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like today's the last, run + eat + drink, weekend spice

A weekend in NOLA: miles + meals + mardi gras

My name is Molly, and I fall in love easily.

In my short 22 years, I’ve become instantly infatuated with a lot of things–photographing my food, extra spicy bloody mary’s, sunsets along the East river, Troy Bolton and pursuing brunch professionally, to name a few.

But somewhere between ramen burgers and one or two L train subway strangers, I fell in love with running miles in new places and consuming the local eats and drinks along the way.

And my uncontrollable passion thrived stronger than ever with a quick (lol, okay) roadtrip to New Orleans for some waterside miles, unreal eats, and of course, some Mardi Gras celebrations–all culminating into a weekend none of us will ever forget.

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HOW I SWEAT

My small nikes have never set foot within the state lines of Louisiana, so when Friday morning brought a few free hours, I couldn’t help but take advantage with a gorgeous four miles in nearby Audubon Park.

(PSA: As I write this, I am nostalgically weeping that it is currently -10 degrees and this run took place in sunny and 65)

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Outside is where you find what’s inside. One of the most memorable runs I’ve ever logged–thanks New Orleans, stay so beautiful.

WHAT I ATE

With a holiday specifically named for indulgence, you better believe we took advantage of some amazing food in the Big Easy. Starting with the Holy Mecca of BECs at Stein’s.

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THAT CHEESE THOUGH

But the fun was only beginning, trust me.

A NOLA tradition calls for many a crawfish bake, and as a self-deemed adventurous eater I excitedly awaited the afternoon’s events.

A steel pot large enough to cook me in settled into the front yard, a local New Orleans’s crawfish connoisseur stirring in various vegetables and mouth watering spices.

I glanced just slightly to the right of the steaming pot, noticing a few large purple sacks–a few large purple sacks that suddenly were moving. That’s right, moving.

This expert NOLA cook then slowly poured the still-alive crawfish into the boiling pot.

Perhaps you’re cringing right now, but trust me, if you could smell the wonderfully spicy aroma I was smelling, you’d have looked the other way and accepted it too.

We gathered like hungry children on Christmas morning, anxiously awaiting the pot to spill its golden, spicy contents onto the newspaper-covered table in front of us.

I’ll allow the visuals to take it from here.

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In between parades and parties, we managed to sneak in a few killer meals during our short weekend in NOLA. I’m gonna let the photos do the talking.

Mainly because nostalgia pains me to write descriptions when all I want to write is TAKE ME BACK.

The best fried chicken I have ever tasted, Wille Mae’s

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Extra spicy jalapeno vodka Creole Mary, Remoulade

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N’awlins Nachos, Remoulade

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Mad Dog (chili, cheddar cheese, onions & jalapeno peppers), Remoulade

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Spicy Jambalaya, Remoulade

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With senior spring semester flying by faster than the beads whipped at us from passing Mardi Gras floats, we couldn’t help but feeling bitter sweetly about this trip.

Soon, we’re all set to head down both literal and figurative separate paths, but not first without a weekend in a beautiful place that will remain as close to my heart as that spicy bloody mary.

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So maybe I fall in love too easily, but if the things I’m falling in love with steam with delicious Cajun seasonings, I think I’m all right with it.

“Laissez les bonne temps rouller.”

Run far, eat well, drink better.

xo Mol

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About Molly Tavoletti

Stay hungry, stay foolish I NY, NY

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