Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler! Part III

Time for the big day!  We only had time for lunch and a little relaxation before time to get ready and be downstairs for pictures so my Daddy chose another famed New Orleans restaurant, Acme Oyster House, for lunch.  Sure, I’d had some oysters on top of my fish on Friday night, but I hadn’t come close to getting my fill of this Nola fave.  I got a half and half plate: fried oyster po’ boy and jambalaya.  Tasty, but the round of applause goes to the house specialty: chargrilled oysters.  My Daddy ordered this for his meal and I snuck a few.  They toss oysters on the grill and top with parmesan cheese and garlic butter that gets nice and bubbly.  While Daddy picked off oysters, I soaked up the cheesy liquor with bread.  A Steve Zahn sighting after lunch made the afternoon.

Finally!  Time for the main event!  Everyone was ecstatic to party at Greg and Susan’s Boogie on the Bayou.  The wedding was beautiful.  Susan wore her mother and grandmother’s gorgeous dress for the ceremony and then switched into a sexy lil number halfway through the reception.  Greg, of course, looked nice and dapper.  The band was great and within three minutes, everyone was dancing.  Like the rest of the weekend, the food at the reception was amazing.  Us Southerners do wedding a little differently than you Yankees.  We get all the speeches out of the way at the sit-down rehearsal dinner.  The wedding reception is all about being up and dancing.  Of course, we don’t forget about the food, but it’s more like a pick-up and perch sorta thing.  That doesn’t mean we skimp on the food, it just means we don’t sit in assigned seats while we eat it.  There was a salad bar, a station with gumbo, rice, and jambalaya, a carving station (roast beef, lamb chops, turkey, and sauces), and made-to-order shrimp and grits with a tasso cream sauce.  As expected, everyone went nuts at the wedding.  So much so, that the afterparty in the hospitality suite and The Famous Door bar on Bourbon Street didn’t last too long before we were ready to pass out.

I was nice and hungover on Monday morning, but not so much that I would miss out on the last New Orleans food item on my list, the muffuletta.  The most famous place to get a muffaletta is Central Grocery, but it’s closed on Sunday and Monday, so that was out of the question.  The hotel doorman seemed like a local in-the-know, so I asked him and the old almost-bum he was talking to where they would go.  They directed me to Napolean House, a restaurant and bar a few blocks away.  It’s one of those cracked-paint, dark corners type place.  It’s not a sandwich to-go kinda place, but I trusted the doorman.  Unfamiliar with the muffaletta process, I ordered a whole, not knowing that a whole is meant for two people.  It was massive.  Luckily Craig was on my plane, so I had a buddy to split it with.  The ham, salami, cheese, and olive spread makes for a salty sandwich.  The muffuletta is one of a kind.  I’m glad I didn’t miss out on this last Nola tradition and happy my doorman friend pointed me in the right direction.

Basically, I did it all.  The only thing I missed was Magazine Street, but that just gives me a reason to go back (not that I really needed one).  I am officially obsessed with the culture of New Orleans.  I have always loved France, and this combines their culture with my beloved South.  Savannah may have the market cornered on hospitality, but New Orleans has created its own niche – the perfect marriage of French and Southern language, food, and lifestyle.  I’m so glad Greg and Susan planned this fabulous wedding weekend so I could experience it all, and I am even happier that I was able to be there as the new Mr. and Mrs. Greenberg tied the knot.  Congratulations!!!!