Big breakfast consisting of egg and sausage casserole, pancakes, sausage, hash browns, and oatmeal served by our favorite caterer, Virginia. She is so sweet; she even cooked eggs especially for Don, over easy. She goes above and beyond!
We spent the afternoon at the St. James Cheese Company, a family run enterprise. They built an international network of cheese makers and affineurs who hooked them up with the artisan and farmhouse cheeses not found in other shops. Their name comes from their 200 year old shop in the St. James neighborhood of England where they began their life in cheese before bringing it to New Orleans in 2006.
Operating on the premise that cheese should be fun, they make each visit unique and unforgettable. They lived up to their word! It is a playground for the cheese rookie, the rind-sniffing expert, and the curd curious. Guests are encouraged to try every cheese, every day, to ensure that each cheese is being offered at its peak.
We had our own Cheese Monger,
She taught us how to pare wine with cheese. Check out the huge sandwich they provided us for lunch.
We also had an opportunity to buy some of these unique cheeses.
Our afternoon was spent at Café Du Monda and the French Market. You cannot visit New Orleans without visiting the market. The iconic New Orleans cafe is known for café au laits, chicory coffee & beignets since 1862. It is open 24/7, closing only for Christmas and hurricanes.
What is chicory coffee and beignets? The taste for coffee and chicory was developed by the French during their civil war. Coffee was scarce during those times, and they found that chicory added body and flavor to the brew. The Acadians from Nova Scotia brought this taste and many other french customs (heritage) to Louisiana. Chicory is the root of the endive plant. Endive is a type of lettuce. The root of the plant is roasted and ground. It is added to the coffee to soften the bitter edge of the dark roasted coffee. It adds an almost chocolate flavor to the Cafe Au Lait (mixed half and half with hot milk). Beignets were also brought to Louisiana by the Acadians. These were fried fritters, sometimes filled with fruit. Today, the beignet is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar.
While everyone was enjoying the café, we explored. Ron and Kay got it on with a street vendor singing gospel.
The market can be quite scary.
Meanwhile, at the candy store.
Do you think Kay realizes who she is about to shake hands with? KAY DON’T LOOK AT THE CAMERA, LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO DO!
All that shopping made us hungry, so off to The Country Club for dinner. It is New Orleans’ best kept secret, hidden away in New Orleans’ charming Bywater neighborhood, The Country Club offers an elegant escape from everyday living, an escape from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter.
Everyone was comfortably seated in their special section with their own special waiter. Dinner was a choice of roasted chicken, shrimp, flank steak, or penne arrabiata.
Mary discovered the indescribable restroom that we just had to photograph.
The photos just don’t do it justice.
We visited the Sanger Theatre built by Julian Saenger in 1927 for the unheard of price of $2.5 million dollars. Advertisements of the day described it as “an acre of seats in a garden of Florentine splendor.” Today, the interior atmospheric design creates a magnificent 15th century Italian courtyard and gardens, with arched surroundings, columns and decorative moldings.
The suspension of disbelief is completed by a blue domed “sky” ceiling complete with twinkling stars. Greek and Roman statuary line the walls and statues of Venus stand on pedestals along the upper rim of the auditorium.
The theatre was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and redeveloped at a cost of $53 million. It reopened its doors in September 2013.
The theatre show was put on by a special group of children. What talent they have!