I did finally get to Pascale's Manale. Possibly the less said, the better. But I did find the sheer size of the shrimp impressive.
Wednesday was the topper. Now, I'd had beignets and cafe au lait already - Monday, the hotel served them as our snack. And they were darn good. The beignets were very much of the zeppolli/funnel cake class of fried-dough-with-powdered-sugar treats that I've known. But they were not Cafe du Monde beignets. So, at 7:30 am, off I went.
I sat down in the outdoor section of the Cafe, as instructed, to wait for table service. I waited a little while before I heard a waitress telling another person that the outdoor cafe was not open. Now, Cafe du Monde is open 24 hours - but apparently not the outside. It was inside (crowded) or take out. Fine, thinks I, I'll get takeout and maybe sit here in the outdoor cafe with it. Ha.
So I wait on line, and wait, and get to the head of the line. And see the sign: Cash or Traveler's Checks Only Please.
I had $3 in my wallet. Beignets were $1.82 and so was a small cafe au lait. So I could get one or the other, but really rather wanted both. This was breakfast, after all. (In hindsight, I should've gotten the damn dough-balls and got coffee somewhere else.)
Now, there are ATMs all over New Orleans, in every gift shop. But every gift shop is closed at 7:50 am. Ah, there is another cafe! ...also closed until 8am. Not too long to wait - and I resolved to do so... but wait! A 24-hour ATM machine! I could get money and proceed with my original plan.
I go; I grumble at the $3 charge; I'm told that it "cannot process your request at this time."
Big sigh. Back to Alternate Cafe, aka Cafe Beignet. It opens. They take plastic, hallelujah. I ask for my beignets and chicory coffee.
The hotel's was better. Big sigh.
On the positive side, I must say that the hotel food was uniformly excellent. Our lunch buffets absolutely rocked, which I wasn't expecting. And it was mostly Creole or cajun, or else "inspired by" - so although I didn't get any jambalaya or dirty rice, I do feel like I at least got a small sampling of some of the flavors and foods.