Yesterday was Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday. I donned my Preservation Hall Jazz Band t-shirt to commemorate the occasion. All day, my thoughts took me back to our 2004 trip and just how much I love the Crescent City. The news seems to be painting such a bleak picture of NOLA lately, giving the impression that the city is on a never-ending downward spiral. New Orleans has suffered through fires, rampant disease, flooding, the American Civil War, not to mention French and Spanish rule. It may take some time, maybe a decade, but NOLA will bounce back, and Katrina will seem just another bump in her tumultuous history.
When I go back to New Orleans, I want to take everyone with me. It's an open invitation for more glorious food and really strong drinks than you've ever had. Plus some of the most beautiful old architecture this side of the Atlantic. Plus lots of titty bars.
Our big plans for Shrove Tuesday involved a tasty pancake dinner (as is the old English custom). I was so excited to also recreate Little A's first restaurant experience at Aunt Sarah's one year later. I remember how on edge we were the entire hour we spent at the restaurant hoping to God he wouldn't have one of his infamous random newborn crying fits. Ah, those were the days. Back when we toted him everywhere in his car seat, and he slept most of the time. Now, he's a big BabyMan who is crazy and has an awesome time with life. I wouldn't go back to the early days for anything.
So okay. The baboons who run Aunt Sarah's decided to close. For what reason, I don't know. The marquee was lit up, the building still furnished, no signs in the window to explain, nothing. Just flippin' closed. Drats. Since I was due at choir with a little more than an hour to spare, we scrapped dinner out and fed Little Man at home. Oh well.
Things worked out better in the end, however. While I was at choir, Adrian swung by River City Diner and picked us up grub. The banana-pecan pancakes he got for me could not have been a better culinary tribute to New Orleans. It brought me tasty memories of my crazy banana infused bread pudding from Irene's and the still-warm, fresh praline samples at Aunt Sally's.
What the hell, let's all go this weekend. French Quarter, here we come!