I decided to break up the recap into 2 parts. Pre-race and Race day because I didn’t want it to be too long.
Allison (sister), Chris (bro-in-law) and Cameron (TNT friend) drove to Mobile on Friday afternoon to break up the drive and save a night of hotel costs. We got in around 7:30 central time and Dad had made an amazing dinner! Beef tenderloin, twice baked potatoes, & asparagus. To top it off, King Cake for dessert. Had to start off the Mardi Gras style weekend with a little Mardi Gras tradition, right?
We got up early to drive to New Orleans. We stopped along the way to pick up Andy (TNT friend) who had spent a night in Biloxi and arrived in New Orleans around 10:30. It was time to head to the expo!!
RNR races have this down. They are so organized and always have great vendors. I used to spend wayyyyy too much time and $$ at these and have learned to cut back and only stop where I need things.
Cameron, me, Allison, Andy at the Expo
This included Sweatybands for a few new Sparkly headbands (purple, green, & brown-I seriously wear these things everyday) and the Disney Booth-I’m considering Goofy for next year. Other than that-we only stopped by a few booths for the others to pick up their various sports energy products of choice. It may have only taken an hour total which is huge for me :):)
We headed to the French Quarter for lunch. We were all starving at this point and stopped at the first place without a line. Arnaud Remoulade’s. Nothing fancy or fantastic-just a fried oyster poyboy for me with a side of new potatoes.
After lunch we wandered around the Quarter looking for a costume for Andy until it was time for the blogger meetup at Cafe du Monde. This place is chaos-but worth the line. Unfortunately, one of the girls lunch ran over and one couldn’t get cell service to find me. So it was me & Alma..which was great! We worked out a plan to meet at the start the next day and run together.
Heaven on a plate Beignets!
Me & Alma
I’m not one to talk much about my church life on here-but if you are ever in New Orleans and you are Catholic, you have to go to Mass at St. Louis Cathedral. It’s a beautiful church right in the Quarter and the priest is awesome. It was one of the best homily’s I have heard in a long time.
We left church and headed to dinner. Which is basically why I have to do a separate post. Allison and Andy insisted that this be a detailed description of the dinner from hell. And I figured y’all needed a good laugh and a good story. So here we go.
Where to begin. This was a big group of several of my friends and family (11 total). I have mentioned my good friend Bradley & her husband John before here. I was really excited that John was running another race and we could all get together the night before. Bradley and I made the decision to make the reservation at Tony Angelo’s. Her brother lives in Nola and had heard good things and I had said Italian (for obvious pasta reasons). The restaurant has been around for years and was devastated in Katrina-literally water to the ceiling. They rebuilt the restaurant and are currently working on the West End area around it as well. Which is really cool to see. But I should’ve known from the beginning that there would be issues when a restaurant doesn’t have a website. Right? If you are a big, well known, modern restaurant, you have a website.
FYI, when in New Orleans, don’t rely on your Garmin. It doesn’t have a great satellite. I literally drove around for almost 45 minutes. We had 7pm reservations and the restaurant was only 3 miles from the French Quarter area but for some reason the GPS gets confused. Leaving at 6:45 was not a good idea. We finally made it to our seats (I am already completely frazzled and my nerves are already shot) at 7:30 or so.
Again, we should’ve thought it was odd that the menus were not out on the table when we were seated (Bradley’s bro and sis in law were already at the table). It turns out Tony Angelo’s is known for their “Feed Me” special. This is a “surprise” of several courses of whatever the kitchen has for the night. Apparently most people order this when they come and don’t use menus. 6 of us at dinner were running the next day and wanted to see a menu in case we just wanted pasta. I really wish I would’ve taken a picture. It literally said “lasagna $16” “fettuccine $16” “salad $6” etc. No description, no order of entrees, nothing. There wasn’t even a wine menu. Just house red. Hmm. An Italian restaurant. Really?
So, in a very unlike pre-race night me, I ordered the “Feed Me.” I figured, what the hell. I had bread at lunch, beignets for a snack and there would be some pasta included in the feed me. Only 4 people ending up ordering off of the regular menu. Orders were put it around 7:45 or so. Bring on the first course.
I’m usually so good about taking pictures but with a big group I was more interested in catching up with everyone at the table. Course 1-marinated mushrooms and then shrimp. Approximately 2o minutes later another course arrived. Again. Pictures and writing things down would’ve helped. I believe it was a pasta with lobster sauce. Another 20 minutes (or longer) goes by and we get another course. Fried fish, a.k.a. Filet-o-fish from McDonalds-or thats what it tasted like-and veal. I think. So we are an hour into dinner. The others who didn’t do Feed Me received their meals with their salad (not before like a normal restaurant). Not only did it take an hour but most of their entrees were cold. Not. Good.
The group that didn’t do “feed me” finished and we received another course. Fettuccine alfredo. 20-30 more minutes. Stuffed Shrimp. 20-30 more minutes. Lobster cup-some sort of stuffing thing. At this point, Cameron and my sister are dying. Laughing at the ridiculousness of the night and also pissed because we were already full and had many courses left. We have been at this restaurant for 2 hours. I believe Andy asked if we were on Punked. Remember, they have already eaten and finished. WTF. 2 hours. The waitress then informed us we had a lot more courses. No. Seriously. WTF. It is 9:30 at this point and we are freaking out. I am usually winding down the night before a race and in my pj’s at 9:30. I am definitely not waiting on course number 100 at eat-till-you-feel-sick restaurant.
I tried to be polite and explained to the waitress we needed to get going and she then decided to let me know that “Feed Me” takes 2 hours. Well lady, I guess you didn’t think that was an important piece of info when explaining the dinner to us? We had said we needed pasta-we were all running in the race-we didn’t want a leisurely 2 hour dinner. As Allison said, “She must be on some good shit.” Obviously clueless. At this point we still have 2-3 MORE courses and we are already 2 hours in. The wait staff began to rush. We received sausage pizza roll things. 20 minutes later…pulled pork salad. And then eggplant lasagna, some sort of pork and some sort of chicken. I was so full I couldn’t even eat the last course (I only had a few bites of each). I have seriously never seen so much food in my life. And we wonder why this country is overweight.
To top it off, they wouldn’t split the check and overcharged us for extra pasta. Needless to say I wouldn’t recommend Tony Angelos. Sure I felt like I was on an episode of the Sopranos, but that wasn’t what I needed the night before a race. The food was mediocre at best and you can guess what I would say about the service.
We made it home by 10:30, I quickly laid out my race stuff and attempted to fall asleep at 11:00pm. But, alas, we are in New Orleans. It was a rough night of sleep with partying outside of the hotel until the wee hours of the morning.
Next up….RACE DAY!! :):)