast at Royal Blend, and the Banana Foster French Toast more than made up for the bad Dome food.
Then we headed to the National World War II museum which was a perfect rainy day activity. I found it to be very informative and the 4-D movie presented a thoughtful overview. Always looking for food connections, I learned that soldiers in the war were given an extreme emergency meal consisting of three chocolate bars with a crazy high calorie content. Chocolate, sustaining and useful!
Afterward we headed to Mother’s (our second visit, this was the first) for some po’boys and gumbo. They have an ever present line even at 2:30 in the afternoon.
Making use of the recent 36 Hours in New Orleans: The Budget Edition article, we made a final stop in Angelo Brocato for dessert. At $2.95 for a small cup of gelato, you can try two flavors at a reasonable price. I got pistachio nut and bacio, the heavenly combination of chocolate and hazelnut. Ben got a cappuccino (he’s addicted!) and vanilla cone. A friend let me taste his apricot gelato which was subtle and sweet. Oh, and the guy at the counter let me have a fig cookie, which was crumbly, understated, and only so-so.
Twenty-nine have been fantastic so far. In addition to a month of awesomeness, a second attempt to Ship Island will happen later in September, stretching the birthday fun a smidge further. I realize I’m beyond blessed and want to thank everyone who helped make this birthday special. Here’s to enjoying life, one bite at a time!
214 North Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70119