After hearing about the magic of New Orleans my entire life, I am pleased to say that the city totally lived up to my expectations.

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The overall point of visiting the city was to partake in the New Orleans Rock n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon but also to eat, check out some jazz, and spend time with my family.

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I started out my trip at my Uncle and Aunts house. They recently moved just outside of New Orleans and invited me (or allowed me to invite myself) to visit their home and check out some cool sights nearby. We went to Avery Island first to see where Tabasco is made and to check out the swamps. I ended up seeing one alligator, but it quickly swam away once I got close enough to take a picture.

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The 1/2 marathon was on Sunday, so I headed to New Orleans on Saturday morning to meet (so exciting!) Joanne from Eats Well With Others and to hang out with her in the city. We hadn’t actually met in person before, so it was super amazing to get to know her and chill as we ate our way through the French Quarter together.

After checking out the Rock n’ Roll expo, we headed straight for Cafe du Monde – the famed home of chicory coffee and delicious powdered sugar Beignets. This place is definitely worth the hype. The beignets come out piping hot and the chicory coffee is absolutely delicious.

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Joanne and I are both vegetarians so eating out together was really easy. New Orleans isn’t much of a meatless city, but we managed just fine. We hit up LA Thai for spring rolls and curry for a pre-race dinner – neither of us really subscribe to the whole carb loading thing.

Sunday morning we excitedly woke up and got our gear together for the big race. It was so nice to escape the snow and run a gorgeous jazz music filled course with sunny skies. We ran the entire race together ignoring our full bladders and ended up finishing in 1:54. It was my first time ever running with someone else, so now I’m definitely addicted!

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Since Sunday was our last full day in NOLA we made sure to check out everything the French quarter had to offer. We started at Stanley’s for brunch. Joanne ate the messiest eggs benny I’ve ever seen, and I enjoyed an omlet sandwich with caramelized onions and spicy mayo on toasted grainy bread.

We weren’t finished with beignets and headed to Cafe Beignet to see if it was anything like Cafe du Monde (and to drink our first “Hurricane”). Honestly, I didn’t notice a difference in the actual taste of the beignets, only they were way bigger and were enjoyed in front of a live jazz band…so I would definitely recommend this place!

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For dinner we hit up a vegetarian place called Green Goddess. It was good and healthy, but not a place I’d visit again. Mostly because I was served cold red wine in a cup and charged $15 for it..what’s up with that?!!

Our entire goal on Sunday was to stuff ourselves silly, but after running a 1/2 marathon in the morning, walking around the city for 6 extra miles, and eating healthy, we felt we needed to end the night off with cheesecake. And so we did. Our last meal in NOLA was spent eating take out cheesecake from Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro in our bed while watching the Oscars. Not bad!!

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18 Responses to New Orleans: Beignets, Girl Talk, and a Half Marathon

  1. Wow, I have always wanted to go to New Orleans and I have no idea why I haven’t gone yet. Gosh, it would make me so happy to truly experience that culture. Also, your marathon looked awesome. Congrats!

  2. Monet says:

    What a wonderful trip! My grandparents are from New Orleans but I’ve never visited. I must change this! And it is also so nice when you share the same eating preferences when you travel! And those beignets? I’ve just finished breakfast (and I’m already hungry again!) Thank you for sharing, sweet friend! I hope you are having a warm end to your week.

  3. Tracey says:

    Your trip sounds like a blast, I seriously need to get to work on convincing my husband of our need for a long weekend in New Orleans! Those beignets alone are enough for me :) Congrats on the race, and so cool that you got to meet Joanne, love her!

  4. Leslie says:

    Hi pretty lady!

  5. Joanne says:

    Girl, I had the BEST.TIME.EVER with you!!! Seriously, we need to make having a race weekend together a regular tradition because it was too much fun. (almost)

  6. El says:

    Glad you had fun. Congrats on the marathon!

  7. Amy Tong says:

    What a fun trip. Could tell you girls had a blast! I was in New Orleans last year and love the city….and those beignets!!! :)

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I want to go to NOLA sooo badly! It looks like such an amazing place, especially the beignets :)

  9. Barbara says:

    Is that seriously the amount of powdered sugar they put on?!! Joy the Baker had a pic like this recently too. Because, that’s the PERFECT amount!! If I lived down there, I would be stuffing my face with them daily. And that coffee they’re known for sounds like the perfect accompaniment! Sounds and looks like a great trip!

  10. The swamps look instense! Well done on the run.

  11. Sarah says:

    Congrats on breaking the 2 hour mark! My husband and I were there also! ( he ran, I watched)
    We had Stanley’s one morning also, it was delicious! Beignets were delicious at both spots!

  12. Kristin says:

    Sounds like an awesome trip! I too recently got to visit NOLA for the first time the weekend before the Super Bowl. It was great. http://goo.gl/4RGDT I also ran my first half in the San Antonio Rock n Roll this last year, you totally blew my time out of the water. Bet it would have been way better in NOLA. And I agree beignets were amazing! :)

  13. [...] city to do a kick ass 1/2 marathon with one of my favorite foodie bloggers (and people)! I did a re-cap on the Rock n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon already, but being in the city of New Orleans was absolutely [...]

  14. Nisha says:

    Hi, first time here. Looks like you had a good time. We visited New Orleans for New Years 2012. We could not find any good vegetarian place around the Jackson Square, so settled with the sandwich and stuff at Hard Rock Cafe. We should have researched more! :-/
    And Cafe du Monde was great. Did you go behind the restaurant where they let you see from the window how they make the beignets in their kitchen? :D

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