I ate the most delicious ice cream I have ever eaten in my life at Angelo Brocato's ice cream parlour in Mid-City.
The experience of eating ice cream there lived up to every expectation I ever had of America. It was truly heavenly - I kept going back.
I tried blood orange, praline, hazlenut, chocolate and chestnut - completely incomparable!
This place is legendary. It's going to be a few months before the place is up and running again though post Katrina.
Big brand American chocolate is a pratical joke I am sure - positively revolting and doesn't even taste like chocolate.
There are some beautiful old-fashioned candy stores and praline kitchens however in New Orleans.
My favourite and I think the most popular with the locals, is Southern Candymakers. They have a website from which you can order their incredible pralines, chocolate alligators, tortues and what not, but walking into one of their shops where they are normally pouring caramel over some pecans induces instant drooling.
There are branches of Southern Candymakers sprinkled throughout the French Quarter.
This is an a amazingly immaculate late 60's hotel, which feels like being in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Hotel Thermal has an open air thermal pool on the valley slope from which you can enjoy the incredible mini St. Petersburg, golden domed skyline.
Tel 359 001 111
You can get very cheap spa treatments in wonderful establishments ranging from the basic health institutions such as Lazni III, a huge sanatorium on the river with huge metal baths, mineral pools, saunas and swimming pools, to the luxurious Hotel Pupp - where all the celebreties stay during the Kalovy Vary Film Festival.
Eat Po-Boys. These are foot-long french bread sandwiches, stuffed with fried catfish/crawfish/oysters but also roast beef, sausage and burgers and they come dressed with lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo etc.
There's some debate as to where the best Po-Boys are to be had, I'd ask around. If still in doubt at the counter, go with the crowd, what's going is probably good.
Everybody seems to be into food in New Orleans and even the places that would be crappy anywhere else are pretty good.
There's some wonderful little voodoo shops as you might expect, but the best ones can be found away from the main tourist drag. There's a teriffic one on St. Claude Avenue but I can't remember its name.
Voodoo potions and lotions make great gifts and they have a earnest kitsch asthetic that I love.
Just like a big regular grocery store but stocked full of the finest local and international produce, they even have a lobster tank! It's the most unpretentious, inexpensive food store ever - Waitrose could learn a lesson or two!
710 Veterans Memorial Blvd
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