Day 7: Lunch in Memphis and on to New Orleans

Trip Start Aug 17, 2008
Trip End Sep 05, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Saturday, August 23, 2008

We were late checking out of our motel this morning, and the housekeeping lady came knocking every five minutes. Even after I told her we were staying an extra hour, which we already confirmed with the front desk, yet she came back again and again, even opening the door once while I was putting on some shorts. I should have charged her for the show, then thrown her off the, I wouldn't do that, but I did scream at her thru the door at least 38 times for her to just leave us be.

We drove back to Beale street for a keychain and a day photo, then on to Rendezvous Charcoal Ribs for lunch. The entrance is down an alley, and the restaurant is situated in the basement. The specialty, obviously, is ribs. We were seated quickly and served complimentary red beans and rice (with sausage). Again, we were so happy to see delicious bowls of food that we forgot to take a picture before piggy 1 and piggy 2 inhaled the bowls. For lunch I ordered a full slab of ribs (came with slaw and beans), Evan ordered a half slab and pork shoulder. The rib meat was very tasty, these are charcoal ribs and you could taste the additional flavors. The rub (the seasoning; for those who are unfamiliar with the term) was absolutely incredible; so delicious. The sauce selections were regular and spicy, both decent. The combination of the dry rub and the spicy sauce was pure perfection. Rendezvous earned a 9.2 rating, taking the lead as the overall best BBQ thus far.

We left Memphis at around 1:15PM; 400 miles to New Orleans, Louisiana. It was a straight shot South, through the entire state of Mississippi, so boring, nothing at all to see. We passed through Jackson, which was enough to say we were there, no offense to anyone from or affiliated with Jackson. However, like I said yesterday, this was going to be the last day of West-less travel, in which we make no progress toward Southern Cali.

6 hours later, we arrived in downtown New Orleans. We scored a place to stay right in the center of it all. We decided it would be worth it to spend a little extra and stay close to the action. We headed down to Bourbon street, only a 5 minute walk. Our initial impression; just like Memphis, but bigger and sleazier. Instead of just 3 blocks, Bourbon street is like 8 blocks with loads of bars, clubs, restaurants, souvenir shops, and gentleman's clubs (strip bars). The other noticeable difference was that is stank, horribly, like trash and throw-up...but I guess you get used to it after a while. We took a lap up and back, pushing through the throngs of people, enjoying the various songs coming from different bands in all directions, as well as the basically naked strippers trying to persuade people to come into the clubs. Next to each girl stood an old scraggly beared man with a cane. You can paint your own picture. We decided on a side street to find some Cajun Cookin'.

We ate at Oceana. It specializes in typical New Orleans dishes, which I suppose most places down here do, but it looked decent enough. Our meal began with a couple glasses of Jack Daniels, a tribute, if you will, to the man we learned so much about the previous day, and some alligator sausage. Evan ordered the "Taste of New Orleans," a trio of local flavors, red beans and rice, Jambalaya with sausage, and crawfish gumbo. I ordered "the special", blackened tuna stuffed with a crab crake, smothered in a creole crawfish cream sauce, with Jambalaya on the side. For dessert we had bread pudding. Everything was fantastic. We have nothing to compare it too, but it was awesome all the same. We rated it a 7.5 for a random restaurant near Bourbon street, assuming that if we had more time here we could smoke out the real cajun home cooking.

After dinner, we strolled up and down Bourbon street, finally deciding to grab a seat in a jazz bar and enjoy some music. I got a quick clip of the band, even though I wasn't supposed to take video (the singer even tells me to stop taping mid-song..haha) The music was great, better than the cover bands playing everywhere else. But the 1 drink per set rule was annoying so we left after 1. It was getting late and we head west tomorrow. Texas should be interesting, and will take us at least 2 days to cover. Adios amigos.
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