Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Alfresco Lunch in the French Quarter

What a gorgeous day! Since I was off of work early afternoon and my man friend (I'm gonna call him 'Boy') didn't have work till late afternoon, we decided to meet up for lunch somewhere in between the two of us.

While trying to figure out what to eat, we lamented the lack of deli counters in New Orleans. Boy is from Cleveland and myself from New York, and although we both love a good po-boy, sometimes you want a cheap pastrami on rye or chicken bacon bomber (holla 'atcha East Islip, NY). True, there is  Stein's Deli; I previously lived a oyster shell's throw away from Stein's. Their sandwiches are good, but I think a bit overpriced, and Boy says, "Too small". (But please do visit Stein's to peruse their vast selections of beer and bearded, tattooed men serving meat).

I ended up leaving the details to boy, and agreed to just meet him at the Joan of Arc statue in the French Quarter. I am usually hesitant to spend any amount of time in the area, since I immediately feel agro amongst the over-weight, khaki and sneaker clad tourists. BUT, I also like being surprised for lunch by a gentleman, so I went with it.

Boy came through! He stopped and picked up 'sammitches' from JIMS in the Bywater! We found a bench by a fountain and dug in.

JIMS was good! We had the Club with a side of coleslaw and another sandwich with mushrooms and goat cheese with a side of french fries. I would have liked more fries (since I inhaled them in 5 secs), but everything else was great (especially the super thick bread and tons of meat on the Club). Looking at the prices now online, I see it's not much different then Stein's, so I'll just break even saying it's a good sandwich option downtown. 

Boy also won big points for his drink selection. He stopped somewhere else along the way for beverages, but asked that his secret spot to remain unnamed, after I announced he needed to get used to our life being blogged about ("can't some things remain sacred?!"). The Chrysanthemum Tea Drink was good, but oh my lord 21 grams of sugar?! Also, I love these types of coffee drinks in cans. No, not energy drinks and those things from Starbucks. I like the weird, what in the world I've never heard of this brand in my life ones. 

Perhaps it was the beautiful weather. Perhaps it was the fact that we hadn't seen each other in two or more days. Perhaps it was the fact that I "cleansed" yesterday and was ecstatic to shove anything in my mouth. But Boy and I were practically giddy, cuddling up in our own private oasis in the midst of mid-westerners pointing at their go-cups and exclaiming loudly, "Barb, Barb, take a picture why don't cha?!"

To keep the party going, I announced the need for ice cream. I pulled out my Yelp (Yelp is the one app I find myself using constantly since moving to New Orleans. It's just great. Get it) and saw that there was an ice cream shop right around the corner on Dumaine Street! Images of skipping in the sunshine holding an ice cream cone danced through my mind. We didn't find ice cream cones, but what we did find was pretty damn unexpected and awesome. 

Meltdown serves house made ice pops, or "frozen confection(s) on a stick". We struck up conversation with the owner with the typical assumption that since we'd never heard of them, they must be new. "How long have you been here?". Deadpan answer, "Five years". Whoops. Owner Michelle Weaver warmly acknowledged that yes, most locals are surprised when they find the shop, most of her business coming from tourists. Well, Michelle, get ready for more locals, cause I'm telling er' body bout your pops. 

The salted caramel cream pop was so good. We also tried the strawberry basil for good measure, both disappearing quickly. While I did the little dance at the door of 'are we leaving, oh, not yet, eh yes?' while Boy and Michelle talked about different shop locations (I'm all about pops in the Bywater by the way, wink wink). I felt like a child doing the potty dance so I did the one thing I know best and ordered another pop. Oh my lord, vietnamese coffee flavor, you are so good to me. We left with promises to come back for the chocolate sea salt with olive oil (I died a little on the inside when she said she was sold out). It was no ice cream cone, but I am not complaining. 

So, where's your favorite spot to picnic? 

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