Munching our Way through Comic Con NOLA and 12th Night Festivities
What could be more perfect than a Wizard World Comic Con weekend followed by the kick off of Mardi Gras 2018. The Morial Convention Center started our day as we joined thousands, oh yeah - it felt like 100,000, people lining up to get into the convention of costumed space warriors, anime characters and a ton of personalities we had no idea who they were or what series they were from because we seem to be getting somewhat up in years. My cousins braved the lines to meet and greet with Stan Lee, the undisputed mastermind behind Marvel comics. Stan has an incredible following of young and old which we cannot quite figure out. We wandered around the celebrity areas "stalking" Henry Winkler aka the Fonz, Holly Marie Combs from Charmed, Jason Momoa from Justice League as well as a few other celebs who were much too mature for the young participants to even remember who they were including Nichelle Nichols from Star Trek - yes, Lieutenant Uhura was hanging out signing autographs. We were only able to wait in the endless bar lines to get one round of cocktails until we sped out to lunch.
The Munch Factory in the lower garden district of uptown New Orleans has become quite the fixture because of wonderful food and unique cocktails. I started with the Munch Punch which is a Tiki inspired Hawaiian Punch, rum and mango juice cocktail that tastes very dreamy. I of course finished with a Hendrick's Gin and tonic because that's the way the day rolls. The food menu has a collection of locally inspired appetizers which are the equivalent of small plates. Large salads compliment some of the heavier and tasty entrees making it easy to eat light.
We closed our night at a private 12th Night Party in the Marigny. We were a bit early so we hung out at the R Bar which is one of our favorite places in this area because of the uniqueness of their clientele. The R Bar is a comfortable, spirited local establishment and welcomes all walks of life. Crystal chandeliers line the ceiling above the bar and an antique barber chair welcomes visitors into the front door. The Joan of Arc(Jeanne D'Arc) Parade was getting started down the street so revelers were strolling in to grab a drink before heading out into the early madness.
Since we are talking about 12th Night, what exactly is it? For locals, 12th Night signals the end of Christmas and is the official kickoff of the Mardi Gras Season. There are lots of stories on how it got started but the easiest is that in the 1870's a group of revelers got together to make King Cakes and the tradition bloomed into the official start of the carnival season and the adoration for the purple, green and gold pastries. I honestly think it is simply another reason for us to eat sweet and fattening things in the city.