New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

I spent the past three days in New Orleans attending a conference. Yesterday, I had some extra time between sessions during my lunch break and decided to walk into the French Quarter to visit the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, since I had never been there.

It is the perfect size museum for a short, lunch break visit. It is located on two floors, so not accessible to those who can’t climb a big flight of stairs. There are lots of interesting exhibits and plenty of fascinating information.

There were many tools used by both pharmacists and doctors, illustrating the evolution of medicine.

It was interesting to read about the use of certain substances for medicinal purposes that are now considered illicit or still being studied, such as marijuana and heroin. It was especially interesting reading about the problems with prescription opiod addiction in the 19th century, in light of the current crisis our nation is facing.

There was an even an exhibit on alcohol and spirits used medicinally. Pictured below is a prescription for alcohol written during prohibition.

The shelves were filled with all different sorts of medicines, arranged by the type of ailments they treated.

Here is a leech jar. Thankfully, there were no leeches in the museum. I have always had quite the irrational fear of leeches.

Pharmacies also used to be soda fountains.

The museum is full of interesting facts and history.

There was even a section on voodoo medicine, which of course has a strong history in New Orleans.

The topics covered in the small museum are quite thorough.

I feel like I learned a lot with all of the exhibits.

There is even a nice little courtyard located at the back of the museum.

If you are visiting the French Quarter, I definitely think it is an interesting place to spend an hour or so, if you like museums. It costs only $5 for general admission, which is worth it for all the cool things you get to see.

Elsie’s Plate and Pie Review

Elsie’s Plate and Pie is one of the best restaurants in Baton Rouge. If you haven’t been yet, do yourself a favor and go. Especially if you like pie. And who doesn’t like pie?

Last night, I went with my husband and daughter. I ordered a seasonal special which was pork tenderloin with a blueberry pepper jelly sauce and some roasted Brussels sprouts. I swear, they were the tastiest Brussels sprouts I have ever had. The house salad dressing is a pepper jelly vinaigrette. Yum.

Portions are generous. I saved half of my entree for leftovers (and so I could eat some pie)! They accidentally brought an adult size catfish entree to my daughter instead of the kid version. There were five whole fillets of catfish on a plate of fries. My daughter still put a pretty big dent in that plate of food.

And then, of course, there is the pie! They serve an assortment of savory and sweet pies. My husband’s entree was a Louisiana seasoned chicken pot pie that he loved. The tomato pie is a favorite of mine. They also have meat and seafood pies.

Last night, we had two sweet pies – a s’mores pies and a cherry hand pie. Both were delicious. In fact, everything that I have ever ordered at Elsie’s has been delicious. You can get lemon meringue, coconut cream, and even pie nachos!

Elsie’s Plate and Pie is a great casual mid-city dining destination. It is worth the drive, even if you are not normally in that neighborhood. The menu is diverse with far more than pie available. If you haven’t already, check it out!

Be Bright, Sunny, and Positive – like a Sunflower

This afternoon, I brought my daughter to visit the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens. We have been before, but I wanted to take some pictures in the sunflower fields that have recently bloomed.

I wish that I could grow flowers. Flowers are pretty and full of color, and I wish that I could grow some at home to look at daily. But I have quite the black thumb. I should probably keep trying.

My daughter’s favorite part was the swing, of course, not the flowers. There is a playground in the children’s garden. We also visited the rose garden.

Spending time in nature has been shown to improve your health, mood, creativity, and spirits. I need to make an effort to do it more often.

Seize the Day

Musical Theater.  It is the absolute best.  They take a story and tell it through song, and it goes from good to great.  I think it is because songs tap into a deep emotional side of us. Add in some drama and dance and you are good to go.

Last night, I went to see Theatre Baton Rouge’s production of Disney’s Newsies.  I had never seen Newsies before, neither on stage or the film. I know – I’m behind the times.  It was excellent, like every musical I’ve seen at TBR is. There is something extra special about community theatre.  Seeing all that amazing talent and knowing that these are the kids, doctors, teachers, etc. who reside and work right here in Baton Rouge.  

The singing, dancing, acting, and production were all great.  It is an inspirational tale of the Newsboys strike of 1899. If you haven’t seen it yet, they added two dates next week that still have tickets.  I guess I need to get around to watching the movie now.

District Donuts

District Donuts/Sliders/Brews is a New Orleans restaurant, but we have a location here in Baton Rouge. It is a fun little place to visit. They make all of their delicious food from scratch.

They offer different donut options each week, along with a couple staples. The donuts are large and cake-style donuts. The cinnamon sugar donut pictured below is always available. It reminds me of a churro. On my most recent visit, I got this smores donut. It was topped with a giant homemade marshmallow and was also stuffed with marshmallow filling. Yum!

On my most recent trip, I sampled a few of the tasty sliders. I had one each of the cheeseburger slider, pork belly slider, and roast beef slider. Each one is topped with some unique and tasty toppings. I could barely finish them, though, after finishing off that donut as an appetizer! As for the brews, I am not a coffee drinker, so I cannot comment on them. I’m sure they are delicious for coffee lovers. I did notice that they make their own sodas though, which is pretty interesting. I’ll have to try root beer or creme soda next time I visit. If you’re in New Orleans, I recommend stopping by one of their locations. The flagship is on Magazine Street. These pictures are from the Baton Rouge location. There is now a location in Las Vegas also!

Adventures with Snowballs

Snowballs. The quintessential New Orleans summertime treat. If you are from somewhere else in the country and think that a snow cone or shave ice is the same thing as a snowball, you are sadly mistaken. Snowball ice is fine, fluffy, delicious and uniquely New Orleans. My absolute favorite snowball flavor is nectar or nectar cream. I don’t know what is in it, but it is delicious. My second go-to is an ice cream or ice cream cream flavored snowball. The cream flavors are the best because they are extra creamy!

I’ve always wanted to work my way through every snowball flavor on the list at my local snowball stand, but I don’t go often enough and can’t resist falling back on my favorite flavors. Maybe one day I will get around to it. Last month, I did decide, however, to try a few different specialty snowballs to see what the fuss was about. You can get snowballs with toppings or stuffed with ice cream or cheesecake. The closest stand to my house in Baton Rouge is Snoman Snowballs. It is the blue building pictured above with my favorite flavors. I recently tried one of their unique flavors, Snoman’s cream, and added sprinkles on top! The flavor was sweet, similar to wedding cake. The sprinkles were a fun touch. Next time, I may try gummy bears.

Another snowball stand that I frequent is Cool Tiger Ice Snowballs in Baton Rouge. They are open year-round as long as the weather is above 70 degrees. They have a drive thru line, although it can get long at popular times. If you follow them on Facebook, you will see some of the specials and unique things they offer. I’ve had a snowball in a pineapple, which is a decadent treat. I also recently had a pineapple upside down cake snowball, which was drizzled with a homemade sauce and fresh pineapple. I also tried my first cheesecake stuffed snowball from Cool Tiger Ice. They use a special homemade cheesecake, and it was very good. When looking for a cheap and tasty treat to cool off during the hot Louisiana days, however, nothing beats a plain old nectar snowball. If you are visiting south Louisiana, you have got to try one!

Camellia Grill

The Camellia Grill is an iconic diner located in uptown New Orleans.  It has been opened since 1946. It was closed for a few years after Katrina, but is now back in action.  Classic and tasty diner food is served, while patrons are seated around the counter. The food is prepared right there behind the counter.  Seating is limited, so sometimes a line can form, although we walked right up on our recent visit.

It is a great place for an affordable meal.  I attended college just down the street. It is unpretentious and full of friendly employees.  From morning until night, one can order pancakes, omelettes, burgers, sandwiches, dessert, and more.  My daughter gave the delicious pancakes and the red beans and rice a big thumbs up! If you find yourself in uptown New Orleans looking for a tasty and affordable meal, I recommend a visit to the Camellia Grill!