My little guide to New Orleans bars & restaurants

Some of my favorite conversations happen when people are geeking out. Whether it be about cycling, skincare, fly fishing, gaming, the quantified self, [fill in the blank], I enjoy conversing with passionate people who do their research. It’s a hell of a lot better than small talk and it most always teaches me something new about being human.

One subject that ignites my personal geekdom: New Orleans dining. I have a list of bars and restaurants by neighborhood that I take supreme joy in curating. It’s comprised of places I enjoy, I’m willing to give a second chance to or I’m interested in trying. I use it as a reference point any time the ubiquitous “Where do you want to go tonight?” question arises. I love researching bars and restaurants before determining whether I want to spend time and money there.

I also use this list any time out-of-town friends or family members are looking for recommendations. Because it’s proved useful to them, I am hoping it may prove useful to you. Establishments on this list are open and operational or will soon be open and operational. I remove restaurants that have closed or that I simply wouldn’t recommend. The listed neighborhood names are overarching and do not reflect the unique coordinates and crannies that define New Orleans. Have additions, criticism or questions? Leave a comment or email me!

Disclaimer: I am no Todd Price or Brett Anderson (mad respect, gentleman). This list could easily be created by anyone with the internet and an affinity for the dining and restaurant review sections of local news sites like NOLA.com, Eater NOLA, The Gambit, etc.

UPTOWN
La Crepe Nanou
Boucherie
Patois
St. James Cheese Company
Oak
Bouligny Tavern
Gautreau’s
Clancy’s
The Columns Hotel
Noodle & Pie*
Snake & Jake’s
Maple Leaf Bar
Brigtsen’s Restaurant
Ba Chi Canteen
Cowbell
ManhattanJack
Baru
Satsuma
Jacques Imo’s
Avo
Pizza Domenica
Carrollton Market
La Petite Grocery
Jamila’s
Tartine
Shaya
Breads on Oak
Cavan Co.
Maysville
Altamura

FRERET
Ancora
High Hat
Publiq House
Midway
Cure
Gasa Gasa
Company Burger
Humble Bagel

GARDEN DISTRICT
Coquette
Maya’s
Eleven79
District
Stein’s
Dat Dog
NOLA Smokehouse
Square Root/Root Squared
Commander’s Palace
Aline Street Beer Garden

CENTRAL CITY
Belle Garde Bakery
Church Alley
Maïs Arepas
Purloo
Primitivo
Casa Borrega

MID CITY
Katie’s
Betsy’s Pancake House
Dooky Chase’s
Pearl Wine Co.
Pal’s
Rue127
Mid City Yacht Club
Cafe Degas
MoPho
Parkway Bakery
Biscuits & Buns on Banks
Lola’s
Toup’s Meatery
Finn McCool’s
Namese
Treo
Willie Mae’s Scotch House
Milkfish
Brown Butter
1,000 Figs
Kin
Pagoda Cafe

GENTILLY
The Munch Factory

WAREHOUSE DISTRICT & CBD 
Herbsaint
La Boca
Domenica
Ruby Slipper Cafe
Peche
Borgne
Root
Cochon/Butcher
Rusty Nail
Circle Bar
Tivoli & Lee
Loa
Carmo
Lüke
Sazerac Bar
Swizzle Stick Bar
Balise
Cellar Door
Pulp & Grind
Wood Pizza
Sac-A-Lait
Merchant
Le Foret
Ursa Major
Rebellion
Compere Lapin

FRENCH QUARTER
Bayona
Cafe Amelie

Petite Amelie
Irene’s
GW Fins
SoBou
Erin Rose Bar/Killer Poboys
Bennachin
Cane & Table
Eat
Preservation Hall
MRB
Tujague’s
La Rivera
Italian Barrel
Cosimo’s
Yo Momma’s
Molly’s at the Market
Latitude 29
Little Vic’s
Croissant d’Or
Green Goddess
Bombay Club
Tiki Tolteca
Angeline
Salon by Sucre
9 Roses Cafe
Sylvain

May Bailey’s

Bar Tonique
Marti’s
MeauxBar

MARIGNY
Three Muses
Hi Ho Lounge
Lost Love Lounge
Mimi’s in the Marigny
Feelings Café/Bhava
Paladar 511
Langlois
Lil Dizzy’s

BYWATER
Markey’s
Bacchanal
Pizza Delicious
Maurepas Foods
The Country Club
Vaughan’s
Mariza
Booty’s
Oxalis
Siberia
Press Street Station
The Franklin
St. Roch Market
The Joint

WEST BANK
Photau Bay
Tan Dinh
Saffron
Bananas Blossom

METAIRIE
Deutsches House
Kanno

LAKEVIEW
Mondo
Mizado

Filling in the blanks

I currently work in digital marketing. When a client asks me what I think about them adding a blog component to their website, I usually propagate the Golden Rule of blogs and social media: If you’re not going to update it and maintain it, don’t have it at all.

So imagine how hypocritical (and embarrassed) I might feel when I publish my first blog post in almost two years. In my last update, I describe scenarios involving work, volunteer commitments and chronic pain that, at the time the post was published, prohibited me from devoting attention to Bitsy & Boo. But truthfully, I could have made publishing content to this blog happen, but I didn’t. The reasons for not doing so seem substantial and frivolous all at once. When I spent my days working in a newsroom, I was surrounded by remarkably talented and thoughtful truth-seekers. What I could write or contribute in my free time seemed inane. It still does. And when I moved from Baton Rouge to New Orleans a year and a half ago, I began my acquaintance  with the wondrous, nostalgic, corrupt, heart-lifting, infuriating, mesmerizing glitter rocket of a city that is New Orleans. I told myself that I didn’t want to spend any more time behind a screen each day than was absolutely necessary, that I was going to live. But have I? Am I doing enough to make my life here meaningful and memorable? Am I active enough in my community? “No,” my inner voice tells me, “you’re not.” And that brings us back to the supreme excuse: That fighting chronic pain is truly exhausting, and after devoting eight-plus hours of focus to work and colleagues each day, it feels as if there isn’t much left of me. Not enough to populate a post here anyway.

Some say that a dull, constant throb or ache is worse than quick but excruciating pain. I have been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to not have yet experienced the latter in my lifetime, but the former does apply, and I can see how someone would opt for the quick and agonizing. Duration of pain matters. The sharpest physical pain is usually followed by sharper pain, then sharp, then moderately sharp, then less sharp, and so on and so on until there’s no pain left at all. You may be left mutilated physically, mentally or emotionally, but the healing can begin. Whatever tasks or goals or relationships or experiences you had or wanted to pursue prior to the incident that caused the excruciating pain, you can often resume or begin anew. Constant, unchanging pain is different. And when it goes on long enough, and you have truly exhausted every medical option feasibly available to you, you begin to realize that the healing you so desperately seek may never come. That’s where I believe many chronic painers reside, the place where despair thrives, where it feels ridiculous and deceitful to say things like, “When I’m feeling better, I’ll [fill in the blank with a plethora of tasks, goals, relationships or experiences].”

I lived there for a while, and sometimes still feel like I do. Most people that know me wouldn’t know that. I am one of the more fortunate. My pain doesn’t leave me bed-ridden or limping. No exterior deformity or impairment signifies deeper suffering. I am a normal-looking 25-year-old who, after four neurologists, three different diagnoses, and dozens of drugs, has discovered one drug that manipulates my pain enough to let me live a full(ish) life. Other chronic painers reading this most likely want to punch me in the gut right now. Or worse.

It is for them and for me that I write this post. I’m compelled to try to fill in the blanks of my life with  tasks, goals, relationships and experiences that help me find joy in spite of chronic pain. But I shouldn’t use the word “spite.” The joy and pain must live in unison.

Have you ever heard someone say, “Smile! It’ll make you feel better”? Studies indicate that facial expressions can reinforce and perhaps even drive corresponding emotions. I’d like to think that that applies to other forms of expression as well. That writing is a form of smile for me, and its corresponding emotion, joy. It’s what my most thoughtful, yearning, satisfied, focused, alive self does. What I publish will be inconsequential to most. I’m alright with that now. Many people call their blogs “little corners of the internet” for a reason. The goal is not to attract millions of page views and monetize this thing with floating ads promoting chukka boots, lingerie, personal “devices” or any number of cookie-betrayals lingering in your web browser’s history. Any journalist or  digital marketer reading this may notice that I didn’t optimize my headline. That’s ok. This is the little corner where I’ll write about things that excite me, frighten me, move me, etc. Anyone and no one is welcome to visit, but I do appreciate you for stopping by!

-Rebecca

valentine’s day recap

I’m not a big Valentine’s Day celebrant, but I did get my jollies this morning from reviewing a menagerie of sweet/funny Valentine’s Day tweets and insta pics. See a few of my favorites below:

 

Beausoleil Baton Rouge

Michael and I had a fantastic meal last night at Beausoleil Restaurant. One of the best I can recall in Baton Rouge, in fact. The eatery’s quaint yet charming atmosphere was complemented by shabby chic details (has Target trademarked “Shabby Chic” yet?). A single red Gerber daisy topped the table while mixed-and-matched silverware lined each diner’s plate. Pork cracklins’ nestled in a small bowl were served upon sitting. A scrumptious first in my books. Drinks from the bar, like an Old Fashioned and Blueberry Lemon Drop martini, while strong, made for easy sipping.

With two drinks each, one small plate, one salad and one entree split, Michael and I walked out of there for $52 per person. Like many couples aiming to be thrifty (not claiming we always succeed), we agreed that that really wasn’t bad for date-night-out.

Anyway, check out photos of our small plate and salad below. Or to learn more about Beausoleil, visit their website or Facebook page.

P.S. – David is an awesome waiter!

Potato gnocchi with green peas, jumbo lump crab meat and pancetta in a sage brown butter sauce

Potato gnocchi with green peas, jumbo lump crab meat and pancetta in a sage brown butter sauce

Roasted beets, goat cheese and fried capers in a walnut vinaigrette

Roasted beets, goat cheese and fried capers in a walnut vinaigrette

 

Quote of the day:

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” –George Bernard Shaw

 

stationery from the keeping room

Crane & Co. hand-bordered card in beach glass with gold pinstripe-lined envelope

Crane & Co. hand-bordered card in beach glass with gold pinstripe-lined envelope

Crane & Co. hand-bordered card in beach glass with gold pinstripe-lined envelope.

Crane & Co. hand-bordered card in beach glass with gold pinstripe-lined envelope.

Thanks to The Keeping Room, I finally have less generic, more personalized stationery. Shop owner Amanda Alexander (yes, we’re related, but neither of us is exactly sure how haha), was instrumental in helping me pick it out. She also just received Crane & Co.’s latest book of prints, and the custom stationery options featured above are still offered.

So the silly question remains: Why does this new, personalized stationery make me feel like I’m honing my southern ladydom? Perhaps Nashville native and genuine belle Reese Witherspoon said it best: “My rule is, if it’s not moving, monogram it.” I believe many gals south of the Mason-Dixon would agree with that statement on some level.

Prompted by Reese’s vein of thinking, I selected stationery featuring my monogram–RAR. Let me just say that I friggin’ love my monogram for two reasons: 1) I think the R’s act as beautiful bookends, balancing the strong-standing legs of the A; and 2) when you look at it, it makes you want to roar or make some sort of feline noise…how cool is that? You may be laughing (at me), but you have no idea how many people have actually seen my monogram and then proceeded to exclaim, “Rarrr!” Ok so I’m exaggerating. It doesn’t happen that often. But I would say that that happens about five to six times a year…and my reaction is always joyous (and slightly childish).

Anyway, what do you think of it? Constructive criticism is welcome. Besides, I can’t hit it out of the park on my first try at picking out monogrammed stationery. If I did, what would we southern women have to strive for? Kidding, kidding (but really tell me what you think).  Are you pro-monogram?

Harvest Wreaths

Kind of sad/embarrassing fact about me: thus far in life, I have never decorated my dwelling for the holidays. So Mr. Scrooge-y of me, I know! Thanks to my dear mother, holiday decorations appeared magically in our home around this time of year without any effort exerted on my part. And now, sitting in my festive vacuum of an apartment, I have come to a new appreciation for seasonal décor and my mother’s efforts to set it out.

“But why wait until you have children to begin decorating for the holidays or making holiday traditions?” I recently asked myself. Two excuses came to mind and they are the same two excuses that lamely hold me back from doing other memorable things: time and money. Those excuses, in any area of life, are only valid if you really want them to be, I’ve decided (if you’re one of my friends in grad school and you’re reading this, ignore me). While I do not want to spend too much time picking out décor that’ll break the bank, I can spare some time (say 30 minutes) to look through a few wreath options, and decide on one that most appropriately joins aesthetic appeal and desired price point. For someone who has no decorations in storage whatsoever, I figure a wreath is a good place to start. See what options I discovered below and please leave a comment if there’s one you especially like!…

Dried hydrangea wreath

Red berry wreath & All natural fall sheaf

Peach fall berry wreath

Paper flower wreath & Monogrammed burlap wreath

Faux boxwood wreath & Autumn berry wreath

Quote of the day:

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” –Stephen King

 

bachelorette party game

I want to make my sister’s bachelorette party as fun as this one was!

My sister Caroline’s bachelorette party is next weekend and I’m putting the infamous questionnaire together to send to her fiancé John. You know how that game goes right? The groom answers a questionnaire beforehand and the bride has to guess his answers at the party. For example, one of the questions might be about Caroline’s favorite food. If John put down “cheese” as the answer and Caroline guessed “cheese” at the party, then Caroline is correct and faces no consequences. It’s when a bride guesses incorrectly that the real fun happens. You can set the game up to where the bride has to take a jello shot for every wrong answer or do a dare or share a sexy secret with the group or add a piece of bubble gum to her mouth for every wrong answer…stuff like that.

So here are a few questions I’ll definitely be asking the groom-to-be (some are sappy, but just go with it):

Where was you and Caroline’s first official date?

What is Caroline’s bra size? (It’s hilarious to hear the discrepancy on this one)

How much, on average, does she spend on a dress? (same with this one)

What is your most prized possession? What is Caroline’s?

What would you say is Caroline’s best feature?

You knew you loved her when…

You knew she loved you when…

She looks most sexy in…

What is the most unusual place you’ve ever hooked up?

If you could use any food during the act (and serious messes/consequences are no object) what would it be?

And here are the questions that I absolutely will NOT ask the groom (because I don’t think ANY groom/boyfriend/man-friend/whatever-friend should be asked this):

What does Caroline do that most annoys you? (This is a bachelorette party, people. Let’s not send the bride home angry!)

If Caroline were to die tomorrow, who out of her friends would you choose to replace her?

If you were to die tomorrow and had to choose a friend to replace you, who would it be?

What’s the worst gift Caroline ever gave you?

Funny questions that I feel compelled to ask the groom:

What movie made you cry?

When it comes to making love, if you were an astronaut, what would Caroline say is your best maneuver?

a. getting the ignition started

b. take off

c. orbit

d. re-entry

e. landing

If you could throw away one thing Caroline owns what would it be?

What animal best describes the bride?

What superhero would you want to be for a day?

Given a free pass to sleep with any celebrity, who would you choose?

Given a free pass to sleep with any celebrity, who could Caroline choose?

How old is your oldest pair of underwear?

Do you have any good questions for me to ask the groom? I’ll take all the help I can get. T-minus one week until the bachelorette weekend extravaganza!

Quote of the day:

“You know you’re a hot mess when the only person buying you drinks all night is yourself.” –Chelsea Handler

Welcome!

Hi there! My name is Rebecca Alexander. Thanks for stopping by to witness my very first blog post. Let me introduce myself…

Growing up, those closest to me called me Becca Boo, including my dearly loved grandmother, Leo Weimar (yes, Leo was a girl). Friends called her Bitsy, but we grandkids called her Mama Boo. I combined our nicknames to create the blog’s title.

Mama Boo and her children—my mother and her brothers—have shaped me in more ways than I can count. It is my sincere hope that this blog reflects some of the characteristics they have instilled in me: a love of family, entertaining, good eating and storytelling.

What’s more, this blog is a channel for me to highlight some of the marvelous things happening in Baton Rouge. As a staff writer for inRegister Magazine, I cover lots of events and parties around town. So far, it’s been an incredible opportunity to meet new people and stay plugged into the community. There are so many wonderfully diverse personalities making their mark on our city and I really can’t wait to share some of that with you.

With all of that said, there’s a blog post below to really get us started.

Welcome to Bitsy & Boo. Drop by any time!