Making the Hike to Petite Amelie

I did not notice that I was geographically challenged until I lived in Memphis, Tenn., in my college days. Back then I would tell people I couldn't follow their instructions because I grew up in New Orleans, where cardinal directions were meaningless. “North? South?” I'd say. “I know nothing of these things. You are barbarians and your barbecue is lovely but where is the lake?” I was often very confused in college.

This ploy was a good cover for a few years, but the truth is that I can't tell my ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to spatial relationships beyond my immediate vision. That's a fancy way of saying I get lost a lot. So when I tried to find Petite Amelie a couple of weeks ago, and failed, I wasn't surprised. I was hot, sweaty and tired, but I understood it. I ate elsewhere and resolved to try again.

Less understandable is that when I did try a second time to find it, I had to ask at Café Amelie and be directed back to the place by a hostess. I'd walked past it. For those of you capable of either following directions or in possession of GPS, Petite Amelie is located at 900 Royal St., at the corner of Dumaine. It is, if you're wondering, quite a hike from Poydras Street.

But the question you should be asking is whether it's worth the trip. Answer: maybe? Probably not? Are you walking? Is the weather nice? Are you real hungry? Where are you?

Because if you're close, then check it out. It's a nice place. The people are friendly, the food is pretty good, and if I lived nearby and didn't cook I'd be a regular, no doubt. But I don't live nearby, and there's no chance in hell I'll be walking to Petite Amelie from my office on Poydras again.

Having said that, I've never been to Café Amelie, and that's something I'm going to correct soon. It's a beautiful-looking place, and the menu looked interesting as well. If you've been, please let me know what you think and what you recommend I order.

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