For more than 25 years, Melius Bar & Cafe has been dishing out comfort fare and boozy beverages in a casual sports-bar atmosphere with 10 flat-screen televisions for taking in local teams. With a straightforward menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items, early birds can munch on traditional cuisine, including the Bucktown special made with two eggs any style, two sausages or three bacon slices, and two slice of texas toast ($3.50), and afternooners can dig into a specialty, such as a burger ($6.25), salad ($2.75+), or fries ($1.75+). Regular happy hours keep parched patrons hydrated with bubbly drinks, and weekly lunch specials remind palates why they choose to go into tasting instead of accounting. With pool tables, shuffleboard, darts, and video poker, bar-room game sharks can hone their sporting skills in a random game play or join a league to show off proper thumb-stretching techniques.
As chefs simmer authentic New Orleans shrimp étouffée and watch gulf shrimp blacken, chicken and andouille-sausage gumbo bubbles in a pot nearby, filling the kitchen with a spicy aroma. Marigny Brasserie’s menu earned a "good to very good rating" across the board from Zagat, thanks in part to its menu of creole favorites and its wine list. Diners at the bar can peer over at a stained-glass inset of the Marigny Triangle, while those who choose to eat outside can catch a glimpse of Frenchmen Street in person. On some nights, guests can taste spicy shrimp while listening to musicians tune guitars and fill their maracas with fresh bees.
Claiming a wealth of celebrities among their past clientele, The World Famous Cats Meow gives songbirds and wannabe rock stars a chance to work their vocal cords and stocks a full bar with a varied roster of liquid courage. The Bourbon Street bar plunks casual crooners into the center of attention by placing them on a glossy wooden stage, separating them from the throngs of new fans and Ed Sullivan booking agents with a low yellow barricade. Vocalists pull songs from a chart-topping list that reaches back to the 1950s before bypassing lines and leaping right on stage with their Head of the Line pass. Between tune-bending sessions, sing-along stars can rehydrate parched throats by knocking back one of 15 Jello shots or one of seven drinks from the well-stocked bar, such as a bubbly Abita beer, a premium cocktail, or a fruity 32-ounce hurricane. An included DVD of the event lets singers watch, critique, and improve their performances in much the same way boxers watch match tapes to hone their jabs or the Kool-Aid Man watches his own commercials to master his wall-smashing skills.
The Cajun kitchen at Dry Dock Café unleashes an extensive menu of authentic New Orleans cuisine, including po boys, crawfish, and oyster entrees. A free, nearby ferry from the French Quarter transports hollow legs to a location within steps of a plate of grilled alligator and pork sausage paired with honey-mustard dressing ($7.25). Crispy crawfish tails doused in a creamy parmesan sauce enlist in a pasta tug-of-war in the crawfish maureeenica plate ($12.95), and brazen red beans transform a mound of fluffy rice into New Orleans’ classic piquant dish ($6.95). Hungry fingers choose from eight po boy sandwiches, including three varieties of sea candy: oysters ($10.95), shrimp ($9.95), or catfish ($8.95)—each brushed with mayonnaise and guarded with Cajun potato spears.
Chris Owens is one of five artists honored with a statue in New Orleans Musical Legends Park. She has been featured in OffBeat and Where Y'at Magazine. Though Chris Owens Club has yet to receive many online reviews, five Yelpers give it an average of four stars, and seven Citysearchers give Chris Owens Club a three-star average.
Founder of the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, Rick Delaup, directs the spotlight toward a scintillating trio of former "Queen of Burlesque" titleholders as they strut their stuff in an eye-popping stage show that packs aural oomph with a live jazz band. Vanquishing her feathery foes and prevailing as victor in 2009, Perle Noire evokes a gymnastic Josephine Baker as she blends high kicks, splits, and flips into her energized, yet elegant act. Dancer and pin-up model Coco Lectric from Austin, Texas earns applause with classically trained maneuvers that won her honors in 2010, while 2011 winner Ginger Valentine teaches the audience how to whistle with her steamy stock of beguiling strip-tease tricks. A superstar cast of performers joins the champions on stage for added flair, including sultry chanteuse and burlesque "scene queen" Athena and lively duo Nathan Kepner and Morgan Tsu-Raun, who thrill tawdry inner-children with circus tricks and bravura juggling.
With its imposing, slate-gray façade, the 170-year-old U.S. Custom House may be the last building in which you’d expect to hear the delighted squeals of children. But behind the steely columns, the building erupts into 23,000 square feet of colorful displays and fluttering, scuttling insects, courtesy of the Audubon Society and Insectarium. In the Asian garden, hundreds of butterflies dodge shafts of sunlight to alight on tropical ferns and the shoulders of young visitors. And at the Insects of New Orleans gallery, visitors can ogle the pink katydids, cockroaches, and lovebugs that contribute to the city’s heritage.
These bug-filled displays are all part of the insectarium’s mission to conserve Louisiana’s indigenous species and inspire stewardship in its visitors. While adults can sate their curiosity with the vast array of exotic species, curators gear many displays toward young guests by making them lighthearted and interactive: the Field Camp’s entomologist answers questions about how to collect bugs or break up flea-circus strikes, and at Bug Appétit, chefs dole out insect-filled delicacies to adventurous palates.