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+2 On Drinks, New Orleans' Answer To Gaugin, And Nobody Throws A Sazerac

Monday, July 21, 2014

I have a friend who works in the healthcare field, and she says that anytime someone answers on one of those forms in the office or emergency room that they have 'x' drinks a week, the staff mentally adds two to it.  So if you mark that you're having three glasses of wine each week, they're thinking it's probably more likely that you're having five but you just think three sounds more acceptable.  


Maybe it's like, although reversed, at the courthouse: whatever you say you weigh on your drivers license is probably at least twenty pounds lighter than what you really are.  Please, nobody call Montgomery and tell them I'm not really 117.

When we are in B'ham, I literally have one drink a week, tops.  Not three, so my doctor doesn't need to be doing the +2 with me.  Seriously, one.  Every Friday night, I have one glass of wine.  I don't even enjoy it, really.

But when we're in New Orleans, that goes up.  I'll never be one of those people who enjoys wine enough to spend serious money on it, or that I could ever swirl a glass and describe those 'grippy tannins' or the menthol or carob undernotes with a straight face, but I do enjoy a cocktail.  It's appropriate, I imagine, as many people figure New Orleans to be the birthplace of the cocktail.  And with that, the earliest cocktail?  The Sazerac, which is the city's official cocktail

Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans

Just as a *complete* aside, the NPR story about the sazerac I linked to above mentioned Lindy Boggs who had a magnificent home on the 600 block of Bourbon Street.  Just look at her Mallard half-testerr bed halfway through this slideshow.  Yes, yes.

Also appropriate: New Orleans is the home of Tales of the Cocktail which just wrapped up this year, and Jeff 'Beachbum' Berry won for his book, 'Potions of the Caribbean'.  This fall, he's opening Latitude 29, a tiki bar, in the Quarter at the Bienville House. 

Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans
Anyway, before our last lunch at Domenica (they're both in the Roosevelt Hotel), Av and I stopped in at the Sazerac Bar for a little prelude.  But actually -- mostly -- I really wanted to see the Paul Ninas murals from 1939.

It's not hard to imagine Huey P. Long coming down the elevator from his suite upstairs and sliding in for a -- not sazerac -- Ramos Gin Fizz, which he made a big to-do about in NYC, in 1935.

Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans

More about Paul Ninas, who painted in New Orleans for decades, is here, and he's regarded as 'New Orleans' Answer to Gaugin'.
Paul Ninas Murals at Sazerac Bar, Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans

Paul Ninas Murals at Sazerac Bar, Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans

Paul Ninas Murals at Sazerac Bar, Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans

Paul Ninas Murals at Sazerac Bar, Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans

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Alan Richman (deservedly, thanks to his post-K GQ article on the state of New Orleans cuisine) in an episode of Treme, 'Nobody throws a sazerac!'

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Let's Eat


Favorite Restaurants:
1. Commander's Palace, New Orleans LA
2. Arnaud's, New Orleans LA
3. Antoine's, New Orleans LA
4. Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS
5. Root, New Orleans LA
6. Chez Fonfon, Birmingham AL
7. Taylor Grocery, Taylor MS
8. Ninfa's on Navigation, Houston TX
9. Lusco's, Greenwood MS
10. The Dinner Bell, McComb MS

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