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Glorious Mess: My relatively un-traumatic wedding report

I am so sorry that I have not reported back. The mix of marital bliss, post-celebration liver failure, and wading through a sea of unwanted ceramic figurine gifts has left me little time to gather my thoughts. So, I will do thin in chronological order....the good stuff will come later.

My betrothed and I arrived late evening on Wednesday and quickly settled into our uber fabulous B&B (the B&W Courtyards) in Marigny. We were warned about walking around at night and getting lost, but we safely made it to Frenchman Street and shared a crawdad cake (off their late night menu) and had some Mint Palmers and Pisco Sours at the Marigny Brasserie. We enjoyed both very much. The cakes had great flavor, and we loved the drinks although the pisco sour tasted nothing like a traditional PS. I must admit - I barely remember this meal.

We got up Thursday morning and had a lovely breakfast of fresh fruit, warm pastries and delicious coffee on the unbelievably luxurious mix-matched china and perfectly polished antique dining table. We worked up an appetite walking across the French Quarter to the city center location to get our marriage license and then walking the 2 miles back. We needed to get something quick and road friendly so we popped into the Central Grocery. I was confused because I was expecting a line. Some surly dude them threw a sandwich at me and asked me for $8. Wow. That was the most amazingly delicious pile of meat, olives and bread I have ever had. That afternoon I also found out that my wedding dress had show-up in Phoenix...so there was still hope on that front.

Dinner at Cochon was great. and not (to our surpirse) very expensive. We had fried rabbit livers with a sweet spicy thai sauce that were delicious. perfectly fried, good size and the sauce was lick-the-plate good. The fried alligator nuggets were also yummy, but unremarkable. Great crawfish, smothered greens and something else I can't recall. The best part was a perfect pineapple upside-down cake with lemon ice cream, great cornmeal texture, not too sweet , inspired me to make updise down cake at home. Then we met up with my siblings and stayed out all night dancing and drinking on Frenchman.

The last meal we had before the serious family onslaught was at The Grocery. I think that this was by far my favorite morsel of the whole trip. The roast beef and gravy po'boy was just the right mix of refined flavor and a complete mess to eat. I loved the thinly sliced beef, delicious thin gravy, not too salty and I even enjoyed the mayo on it. Also, such a friendly and pleasant atmosphere, the outside tables are a great place to hang out.

We stopped in for beignets at Cafe du Monde on the way back to our room later that day and that was also a glorious mess.

From here it goes downhill real fast, then up, then levels out. I'll be back with more.

930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Marigny Brasserie
640 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116

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  1. The "downhill" part is usually when it gets really interesting.

    1. Can't wait for the really good parts.

      1. Wow, how did you end up The Grocery? I've never eaten there but I did wander in once on the way to a CP lunch and thought it looked great. I've posted about it on here before but I don't remember anyone else mentioning it. Did you stumble on it yourself? Was it a local rec? That's so interesting.

        1. More! Tell us more! We are all on pins and needles!

          1. Thanks for the update. Like the others, I'm dying to hear the rest of the story. Also interested in how you found The Grocery.

            3 Replies
                1. re: kukubura

                  Feel like I'm getting to the pivotal point in a movie or good book - please when you can take a breath tell us more and the best of luck to you.

            1. I will finish posting tomorrow. But, I wanted to follow up on The Grocery. We were on the streetcar on the way to meet our friends at Rue de la Course and I saw it out the window. The name rang a bell from somebody's CHOW post, so we stopped in on our way back. Also, good beer selection and super friendly (and cute) staff.

              1 Reply
              1. This is me in roast beef & gravy heaven and a few hours later covered in beignet fairy dust.

                1. Up to this point, we had been on our own. Untroubled by the baggage that would soon be arriving with our beloved families. But, we knew that the sweet romance of our first days in NO was about to come to a screeching halt....

                  Some Background: My father (by blood) is very rich and doesn't like to come off his money without leaving a lot of hurt, disappointment, name calling and unmet expectations in his wake. So, after rudely informing me that he wasn't sure if he wanted to join the family (his side) for dinner on Friday, I made other plans for us (the sibs). He calls me days before asking me what we're doing that night and I inform him that he was disinvited due to his surly attitude. He said he just didn't want to have to pay for everybody (something I never ask him to do - see previous comment on "come off his money"). So he back peddled and sent a bizarre email to the family inviting us out to dinner, his treat - sort of. He would spring for apps, entrees & dessert but we would have to pay for all sides and drinks immediately after the meal (cash only - no checks or credit accepted). So, after endless pissed off and disappointed emails between the sibs, we all capitulated - but decided that we weren't going to give in without a fight and that we were going to get our drink on before dinner.

                  I knew that it was bad when we he told us (3 hours before the meal) the name of the restaurant. I couldn't find it anywhere on CHOW or Zagats and the reviews I read on Tripadvisor were chilling.

                  7:00 pm...we met at Pat O'Briens (my brother's suggestion) and slurped down a couple hurricanes. In the early evening, the patio is actually quite empty and somewhat lovely for an hour of venting about parents and drinking the alcoholic version of Camp Echo Bug Juice. One thing the hurricane has going for it is that the more you drink, the better it tastes.

                  8:00 pm wandering around Jackson Square looking for the WORST restaurant in all of Crescent City (at least in my experience - this could be a whole other thread) (the big reveal) Montrel's Bistro (crash of thunder and evil laugh)
                  My father was already surly when we showed up and my step-mom was well into her 2nd drink and just delighted to have all her babies together. After a talking to, she promised that she would keep my dad in line or else beat the crap out of him. He actually got cheerier when scotch #2 came., but then the horror of the meal arrived. We were all a bit tipsy, and didn't pay attention to the apps that my father ordered, I'll try to remember.
                  eggplant in a crock drowned in gooey cheese (just gross), crawfish (tasted like dish water) and something else which I have obviously blocked out. The margaritas were fine. Then my fisherman's sampler (or whatever they called it) came. It was a big mess of deep fried seafood & fish that was too evenly breaded to not be frozen, flavorless, overly crunchy and generally inedible (but I did eat some of it). My betrothed had catfish and it was just as inedible. Also, overcooked rice and veggies and uneven service. And (as warned in trip advisor) when the bill came they told us that they would give us a discount if we paid cash and would not stop pushing when my father insisted that he wanted to pay with credit.

                  I should probably mention that it was pirate weekend in NO while we were there and they were having their Pirate Pot-Luck in a tent about 15 feet from where we were having dinner on the Montrel's Patio. As much as I mocked the pirates (as far as I can tell they are just the never grown up version of all of my D&D/comic book friends from high school who took their fetish to the next level - I can only imagine these lads and lasses after dark and behind closed doors - Oy) I really enjoyed how they kept popping up all weekend long, kind of like the chorus in a Greek tragedy or the witches in Macbeth.

                  As dinner was winding down, I decided to trek up the three (three!) flights of stairs to go to the not very clean bathroom. (stop now if you are sensitive) When I arrived I started to realize that the cheese and grease were not going to stay put ( I was actually sober at this point - due to the soberingly bad food). I did something that I have never done before - I made my dinner leave my body. Yes, it was that bad. After a few minutes of doing this a couple of wenches came in and asked me if I was ok, and brought me a cold towel. Thank god for the nice corsetted (I wonder if they can eat with those on) harlots of the sea.

                  10:30 pm: I felt much better and we spent the rest of the night dancing and drinking on Frenchman. I ate a taco at a cart that was fine @ 2:30am.

                  Be back tomorrow with the Wedding day report...and some more great meals.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: LittleNorthwest

                    There is a series of comedy movies in this

                    1. re: hazelhurst

                      I hope that you have negotiated for the artistic rights!

                      I'll be looking for the release, and will even offer to shoot and edit, but that depends on who you hire to direct.

                      It would be worth it, just for the post-production party at Galatoire's!


                      Galatoire's Restaurant
                      209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                    2. re: LittleNorthwest

                      Here's another silent follower who is thoroughly enjoying your posts! :)

                      1. re: LittleNorthwest

                        I love your writing style...so descriptive and funny. Love it, love it, love it! I've never heard of Montrel's and sounds like for good reasons! Yes, there could be a comedy film written from these family dynamics and goings-on. The setting and events are priceless. Carry on, Little NW! :)

                        1. re: LittleNorthwest

                          Jesus, that place sounds unbelievable. I know how it feels to waste a meal in New Orleans... It's a real shame.

                          1. re: LittleNorthwest

                            omg. what an experience! I've never heard of Montrel's but I'll be sure to avoid it my next trip to NOLA.
                            And yes, it is my experience that hurricanes DO taste better the more you drink! :)

                            1. re: LittleNorthwest

                              a shame. new orleans has so many quality and unique options that it's hard to limit oneself on a short trip, which makes careful consideration and planning almost a must.

                            2. Sorry to hear about the bad food and losing your cookies, Question, why was the restaurant being so persistant that your father pay cash?

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: nola1421

                                In my experience it has to do with taxes..Russian places on brighton Beach will always cut a deal for cash..but you gotta find the hidden cost that they have often tacked on.

                                1. re: hazelhurst

                                  Yep, that's exactly what I was going to say. I wouldn't suspect this of every cash only place, but these Montrel's people sound pretty sketchy. It's much easier to hide cash than credit card records when it comes time to do the taxes.

                                  And just to pile on, I work in the French Quarter and I've never even heard of this Montrel's Bistro joint. When I looked up the address to try and place it, I realized that I have noticed it when walking by, and sure enough, it violates at least two of my "avoid at all costs" criteria: a plate of supposedly representative food sitting on a tray out on the sidewalk, and a guy with a menu trying to lure you in.

                                  1. re: uptownlibrarian

                                    Thank you Hazelhurst and Uptown on the cash request instead of credit cards at Montrel's Bistro question, I see, hiding the cash take under the table. I have walked by this place many times going to the french market, they always seem to have a pot of boiling water outside the restaurant with a host standing outside with menus to lure you in. Please read trip adviser, bad, bad reveiws on this restaurant Montrel's Bistro.

                                    1. re: nola1421

                                      So...instead of hawking "GIRLS! GIRLS GIRLS!" they should be saying "JUNK! JUNK! JUNK!"

                                      I kinda like it....has that O-so-tacky quality I have associated with SO many FQ places since I was a mere tot.

                                    2. re: uptownlibrarian

                                      It sounds like a great place to go with a dinner party of mischevious friends and several large bags of nickles, dimes, and quarters.

                                      You want cold hard cash, you get cold hard cash.

                                    3. re: hazelhurst

                                      Haha you just took me back to Cafe Tatiana or whatever it's called right on the boardwalk where this exact thing happened to me.

                                    4. re: nola1421

                                      The next question is: How did your Precious (that's what we call your kind of dad around here... we have more than our share of experiences with them) even find this place and decide that it was THE place to go? I suspect he pulled it out of a phonebook and then defended his choice because he thinks his patriarchal authority depends on it.

                                      1. Please continue! We are all wondering about the next episode in your great adventure.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: cajungirl

                                          It appears that she has not posted to chow at all since this thread. I hope that she's off enjoying honeymoon-like wedded bliss. :)

                                          1. re: jujuthomas

                                            I think this topic has gone on longer than the Revolutionary War...(JJ)....

                                        2. Sorry for being out for so long (i've been busy being a diva).

                                          Final segment. The wedding day arrived and @ 1:00 pm my dress did too. It was perfect. We got our fancyish duds on and headed over to the French Quarter Wedding Chapel, which is wonderful. Reverend Tony (born Jewish, trained Baptist) gave us the perfect 15 minute ceremony.

                                          After the ceremony we had 45 minutes to kill before we could get into dinner so we all went to a bar where I payed for everyone's drinks, because the parent pride was too thick to cut with a credit card. The Hubby and I were in desperate need of caffeine and booze by that point in the evening (6pm).

                                          We headed over to the Bistro at Maison de Ville after the drinks and we were seated in the courtyard, which we had all to ourselves. It was a beautiful space and secluded enough for us not to bother anyone. The food was great, I think. I didn't eat much, but everyone else enjoyed it (except my in-laws who asked if there was anything normal to eat on the menu. They actually stopped at Applebees on the way into NO because they were worried that there would be nothing decent to eat in town). There was gumbo, ceasar salad, duck breast, pork paillard, pot de creme, bread pudding, lots of wine & bubbly. Service was great, they happily helped us rearrange the tables, and kept our glasses full. There was only one mistake which was more funny that upsetting; they only wrote my name on the menu as if I were marrying myself.

                                          The toasts/speeches/rants got better as the night went on and miraculously we had a ridiculously good time - especially after all of the parents left. We did a bar crawl down Bourbon - which was gross and fun, got beignets at 2 and made it back to Frenchman before the sun came up.

                                          Brunch at Coop's Place the next morning was sloppy and yummy-perfect place to get some more hair of the dog. We got to watch the IronMan competitors coming in to the finish while eating delicious fried chicken, gumbo, oyster po'boys and throwing back shots of Wild Turkey. There were some grumbles about how dirty the place was, but no complaints about the food, price or overall atmosphere.

                                          Last meal in NO was at August. Wow. Just me, hubby, one sister and the preferred set of parents. A perfect experience. The trio of fois gras was everything we were expecting. The staff were knocking themselves over to listen to our conversation about my friend who is dating a former sex-cult member & Orgasmic Meditation therapist. I wish I had not been so tired for that meal, because every bit of it was wonderful.

                                          We left at 6am the next morning.

                                          I am completely in love with New Orleans, and can’t wait to come back. We know that we only scratched the surface – next time we’ll get some locals to show us around.

                                          Coop's Place
                                          1109 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: LittleNorthwest

                                            The End.

                                            Really, this was one of the funniest all-inclusive review threads I've ever read. Thank you for giving us a bird's eye view of your NO celebrations. I hope you stick around.
                                            Have you received a book contract yet?

                                            1. re: LittleNorthwest

                                              absolutely wonderful! thanks for finishing it up!! you stayed at the Frenchman? isn't that a wonderful funky little hotel? my DSis and I stayed there last year and just loved it.

                                              1. re: LittleNorthwest

                                                I AUDIBLY groaned when I saw the Applebees part.

                                                But anyway, congrats on having the SECOND most awesome NOLA wedding of all time ;)
                                                and thanks for coming back to fill us in...

                                              2. Here are some pics of us eating and drinking in NOLA.

                                                1. In-laws looking confused about the menu

                                                2. My brother speechifying at Bistro Maison de Ville

                                                3. Bourbon St.

                                                4. Huffing powder sugar at Cafe du Monde

                                                5. Brunch at Coop's

                                                  1. re: LittleNorthwest

                                                    Thanks, LittleNorthwest. LOVE your dress!

                                                    1. re: LittleNorthwest

                                                      I am SO glad to hear all the details...i have been following your story for months now, and have wondered how it all went down. Glad you all had a memorable time!

                                                      1. re: betheroo

                                                        Confused In-law pic is pure win.