Alabama to Louisiana Road Trip {New Orleans School of Cooking, National WWII Museum, Commander’s Palace}

We covered so much more ground in New Orleans today, heading to the New Orleans School of Cooking, the National WWII Museum and at dinner at Commander’s Palace.

Alabama to Louisiana Road Trip

Part 1: Birmingham {Grand Bohemian Hotel & Habitat Feed and Social}
Part 2: Demopolis {Gaineswood Plantation}
Part 3: Point Clear & Fairhope {The Grand Hotel & Mardi Gras}
Part 4: New Orleans {Mother’s Restaurant, Airboat Tour, Mr. B’s Bistro, Voodoo Bonelady Tour}
Part 5: New Orleans {St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, Central Grocery, Cafe du Monde, Preservation Hall & The Grill Room}
Part 6: New Orleans {New Orleans School of Cooking, National WWII Museum, Commander’s Palace}
Part 7: New Orleans {Mardi Gras World, Superior Seafood, Uptown Acorn}
Part 8: New Orleans {Windsor Court Hotel}

New Orleans School of Cooking

We started our day with a gorgeous, sunny walk to the New Orleans School of Cooking.

The kids were not old enough for the hands on class, so we did the demonstration. Chef Brandon entertained us for over two hours. He dazzled us with his tales of growing up Cajun, talked us through making gumbo, jambalaya, king cake bread pudding and pralines, and explained their place and history in New Orleans cuisine.

New Orleans School of Cooking
524 St. Louis Street New Orleans, La 70130
Reservations required

The best part of all was that we got to eat it! There were small portions of each, but plenty of leftovers for anyone that wanted seconds or thirds. My boys, of course, took them up on that offer. There was Community Coffee, tea (unsweet!), lemonade, water and Abita beer as well.

This was an excellent experience and one of my favorites from our trip so far. In fact, it is rated on TripAdvisor as the #8 cooking experience in the world and #2 in the USA!

Afterwards we browsed the shop and chose some seasonings and sauces to bring home! We all really enjoyed the cooking school and Whit and I can’t wait to try the recipes at home. I’d definitely recommend this for adults or families with kids older than 10. Since it is long and you do stay seated the entire time, I’d worry about younger kids getting antsy. Another note, they seat you in the room based on the order in which you booked the experience. We booked it months ago and were the first family called to the first table in the front row.

National WWII Museum

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the National WWII Museum.

National WWII Museum
945 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA 70130
Open 9-5 daily; Reservations not required

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world—why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today—so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn.

At the very beginning of the tour, you start by receiving your dog tag and boarding a train. After a brief video, you are given the identity of someone to follow through the war. We really liked this interactive touch and thought it was a neat way to start.

The museum is absolutely enormous and you’d need days to see and do everything. We had three hours and felt like it was enough time to see a lot – with the kids. I’m not sure they could have done much more. The museum campus is SIX acres, to give you an idea! It is located right in downtown New Orleans so it is convenient to everything. The exhibits are beautiful and immersive, something I haven’t really seen on this scale at other museums.

Each of the four buildings is arranged around central themes of the war. You’ll find a gorgeous facility, interactive exhibits, veterans sharing their stories, oral histories and a staggering amount of memorabilia. There are also shows and dining right on campus.

We contemplated a guided tour – you know how I love those – but couldn’t get the timing to work and it was very expensive. If you are interested in that, I would absolutely book as far in advance as possible! We walked up and purchased our admission on site. Check the museum hours and be sure you are giving yourself enough time!

Commander’s Palace

After a break at the hotel, we had a wonder late dinner at the Grand Dame of New Orleans – Commander’s Palace. Walking up to this gorgeous building in the Garden District you know you are in for a treat! Sister and I have dined here with Ron and Jeff at brunch and I was thrilled to bring my family back. They even introduced us to co-proprietors Ti and Lally on our last visit.

Commander’s Palace
1403 Washington Ave New Orleans, LA 70130
Reservations required

Commander’s Palace, nestled in the middle of the tree-lined Garden District, has been a New Orleans landmark since 1893. Known for the award-winning quality of its food and its convivial atmosphere, the history of this famous restaurant offers a glimpse into New Orleans’ storied past and has been the go-to destination for Haute Creole cuisine and whimsical Louisiana charm. The winner of seven James Beard Foundation Awards, Commander’s Palace has evolved into a culinary legend.

The rooms are winding and all are beautifully decorated. We were seated upstairs in the garden room, which is Ron’s favorite, so I was thrilled to see where we were headed. The service is just exceptional and the food is wonderful. The boys, including Honey, were all giggling when I was escorted to the ladies room on the arm of a server. I told them I’m going to start needing that sort of attention from them. Haha! While the service is formal and the building is fancy, this is a friendly, approachable meal.

John had his first crawfish and it was quite the experience. He then deviled his brother with the head the rest of the meal.

We enjoyed tableside bananas fosters, which was both a treat to see prepared and to enjoy.

You will want to make your reservations here as far in advance as you possibly can!

And I’m pretty sure you’ll love it so much that your evening will end like this! :-)

Back at Windsor Court, we ended our night with more Mardi Gras parades, right on the corner of the hotel!!

We’ve got one more day in NOLA and it’s going to be a good one!!

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One thought on “Alabama to Louisiana Road Trip {New Orleans School of Cooking, National WWII Museum, Commander’s Palace}

  1. You planned a great itinerary for your NOLA trip. I have never done the cooking school but that’s something I would definitely want to try on our next visit. The food looked amazing! I am so glad you took the boys to the Natl WWII Museum. There is so much history there and I am looking forward to going back as they have expanded the museum since our last visit.

    Of course, Commanders Palace speaks for itself and seeing bananas foster prepared tableside is almost is good as eating them. I wasn’t sure if you would get to any of the parades as I heard some were cancelled because of weather.

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