Strictly Business Omaha Visits New Orleans, 2008
Up and running? You bet it is and the Big Easy is calling YOUR name! Make no mistake there is still a tremendous amount of healing and rebuilding in this community’s future, but what better way to assist in the rebirth of this great city than a few days of R & R in one of our nation’s most historical gems.
Read on to learn what we experienced on our trip and hopefully provide you with a few ideas for planning your own New Orleans getaway!
Marriott New Orleans | 555 Canal Street | New Orleans, LA 70130 | 888-364-1200 | www.marriott.com
Located just 3 short blocks from the infamous Bourbon Street and on the edge of the French Quarter is the lavishly renovated Marriott New Orleans. (If available, request a ‘Riverfront’ room with a view and enjoy taking in the night lights of the Crescent City!). A conscious mix of elegance and New Orleans culture the new features include over 1300 comfortably stylish guest rooms and suites, Fed-Ex Kinkos business center, on-site Starbucks, complete fitness center, wine bar and the highly anticipated new on-premise restaurant 5 Fifty 5. The beautifully renovated lobby provides an open and welcoming feel as you enter the restaurant. We were blown away by the uniqueness and flavors of the Louisiana fusion cuisine that 5 Fifty 5 offers. Their lunch menu is mouthwatering and a few must tries are the Prime Beef Po’boys, Lobster Macaroni and Cheese (heavenly!) and our absolute favorite the Squash soup. TRY THIS SOUP! For dessert we unanimously decided upon the Dueling Souffle’s (even the name is cool)! Our taste buds were treated to four different souffle flavors of Chocolate, White chocolate, Mixed berry and a Creme! Need I say more!
In addition to hosting a fabulous restaurant the New Orleans Marriott is in close proximity to othermajor attractions, such as the beloved New Orleans Streetcars (recently back in operation since Hurricane Katrina), the Aquarium of the Americas and the free Ferry boat that crosses the banks of the Mississippi River.
The Marriott New Orleans offers various hotel package deals to accommodate any interest. Want to volunteer some time in the rebuilding effor ts? Ask about the ‘Big Easy Spirit to Serve Getaway’. Need a few days of alone time with your significant other? Inquire about their ‘Escape! Romance New Orleans Getaway’. Of course they didn’t forget the ladies! The ‘Girls’ Night Out-Big Easy Bonding Getaway’ deal would surely be a hit for any group of best friends looking to be pampered!
The Marriott New Orleans truly embodies the spirit of serving their guests and that was evident from the moment we arrived to the moment we checked out. If style, comfort, and top-notch customer service are high on your accommodations priority list the New Orleans Marriott will meet every expectation!
Bourbon House Seafood | 144 Bourbon Street | New Orleans, LA 70130 | 504-522-0111 | www.bourbonhouse.com
One of the first restaurants in the French Quarter to re-open following the hurricane, Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House is a home run. The cuisine is heavily focused on fresh, seasonal and local seafood and classic Creole. Be sure to visit their expansive Oyster Bar! The interior is beautifully reminiscent of a New Orleans style French brasserie (informal French cafe) and the menu is in one word – savory. An upscale, yet casually elegant ambiance coupled with knowledgeable and friendly staff create a pleasant dining experience. Wine lovers will appreciate the thoughtfully diverse wine list and cocktail lovers must indulge in “The Streetcar” – bourbon, cassis, blueberries, lime juice and vanilla sweetwater – yum! We happily started our meal with an array of flavorful appetizers and salad including Oysters Rockefeller, Crab Fingers, Deviled Stuffed Crab and Spinach salad. A pleasant surprise (and my favorite) was the Wild Alligator Piquante Soup (a flavorful and hearty Louisiana favorite prepared with fresh vegetables and tomatoes). Yes, I said alligator! Our entrees were delectably filling and the must haves are the Louisiana Deviled Crab Stuffed Gulf fish, Andouille Stuffed Shrimp and our resounding favorite the New Orleans Style Seafood Platter. As always, there’s room for dessert! Our server recommended the ever popular Jack Daniel’s Profiteroles(fancy name for a cream puff) filled with Jack Daniel’s spiked ice cream and topped with crème anglaise, chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Fabulous! We were so impressed with the food and thankful to the staff that shared their stories with us on surviving Katrina. We highly recommend The Bourbon House experience to anyone planning a trip to New Orleans.
Old River Road Planationi Adventure | 866-671-8687 | www.plantationadventure.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Louisiana is so rich and abundant in American history that a trip to New Orleans would not be complete with out taking a trip back in time to days when sugar cane, slavery and Mississippi River reigned supreme. Endorsed by The Travel Channel as “the only company to use when touring the plantations”, Old River Road Plantation Adventure specializes in half day tours featuring five of the only nine remaining Plantation homes that are open. Our tour guide, Richard, picked us up in front of our hotel and promptly began sharing facts about some of the devastation Hurricane Katrina caused and pointed out portions of the freeway that were once under water. He continued to drive us along the scenic cypress swamp and wetlands to Old River Road which runs parallel to the Mississippi River and towards the remnant shadow of life on a Plantation.
Oak Alley: Aptly named, this mansion built in 1839 is magnificently framed by 28 live oak trees that were originally planted in the early 1700’s. The trees reach the entrance of the home and nearly extend to the banks of the Mississippi river. The home was built by a wealthy Creole sugar planter as a gift for his young wife.
San Francisco: Situated on the East bank of the Mississippi river, this colorful mansion was constructed in 1856 in the style of a steamboat. It boasts one of the largest antique collections in the world and the second floor main living area was expertly designed to “breakdown”, i.e., doors and furniture easily removed for a quick conversion into a large entertaining ballroom.
Richard did a wonderful job sharing the fascinating history of New Orleans. This tour is well worth integrating into your itinerary and we were all thankful to have experienced it. Be sure to bring your camera and be prepared to hear some amazing stories!
Brennan’s | 417 Royal Street | New Orleans, LA 70130 | 504-525-9711 | www.brennansneworleans.com
Opening its doors in 1946, this New Orleans icon oozes southern charm and hospitality. Renowned for its “Breakfast at Brennan’s” concept, our group did just that on a lovely Saturday morning. We commenced our brunch with a round of Brandy Milk Punch and what else….Mimosas! Appetizers included the Souther n Baked Apple in Cream, Oyster Soup Brennan, and Maude’s Seafood Okra Gumbo (loaded with tons of seafood!) You can’t come to New Orleans and not try the local classic of Seafood Gumbo and the Brennan’s recipe is phenomenal. Brennan’s offers an extensive menu and fortunately we all generously shared with each other! They feature a delightful Eggs Benedict, as well as several unique flavor combinations on the traditional dish with entrees like Eggs La Nouvelle Orleans that serves up a mountain of crabmeat and the Eggs Bayou Lafourche that employs the pleasant flavors of Cajun andouille sausage. No surprise what we tried next……yep….dessert! Two desserts that unquestionably regaled us were the Louisiana Chocolate Pecan Pie and a Brennan’s original……. Bananas Foster! Created in 1951, as a way to promote bananas being imported from Central and South America – who knew it would become an international favorite!
Brennan’s was truly an unforgettable experience. Additionally, don’t be surprised if you spy a celebrity as Brennan’s is a popular establishment for many of Hollywood’s elite. If you have the opportunity to dine at this cultural landmark be sure to pick up a copy of the Breakfast at Brennan’s cook book; and you too can bring home their essence and culinary delights.
We truly enjoyed our trip to New Orleans and encourage all of our readers to visit the Big Easy at their earliest opportunity. What a wonderful city with an inspirational story. Please support them not only for their many amazing attractions, but also to help them rebuild this historic city so rich with culture and spirit.
By Jill A. Mathis