Archive for August 31st, 2010

It hath evermore been the notorious badge of prostituted strumpets and the lewdest harlots to ramble abroad to plays, to playhouses; whither no sober girls or women, but only branded whores and infamous adulteresses, did usually resort in ancient times.  –  William Prynne

Call girls get taken out to all sorts of places; one favorite of many girls is the casino, which I somehow always managed to avoid (and a good thing too, because I absolutely despise casinos).  I’ve been taken to the symphony and to museums, to parties and music clubs, and once on a dinner cruise aboard the Steamboat Natchez which was both fun and memorable; it’s really quite nice to be entertained while you’re being paid to entertain someone else!  And of course, some men like to take escorts to plain old bars, though the wise professional never has more than one drink on the job and only accepts that one directly from the waiter (a tipsy whore misses signs of danger and a drink left to sit can be drugged).  But the places to which girls are taken most often are restaurants, so today I’d like to do something a little different and talk about a few of my favorite restaurants in the New Orleans area, mentioning any memorable experiences there in the process.  You’ll notice that they’re not all expensive; though some call girls get huffy about being taken anyplace that isn’t pricey, I was more concerned about the quality of the food.  Now, don’t get me wrong; if I thought a client could afford Commander’s or Galatoire’s and left it to me I would suggest them, but I’d much rather be taken to a more economical place with food I really like than have to endure a tourist trap like Court of Two Sisters just because it costs a lot.  I’ve included the links for all of these which have a website; just click on the name.

Commander’s Palace is the place to eat in New Orleans if it’s a special occasion and you don’t mind spending about $50 per person exclusive of wine and tips.  From its convenient Garden District location to its top-notch, old-fashioned 5-star service, there is absolutely nothing not to like about this place.  To give you some idea of the quality of the food, I’ll say that both Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme held the position of head chef here earlier in their careers.  The restaurant has been in business since 1880, and with good reason.  My husband proposed to me in the upstairs dining room, which once had a separate entrance so riverboat captains could meet with high-class working girls there out of sight of the genteel downstairs clientele.  Nowadays there is no such distinction, and I know I’m not the only call girl who was taken there on occasion by generous clients.  The last time I was there was when we took Denise to celebrate her graduation in 2004, but I’m hoping to visit again next time we’re in New Orleans.

Galatoire’s is another wonderful New Orleans restaurant, certainly the best one in the French Quarter.  It is famous for its fine menu (which has not changed in 113 years despite the ever-changing fads in less-civilized cities) and egalitarian policy; until the upstairs dining room opened in 1999 the restaurant refused to take reservations and everyone was seated on a first come, first served basis no matter how important he thought he was (the downstairs dining room is still run this way).  Don’t go here if you like to dine in quiet, though; it’s a local favorite and the noise level can be quite high as friends talk and laugh over their drinks and delicious French Creole dinners.  I still remember my first time there; it was with a young man who had just graduated from the seminary and didn’t want to dine alone, so he asked for the most educated escort Doug had (which was of course myself).  I didn’t disappoint him; I had coincidentally just finished reading The Nag Hammadi Library in English and so could intelligently discuss Gnostic theology with him.

Ralph and Kacoo’s may have a silly-sounding name, but it serves the best seafood in South Louisiana.  Whenever a client wanted seafood and asked me for a recommendation (whether to take me there or just for himself after a call) I would recommend this place, which is a local favorite in the heart of the French Quarter, yet is somehow largely unknown to tourists.  It is not at all expensive and its commitment to customer satisfaction is absolutely top-notch, as illustrated by the following story:  In May of 2002 I booked a private room there for a party for my husband (we were not yet married then), but due to a clerical error the room was not yet ready when we arrived so we had to wait about twenty minutes to be seated.  The manager gave us all free drinks for our wait, and once we were shown to the room we were given an enormous seafood appetizer tray, also free of charge.  I can assure you that we all quickly forgot about the wait.

Mona’s Café (no website) is a Lebanese restaurant with several locations around the city; the original location on Banks Street was only a short walk from where my husband and I lived from 2004-2006, and it’s still my favorite branch.  There are fancier Middle-Eastern places in New Orleans, but IMHO no better ones despite the fact that Mona’s is among the cheapest.  I have been there many times with clients, friends, Denise and my husband, and even when I wasn’t eating out I periodically dropped in to their attached grocery store for Middle Eastern staples like tahini, fresh-baked pita bread, pine nuts or locoum.  I still visit every time I’m in New Orleans.

Siamese Thai Cuisine  It’s hard to find bad Thai food (though we’ve managed to do it twice, once in Louisville, Kentucky and once in Denver, Colorado), but the fare at the Siamese really stands out.  Whenever a client at a hotel in Metairie (the largest suburb of New Orleans, lying between the city and the airport) asked for a recommendation or wanted to take me out, this was one of the places I suggested.  The food is excellent, the portions generous, the service fast and friendly and the décor very nice for a restaurant located in a strip mall; in fact it’s proof positive of the old saw about judging a book by its cover.  One particularly memorable visit was with Cynthia after a shopping trip in which she convinced me to buy a “liquid silver” dress which I still haven’t ever managed to find an occasion to wear!

Harbor Seafood (no website) is the most highly-rated restaurant in Kenner, the suburb immediately adjacent to the airport.  It’s easy to get to, the food is delicious and inexpensive, the portions are generous and the atmosphere is extremely casual; it’s just one of those family-style places where the waitresses call you “dawlin” and “honey”.  Only problem is, places like this never take reservations and this one is so popular that you can forget it after 5:30 PM because by 6 the line is around the block.  I sometimes recommended it to clients in the area if they were planning to eat early, but I never allowed any client but the one I eventually married to take me there because it was the place he first told me he loved me.  See, we’re not entirely immune to romance!

Danny and Clyde’s advertises itself as having the best po-boys (what you non-Louisianans call “submarine sandwiches”, i.e. overstuffed sandwiches on French bread) in New Orleans, and that is no hype; it is the place I recommend to any out-of-towner who wants a po-boy.  Yes, it’s a convenience store; get over it.  They have six locations for a reason.  Obviously no client was going to be stupid enough to suggest a sandwich shop to a call girl, but Bonnie & Clyde’s (as we always called it) was great for days when you’re just getting out of a call at quarter to five, have another one scheduled at 7:30 and can’t think of what you might cook even if you did have the time.  Whenever we’re in town my husband insists on getting dinner there one of the nights; he’s partial to the hot sausage while I prefer smoked sausage or fried shrimp.

Plum Street Sno-Balls  What do you mean, “What’s a sno-ball?”  Yankees call them “snow cones”, “shaved ice” and probably a few other strange barbarian terms, but there is nothing, and I mean nothing like a real South Louisiana sno-ball when the mercury is high and the humidity higher.  If you insist on a reductionist definition, a sno-ball is a paper cup full of powdered ice flavored with syrup, but for those of a more poetic turn of mind a sno-ball is a little scoop of childhood, a lazy Southern night brought into the present from a time when the biggest decision in your life was “What flavor should I get?”  Plum Street is the oldest and best stand in the city; they have about forty flavors so I could never get through them all in a summer even if we went there every week.  After summertime Sunday evening dinners with Denise, we nearly always ended up at Plum Street for dessert.

So there you have it, my favorite places to eat in Greater New Orleans; give one or more of them a try next time you’re in town.  I hope you enjoyed this little tangent, but if not, never fear; things will be back to normal tomorrow.

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