Hunting Ignatius

It’s a wonder what you can see walking in a few short blocks.

I arrived in the Quarter last night to meet relatives for dinner. I took a couple of loops around to find a parking space, but finally spotted one on Bourbon at Gov. Nicholls.

Arriving about an hour early, I was on a mission: find a Lucky Dog cart, thus the title; a tip of the hat to Yat Pundit, who along with many others has recommended the book Managing Ignatius.

On the hunt, I started walking down Bourbon towards Canal, on the theory that the elusive and mobile Lucky Dog vendors could be found closer to the area where nightclubs are found.

I was parked in the residential section of Bourbon. The first thing I noticed was this purple house (how could you miss it?)

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Next surprise, near the corner of Ursulines, a well-kept front porch with statuary, in this case, a replica of the Venus de Milo.

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Why not have a bit of the Louvre on Bourbon?

Next corner, touristy sights. Carriage mule in front of Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.

Buggy tour at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop bar on Bourbon Street in New Orleans

Buggy tour at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop bar on Bourbon Street.

Next corner, the Clover Grill. And another tourist-toting mule.

The Clover Grill on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

The Clover Grill on Bourbon Street.

The Clover Grill is an old-fashioned diner. Their motto is “We Love to Fry, and It Shows.” They say they’ve been open since 1939. It shows. But that’s not to say it’s not worth a visit. I recently had their burgers and they were pretty darn good, although I would hesitate to agree with the sign in the window proclaiming them the “world’s best.”

Back in 1973, New Orleans’ premier food critic had this to say about it, “The Clover Grill is a plain French Quarter luncheonette with good cheap hamburgers.” The New Orleans Underground Gourmet, Richard H. Collin. Short and to point, and considering the skewering Collin applies to many other lunch joints, it’s quite a charitable review. The burgers aren’t “cheap” any more; at $4.49 for the basic model (cooked under a hubcap–don’t ask) they’re not expensive by Quarter standards but not terribly cheap, either.

Here are the Clover Grill’s side doors.

The Clover Grill on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

The Clover Grill on Bourbon Street.

Very simple. They’ve got eggs.

On down the street. Wait, is that it? Do I spy the elusive Lucky Dog?

Lucky Dog cart on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

Lucky Dog cart on Bourbon Street.

Yes, finally, after two trips to the Quarter, there it is at the corner of Orleans and Bourbon. With a crazy mime to boot. Whatever happened to Pork Chop?

Lucky Dog cart at the Tropical Isle bar on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

Lucky Dog cart at the Tropical Isle bar.

The shot I needed (details on why I need this shot to come soon enough): full-frontal dog cart.

Feeling fulfilled, I turned down Orleans to Royal, to head back towards Gov. Nicholls to meet parents and head to dinner. More interesting sights:

A courtyard, seemingly abandoned, concealed behind barred gates.

A courtyard in the New Orleans French Quarter.

A courtyard in the New Orleans French Quarter.

Real doggies being walked:

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Cafe Amelie (named after my mom) has a great courtyard and pretty good food. Worth a visit before it starts to get hot around here. Which will be in about a week or two.

Cafe Amelie on Royal Street in New Orleans.

Cafe Amelie on Royal Street.

And a tourst shot of the Cornstalk Fence Hotel.

The Cornstalk Fence Hotel on Royal Street in New Orleans French Quarter.

The Cornstalk Fence Hotel on Royal Street.

 

Not a bad outing for 20 minute’s worth of walking. I found and captured my quarry and saw lots along the way.

Dinner at Irene’s was fantastic as always. The crabcake special was on, Mom and Dad both ordered that. My sister ordered the Chicken Rosemarino, quite tasty for me because she ate very little and gave me the leftovers; they constituted today’s lunch. My aunt got the softshell crab, my uncle the fish stew. I started with the shrimp bisque, which I can never pass up over there. Simply amazing stuff. I ordered the pompano meuniere almondine. It comes with a sweet potato mash and haricot vert, neither of which I can stand. I asked the waitress whether I could get a plate of pasta on the side instead, she suggested garlic mashed and corn maque choux. I gave her a thumbs up, all was well. Desert was the bread pudding. They serve it with vanilla ice cream, praline sauce, whipped cream and bananas. Doesn’t suck one bit.

12 Responses to Hunting Ignatius

  1. Lisa on March 29, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    My husband and I went out to find the Lucky Dog vendor named Smitty (Schmitty? I forget what the actual spelling is) one summer. He is mentioned in the book “Managing Ignatious” and he was a clue in the Treasure Hunt blog I found the summer before Katrina. Man, who did that blog and that treasure hunt, that was fun? Stacey will remember traipsing around the FQ looking for clues!
    We found Smitty, he forgot the clue. And he is now our favorite Lucky Dog vendor. We named our newest cat after him.
    The prize was a picture of Ruthie the Duck Girl.

  2. Pete on March 29, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    I have got to read that book.

  3. Nola on March 29, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Is that restaurant named after your mother or do they just share a name?

    Love that lavender house! What a great little trip!!

  4. Charlotte on March 29, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Your pix are fantastic! Do you have a Flickr site?
    The description of y’all’s dinner is making my mouth water.
    What an enchanting post!

  5. Pete on March 29, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    The property on Royal where Cafe Amelie is was once the home of Alice Heine, who in 1889 became the first American Princess of Monaco. The restaurant is named for her mother, Amelie Miltonberger Heine, and not Amelie *****, my mom.

  6. Nola on March 29, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Your last name is *****? That must be hard to spell to folks and hard to pronounce!

  7. Pete on March 29, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    It’s pronounced ASSTERIXISIS. Just like it’s spelled.

  8. Lisa on March 30, 2008 at 6:50 am

    Irene’s is the one restaurant that has been on “my list” for about 10 years now and for some reason we have never been there. Sounds wonderful and I am kicking myself. Must get there soon!

  9. Stacey on March 31, 2008 at 9:49 am

    I love just walking through Quarter and discovering new things!! Clover Grill is pretty yummy for a greasy spoon, haven’t been there in ages. Cafe Amelie is awesome. John Boutte usually has a Friday night gig there when they open up…not sure if he is doing it this year or not. Irene’s smells so awesome everytime I walk by. I had a friend bring me food from there once and it was AMAZING!
    I love the pics!

  10. Barbara on March 31, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    That sounds like a great trip – it’s awesome to be a tourist in your hometown – you notice the things that us newcomers need to notice.

  11. mybayouvieux on March 31, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Pete and Nola, you are cracking me up with the Amelie and last name crap!

    Is that purple house Delta Burke’s?

  12. […] Now, I’m not big on blog bling at all. But I am one for a pun, and always up for a Photoshop challenge. So the concept of the Lucky Blog came up in recent discussions of the books Confederacy of Dunces and Managing Ignatius. Modified from the photo that was the subject of and featured in the recent post Hunting Ignatius. […]

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