I know what you're expecting. I was expecting it too. I thought Mama Vamp would have her socks knocked off by the food and drink in New Orleans. And, with some of the fare in question, her socks made significant strides.
She reveled in the Rabbit and Dumplings and Wood-Fired Oysters with Chili-Garlic Butter at Chef Donald Link's Cochon.
She was equally impressed - if not more so - with Link's new seafood spot, Peche, where we downed Chilled Gulf Shrimp with rapturous glee and delighted in a plate of Smothered Catfish.
And, she most certainly took great pleasure in a round of Pimm's Cups at the touristy, yet wonderful Napoleon House.
Then there was the mind-blowing Friday lunch at Chef John Besh's magnificent August, which was topped off by not one, but three desserts, including the restaurant's swoon-worthy riff on Banana Pudding with Peanut Butter, Marshmallow and 'Nilla Wafer' Ice Cream.
There was also a plate of Fried Green Tomatoes at Elizabeth's in the Bywater that put a smile on Mama Vamp's face.
But all that - and even Cafe du Monde's Cafe au Lait and Beignets aside - it was the music that made Mama Vamp's trip a success. The enchanting twinkle in her eyes as she listened to the musical stylings of Antoine Diel at the Roosevelt Hotel was something I'd not seen before or since. (Mind you, that Beignet came awfully close.) But, Antoine and his repertoire of Cole Porter and Hoagy Carmichael songs had her grinning wider than the Cheshire cat and her toes were tapping with a rhythm that can only be fueled by pure joy.
Pure joy. If that isn't what New Orleans should be about, I don't know what is.
Laissez les bons temps rouler, Mama Vamp! You go!