Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Orleans drinklog

I just got back from a long weekend in New Orleans, and I have to say that above the food, music and history, I was most impressed with the outstanding bar service. I was looking forward to the freedom to legally drink on the street, but I was not aware of the extent to which the people of New Orleans embrace and encourage their visitors to drink up.

I went for my cousin’s wedding, and her ceremony and reception were at a gorgeous restaurant in Jackson Square. When the party was ending and people were being shuffled outside, I had a glass of wine in my hand. I was contemplating how inappropriate it would be to chug it in front of my extended family when a friendly waiter asked me if I wanted a to-go cup. A to-go cup! I’ve been asking bartenders and servers for to-go cups since college – and always receive negative responses. And this gentleman actually offered one up! Fantastic.

The next day, I traded my wine glass in for the plastic grenade yard, perhaps not as classy, but even more transportable. The melon-flavored drinks are tastier than hurricanes, and you can refill them at a number of bars and receive a $1 discount – for the economically AND environmentally responsible drinker. I purchased my third refill after a short break for a shower and nap at my hotel, so what was left in the yard resembled a Hi-C Ecto Cooler. Nevertheless, my friendly bartender poured the tepid liquid into a small plastic cup and set it on the bar with my fresh grenade. I didn’t drink it, but wow. Chicago bartenders have an annoying habit of prematurely snatching my drink away. The new drink order is not a replacement – it’s thinking ahead to ensure uninterrupted fun. New Orleans bartenders understand this concept.

And as if I didn't have enough fun drinking grenades, I got to hang out with one too. Similar to how you can meet and take pictures with Mickey and Minnie in Disneyland, in New Orleans you can make friends with a life-sized grenade. He lives outside of the Tropical Isle, which was our favorite filling station.

My liver and I are happy to be back home, but New Orleans will always hold a special place in my heart. I know I’ll be missing that to-go cup this weekend when I’m celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

A booze to-go cup...that's the best! Maybe you can share your New Orleans knowledge with Chicagoland bartenders now!

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