Table for One, Please

Ah yes, friends. The magic of dating. Mardi Gras, as you all probably can guess, is not my strong suit for the meeting or retaining of boys. And, if you happen to live in New Orleans, that also puts Valentine’s Day creeping around one corner or another. Yippeee.

I met Dr. Glitterbeard at the Space Ball. We met in line to get ourselves jazzed up with some Get Fly Bodypaint and were having a good time. We had mutual friends, and apparently, he was of the opinion that I was the hottest girl there. (High five, me!) My costume wasn’t fully baked because of the pressures of graduate school but the final product was some sexy red star pasties, a gorgeous handmade hood, and matching red bottoms. I was pretty on fire. Fun times.

He asked me to dance, and then if I wanted to get a drink. (Yes!) And of course, Sometimes Boyfriend happened to be nearby with The Ogre so the timing was pretty nice for me to get such flattering male attention. Two vodka sodas and an almost kind of kiss later, we were cutting it up under the black light. After a song or two, I took him to find some other friends that we realized we shared in common from his undergrad days. We realize we’ve lost his friends so he excuses himself to go find them. I figured I’d bump into him later and went on with my fun. Fast forward to me, bumping into his (our) friends first. Here is what I get: “You know he’s married, right?”

Ummm no, I did not. Got ZERO married vibes. Of course, it was all fairly platonic so not real lines were crossed (unless you count the no-tongue kiss thing) although I’m sure if the wife was there I would not have been the center of attention for so long. Anyway, awkward and moving on. I did bump into him later with a coarse “Hi, you are MARRIED!?” to which he responded “Wasn’t gonna happen, lady.” Or something to that effect with a fairly rude undertone.

Whatever, dude. Enjoy the ball.

Then, of course, Fat Tuesday happened. Yippee. And as I attempted to gather my life together and sweep up the glitter, Valentine’s Day came and went with another year of light acknowledgement of another day where society expects us to eat too much food in the name of LOVE. (Pro tip, have sex before dinner so that the after dinner sex can be kind of drunk and relaxed.)


Even though I had no special someone to drape myself in gorgeously scandalous lace for, I do have an awesome friend who got super crafty and made some great Valentines (see below). We did venture out on the sunny Sunday for some quick binge eating of Vietnamese food at the annual Tet Celebration. That was a good call. It was a beautiful day for a drive out to the East (when I wasn’t the driver) and it was nice to catch up.

And later, because I am a graduate student in English, I hung out with Henry James (really, dude…why so many words?) and enjoyed a long walk and two solo glasses of wine. Because you know what, I’d rather just date myself than someone that doesn’t light my fire.

12717504_10103695866555600_5276383802883651588_n(Photo and Art Cred: Camilio Estevez)


Dear 2015…

Dear 2015,

I wish I could say that it’s been great and I will miss you, but that would be total and complete bullshit. The fact that 2014 ended with me toasting bubbly with my coworkers after another long holiday season in the service industry ($$$) and then welcoming 2015 by getting super sloshed at work while we cleaned up leading to a near miss of my flight home on Jan 1 suggests how pathetic you would end up. But hindsight is 20/20, right?

To be fair, the ratio of good to bad in the year that marked the 30th anniversary of my birth wasn’t so so bad, and since I don’t have a television, I’ve been spared a lot of the past 6 month’s political discourse that social media tells me consists heavily of people saying stupid things that are unproductive and sometimes outright offensive. This resulted in some pretty funny memes though, so thank you?

I had a few new romances and handful of awful dates to laugh about and a lovely and passionate repeat of my favorite flame. (Watch out for those, they might burn you alive.)  I partied in some excellent outfits and danced the night away with some magical friends. I fell down pretty hard a few times (literally and metaphorically) but magically a I still get out of bed most days because everyone knows how much I love breakfast.

Surely it was disappointing, but the getting of and then quitting of a proper job was somewhat rewarding and suggested that one day I might find my niche in the adult world. I’ll let you know when I figure out where that is and what it looks like in case you want to join me. (On Pluto?)

You marked then 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and thus my ten-year anniversary in the city of New Orleans. What a long, strange trip it’s been.

I have a huge pile of books on my bedside table because I’m taking a course in the art of the novel (yaaay) so my sleepless nights will have no shortage of entertainment. <- in addition to Netflix, my usual array of books, an occasional late-night text session, and of course, my blog.

I’m not one for “resolutions” but I do have some goals for the coming year. First and foremost I plan to get my sister to pull through like the awesome chick that she is and help me make my AMAZING blog a better, funnier place to procrastinate at work. (For all 50 people that read it, you’re welcome.)

I suspect dating is the same in 2016 so I might opt out completely but there are a handful of restaurants popping up around town so once I’m done with a month of no dairy and no booze I’ll resume the regular consumption of food and drink. Om nom nom.

Also, because we managed to find the most horrific human to move into our apartment who managed to upset the entire home in a mere 2 weeks (Mind = Blown) I’m sure that the situation will eventually become funny and end up here because if you don’t laugh about it all that there is left to do is cry. And I don’t want to give myself any unnecessary wrinkles. I do, however, want to throw a frozen burrito at his head. I’ll explain that later.

So, 2015, I guess all that’s left is Happy New Year, bitch.

Yours faithfully,

Andrea’s Bananas



Nothing Compère (s to your terrible service)

For many years, I was a pretty hardcore Top Chef fan. Of course I no longer have a television because I’m pretty sure mostly everyone watches TV on the internet now, so I am tapped out when it comes to addiction to cable TV shows, however, this did not stop me from getting excited to celebrate with one of my best gals at former Top Chef competitor Nina Compton’s new restaurant in the CBD.

Fun news, I just finished my first semester of grad school and my friend just wrapped her first semester of law school. (One of ours was harder than the other, I’ll let you guess.) Anyway we got all fancy to go out and celebrate. Even though it was a few days early, I thought it would be a fun surprise to call the restaurant to see if I could prearrange a candle in whatever dessert we ordered and they said “no problem.” Great, I basically expected nothing less because it is pretty darn easy to make a note on a reservation and give the chit to the server that says “birthday” and no seat number necessary because we always share.

Or so you would think. En route to dinner my friend shared a horrific story from the other night when she attempted to surprise her main man with a Star Wars ice cream cake at dinner. She spoke with them to make sure that they knew it was an ice cream cake and made arrangements for it to be placed in the freezer until dinner when she dropped off the cake a few hours prior. She also explained that the cake needed to be thawed for 20 minutes before they served it. Pretty straight forward: Ice cream goes in the freezer always and make a note about the defrost time. Check and check. Actually not. I tried very hard not to laugh too hard when she told me the story of how amid other points of bad service, some all-star employee put the ice cream cake in the walk-in refrigerator (READ: NOT THE FREEZER) several hours before their dinner reservation. And finally, after a long, long delay the manager came out with the bad news that the cake had melted. All of it a giant puddle. The force was not with that one. SIGH.

I had to laugh, but of course at the time that was definitely not as funny to her. There is some formula to level of tragedy and time it takes to become funny… I’m not 100% sure of what that is but for since both of us put more than our share of time in working with idiot hosts, I found this all very amusing. Also it will make a very memorable story for years to come. And he’s a grown up so no kids birthday was ruined.

Needless to say, I’m feeling really optimistic for the dinner that we are heading to because you can’t really fuck up a candle or a plate that says “Happy Birthday” on it.

Alas, no. We take a seat at our table to pour over the new menu. It is bound like a book and the outside is soft. (I like soft things!) We are a little close to the wall of window on a brisk New Orleans “winter” night but that is nothing a drink won’t fix… if those came.

The restaurant is pretty full so the fact that it took our server a long time to even greet us was noted but totally forgivable. But he didn’t seem to care and gruffly asked for our water preference. “Bottle of sparkling, and one of flat but I’m fine with house water, thank you” <- because we are still being nice and we are two fun people trying to have a fun night.

One glass of water gets poured. I don’t know what happened to the rest of that pretty straightforward order. We order drinks and some appetizers and then go to find a pretty spot to snap a few photos.

A few things 1) we did not ask grumpy server to take a picture and 2) we ordered before we ran off anywhere.

The hostesses were nice and obliging and we took a few pictures and then headed back to wait for an eternity for our drinks. And then, finally, our drinks came. I look at mine quizzically because I thought I’d ordered sparkling. (The heading said “sparkling and rose”) I missed that detail but Mr. Grumpy Pants was enraged that I even suggested that he perhaps brought the wrong thing. Wah fucking wah.

Ahhh appetizers. They were both fried with a dipping sauce and nothing to write home about, so I won’t except to say that he didn’t come by once to check on the food or to see if we needed anything (we did…to order the rest of our food.) and maybe, I don’t know, not be such a dick about the still water that I’d ordered and refresh my glass. But he did, however, stalk past us several times. I don’t know what his problem was. Two hot girls having a nice dinner and neither of us being demanding or rude, just chilling and having a nice, relaxed dinner. One of the pitfalls of being at a 100% tourist joint I guess.

We decide to pow wow about what we should do because it became clear that we were not getting another round of drinks anytime soon. And that he wasn’t in the mood to tell us the specials or what some standout dishes were. We think about perhaps a yelp review. (You know how I feel about naming servers on Yelp…) so we decided to just talk to the manager and see how that goes. We obviously got the greenest manager on the block and all that resulted was even MORE scowls from our waiter because now he’s pissed that we complained. GAHHH.

The bar was full when we sat down but magically, like a gift from the dinner gods, two spots opened up and we decide to make a move. Fuck this guy, he is ruining our night for no reason. And then like another gift from the dinner gods, the second course of crudo with shaved ice that we enjoyed at the bar with a plethora of attractive men as added eye candy working the bar, things turned around. We also had a delicious roasted beet salad with kale pesto and two (teeny tiny) pieces of house made bread. Yummy.

But here’s the thing. Now I’m worried that our move has ruined my “easy” birthday surprise so I have to jet off to make sure that everyone is still on board. (They were!)

We finished off with a lobster pasta. Waited mmmm 15 actual minutes for them to apparently bake two more (teeny tiny) pieces of that delicious house made bread to scoop up the rest of the sauce, and… dessert!

Dessert, amari and a candle.

And then we all lived happily ever after without ever setting food in Compère Lapin again because in this food town, no one needs that kind of crap. Woof.


Three’s a Crowd

Okay, sometimes three’s a party (wink, wink) but certainly not in this case. Sometimes Boyfriend opted for Aspiring Senators Wife/Ex Sorority Girl instead of me again (yawn) right when I happened to have a weekend full of fun plans. Great news! This left me in the perfect spot to… drum roll… find the most physically and emotionally unavailable asshole in Mid City and then a few days later, go on a date: Hot Chef 2.0 AKA Mr. Wrong.

Ahh yes, you might remember Hot Chef so Mr. Wrong was a pretty bad idea considering the record I have with dating chefs. Married to his job? Of course. But I knew that before we ever met for drinks. Emotionally unavailable because of divorce? Yup. That’s where we deviate from the original. But the real problem with Mr. Wrong is the third wheel.

Who might this other be? Not his ex wife. Not his mother. Want to keep guessing or shall I spill the beans?

Apparently he is BFFs with his all-star bartender, a lady with whom I’ve spent several afternoons with over her stellar Hot Toddies, shared giggles over our mutual infatuation with a certain Jamie MacKenzie Fraser and generally enjoying each others company (and my generous tips on a slow afternoon). Turns out she is not my friend, and is actually a conniving manipulator. All great qualities. You go, girl!

A few days after our date, I came in after a big old party thinking that his restaurant was a good idea because a) Pho is great for hangovers b) Chicken and Waffles is on the menu c) Tons of things can get eggs on them. AND d) Not a hot spot during traditional brunch time. (Okay maybe a littttle interest in “bumping into” Mr. Wrong.  I also really wanted to bring the crew to my neighborhood so I could crawl into my bed without having to call a cab after grubbing.)

We sat down and ordered and I sent a casual text saying “Hey, we are outside having some brunch. No pressure but if you aren’t too busy and want to say hi…” or something like that. That day they also happened to be smoking a big whole animal: lamb? pig? I don’t know. It happens weekly so maybe one day I’ll figure out what the mammal is and perhaps eat some of it.

After some time, we were literally smoked out and decided to finish up at the bar. Great, I loved (past tense) the bartender. We close out with our server and decide that is a great idea to do shots and order dessert. It was, after all, a celebration! A little while later, I get the most awkward wave from as FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE from Mr. Wrong. He walks away and I burst out with a giant “THAT WAS AWKWARD!” (Annnd I’m a little drunk.) Then, thinking that the bartender was a friend, I say “Gahhh that was sooo weird, we totally hooked up the other day!” (Okay, that was an overshare and I wish I hadn’t said that…) but then she said WITH A TWINKLE IN HER EYE,

“Really!? Oh my god how was it? I’ve been dying to know…”

And all I said was “He’s a really great kisser (*blush*)”

Later I get a very long, long text telling me that he would not like to ever meet for drinks again because “somehow staff got wind of our encounter and he keeps his work and private life separate yadda yadda yadda, but please continue to enjoy (his restaurant).”

It turns out, he is BFFs with home girl and not only did she tell him that I was being gossipy (which I fully admit was amateur) but she also told him to stay away from me and all kinds of not nice things. WOAH Bitch, you barely know me except that I tip really well and come in for lunch and have a drink and do some work. Thanks for your excellent Hot Toddies. They were my jam. But really, dear, I know you have a crush on him but why don’t you grow the fuck up and be the better person next time because three’s a crowd and I you are clearly stuck in the friend zone anyway.


Do your self a favor and don’t go to Manhattan Jack on a Saturday or Sunday. As a matter of fact, only go if you can arrive at 9 am on a Tuesday because that is the only day that the kitchen can accommodate your order. Sadly, since 9am is after all of the office people pillaged the bagel supply, you might not get to eat one of these coveted treats even on a Tuesday. Be prepared to be SOL on that front. However, if you do manage to secure a bagel, the pretzel bagel sandwich is delicious. Super small, you might have to fight someone for a second order because of that supply/demand issue.

Also, apparently they do not accommodate special orders even when you are only requesting a special order because they are sold out of everything that they actually put on their menu. Be careful if you change to bread, you might just end up with half a sandwich. Today I ordered my regular pretzel bagel sandwich without cheese. They can usually manage that. Not today. Today the LAST BAGEL in house was mine and they slathered cheese all over my sandwich and served it to me on a dirty plate that had some other person’s jam on it. Gross. I couldn’t even ask for another one because there were no more.

My friend had it worse. They were sold out of bagels by her turn (next) so she ended up making a sandwich on toast. For some reason (even though everyone else got full sandwiches) she only got a half. Maybe they ran out of bread too? They also wouldn’t let her add lox. Apparently it is the lox plate or nothing on that front. No avocado. But they do have guacamole. Just kidding. After offering guacamole the (barrista?) took it back because they were out of that too.

I feel pretty shitty about today because I convinced my best friend that crossing town was a great idea to grab some late breakfast and do some writing. I spent the drive hyping her up about how great the coffee is here and how delicious the bagels are. From years in the service industry, I know what its like when the kitchen goes down (it sucks.) but sometimes it happens. Today’s disaster could have been prevented. 1) Why did you stop making bagels but keep pumping out rice crispy treats? NO ONE WANTS A RICE CRISPY TREAT. 2) WTF with the internet policy? Once again, are you a coffee shop or a restaurant? (See below re: internet.)

Did you not hear? Their WiFi is not on until TWO on the weekends. WTF? If you are trying to be a restaurant and not a coffee shop, fine. But at least have enough food to back your credibility as a restaurant. The toxic attitude from the kitchen oozed into the entire space and there is no one that wasn’t stressed out as a result. Thankfully one of the staff saved the day and was super nice and got me a new plate and worked some magic to get the internet turned on 45 minutes early. Hallelujah!

The WiFi thing was the icing on burnt cookie because not only do they not have any food left at 1pm on a Sunday, they also make it impossible to work. Even at their communal table which is void of the menacing sings about tables being for reserved for “breakfast and lunch customers only.”

Get it together, Manhattan Jack. Are you a restaurant or a coffee shop? I couldn’t even get a pretzel bagel sandwich at 8:45am on a Saturday. Yesterday! I was told “we didn’t make them yet today.” Why would the bakers not bake something that is on the menu? Silly me for coming back today. What a bummer.

Soggy and Damp (and French Fries)

Sorry Halloween, maybe next year.

It has been raining for days. So much rain. This entire city is soggy like the tuna sandwich that I choked down from the student center for what can be best described as dinner. Yeah, I’ll go with dinner – just a quick stop between dance practice and going to the library to write. It was a hard decision because if I go home I’m definitely not coming back. But considering how annoying it is to just hemorrhage money on dumb shit I am trying to be better. The tuna seemed like the best value – calories/protein/general nutrition/price.

After the disappointing (to put it mildly) tuna sandwich that may or may not kill me, I made two separate rounds wondering what I could get that would erase the terrible thing that is wet bread from my taste buds. I started checking the calories on peanut M&Ms versus Raisinetes. Raisins were winning but they only had milk chocolate and I prefer dark. Otherwise I’d have probably gone for the candy since I haven’t had any Halloween candy at all. Instead I went for some fries. (You can laugh. Obviously I should have just gotten the fucking M&Ms.) The fries were not very good either. Fortunately, ketchup packets are pretty consistent so a healthy dose of corn syrup and salt made me feel a little better. Because you know, when things are good: french fries. When things suck: french fries. (And then when things REALLY suck you just get really skinny and/or eat ice cream.)

Since arguably everything sucks even more than my last post, I’ve got a throwback bananas while I attempt to digest whatever is doing somersaults in my stomach while flipping between listening to Adele’s “Hello” and the Bieb’s “Sorry.”

Sorry not sorry.

If you’ve read my blog before you won’t be shocked to hear that a few years ago I was lounging around pretty drunk with some girl friends of mine. And, like you might imagine happens to drunk people, the best idea ever is to order some french fries. Better than that – CHEESE FRIES. Oh yes, I love a mission like that. The thing about New Orleans is that delivery is really limited. There are arguments for why and if that is good or bad so I’ll just leave it as a fact. Delivery = Limited.

It is late night and so I called a bar that I knew to both be still serving food and have cheese fries and sandwiches and called to place an order.

The call went something like this:

Me: “Hello? Can you hear me?”

(Just kidding, starting over)

Me: “I’d like to place an order for delivery”

Them: “What is your address?”

Then they tell me that they don’t deliver to my house. This is weird to me because I swore that they did. But, whatever, its really late at night and GIVE ME THE FRENCH FRIES, I’ll take a cab.

Then I go with my order. Something like “meatball sandwich with fries, can you add cheese to the fries?” and then go on with the other two orders. Probably a Caesar salad too b/c drunk me (and sober me) loves the crunchy refreshing Caesar.

Them: “So you want an order of cheese fries?” And I say, “Yeah. Add cheese to my fries with the sandwich..” (WHY IS THIS SO HARD??!!!) And then “I say that all three of us want to add cheese to our fries.” (Again). Ugh also I am concerned that this girl just totally hates me for being drunk and trying to order some cheese fries for my friends and I. (But is that SO wrong!!?)

I got off the phone and call the cab company. I suspect she must have given me a total because that is pretty standard, but I am pretty sure she just hung up on me so I’ve got no number in my mind for what the bill is.

Whatever, cab is en route and when he arrives, I ask him to please take me to Balcony Bar on Magazine Street. So we get there and he leaves the meter running while I run in to pick up the food. Except when I get there they have no idea what I’m talking about and have no food even resembling that order, let alone for an “Andrea.”

The cab meter is still running.

And then I looked at my phone. Sigh. I called the Half Moon. Different bar. So cab (now very expensive) takes me to that bar. THE BAG OF FOOD IS HUGE. And probably weighs 40 lbs. No joke. And it was something to the tune of $75. And then the cab driver took me home. We’d been spending a lot of time together.

I walk in with my arms full of this huge brown bag and my friend demands to know a) where have I been and b) why is that bag so huge?

Welllp, it was so heavy because somehow we ended up with an insane french fry order. Because everything there is a la carte so no sandwiches came with fries. (Not sure how many times I wanted cheese fries, but you get the idea.) Also they were the steak kind so by the time I’d gotten home and taken out box after box of french fries that were basically steamed and soggy.

One of my friends was passed out but it was satisfying that the other rolled on the floor with me and laughed about how long I’d been gone and why (HOW!?) did we order so many fries??! Also, $$$. Damn, girl.

This Seat is Taken.

Happy Days, I met a guy! Just kidding. Well I did meet someone – but it didn’t exactly work out. We met because he hosted a little football gathering at his house and I went over to meet some friends. It was actually super fun even though I was nursing a hangover. Also, it was nice to just hang out with people. New people! Yay! Of course if the chef-formerly-known-as-hot was any foreshadowing, I have the worst taste in men. I just pick the real assholes. It’s a skillset of mine.

Anyway we got along well and decided to go out together that evening with another couple from the party and make a night of it. Pretty fun, I’d say. We spent all morning together. Watched a movie, got food. I gave him my number and figured I’d hear from him soon to make plans to hang out again. I guess you could say that happened. But not until Friday. FRIDAY!!! He waited until Friday to text to see what I was doing that night. I don’t know, I guess it isn’t SO long but it kind of felt like forever and I was like ummmm sure, he seemed nice and I was in the market for a boyfriend. Or at least an Almost Boyfriend to go on dates with.

We hung out briefly on Friday and then later that weekend he invited me over for the man version of Netflix and Chill: Xanax and Football. We cuddled, shared a nice whiskey/rocks. I got to lounge in my favorite robe and have a nice time with someone who appreciates my hotness instead of wearing my favorite robe with my computer and my vibrator. Kind of win/win? Anyway after that another WHOLE week goes by. Except this time I give zero fucks because I’ve been steadily spending time with the original G, Sometimes Boyfriend, and was in the middle of midterms and also tragically optimistic that something amazing was about to happen in which I get all the things – Sometimes Boyfriend becomes Always Boyfriend and I crush it at school and in the meantime build up a superbly solid resume for the job hunt post-graduation. Yahooo!

I was also secretly taking bets with some friends of mine just how many dates I’d be able to have with Almost Boyfriend before I weirdly told him after a few drinks that I love someone else and I’m waiting on my soul mate and thanks for attempting to distract me. (The over/under is not very good for my record…just ask The Economist/JohnDC) PS: Thanks for the cuddles.

Anyway, back to Almost Boyfriend. Another week goes buy and he sends me odd texts about being stressed over not being able to fart in front of me. I don’t know? Sorry!? I also said I didn’t care (and some other choice words). We didn’t hang out (again) and that worked great for me because I didn’t want to be sleeping with two guys and I was totally 100% feeling the Sometimes Boyfriend action. There can be no other lover with that situation. I’m doomed for it.

So, we don’t see each other. And another week goes by with nothing and then I get a slew of texts about some crazy fire at the chemical plant (he’s an engineer) and he’s been at work and he’s sorry he hasn’t called/texted/hung out. Me: Zero fucks given, I hadn’t texted him either because I was busy.

Anyway things went SUPER south when I wanted to spend more time with Sometimes Boyfriend than my allotted role in his life so I was superbly bummed out and in a terrible state of mourning. I had texted Almost Boyfriend for his birthday a few days before but he texted back a casual “Thanks” and that was that. I was pretty much ready to just be done with all the things since he clearly is stringing me along as possible back up plans to his ridiculously busy schedule. Amid a gazillion warning signs, I ask him if he’s planning to come to my neighborhood for the Ohio State game and if he wanted to meet for a drink.

He says “I wish I could, I forgot I have a wedding to go to. I really want to go watch the game and skip the wedding. I’ll let you know if I do if not, let’s get together Sunday.”

Hours later I get a drunk text asking what I was doing and that he skipped the wedding and is at the bar down the street. But he didn’t specifically invite me and then never wrote back to my fairly nice text. So I decided to send him a nice “bet today is rough” text to see if the tentative plans were still a thing. I’m looking a little rough this week but I was down for some attention and we actually seemed to get along – I kind of liked this asshole. (Of course I did…ughghgh) Anyway he writes back but we do not make plans. Later, in bed with my best friend, I really want to know why this guy is such an asshole. And under what circumstances to do you both forget you had a wedding and then bail day of. Did some poor girl have no date to this wedding b/c this “pal” forgot that he said he’d be her date? So. I sent a multiple-choice style text. The conversation was, well, sassy at best. He alleges that she had someone else that she actually wanted to go with so he really did her a favor?! I don’t know. Sounds pretty fucking suspicious to me. Anyway he said something about “timing” and that he “does like me” but I told him that he can go fuck off. It is weird that we met watching the Saints first regular season game. 4 year anniversary of Sometimes Boyfriend. The day must be cursed. Anyway fella, in case you didn’t get the message, I’m not interested in being your one day a week lady friend. That seat is taken.