There’s no other place like New Orleans. From the rich history, to the way the city bounced back from the Katrina tragedy, to the unmatched cuisine and music that you can find only here, New Orleans is one of our very favorite places to visit. We’ve had the opportunity to stay at a few of the older hotels steeped in history, so this time we wanted something a little different and found that in the modern and exciting Harrah’s New Orleans.
Harrah’s New Orleans
8 Canal Street
The AAA Four Diamond Award-Winning Harrah’s is located in the heart of New Orleans. With 26 stories and 450 luxurious rooms, Harrah’s is a huge structure that covers an entire city block. With spectacular views of the Mississippi River and the New Orleans skyline and located just steps away from the French Quarter and blocks from famous Bourbon Street, Harrah’s offers a great location, amazing rooms and plenty of action!
We arrived at Harrah’s on a Thursday evening. Check-in was effortless and we were directed to our room in less than ten minutes. The room was large and had a huge bathroom with separate shower and spa tub, comfortable beds and even bathrobes waiting for us in the spacious closet. Though we weren’t able to stroll around the area that evening, we did note that the entrance to Fulton Street lies just outside the doors. Fulton Street offers amazing dining, great music and shopping and is a must-see if you visit New Orleans. It makes it a very convenient location for the hotel!
If dining is on your list, Harrah’s delivers in a big way. They have a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Besh Steak and the amazing restaurant where we dined, Manning’s Eat-Drink-Cheer. Recently opened, Manning’s is a casual yet refined restaurant that features over 30 flat screen TVs (including a 13 by 7.5 mega screen), a sports anchor desk, memorabilia from Louisiana’s first football family and commissioned artwork. Though the atmosphere seems very much like a sports bar when you walk in (especially with the stadium seating in front of the mega screen), you’ll realize this is not like any sports bar you’ve ever been in as soon as you look at the menu.
New Orleans-born Chef Anthony Spizale has created an amazing menu that features comfort foods from the Mississippi delta with unique Creole twists that are unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. We started our meal with the Gris Gris Duck Wings (flash fried and served with pepper jelly), Sweet Potato Skins (covered in goat cheese, bacon marmalade and green onions), the Cochon De Lait “Poutine” (hand-cut French fries, pulled pork, pepper jelly gravy and cheese curds) and Cajun Sliders (alligator sausage, carmelized peppers, onions and Crystal hot sauce aioli). To be quite honest, we probably could have stopped eating right there and been more than full. It was difficult to stop eating our appetizer selections because they were so unique and delicious. Our top two were the sweet potato skins and Cochon De Lait Poutine.
Of course, we couldn’t stop there as we had much more menu to experience. While choosing entrees, we sipped (and nibbled) on some chicken and andoille sausage gumbo since you just can’t visit New Orleans without trying the gumbo, which was wonderful at Manning’s. We also tried one of the most delicious and different salads we’d ever had in the Fried Green Tomato and Bacon Salad (crispy bacon, baby greens and fried green tomatoes and remoulade. A definite must!!
As much as we enjoyed the appetizers, the entrees is where Manning’s really shines. Roasted Chicken (with seasonal vegetables and natural jus), Braised Short Rib Jambalaya, Crawtator Crusted Fish, Cast Iron Skillet Filet and Chef Spizale’s Daily Pasta were on our table and it was quite difficult to figure out where to start. Everyone seemed to have a different favorite when it came to this course. The Jambalaya was incredible, as was the pasta special.
We paid special attention to the steak, of course, as many of us come from a ranch background, and found the Filet to be flavorful, juicy and delectable.
As good as the food was, Manning’s service was even better. Our waiter was funny, knowledgeable, hospitable and prompt and we got visits from two of the management staff just to make sure everything was okay and that we didn’t have any questions. There’s no doubt you’ll be well taken care of when you visit Manning’s, whether it’s to watch a game, have a few drinks or come for a dinner you’ll be telling all your friends about.
We tell everyone we know that they should visit New Orleans and now we will be telling them that Harrah’s is the place to stay if they want fine dining, entertainment and a perfect location!