New Orleans: Mother’s est. 1938

I’m a little picky about my hotels in New Orleans.  This time we stayed downtown at the W.  It’s a great spot, and I just don’t like to risk my hotels here.  A few years ago I had a mouse in my hotel room at the Best Western on St Charles.  We came back from a late show at Tipitina’s, and the mouse ran right into our room.  I was scared to go to sleep that night, but luckily, was so tired that the idea of this mouse in my room did not keep me awake.  It wasn’t one of my favorite moments, but I survived it, and we’ve had many laughs since.  I know it’s New Orleans, and there’s never a guarantee you won’t share your room with some type of critter, but I prefer to minimize the odds of that.  Luckily, this time, I only had to share my room with my husband.

The W is conveniently located right across the street from Mother’s.  Mother’s is a New Orleans institution, and it certainly is an old reliable.  The first day in town was a late start with a full day of plans, so we had to get a quick breakfast.  Mother’s is the perfect spot for that.  The crazy, food obsessed person that I am still remembers a crawfish etouffee omelet I ate there 7 years ago.  I’ve occasionally had the urge to revisit this meal, and finally this was my chance.  Did it live up to my memories?  You bet!

Here’s what the disposable camera can do…I promise, it didn’t look or taste as bad as it looks in this picture!  In fact, the etouffee was full of flavor, and made it much more interesting than your average omelet.  They are open all day, and you can get just about anything here– from po-boys, to jambalaya and gumbo, to omelets and pancakes.

Many people think New Orleans is just about eating and drinking, and more drinking.  It can be about that, but there is also so much more.  This day, we decided to visit the WWII Museum with Jimmy.  I didn’t know it at the time, but Mother’s was the perfect place to start the day, as it used to be a local hangout for the Marines during WWII.  Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about Jimmy.  Jimmy is my grandfather-in-law.  He’s a New Orleans native and a World War II Veteran.  Jimmy is the hippest 93-year-old I know.  Not only does he maintain and manage his 4-unit apartment building, but he also drives everywhere.  I can remember times when we piled 6 adults into his car, with me sitting shotgun on my 6’4″ husband’s lap.  All because Jimmy insisted that we all get a ride from him.  That’s the kind of thing we did in college in New Orleans.  I always thought it was a reckless, throw-caution-to-the-wind thing college kids did, but now I’m thinking maybe it’s a new Orleans thing… or Jimmy just lives on the edge.  He also loves a good absolut and tonic.  He skypes with his (almost) 3-year-old great-grandson, and he subscribes to my blog.  Hell, I have 37-year-old friends that tell me they can’t find my blog.  Like I said, Jimmy is very cool.

To visit the Museum with him was a treat.  It was a reflective time during a weekend to be filled with revelry, and it was a nice balance.

Three generations together

 You might wonder why this museum is in New Orleans?  Well, the Higgins Boat, the landing craft used in the invasion of Normandy was created and manufactured right here in New Orleans.  This is a beautiful museum, and while the subject is a bit heavy, it is a worthwhile visit.

As luck would have it, Jimmy wanted to take us to the restaurant at the museum for lunch.  We quickly realized, with some excitement and with some sadness, that the restaurant called American Sector, was a John Besh restaurant.  The excitement: guaranteed a great meal.  The sadness: we were way too full from Mother’s to eat the kind of meal we would want to eat here.  So I shared the Cobb Salad…

…and this was the moment I realized I loved Allan Benton’s bacon so much.

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