Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tuckers



Tuckers is a new restaurant that moved into the warehouse district this week. It's not really new to the city but it's new to the location (on the corner of St. Joseph and Magazine). It's in the building that used to be Polynesian Joes. I guess Poly Joe's is gone for good now. We had always talked about going there. I guess we finally did.

There's not much to say about the food at Tuckers. You go there to get a beer and burger or sandwich. The bar is cool though. It's set up with 6 cubby holes that hold all the liquor. None of the bartenders will ever have to cross in front of each other to do their thing. All of the spots are lit up and look really cool.

A funny thing about the place is that it still has the volleyball court that poly joe's had. There used to be a league that patrons would play in during the summer. The funny part is that they still do. We watched a bunch of guys walk through the place right to the court. They bring their beer in bags! Our waitress said that they haven't tried to stop them.

Another interesting thing is that there are two women's restrooms and only one men's. Can "ladies night" be far away?

I have no doubt that Tuckers will be a hit. It's a hip little place with a lot of attractive people. I don't care. I'm just happy that there is a burger/sandwich joint so close to us now.

NOLA gym review

We finally went gym hunting today. We probably had the best workout of our lives just going to see these places. It took us two hours of walking but we did it. We saw the St. Charles Athletic club and Elmwood. Here is the review.

First up was St. Charles Athletic Club.

The walk there was just the nightmare we imagined. We ran into a crazy man under the Business 90 overpass. He was shouting obscenities at people and flexing his biceps. If you want to see crazy flex man walk under 90 off of Magazine Street. We walked back under 90 down Saint Charles street around 4 so we missed the crazy person rush hour there.

That has nothing to do with the gym. To tell you the truth - I like it - a lot. First of all the staff were super nice to us as soon as we walked in the door. There was a guy who walked us around and showed us the sights. They have a big area filled with both free weights and dumbbells. The cardio area wasn't as impressive. There were about 15 machines - maybe 5 treadmills total. They were pushed together in a corner really close together.
The guy who took us on the tour then took us downstairs and showed us the spin area and the area where they are putting up another free weight area identical to the main one. Apparently they want men to go downstairs so women can feel more comfortable in the main one.

We ran into a professional bodybuilder while we were there. She was HUGE. The guy told us that they have a couple that workout there.

The price is nice and it's month to month membership. Parking was a concern. They told us that you get a tag that let's you park around back. They are trying to buy another parking lot nearby.

The best part was the hours. I'm confident that they can't be beat in the city. They are open from 5 am until midnight on weekdays! Saturday is 6am to 10pm and Sunday is 10 am to 6pm. That is phenomenal!


The next stop was Elmwood. It's on the 13th floor of One Shell Square.

The weight room is on the first floor right when you open up the door. The cardio area is elevated on a second floor which overlooks the free weights. They had probably 30 cardio machines. Somewhere between 10-15 treadmills. Every machine had a flat screen tv attached which is SWEET! You just plug in your headphones on the little remote on the front.

Instead of mirrors on the wall they have windows overlooking the city. It's pretty nice. They also have a spin area as well as raquetball and basketball courts.

The staff up front wasn't as nice as the St. Charles guys. We asked to look around and were told to just go look. It's not very "Cheers" like. I hope we didn't bother them! We did run into one of the personal trainers on our walk and he was awesome. He introduced himself to us and asked if he could help. He gave us a quick tour and answered all of our questions.

The hours aren't as nice. It's 6 to 9pm on weekdays. The downtown location is closed on the weekend but you can go to Harahan then. The trainer told us that it's about a 20 minute drive. We asked if hours are going to change anytime soon and they said no. Apparently the place was closed on Sundays before the storm. There is a big staffing shortage so Saturdays aren't happening.

As for parking - you can park in the deck. They validate in the morning and again after 4:30pm.

While there we learned that there is no cancellation fee if you join after August 1.

Aubie thinks that Elmwood is more woman friendly. That plus the walk and the TV screens make it the winner. Our first day is August 1.

To tell you the truth I have a much better opinion of St. Charles then I thought I would. I'd heard it was smaller but I don't think it's that noticeable. If anyone ever asks me what I think about it I'll tell them that it's awesome. If we get tired of the Elmwood staff I won't think twice about switching to St. Charles.

EDIT: (10-6-06)
Welcome live journal users! Check out the update.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Rising Tide Conference

People are doing a lot of work on the upcoming conference. I just learned that there are over 100 blogs focusing on NOLA. This could be a big deal.


A wiki has been started to provide updates

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The NOLAblogger community

A lot of NOLA bloggers had a big party recently. It looks like they plan on making it a regular thing.

The next big event is in August.

Linkage

I just noticed that we got linked by Ashley Morris. I like his blog because he has strong opinions.

Thanks Ashley. Welcome to all the new visitors.

This blog will be useful someday

I love statcounter. I check it everytime I'm online. For anyone who doesn't know it basically does what it's name says. It keeps stats. Stats like what website linked a visitor to us.

So I'm rooting around today and I look through "keyword analysis". The deal here is if you search google and found our site statcounter tells me what keywords you used. Most of the hits are people looking for reviews of stuff in NOLA. I think that might be our little niche here.

I actually use a lot of the same keywords and look for the same kinds of stuff that I see in the counter so it's funny when this blog shows up sometimes.

Right now the popular keywords are the two gyms I mentioned earlier. Therefore, I promise to give a thorough review of Elmwood when we start going.



One final note. You wouldn't know it but there are a LOT of people who google for streetcar videos. I had no idea they were so popular. I'll have to take some more video next time we're out.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Gordon Biersch

We went to Gordon Biersch this weekend. It was actually my second trip. I love this place!

Basically it's a restaurant with a brewery. They make their own stuff and I'm in love with "Marzen." It tastes good and has twice the alcohol content of regular beers.

First things first. Everytime you walk in they offer you samples of the home brew. FREE BEER!



They line them up next to a menu that describes what they are. It's very cool.

Other then that the place is just like a lot of restaurants. I ordered the meatloaf which was awesome. I love meatloaf though so I don't think you can screw that up. I had a hamburger the first time and it was good too.

I love that this place is so close to us. It's right across the street from Harrahs. Obviously it's very touristy but I'm OK with that these days.



Sunday, July 09, 2006

Stay classy Zinedine

Italy won the World Cup but we will remember France's Zinedine Zidane FOREVER.

WOW!

Blogging is hard

It's tough to keep this thing going sometimes.

We don't go out as much because I'm obsessed with my new video game, FIFA World Cup. So there's that and the real games of course.

Also, we discovered a little British show called Coupling which is hilarious. We are getting the DVD's soon from Blockbuster Online so that's gonna take up even more time. Can't wait!

Of course, I've already confessed to our bad Big Brother habit.

The biggest challenge comes in September when football starts. Games almost every day of the week. THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!


So basically we are slaves to our TV. That's not really a good thing but that's how it is.


I think we're gonna start the gym thing sometime around the first of August. We will both be leaving town for various reasons until then. I wish there was a blog to tell us what it's like there. I guess that's what we'll do for some future web surfer. That is if they can dig deep enough to find this thing.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Palace & Bon Ton Cafes

Last week, I had dinner at the Palace Cafe on Canal Street. It is one of the many restaurants managed by Dickie Brennan’s family. Even though the Palace was pretty busy for a Wednesday night, the service was great. They brought out a free shrimp cooked deep fried in wontons for each of us to try. I ordered the Palace Potato Pie (Pork layered with spinach, mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese). It was recommended to me by one of my co-workers. It was good. The Palace also had a lot of seafood items on the menu. Our table shared two orders of Crème Brulee for dessert. They also had white chocolate bread pudding on the menu. I was eyeing it but went with the majority. I’ll definitely have to take Bama there, so we can try it.

On Thursday of last week, I had lunch at the Bon Ton Cafe on Magazine Street. It is expensive ($18+ for entrees) for lunch but definitely worth the extra cost. It was probably the best meal that I have had in New Orleans. I had crawfish etouffee. I also tried a bite of the crabmeat au gratin. Both were phenomenal. I thought about ordering the au gratin, but since I wasn’t paying & I had to order first, I did not want to order one of the more expensive items on the menu. It worked out since someone else at my table ordered it & let me try it. It was a very busy place for lunch. At one point, there were 15+ people waiting in the bar area. (Who has time to wait to be seated at lunch? Can I have their job?) Anyway, I looked over there about 10 minutes later & they were all seated.

Overall, I would recommend both places. Good food but for a price.

Fireworks

Here's a video of the 4th of July fireworks display on the Riverfront. We thought we had an original idea by going to our rooftop to check it out. We were wrong. Half of the people in our building were up there!

Learning a foreign language

I'm happy to announce that the internet can stop now. I've found the greatest website ever.


The BBC has set up a site to help people learn foreign languages. Why can't American news websites be this helpful? I've spent most of this holiday learning Spanish.

I really hope there is somewhere in the city where Aubie and I can go take foreign language lessons. Surely there is a college somewhere in this town that will help us learn our espanol.

If we ever do get good we are committed to traveling to Spain for our next vacation. That would be awesome. I know that you don't really need to know the native language because most everyone knows English - especially in the touristy places. Still, it's a cool idea to learn something new.

Stand up NOLA

While we were out last night we noticed that Harrah's has a comedy club. We decided that we have to check it out. They advertise "nationally known" comics. You tell me - have you ever heard of any of those guys?

We're going to check it out anyway.

Happy July 4th

I think there are fireworks on the river tonight. We might go up on the roof to check them out. My past experience tells me that pictures we take up there at night are generally horrible. We'll see.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Harrah's buffet

Today we got the chance to check out the buffet at Harrah's. Everyone I know raves about the lunch buffet so we figured we'd give the dinner one a try.

Have to say - it's overrated. Especially for the price. $20 bucks a person. Wow.

It's just like any other buffet I guess. To tell you the truth we prefer Ryans or Piccadilly or just about any other buffet we ever had. Not that we hated it. Just wasn't anything special. I liked the boneless ribs and the Texas chili. I hated the mashed potatoes and the ice cream.

It had the one quality I hate most about some restaurants. You can only have Pepsi products. I'd rather drink water. Horrible. I HATE YOU PEPSI.

Another thing is that they sit you right next to other people. It's really uncomfortable to be so close to people you don't know.

Afterwards we had to stop and gamble some. I'm really good. We played 5 dollars on some poker machine. I kept winning! Granted I was winning a quarter here or a dollar there. We must have spent a half hour to 40 minutes at that thing. It was pretty fun. Hate to say it but eventually it all came crashing down. Once I got back down to $5 we cashed out and left.




We stopped at the Cajun Market to get some mustard on the way home. TAKE THAT WALMART! We contribute to our community.