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Lunch at Napoleon House 4.8.2010

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Without a doubt, The Napoleon House is a New Orleans institution, and deservedly so! It's a throwback, unchanged since time began -- or, at least, since it became a bar, not a grocery store -- and captures the atmosphere of old New Orleans beautifully. To walk into the Napoleon House is to step back in time, and savor history. To sit in the courtyard is to step into "King Creole" with Elvis Presley (a great movie, and certainly his very best), to breathe in "A Streetcar Named Desire," and so much more . . .

With Lynn in town for a conference (where else but New Orleans would you host a convention of DUI defense attorneys?), we joined some friends for lunch the first day of the conference and headed over to the Napoleon House -- four DUI attorneys and two spouses (spice?). Six Pimm's Cups (no, NOT each!), some roast beef po'boys (fully dressed; with debris), some jambalaya, and some gumbo later, we were VERY happy campers!

Thank you, Napoleon House, for remaining just the same as when I left you. I know you'll be the same when I return . . .

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Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

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  1. I love Napoleon House with all my heart. I don't consider it a dining destination so much as a bar that serves decent cafe food.

    That said, I'd happily spend my last hours on earth there. I love to go late on a rainy afternoon, order a Sazerac and bowl of seafood gumbo, and settle down in the back room with a good book.

    Sounds like Zin1953 and I are cut from the same cloth! Napoleon House is poem, and I'm always surprised when people don't "get" it. (Although maybe the poetry gets lost in the lunchtime crush.)

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    Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
    500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

    1. My favorite story from living one year in NO:

      My parents came down to visit from New England and I took them to the DDay museum on June 6th. It was very moving. My grampa was part of the DDay force (though not the first day) and my mom signed the registry for her Dad.

      Anyway, it was very hot out and I wanted to take my parents to the Napoleon house for lunch. If it were just me I would have walked. But my dad had just had surgery and was from the north and feeling a little woozy, so I reached out to to hail a cab up on Camp.

      Within seconds this huge black Lincoln Towncar pulls up and the window comes down. The little old lady driving asks where we are going. I tell her the deal and she says, "Oh, get in." So I put my parents in back, and I climb in next to her.

      The old lady says, matter-of-factly: "This isn't my car."

      "Oh?"

      "Nope. This is a rental. My tenant set my car on fire yesterday....I'm trying to evict him, and he's mad.'

      "Oh?"

      "Yes I'm down here today doing legal research to figure out how to get him out of the apartment....well, I can only take you this far. It's one way from here to St. Louis."

      "Thanks," I say and help my parents out of the car.

      "Who was that?" mom asks.

      "I have no idea, mom."

      "You're joking."

      "Nope, but wasn't she nice to give us a ride?"

      I take my folks into the Napoleon House and we sit in the courtyard and have a wonderful lunch.
      Mom says..."This city is like.... a dream."

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      Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
      500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dave Westerberg

        What a wonderful, classic N.O. story, Dave. "A dream".....your mother hit the nail on the head!

        I usually order a Sazerac when I go to Napoleon House, and Mario makes a nice one. Has anyone tried his hand at other local cocktails, such as a Ramos Gin Fizz or a Vieux Carré?

      2. I live in New Orleans and Nap. House is one of my favorites. On a beautiful, sunny day there is nothing better than sitting in the courtyard. Order some wine and a cheese board and just chillax.....