Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Orleans, Day 3 - Stanleys and Santa's Quarter

Okay, we're finally on Day 3 and you can stop thinking, "OMG, she's still eating and it's still Tuesday."  Wednesday morning we had free time to ourselves as we didn't have to meet up with our tour group and guide until 1 pm that afternoon.  In anticipation of another eating-fest though, despite having spent an hour on the treadmill the night before, I broke out my 2nd set of workout clothes and went back to the gym.  Another hour on the treadmill later and drenched in sweat, I was cautiously optimistic I could eat again without rolling down the street,

As part of our tour package, we were given a $25 gift certificate to Stanleys, a place known for its brunch in the French Quarter.  Wednesday morning was pretty much the only time I had left to go to Stanleys as we were supposed to have a group dinner that night at Cochon, one of New Orleans' award-winning restaurants.  One of the ladies on the tour, Anne, and her husband Craig had gone to Stanleys earlier and Anne showed me a picture of the Bananas Foster French Toast she had ordered. (As an aside, I found a kindred spirit in Anne since we both liked taking pictures of our food, lol.)   Considering I almost drooled on her phone when I saw the picture, that clinched what I ordered when I got to Stanleys.  I love French toast, I love bananas, I love caramel and really, that scoop of vanilla ice cream on top just sends it into the stratosphere.  It was well worth all that running on the treadmill.  I don't think this would be hard to make either - you can caramelize bananas with butter and brown sugar, make the French toast separately, and tie it all together with the vanilla ice cream.  Although I would probably omit the nuts or use toasted pecans instead of walnuts.

After brunch, there was plenty of time before I had to meet up with the rest of the group for our afternoon activities so I wandered aimlessly around the French Quarter, ending up on Decatur Street again, passing Cafe du Monde (alas, no room for a second round of beignets), exploring the French Market, then, as I was innocently walking down the street, I discovered Santa's Quarter, a shop devoted entirely to Christmas.  Christmas, did you say?  Ornaments? Food ornaments?
I will leave it to your imagination how long I spent in that store and what I bought but yes, I bought.  Considering I put up 2 full-size food trees nearly every Christmas, it's almost astonishing there are still food ornaments I don't have but it's true.  I did my best though to rectify that in this store.  The lady behind the cash register did a wonderful job wrapping each glass ornament in tissue paper then bubble wrap (you should never wrap ornaments with glitter directly in bubble wrap as the glitter will rub off because of the bubble wrap - use tissue first) before boxing them up.  I'm glad she did since these had to make it on the plane ride home with me the next day.  If anyone loves Christmas stuff, make sure you stop at Santa's Quarter on Decatur St, between the French Market and the original Cafe du Monde if you're ever in New Orleans.  Their business card says it's owned by a husband and wife team so I love it even more that it's a small business I can support.  I was also gratified to find an ornament of King Cake and even one of beignets and coffee.

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