Calexico’s guide to New Orleans

Calexico named their latest album, Algiers, after the New Orleans neighborhood in which they recorded it. The band comes to the Brown Theater on Tuesday, January 29th, with Yo La Tengo. On their way here, LEO asked the guys for some New Orleans recommendations, because we hope to visit soon, and because these guys have immaculate taste.

From guitarist/vocalist Joey Burns:

01.  Herb Saint

My favorite meal in the French Quarter. Everything tastes delicious and the vibe is exquisite. A must for any trip to New Orleans.

02.  Aiden Gill for Men

I was wandering around the lower Garden District when this men’s barbershop and haberdashery caught my eye. All decked out in turn of the century decor and supplies from around the world for men’s hair and shaving, I decided to step inside and try one of Aiden’s hot towel shaves. The experience was transcendental, completed with a fresh pint of Guinness.

03.  Meyer the Hatter

This hat shop has been around for 118 years by the Meyer family. Imagine all of the characters and celebrities who have found their way here over the years. Why not step back into time and find a new lid to tool around town with? I bought a handsome Stetson newsboy cap that’s kept me warm on these winter nights. I even gave one to my Dad for Christmas this year.

04.  Tout de Suite Cafe in Algiers Point

While Calexico was recording at the Living Room Studio in the neighborhood of Algiers in New Orleans, we found ourselves loving Tout de Suite’s food and drinks. I enjoyed the pastries and brunch menu and would often sit outside soaking up the late morning sun. Occasionally on Sundays, there is live acoustic music, too.

05.  The Sazerac Bar at the historical Roosevelt Hotel

If you want to be wowed by an impressive bar and hotel, go to the Roosevelt’s Sazerac Bar. The art deco design and murals by artist Paul Ninas from the 1920′s will mesmerize as you try one of the many fantastic concoctions from the cocktail menu. Of course, the Sazerac drink, the official drink of New Orleans, is extremely well made here. Enjoy!

From drummer John Convertino:

1. Walk around Algiers Point, all the charm and history of the French Quarter without the fast pace … take your time and read the historic plates in front of some of the houses … really cool.

2. Walk along the levee on the West Bank of the Mississippi. Looking across the river, you can see Jackson Square. There are old railroad cars and barges too … the Mardi Gras warehouses are there looking west, kind of interesting.

3. Breakfast at Antoine’s. It’s a touristy place, but worth it for the history, it feels nice to dress up a bit and go there … actually, New Orleans feels better if you put your Sunday best on.

4. If you have been drinking whisky all night and listening to the juke box, the best place to go at the crack of dawn is Cafe Du Monde. The simplicity of those little square donuts with the coffee is just what you need to sober up and get on with the day … amazing to think that, for over a century, it’s been there doing just that.

5. Walk or ride a bike around the Garden District. Beautiful mansions and giant trees with moss hanging down …

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