It's always great having friends visit you in New Orleans as there is never a shortage of things to do — but what about when the parents come to town? My mom and dad are a lot of fun, but they're not really the type to go out and party all night, so that cancels out a few things right away. They are also not the "outdoorsy" types, so taking them on something like a swamp tour probably woudn't go over so well.

Basically, when they come to visit me for a weekend, they like to eat.

And now that they've been to New Orleans several times and have pretty much exhausted the French Quarter (which is where most people like to go on their first trips), they like to stick a little closer to home, which for me is Bywater. I think it's always a lot more fun to take visitors to the places that locals go. It's a more authentic experience than the tourist traps. Also more affordable. And usually a lot more tasty.

Here's a handful of places we visited.

The Joint
Parent-Friendly Bywater
The first place my mom and dad always want to go to is The Joint. My dad even made sure to buy a T-shirt a few years ago.

I can never stray far from the pulled pork sandwich because it's so damn good, and their lima beans are pretty amazing too. They also have some really great drinks: I tried one with honeysuckle vodka and ginger beer, as I'm pretty obsessed with ginger beer right now.

Crescent Park

It's finally open! The bridge is a great way to burn a few calories after eating pulled pork sandwiches — and the look on my parents face when they realized they had walk back over it to go home was priceless. It's just a great place to relax and has a great view of the city.

Brunch at Booty's
Parent-Friendly Bywater
Booty's does brunch like no other. There's the Moros y Cerdo, the Ramen, the Breakfast Bahn Mi and two drinks that are the most amazing things ever: The Bywater Bomber and the Horchata with Espresso. They also have a spiked version called the Rocky Horchata Picture Show. The bomber is my favorite daiquiri in the city and the horchata is just … I mean, just go try it. I'm pretty much speechless when I drink it. It's heaven. I'd recommend getting there early as the place fills up for brunch pretty quick on the weekends.

Dinner at Oxalis
Parent-Friendly Bywater
Oxalis is a relatively new restaurant on Louisa and Dauphine that was once the Bywater BBQ, then Press Grill, and even spent a little time as Janette's restaurant "Desautel's on Dauphine" for the show "Treme". I was beginning to think that the place was cursed as it's gone through so many changes since I moved here 5 years ago, but I think the spell might be broken with Oxalis. For one, it's a whiskey bar, so they have some pretty great drinks. My favorite is "The Buck", which consists of their ginger beer and liquor. I always get bourbon and could drink those all night. It also has such a great ambiance with the courtyard seating and right now with the honeysuckle in bloom, it's just a beautiful dining experience.

They also have a killer Tomato Burrata Salad, which I'm currently obsessed with.

Piety Street Snowballs
Parent-Friendly Bywater
It's starting to get warm, which means that sno-ball weather is here. My favorite is the Vietnamese Coffee with sweetened condensed milk. It's perfect for a relaxed evening.

Tall cans from Wagners
Parent-Friendly Bywater
My dad has this thing for tall cans of Coors, and there are not many places that sell it where they live. There might be a few corner shops where he likes to stop by, but for the most part, stores seem to sell Coors Light only. Wagner's on St. Claude happens to have exactly what he likes, and they even gave him little paper bags to hold them in. He loved it. New Orleans and its open container laws are always fun for visitors. Even parents.

And now that my mom and dad have gone back home to Ohio, it's time for me to run up and down that bridge at Crescent Park to burn off all those amazing calories I consumed with them over the weekend.