Thursday, July 01, 2010

A visit to New Orleans - Antoine's Restaurant

713 St. Louis Street


Happy hour isn't big in New Orleans. According to one woman I asked (a local, working at a booth on Canal Street) the people in New Orleans are always happy. People drink in the streets, they still smoke in the bars, and you can purchase drinks by the yard. They don't need a special set of hours to devote to happiness.

I even attempted to do a little research in advance. There were very few happy hours listed on the Urbanspoon website, and even fewer happy hours that were posted (hours and all) on the restaurants' websites.


On my first day in New Orleans, however, I stumbled (no, not literally...I was only a couple of hours off of the plane) upon what the bartender called cocktail hour. Well drinks, beer and wines were discounted. Unfortunately, they did not have any discounts on food items.


For four dollars, I ordered a gin and tonic. It was just that. But, served by an incredibly friendly, older gentleman behind an elaborately displayed bar made that gin and tonic even better. While at the bar, I also learned that Antoine's is the oldest restaurant in New Orleans and the second oldest in the United States. 169 years, according to the back of the menu.


I received some special treatment while ordering food at the bar--which made my day. I'm so used to Portland where all restaurants offer vegetarian items (even vegan and gluten-free items) and am surprised when on vacation where the only option for me is a salad. At Antoine's I noticed two things that seemed appealing, one covered in meat and the other a little too small to make a meal. So, I made a request. And, it was granted. My first meal in New Orleans was a fried eggplant Po Boy. So yummy. And, served with fried pickles.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Exceeds
Ambiance: Meets (although the bathroom could use some work)
Value: Meets

-b

Antoine's Restaurant

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