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  • Post #331 - July 17th, 2013, 3:20 pm
    Post #331 - July 17th, 2013, 3:20 pm Post #331 - July 17th, 2013, 3:20 pm
    Hi- Are you looking for things to do or places to eat or both? I have a sister that lives in New Orleans, and I have been down there at least 7 times for jazzfest, and a few times at Christmas. I should warn you that a lot of the public places to visit are closed on Monday. This includes the aquarium, and it might include the riverboat and the zoo. The WWII museum is open on Mondays, and it is worth visiting, but I think they charge $20 for admission, although maybe you can get a group or student discount. Cafe Du Monde is also worth visiting for their beignets. They also have good coffee, but I don't know if the kids would be into coffee. The main location for Cafe Du Monde is in Jackson Square, but they have branches all over NO. New Orleans gets hot in the summertime, but no worse than it is in Chicago today. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #332 - July 17th, 2013, 4:10 pm
    Post #332 - July 17th, 2013, 4:10 pm Post #332 - July 17th, 2013, 4:10 pm
    Thanks for the info. The WWII museum sounds like a good idea.

    They're going to New Orleans to work on houses, so they have a couple of afternoons off. They're doing a walking tour of the Quarter, and I wanted to give them an idea of where to eat that wouldn't be super expensive, but still fun.
  • Post #333 - July 18th, 2013, 11:18 am
    Post #333 - July 18th, 2013, 11:18 am Post #333 - July 18th, 2013, 11:18 am
    The muffuletta at Central Grocery is an ABSOLUTE MUST! Trust me on this.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #334 - July 18th, 2013, 4:07 pm
    Post #334 - July 18th, 2013, 4:07 pm Post #334 - July 18th, 2013, 4:07 pm
    Thanks, Geo, I will pass that on. I didn't know about a group that size, but obviously Central Grocery can handle almost anything. And it's quintessentially New Orleans!

    Thanks again for your help.
  • Post #335 - October 18th, 2013, 9:18 am
    Post #335 - October 18th, 2013, 9:18 am Post #335 - October 18th, 2013, 9:18 am
    Just returned from another whirlwind weekend in NO. Went with a group of friends this time, which certainly added to the festiveness.

    Started out with a Friday lunch at Antoine's. Wasn't the greatest meal I've had in Nawlins (although my speckled trout meuniere was delicious) but I can now say I've been to the holy trinity of Antoine's, Arnaud's and Galatoire's. Best thing of the the restaurant is the interior, it covers a city block and has all kinds of nooks and crannies that you're welcome to explore. Very cool, quite the history behind this place:
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    After a three hour lunch we remembered that we were in the City that Care Forgot, so who cares if you continue drinking away the afternoon? We stumbled across Patrick's Wine Bar, which is just off of Bourbon Street. Very nice, great place to waste away some more of the afternoon with a few bourbons:
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    Reservations were hard to come by, especially for a large group. There was some big convention in town. So someone who still had some of their wits about them found us a table at Le Foret for dinner, which is about two years old or so. I don't remember much about the food, but the room was pretty cool, quite the contrast from Antoine's earlier. And the maitre d' put on quite the show with the Banana's Foster which was fun - gee, I wonder where they got the Opah idea from in Greektown?
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    Then we ended the night going to some hotel bar which I forgot and listening to jazz and pounding a few more bourbons. Ouch, my head hurts just thinking about it! But I knew the cure, which is breakfast and a bloody at Stanley's on Jackson Square. I'd had the magnificent Eggs Stanley last time and had my heart set on it, but the waiter said it would be a sin if I didn't try the Breaux Bridge Benedict - he said it was just as good, which is hard to believe. But, to make the decision easier he said he'd have them sprinkle some fried oysters on the side and some house cured bacon for good measure. Now this is how you battle a royal hangover!
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    My wife wanted to do some shopping uptown on Magazine Street, so we went with another couple to stroll around and walk off the cobwebs. Bad idea, it was oppressively hot and humid and after a bit all I wanted was to find a bar with some AC. Luckily Mahony's Po Boy Shop came to the rescue, thank God! I was stuffed from breakfast so we just nursed a beer while the women shopped, but sitting there at the bar watching one magnificent sandwich after another roll out of the kitchen was too much temptation. I'm not the world's biggest po boy fan, but this roast beef po boy was awesome - just split it into quarters for sharing, but even a quarter was incredibly rich:
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    So by this point Nawlins had thoroughly kicked my ass, so I went to hotel for a solid two hour nap. Woke up in time to watch Michigan embarrass themselves the entire first half v Pedophile State Univ, then met up with everyone at the Polo Club Lounge for a pre dinner cocktail. Is there just an endless list of cool places to hang in this city or what? They have so got it figured out:
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    We'd had a long standing reservation at Clancy's uptown. One of our group is originally from New Orleans. I'd kind of heard of Clancy's but it's not a tourist destination place by any means. He described it as the Galatoire's of Uptown, as far as the menu and a see and be seen place. Great restaurant, this was the best meal of the trip and definitely capped it off. Another cool bar, of course:
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    Classic creole menu:
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    My wife and I split this crab meat in remoulade with hearts of palm salad, delicious:
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    I had some more speckled trout (if you see it on a menu or it's a special, you must order it!), this was with a Tasso ham and crawfish sauce ha! Go ahead, go ahead, why do anything in moderation when you can do it to excess:
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    My wife had a beautifully fried veal cutlet served on top of a pasta with a shrimp and cream sauce, omg this was good:
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    And like an idiot I'd booked an 8:00am flight the next day, comin' home in a body bag! BUT I lived to tell the tale, there goes another weekend in Nawlins see ya!
  • Post #336 - October 18th, 2013, 9:39 am
    Post #336 - October 18th, 2013, 9:39 am Post #336 - October 18th, 2013, 9:39 am
    So happy to hear that Clancy's is still going strong--was one of my very favorite restaurants when I lived in NOLA in the 80s -- in fact, it's where I took my family the night before my college graduation (the after celebration was brunch at Commanders!). Good memories...
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #337 - October 18th, 2013, 11:39 am
    Post #337 - October 18th, 2013, 11:39 am Post #337 - October 18th, 2013, 11:39 am
    Great essay...I miss New Orleans so much, thanks Fast Ed
  • Post #338 - October 18th, 2013, 12:08 pm
    Post #338 - October 18th, 2013, 12:08 pm Post #338 - October 18th, 2013, 12:08 pm
    Great post! Top Chef has brought on a hankering, and I'm hoping to make it back in 2014.
  • Post #339 - October 18th, 2013, 3:43 pm
    Post #339 - October 18th, 2013, 3:43 pm Post #339 - October 18th, 2013, 3:43 pm
    I was there in December and hope to return soon. You have to love a city where playing the sousaphone is considered to be a cool thing to do (which reminds me of the great clubs on Frenchman Street).
  • Post #340 - October 21st, 2013, 9:16 am
    Post #340 - October 21st, 2013, 9:16 am Post #340 - October 21st, 2013, 9:16 am
    We spent a happy week wandering around New Orleans a couple of weeks ago. It was our first time, and definitely won't be the last.

    We both love oysters, so had our first meal Monday evening at Felix's. Raw oysters, char-grilled oysters, and then oyster po'boys, followed by a generous portion of bread pudding in whiskey sauce. Wandered around on Bourbon and Royal Streets before heading back to our B&B and a great night's sleep. The next day we wandered over to Cafe du Monde for a mid-morning coffee, then walked over to Erin Rose to get Killer Po'Boys for lunch, but we were unaware that they were closed on Tuesdays. We walked around some more until we thought we were hungry and ended up at the Gumbo Shop. I wasn't that excited about my shrimp po'boy, but loved the Bloody Mary I had along with it. Since it's called the Gumbo Shop, I probably should have ordered the gumbo... Dinner at NOLA. Great meal, great experience. They knew we were celebrating our 25th anniversary, and we were comped arancine filled with pork belly. A very delicious surprise. I had shrimp and cheese grits, my husband opted for braised pork shank. His dinner arrived looking like something Fred Flinstone would order, but boy, was it delicious! I thoroughly enjoyed the shrimp and grits as well. Dessert was a trio of creme brulees, and it was difficult to decide which we liked best.

    We split burgers and each got our own completely loaded baked potato at Port o'Call for lunch on Wednesday. That, along with a tiki beverage, was enough to do me in and need a good long nap in the afternoon. I was ready to go out and listen to music on Frenchmen that evening, and we did not have firm dinner plans anywhere. We opted to eat at Marigny Brasserie. Not a great choice -- I wasn't terribly hungry, so we ordered some char-grilled oysters, which were decent, and I thought I would just have a salad. Our server came back to tell me they were out of the lettuce. Really? I ended up with a bowl of gumbo, which was good, but nothing special. The husband had a po'boy that was so forgettable I can't even remember what was on it. We were seated in the bar area, and after our meal I went to the ladies room. Walking through the restaurant portion, I saw a chalkboard that had specials written on it. I would have gladly ordered the grilled fish, had I known it existed, but it was never mentioned by our server. In fact, they never mentioned at all that there were specials, which may explain why the restaurant was less than half full when we arrived and never got any more customers the entire time we were there.

    Thursday we grabbed a light lunch because we had a heavy day ahead of places to go and things to see. Dinner that night was at Commander's Palace. Staff was extremely attentive, and the meal was flawless. We both ordered the Oyster Dome as an appetizer and then opted for the pre fixe meal of grilled drum with vegetables. I don't think I've ever eaten drum before, but I thought it was delicious. Dessert was the bread pudding souffle with whiskey sauce. We left very happy. This meal and our meal at NOLA were gifted to us by my parents when they heard we were heading to New Orleans to celebrate a milestone anniversary.

    Friday was our last day, and we took a cab over to Cassamento's for one last oyster overdose fling. We got a dozen raw, a dozen grilled, then each had an oyster po'boy to hold us over. I've never eaten such huge and flavroful oysters as I did on this trip.

    There is so much to see and do (and eat and drink!) in New Orleans, and I can't wait to go back again. There were a lot of other restaurants I wanted to try, but we ran out of time. Now that my husband is retired and the kids have moved out, I think we will be doing a little more traveling on our own. I'm already compiling a list of places to try the next time we get down there.

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #341 - October 21st, 2013, 10:00 am
    Post #341 - October 21st, 2013, 10:00 am Post #341 - October 21st, 2013, 10:00 am
    sdritz wrote:We spent a happy week wandering around New Orleans a couple of weeks ago. It was our first time, and definitely won't be the last. . . .

    We walked around some more until we thought we were hungry and ended up at the Gumbo Shop. I wasn't that excited about my shrimp po'boy, but loved the Bloody Mary I had along with it. Since it's called the Gumbo Shop, I probably should have ordered the gumbo...

    Glad to hear you had a great trip - love Commander's. But you'll be happy to know that the gumbo at Gumbo Shop is surprisingly barely passable. I was surprised my the average andouille used and the mediocre roux.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #342 - October 21st, 2013, 12:32 pm
    Post #342 - October 21st, 2013, 12:32 pm Post #342 - October 21st, 2013, 12:32 pm
    sdritz wrote:We spent a happy week wandering around New Orleans a couple of weeks ago. It was our first time, and definitely won't be the last.

    We both love oysters, so had our first meal Monday evening at Felix's. Raw oysters, char-grilled oysters, and then oyster po'boys, followed by a generous portion of bread pudding in whiskey sauce. Wandered around on Bourbon and Royal Streets before heading back to our B&B and a great night's sleep. The next day we wandered over to Cafe du Monde for a mid-morning coffee, then walked over to Erin Rose to get Killer Po'Boys for lunch, but we were unaware that they were closed on Tuesdays. We walked around some more until we thought we were hungry and ended up at the Gumbo Shop. I wasn't that excited about my shrimp po'boy, but loved the Bloody Mary I had along with it. Since it's called the Gumbo Shop, I probably should have ordered the gumbo... Dinner at NOLA. Great meal, great experience. They knew we were celebrating our 25th anniversary, and we were comped arancine filled with pork belly. A very delicious surprise. I had shrimp and cheese grits, my husband opted for braised pork shank. His dinner arrived looking like something Fred Flinstone would order, but boy, was it delicious! I thoroughly enjoyed the shrimp and grits as well. Dessert was a trio of creme brulees, and it was difficult to decide which we liked best.

    We split burgers and each got our own completely loaded baked potato at Port o'Call for lunch on Wednesday. That, along with a tiki beverage, was enough to do me in and need a good long nap in the afternoon. I was ready to go out and listen to music on Frenchmen that evening, and we did not have firm dinner plans anywhere. We opted to eat at Marigny Brasserie. Not a great choice -- I wasn't terribly hungry, so we ordered some char-grilled oysters, which were decent, and I thought I would just have a salad. Our server came back to tell me they were out of the lettuce. Really? I ended up with a bowl of gumbo, which was good, but nothing special. The husband had a po'boy that was so forgettable I can't even remember what was on it. We were seated in the bar area, and after our meal I went to the ladies room. Walking through the restaurant portion, I saw a chalkboard that had specials written on it. I would have gladly ordered the grilled fish, had I known it existed, but it was never mentioned by our server. In fact, they never mentioned at all that there were specials, which may explain why the restaurant was less than half full when we arrived and never got any more customers the entire time we were there.

    Thursday we grabbed a light lunch because we had a heavy day ahead of places to go and things to see. Dinner that night was at Commander's Palace. Staff was extremely attentive, and the meal was flawless. We both ordered the Oyster Dome as an appetizer and then opted for the pre fixe meal of grilled drum with vegetables. I don't think I've ever eaten drum before, but I thought it was delicious. Dessert was the bread pudding souffle with whiskey sauce. We left very happy. This meal and our meal at NOLA were gifted to us by my parents when they heard we were heading to New Orleans to celebrate a milestone anniversary.

    Friday was our last day, and we took a cab over to Cassamento's for one last oyster overdose fling. We got a dozen raw, a dozen grilled, then each had an oyster po'boy to hold us over. I've never eaten such huge and flavroful oysters as I did on this trip.

    There is so much to see and do (and eat and drink!) in New Orleans, and I can't wait to go back again. There were a lot of other restaurants I wanted to try, but we ran out of time. Now that my husband is retired and the kids have moved out, I think we will be doing a little more traveling on our own. I'm already compiling a list of places to try the next time we get down there.

    Suzy


    I have been to NO about a dozen times and been going to Felix since the first trip when I did not want to stand in the line for Acme. I had always thought they were fine or better. In June for some reason the oysters were huge. I have never quite understood why people will wait in line for Acme when there are so many great places to have the exact same thing (Felix for one)
  • Post #343 - October 21st, 2013, 2:02 pm
    Post #343 - October 21st, 2013, 2:02 pm Post #343 - October 21st, 2013, 2:02 pm
    As big as those oysters were at Felix, the ones we got at Cassamento's were even bigger. I've never in my life seen any like that, but hope to find them again on a future trip.

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #344 - January 22nd, 2014, 11:23 am
    Post #344 - January 22nd, 2014, 11:23 am Post #344 - January 22nd, 2014, 11:23 am
    We spent 3 nights in New Orleans celebrating Lana’s birthday. This was probably our 8th trip but our last time there was in ’08, a few years after Katrina. Back then, many of the shops and galleries on Royal were closed, there were many empty storefronts in the quarter, and Bourbon St. was sleazier than ever. It was pretty sad. I wasn’t sure what to expect this trip but they have rebounded and it’s better than ever. Royal St. is hopping and there are now many contemporary art galleries to complement the antiques. I didn’t notice any empty storefronts. It seems like there’s even more restaurants. Bourbon St. hasn’t changed.

    Our first stop of course was Felix’s for great sliders. I noticed grilled oysters on the menu-they were being fired up on a grill in the back room and they were fantastic. I don’t ever remember that dish being available years ago. Dinner was at Peche, Donald Link’s (of Cochon fame) latest outpost in the Warehouse District. Link cooks fish as well as he does pig. Highlights were gumbo, curried mussels with fried potatoes, fried fish collars with pepper jelly, whole fish cooked over wood, grilled redfish with salsa verde, and incredible sides including brabant potatoes, brussel sprouts with bacon, and beets with horseradish cream.

    Café du Monde started off our 1st full day. Lunch was our favorite muffaletta at Napolean House. They also had a respectable beef poboy. A number of wine bars have popped in town (N’awlins is getting so civilized). Before dinner we stopped into Orleans Grapevine-nice atmosphere and a varied group of wine flights to sample. We had another great seafood dinner at GW Fins. We loved wood grilled octopus with grapefruit, kalamata, and fennel, smoked sizzling oysters (everyone is smoking or grilling these babies), sea scallop crudo, sautéed redfish with rice, shrimp etouffee, and lobster butter, and parmesan crusted sheepshead with lump crab, asparagus, crispy capers, Meyer lemon, and brown butter.

    I read that Parkway Bakery and Tavern in Mid City was the locals’ favorite for poboys so headed over and wasn’t disappointed. The neighborhood was a bit funky but the sandwich had perfect texture on the bread, home cooked roast beef and tasty gravy, and perfectly fried shrimp. This should be on everyone’s list.

    Early evening we watched the San Francisco Seattle game at Patrick’s Bar Vino, mentioned in a previous post by Fast Eddie. It was comfortable, friendly, and featured interesting wines by the glass. Rather than a formal dinner we hit 2 spots, one old, one new. We’ve always loved the gumbo ya ya at Mr. B’s Bistro and we weren’t disappointed. We also chow downed on fantastic fried oysters with bacon horseradish hollandaise. Then we decided to try Restaurant Revolution, expat Rick Tramonto’s restaurant. There was a nice espresso crusted venison carpaccio, ethereal beer battered crab beignets, and rich crispy sweetbreads with herbsaint meuniere and forest mushrooms.

    We had a 6pm flight so we were able to get in an early lunch and late afternoon dinner. Mandina’s, in midcity, has been around forever and seems to be another local hangout. We shared an oyster artichoke soup, crab fingers covered with bread crumbs and brown butter, and classic drum with that wonderful Cajun meuniere. Last meal was at Deanie’s, another local favorite for seafood. Grilled oysters weren’t as good as our previous versions, as these tasted like an oyster version of clams oreganata. They had a good crawfish etouffee and great BBQ shrimp.

    We are already planning another trip back next year.
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." Frank Sinatra
  • Post #345 - January 22nd, 2014, 12:08 pm
    Post #345 - January 22nd, 2014, 12:08 pm Post #345 - January 22nd, 2014, 12:08 pm
    So very happy to hear that old guard places like Mandina's and Deanie's are still going strong. Sounds like a delicious trip!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #346 - January 22nd, 2014, 3:21 pm
    Post #346 - January 22nd, 2014, 3:21 pm Post #346 - January 22nd, 2014, 3:21 pm
    RevrendAndy wrote: Last meal was at Deanie’s, another local favorite for seafood. Grilled oysters weren’t as good as our previous versions, as these tasted like an oyster version of clams oreganata. They had a good crawfish etouffee and great BBQ shrimp.


    If you're going to go for chargrilled oysters, I would highly recommend going to the place that invented them, Drago's (where they are still the signature dish). I've noticed a proliferation of not-so-hot versions of "grilled" oysters around town recently, even the version at Casamento's is sub-par.
    I exist in Chicago, but I live in New Orleans.
  • Post #347 - February 14th, 2014, 9:25 am
    Post #347 - February 14th, 2014, 9:25 am Post #347 - February 14th, 2014, 9:25 am
    I was feeling uninspired and lazy about getting this post up but recent adventures shared by Jefe and Josephine gave me some motivation to get this one up. My most recent visit to the Big Easy was definitely my best yet. This goes for both food and fun. I got to spend six long days down there last month in celebration of my sisters marriage to her now husband. You cant put into words the electricity that those down there to celebrate brought with them. Close to 300 people, most all from Chicago, made their presence felt. Its just how we roll. Bars were dranken out of the cheap Midwest beers my southside part of the family, as well as the groom and all of his family and friends drink while industry people were left wondering if the Bulls or some sort of convention from Chicago was in town or something.

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    ♫ ...back to NOLA ♫
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    Castnet Seafoods

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    Locals favorite

    The first couple of days in town I had the chance to cruise around to some spots rec'd by bartenders and other intel I dug out through social media and so on. This locally loved place is located in East New Orleans right across the street from Lake Ponchartrain. They have two doors for guests to enter thru one of which serves fresh raw fish and the other steamed and fried varieties.

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    Fresh Fish Side

    It was packed on this Thursday afternoon. Many people were taking stuff to go for their own grill while others were enjoying lunch. We just had to have some crawfish ($2.99/lb) and also decided to try the gumbo file. Both hit the spot. There's a dining room that's connected to a smoked meat shop which was putting out some great smells but I had too many stops planned to fit it in.

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    Crawfish and Gumbo File for lunch
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    Zimmer's Seafood

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    I was tipped by an industry veteran that this was the best place in the city for a po' boy sandwich. It doubles as a seafood center. I was told fresh as can be shrimp and oysters are stuffed into bread made at a bakery a few doors down, sounded like a real winner to me. I went with a half fried shrimp po boy with everything including hot sauce (leave that catsup crap off mine) and also picked up a pound of marinated blue crab for the fridge. Both were sensational. I'd wrastle a gator to have this place as my neighborhood lunchtime stop.

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    Fried Shrimp Po Boy
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    R&O's

    Since I had rented a car I was asked to grab a few peoples suits along with my own from the tuxedo rental place in Metairie. Me being me I made sure to see what the food options were around this way. A good chunk of my info as far as new to the scene spots came from Brett Anderson who is the Times-Picayune restaurant critic. This old school Italian spot isn't one of those new places but it's the purveyor of what he calls the best roast beef po' boy in the area. It's easy for Midwesterner like myself to pass on one of these with the abundance of seafood down there but this sandwich is not to be missed. I could see it being my most ate sandwich in town if I lived down there.

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    Roast Beef Po Boy
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    Drago's Oysters

    ChiNOLA wrote:If you're going to go for chargrilled oysters, I would highly recommend going to the place that invented them, Drago's (where they are still the signature dish). I've noticed a proliferation of not-so-hot versions of "grilled" oysters around town recently, even the version at Casamento's is sub-par.


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    The Original

    Same trip we stopped into the original Drago's for char grilled oysters before picking up the suits. It was packed at lunchtime on a Friday but the place is big and the bar was open. There's no adjectives left to describe their signature dish made with lots of garlic, cheese and butter so I'll just add that they certainly weren't a letdown and there was indeed a second round.

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    Feeling kind of frisky over here
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    Le Petite Grocery

    I managed to make it to pretty much every place I wanted to eat at, both mom and pop and chef driven spots. La Petite has been around for a while but recently has new blood. Top Chef contestant Justin Devillier and his Louisiana roots have the place back in the conversation of the best restaurant in New Orleans. No he didn't win the competition, but the kids going to be ok. This was probably my best meal of the trip.

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    Longtime Magazine Street Resident

    We stopped in for lunch to meet my aunt and uncle who had gotten into town an hour or so before. These people don't mess around when it comes to their drinks so we were at the cocktail portion of the menu as soon as we sat down. I don't remember which drinks I ordered but I know they were on point. That said, it was the food that dazzled. If this meal doesn't make it into my 'best of 2014' I'll have ate very, very well the rest of the way.

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    Fried Oysters with Broccoli Rabe, Red Pepper Aioli and Crispy Ham Bits (Special)

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    Blue Crab Beignets - malt vinegar aioli

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    Sheep Cheese Pirog - pork cheek, shiitake & choucroute

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    Grilled Octopus - lentils, country ham au jus, crispy ham bits

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    Paneed Rabbit - spaetzle, wilted greens & grenobloise

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    Turtle Bolognese - bucatini, sherry, parsley & crispy soft boiled egg
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    Coop's Place

    Stopped into Coop's Place twice on this trip. If you're vacationing down here on a weekday it's obviously a different vibe than weekends, specifically on and around Bourbon Street. I was surprised at how many restaurants closed for the day at 9 or 10pm. Coop's Place serves food late and they also make a mean sazerac...when the place isn't packed, when it is, they serve all drinks out of plastic cups. We stopped in here Wednesday Night (empty around 10p) and also the Sunday following the wedding (line out the door around dinner time). The fried crab claws and seafood pasta hit the spot. You might not have your best meal of the trip here but I've never had a bad one on any of my visits.

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    Fried Crab Claws
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    Cane & Table

    One of the hottest spots in the city right now is this hard to spot tiki inspired cocktail lounge in the French Quarter. This is another place I was put onto by Brett Anderson and he calls it "game changing" and notes how cocktails now qualify as a "course of its own, one that precedes and then overlaps with the appetizer course" The inside had the feel of most cocktail bars in Chicago, comfy and dimly lit. While I went in expecting the drinks to be the reason to come back it's the grub that will get me in next chance I have. The menu had just about everything that's ever been paired with rum drinks. Tiki inspired app's like the 'Crispy Rum Ribs' might sound generic but they're the best slabs of pork I've ate of late. Individual Truebridge Duroc Pork ribs are marinated in a papaya chutney are lightly battered and deep fried creating a sticky, crispy texture served with a side of sambol. The Peas N Rice were even better. Brett Anderson out this mashup of New Orleans and the Caribbean in his top dishes ate in 2013. Entrees like the Cuban inspired ropa vieja were tempting but we had reservations elsewhere.

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    Island Peas. Local Andouille Sausage. Pickled Pork. Popcorn Rice.
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    Tableau

    Continuing on with newer dining options in the French Quarter area is Tableau. This is the latest spot from NOLA restaurant veteran Dickie Brennan. We were going to go here for lunch one day but went to La Petite instead so after after a few rounds with relatives at C&T me and her headed here for dinner. The place is huge, two stories and the atmosphere is one where both locals and tourists can co-exist. I'm not a big wine drinker but other people I know that went here are and they were impressed with both the selection and prices considering the location. The cocktail menu focuses on fresh squeezed juices and house infused liquors. I wasn't going to visit the Big Easy and not get my BBQ shrimp fix. As soon as I saw their version of it served with grits on the website I had my sights set on it. It was a fantastic rendition of a classic. The gravy aka BBQ sauce was rich, we're talking Master P money. She got the Creole Courtbouillion which had all sorts of seafood in it but we both agreed the shrimp and truffled crab fingers to start were where it's at.

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    BBQ Shrimp
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    Matassa's Market

    My last full day in town was a Monday and as the sun started to go down I thought I was out of food stops until I realized I had yet to have any red beans and rice. I checked a list of recommended spots for the dish which is on special at many places on Monday which is when it was traditionally eaten back when. Matassas Market seems to be where all the FQ living locals shopped at and according their website it's been that way since 1924 when John Matassa emigrated from his native Sicily.

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    Local Grocery in French Quarter

    He eventually got married and he and she opened Johnny’s Grocery and Bar, a small grocery store with an attached bar and kitchen, at 1001 Dauphine St. in the French Quarter in 1924. It's still there today although relatives have renamed it in his honor. I walked to the deli counter in back and got me an order of what was the best example of that dish I've ever ate. Deep in pork flavor from the hocks and sausage used, I've never had a creamier dish that consisted of zero cream whatsoever. If I'm ever in town and flying out on a Monday, I'll get an order of this to eat then and there and another for my fridge when I arrive home.

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    Monday's Red Beans and Rice Special
    _______________________________________________

    Cure

    This cocktail lounge on Freret is said to be responsible for bringing the block/neighborhood back. I'd heard about it before heading down and was happy find out our house rental was only a mile of that away. I ended up here three times and enjoyed pretty much everything about it. Both the interior design and atmosphere reminded me of both Merchant in Madison and Holland House in Nashville. If there's one thing New Orleans food/drink industry lacks it's good bartenders. Surprisingly the only bad experience here was the night the proprietor was working the bar. I couldn't stop drinking the Dixie Cocktail off the 'obscure classics' part of the menu but on my last night in town he couldn't make it as good as his employees.

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    End of the Bar
    _______________________________________________

    The Company Burger

    About a block down from Cure is Company Burger. This place was opened up by Adam Biderman who was the chef who debuted Atlanta based Holeman & Finch's renowned burger. It's been called the best in the country by many. They serve pretty much the exact same burger here except the menu isnt limited to just 24 a night. They grind the beef, bake the buns, make the mayo and pickles and only serve tomatoes when in season. Fries and onion rings are hand cut, fries fried twice. I know chef driven is played out but this is the definition of that. They have a nice cocktail menu ($7/each) as well as local brewed beer and wine. The signature burger is made with two thin patties weighing in at 6.5 ounces together. Each patty is topped with a slice of American cheese and thinly sliced onions are sandwiched between the patties and housemade pickles are included too. You add ketchup and mustard at your own will. As American as apple as pie. I'd be here once a month minimum if that were possible.

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    The Company Burger
    _______________________________________________

    M&M Tamales

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    Roadside Tamales

    I always try and leave some sort of stomach space for the unexpected. Driving back to our place of residence for the week I spied a guy selling Mississippi Delta Style Tamales out of the back of his van. I didn't have time then and there to stop but his location was in an area I'd driven by before so I just hoped he would be there the next day. That he was. This recipe comes to NOLA via Woodville, Mississippi and just like every other Delta style tamale maker I've ever met, this guy was a wonderful/passionate person to chat with. His recipe was a chicken blend and they were about the same size as the bunch tamales places like Jimmy's on Grand here in Chicago use. Taste-wise, I've never had a Mississippi Tamale I didn't like.

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    Gotta love it
    _______________________________________________

    Dooky Chase's

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    Classic NOLA Dining Destination

    I've known about DC's for a while now and always wanted to go. Somewhere along the line I'd read her Friday Shrimp and Lima Bean special is not to be missed and planned a trip there for Friday afternoon. Little did I know that this was prime-time for them as there were groups of people waiting out of the door. We squeezed our way in to put our name down and ended up chatting some real deal French Cajun folk who drove 40 or so miles to come eat. The husband had nothing but praise and made sure we knew it was worth the wait. After about 40 minutes they were able to squeeze us into a table due to the fact there was just two of us.

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    a peak inside

    This stop was a gluttonous call since we had already eaten at a couple places before stopping in. However I really wanted to try that Friday special and my mind was set on doing so. As it turned out the special is part of the lunch buffet which was about as good a looking one as I've ever come across. Problem was we had already ate so damn much I didn't want to drop $20+ just for a bowl. Luckily this was the most professional well run establishment I've ever been to. The service was as good as anywhere and you could tell it rubbed off on customers, everyone says hello to each other, with a wide smile on their face.

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    House Gumbo

    I asked our wonderful waitress about getting just the special and she explained the rules but wasn't going to let me leave without eating. So she gave me a bowl that's used for gumbo and told me she'd just charge me that ($6) and I could fill it up with the Shrimp and Lima beans. My gf wasn't hungry at all but our server insisted she eat a cup of gumbo on the house. While it was a very nice rendition, the special was sensational. The lima beans are cooked in a heavily potent shrimp stock and once ready they throw in handful upon handful of fresh gulf shrimps to quickly cook thru. So simple but so good. Soul food at it's finest.

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    Friday Special Shrimp and Lima Beans
    _______________________________________________

    Kermit's Treme Speakeasy

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    Also in the neighborhood is Kermit Ruffin's semi new spot. We stopped into here one early evening and enjoyed some cold beers and good conversation, unfortunately they were out of fried rabbit. I could see myself hanging here often if I was living down there.
    _______________________________________________

    Cajun Seafood

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    7th Ward

    I was tipped off on this local empire by a patron at Kermit's. They're to NOLA what J&J Fish is to Chicago but the comparisons come to end after that. Cajun Seafood is a one stop shop for many residents of the area. It's an Asian owned seafood company that sells it fresh, boiled and fried. They also have a Chinese menu and all sorts of booze and other products you'd find at your local convenience store. I drove by a few locations but this one in the 7th ward was a monster.

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    Waiting in line

    People from all walks of life were inside when I stopped in one late afternoon. They had workers loading trucks and cars with loads of fresh seafood while the rest waited to have theirs boiled and or fried to order. It was a little overwhelming trying to choose what I wanted amongst crawfish, shrimp, crabs, crab legs, everything you need for a boil they had. Sausage, corn, mushrooms. You buy, they boil. I ended up with a pound of boiled shrimp, a pound of boiled snow crab legs and a small shrimp fried rice for something like $23. I brought it all back to our place, threw some newspaper on the table outside and went at it like a pirate after a score. The fried rice was great around 2a later that evening.

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    Cajun Takeout
    _______________________________________________

    MoPho

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    Mid-City Neighborhood

    During a browse online of what's good these days I had come across an article about the most anticipated restaurant openings around the country. It listed MoPho as New Orleans most awaited opening of the season. Then I saw on twitter that were opening their doors the week before I was heading down so I made a mental note as they don't take reservations. It comes to the Mid-City neighborhood from Michael Gulotta, former chef du cuisine at the critically acclaimed August. I'd describe it as "Southeast Asia meets the South", the menu combines favorites from the Mekong Delta with the Mississippi Delta and so on.

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    Banh Xeo Battered Shrimp - Crispy Lemongrass and Ginger Chicken Wings

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    Lots of Beef Pho

    I'm a sucker for fusion food and bowls of pho and more cocktails seemed like the perfect stop for killing a hangover a wedding in New Orleans will bring. It was me her and a few cousins and we pretty much tried everything we wanted with the exception of a menu item or two. Food and drink wise I was pretty happy with what we got, it definitely hit the spot. However service was lacking to say the least. They were packed and obviously not into the groove but I didn't have any time to let them get into it being a visitor and all. Here are some highlights from our 2.5 hour lunch. Here's a few pics, more on da ole blog.

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    Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with spicy pork pâté, mint-

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    Slow Roast Lamb Neck and Beet in Green Curry with Creole Cream Cheese Roti

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    Grilled Pork Trotter in Spicy Crab Broth with blue crab salad, meyer lemon, mint
    _______________________________________________

    Peche

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    Warehouse District

    Speaking of hot restaurant openings, Peche was said by many to be the best New Orleans restaurant to open in 2013. This is the seafood centric spot from the swine loving (Donald) Link Restaurant Group. I'd read about them in what I believe was John T. Edge's 'Top Ten Dishes of 2013' list and knew I wanted to try it. They specialize in flame roasted whole fish which is all the rage down there these days. I remember seeing whole fish on the menu at Cane and Table, MoPho and on special at Tableau. But it'd hard to top their signature dish which is the days fresh catch (on this visit red snapper) roasted over wood with Salsa Verde on top. As simple as it sounds that's what it was, but the sum of it all together was worth a neckload of beads from me. Was this the Queen dish of the trip? Maybe but the nights other roasted fish special was a flounder with a citrus butter salsa that was to die for. The flakiest most taste bud friendly fish dish I can remember. No way I could order just one or the other if I was presented with the same options on my next visit. I'd probably just skip app's...not that they werent great in their own right.

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    Roasted Red Snapper with Salsa Verde

    With a reservation for more than 10 and me doing all the ordering we got to try pretty much everything we (I) wanted. Winners included the fried bread, fish sticks, shrimp toast, lamb skewers with chickpeas, curried mussels with fried potatoes and a baked drum entree that included some veggie fritters beside it. I wasn't big on the bisque or a spicy ground shrimp with noodles dish but I didn't hate them, I happily ate my portion of the plates. The cocktails were quenching and service was both prompt and patient as it's not easy dealing with my immediate or extended family. That said, they always enjoy it, especially after the tip comes. If I was back for a three day weekend or short stay I'd have a hard time not returning here for at least one of my nice dinners out. More pics at S'C'&C.

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    Fresh Catch of the Day: Whole Roasted Flounder with a Gulf Citrus Salsa and lots of butter
    _______________________________________________

    Some other notes without pics. Mosca's is still going strong. We worked out an arrangement ahead of time where they agreed to seat as many of us as they could for a dinner. Quite a few of us jumped on a bus and rode out there, those that had never been were wowed. At least half of my aunts and uncles and their kids were at Antoine's daily for their daily cocktail special. On my visit, the 12 martinis the six of us ordered cost $6 while my middle school aged cousins two root beers cost $9. How do you not love this city? By day three, the same fiends for Antoine's were being given locals discounts (15%) at Royal Oyster Bar across the street. That was their everyday 1-2 punch. We put down 24 dozen (raw and grilled) on my visit. As far as food goes I still list NOLA as my favorite US destination for it and the cocktails are better than ever. It's not just Hurricanes here anymore. Not pictured but we enjoyed a few rounds at Kingfish in the French Quarter was which pretty much Scofflaw with a southern accent. I cant wait to get back and do it all over again.

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    That's it for this trip...see ya next time
    _______________________________________________

    Castnet Seafood
    10826 Hayne Blvd
    New Orleans, LA 70127
    (504) 244-8446

    Zimmer's Seafood
    4915 St Anthony Ave,
    New Orleans, LA 70122
    (504) 282-7150

    R&O's
    216 Metairie-Hammond Hwy
    Metairie, LA 70005
    (504) 831-1248

    Drago's Seafood Restaurant
    3232 N Arnoult Rd
    Metairie, LA 70002
    (504) 888-9254

    La Petite Grocery
    4238 Magazine St
    New Orleans, LA 70115
    (504) 891-3377

    Coop's Place
    1109 Decatur St
    New Orleans, LA 70116
    (504) 525-9053

    Cane & Table
    1113 Decatur St
    New Orleans, LA 70116
    (504) 581-1112

    Tableau
    616 St Peter St
    New Orleans, LA 70116
    (504) 934-3463

    Matassa's Market
    1001 Dauphine St
    New Orleans, LA 70116
    (504) 412-8700

    Cure
    4905 Freret St
    New Orleans, LA 70115
    (504) 302-2357

    Company Burger
    4600 Freret St
    New Orleans, LA 70115
    (504) 267-0320

    M&M Tamales*
    *3301 S Claiborne Ave
    New Orleans, LA 70125
    *Sets up on gas station lawn across the street from here

    Dooky Chase's Restaurant
    2301 Orleans Ave
    New Orleans, LA 70119
    (504) 821-0600

    Kermit's Treme Speakeasy
    1535 Basin St
    New Orleans, LA 70116
    (504) 309-5828

    Cajun Seafood
    1479 N Claiborne Ave
    New Orleans, LA 70116
    (504) 948-6000

    Mopho
    514 City Park Ave
    New Orleans, LA 70119
    (504) 482-6845

    Peche Seafood Grill
    800 Magazine St
    New Orleans, LA 70130
    (504) 522-1744
  • Post #348 - February 14th, 2014, 9:50 am
    Post #348 - February 14th, 2014, 9:50 am Post #348 - February 14th, 2014, 9:50 am
    [deep bow in Da Beef's direction]

    Wow. Just wow. Thanks for sharing.
    -Mary
  • Post #349 - February 14th, 2014, 12:36 pm
    Post #349 - February 14th, 2014, 12:36 pm Post #349 - February 14th, 2014, 12:36 pm
    Absolutely wonderful, just beyond words wonderful. Thanks
  • Post #350 - February 17th, 2014, 9:18 am
    Post #350 - February 17th, 2014, 9:18 am Post #350 - February 17th, 2014, 9:18 am
    Great post and pictures. I'm ready to go back tomorrow for round 2.
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." Frank Sinatra
  • Post #351 - February 17th, 2014, 2:47 pm
    Post #351 - February 17th, 2014, 2:47 pm Post #351 - February 17th, 2014, 2:47 pm
    Holy Crap, DaBeef. *applause*

    I'm going to be in New Orleans next week for work. I've already got a table at Commander's Palace booked.

    So... just how much is my shellfish allergy going to suck for me?
    "I've always thought pastrami was the most sensuous of the salted cured meats."
  • Post #352 - February 27th, 2014, 3:35 pm
    Post #352 - February 27th, 2014, 3:35 pm Post #352 - February 27th, 2014, 3:35 pm
    NOLA and Baton Rouge are now in the work rotation for a while, so this is timely. Used to go there sometimes, but it's been a while and there's a lot of new stuff to try and some older deep tracks to get to. Dropped in on Kingfish (seafood cassoulet is a rich man version of those lima beans upthread) and Drago's (can't fault the grilled oysters) based on Beef's advice. In BR, I liked the old LSU hang The Chimes with its huge-for-here tap selection and super cheap but very good oysters.
  • Post #353 - February 27th, 2014, 6:45 pm
    Post #353 - February 27th, 2014, 6:45 pm Post #353 - February 27th, 2014, 6:45 pm
    JeffB wrote:In BR, I liked the old LSU hang The Chimes with its huge-for-here tap selection and super cheap but very good oysters.

    Just don't go there on game day wearing orange and blue (or jorts), ok?
  • Post #354 - February 27th, 2014, 7:24 pm
    Post #354 - February 27th, 2014, 7:24 pm Post #354 - February 27th, 2014, 7:24 pm
    Too late.
  • Post #355 - May 25th, 2014, 2:29 pm
    Post #355 - May 25th, 2014, 2:29 pm Post #355 - May 25th, 2014, 2:29 pm
    Run don't walk to Chicken Sue's!

    Fantastic fried chicken and best, and I mean the best, deep fried eggplant I ever had the pleasure of eating. Steve Z, soon as I bit into the airy crunchy magical deliciousness Chicken Sue modestly labels "eggplant fries" I thought of you.

    Image

    Chicken Sue’s Restaurant & Catering
    203 W Harrison Ave
    New Orleans, LA 70124
    504-371-5546
    http://chickensues.com
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #356 - August 20th, 2014, 8:54 pm
    Post #356 - August 20th, 2014, 8:54 pm Post #356 - August 20th, 2014, 8:54 pm
    Anyone been recently and have recommendations?
  • Post #357 - October 19th, 2014, 4:19 pm
    Post #357 - October 19th, 2014, 4:19 pm Post #357 - October 19th, 2014, 4:19 pm
    Going to New Orleans with a group of about 15 people next weekend. Does anyone have any suggestions for a restaurant that could accommodate large parties? Near Frenchmen Street would be a plus but open to any area. Appreciate any advice.
  • Post #358 - October 20th, 2014, 7:45 am
    Post #358 - October 20th, 2014, 7:45 am Post #358 - October 20th, 2014, 7:45 am
    Praline Connection on Frenchmen Street can handle large-ish parties and the food is fairly good.

    Anyone planning to head down, please feel free to get in touch if you're looking for specific things to do/eat/see. Food, music, tours, hotels, etc. Happy to help.

    On top of my usual list of recs, I'd include Bacchanal for food & music.
  • Post #359 - December 16th, 2014, 2:57 pm
    Post #359 - December 16th, 2014, 2:57 pm Post #359 - December 16th, 2014, 2:57 pm
    Another year, another bachelor party in the Big Easy. Starting to lose count on how many times I've been here but it never fails when it comes to food and fun. Lots of both were had on this quick four day trip that resulted in a nice sampling of some spots both in and away from the French Quarter. There was about 13 of us and we rented a really nice place just off Frenchman on Chartres, ended up being a great location and a somewhere I'd stay in or near again. I had a day and a half before everyone else got there so I rented a car and managed to squeeze some stops in with my buddy before the festivities began. When they did begin food was pretty much second fiddle but that doesn't mean I didn't put another nice dent into the scene. I managed to squeeze in handful of po' boys, a couple Vietnamese favorites, did a mini sno-ball tour, and also hit up some longtime locally loved stops in and away from the Quarter. All this with a daytrip to Cajun Country squeezed in between. Louisiana, I love you.

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    Street Musicians putting in work, don't be the derp that doesn't throw a couple bucks in.
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    Bevi Seafood Company

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    Metairie, LA

    I had commented on an article over at SE about the best po boys in NOLA, in it I mentioned I was a big fan of the roast beef po boy from R&O's in the neighboring town of Metairie (seen upthread). I followed that with a comment on how I planned to get back there on this trip. The author emailed me back asking if I wanted to meet up with him for some of his favorites, that didn't happen as our schedules didn't work out but he did suggest this locally loved spot for what may be the best roast beef po boy in the area. It didn't disappoint, so I heard all of the sandwiches here are a step above the rest and that was the case with the roast beef that was cooked just to the point where it was still sliceable yet the meat easily fell apart when bitten into. Add that to the amazing bread studded with toasted sesame seeds and you got a delectable sandwich.

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    Roast Beef Po Boy
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    Killer Poboys

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    Located in the back of the Erin Rose Bar in the French Quarter

    These guys have taken the city by storm with their ever changing menu of internationally inspired chef driven po boys. Situated in the back of a small Irish bar just off Bourbon street they've always got a crowd in there these days. Expect them to open their own brick and mortar soon. In the meantime they're putting out some really exceptional stuff including the best meatloaf sandwich I've ever ate to date. Consisting of Boudreaux's BBQ Sauce, Killer Pickles and House Ranch made with dill I considered ordering another as soon as I was done. It was that good.

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    Meatloaf Po Boy
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    Quarter Grocery

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    French Quarter

    Some online searching for readily available red beans and rice led me to this place. Like many of the corner stores in the Quarter this is a Vietnamese owned spot that sells food made to order along with groceries and booze. I ended up here a couple times as it was a short 10 minute walk from our rental. The guy was really friendly and remembered me each visit following the initial one. Along with some solid shrimp po boys they make some of the best red beans and rice in the city, and its available daily. I don't know what they put in their recipes down there (Aside from the Pickled Pork) but you just cant find dishes like this outside of Louisiana. I brought an order back on the plane for lunch in Chicago later in the day.

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    Shrimp Po Boy

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    Red Beans and Rice
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    Gene's Po Boy

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    Marginy Neighborhood

    Those that like to get a taste of the locals favorites need to remember this place. I thought it was one of if not the best non-seafood po boys in the city. Not for the faint of heart at night this 24 hour stand is in an ever changing neighborhood and it can get rowdy after hours. All they offer is a roast beef and their signature hot sausage po boys.

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    a peak inside

    We were there late, though it was a quiet night, and we came for the hot sausage. You want it with cheese and you want them to add fried onions on top of everything else (Lettuce, Mayo). The result is part po boy, part breakfast sandwich, part cheesesteak and all muscle. It's not for those with a weak stomach and best eaten while inebriated. Check and check.

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    Hot Sausage with Cheese, add fried onions

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    Glorious
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    Verti Marte

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    French Quarter

    Speaking of po boys not for the weak, this 24 hour stop has another one. The menu here reads like a short story, they have a ton of stuff and are cooking at all hours of the day. A short walk from our rental I made my way here with a friend around 4am one night, I was in much better shape than him hence the ability to take a picture that didn't look like it was what he was seeing. Though the sandwich seemed to help him sober up a bit. Their signature eat is made with "a medley of grilled ham, turkey & shrimp, Swiss & American cheese accompanied by grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, on grilled french bread with our original "wow sauce." Wow is right, I immediately needed sleep.

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    "All That Jazz" Po Boy
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    Pandora's Sno Balls

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    City Park Neighborhood

    I'm a big fan of Italian ice, growing up I always wanted it over ice cream. Since it was in the low 90's this weekend I decided to scope out some of New Orleans' favorite snoball stands. Sno(w)balls are a summertime favorite of most anyone who grew up in the city. They can be found on what seems like every corner. This place came praised so I stopped by to try a tutti frutti (too sweet) and also a half sack of "Hots." The tamales were pretty tasty and would be a regular snack for me if I was from around this way.

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    Tutti Frutti and 1/2 dozen Hot Tamales
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    Williams Plum Street Sno-Balls

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    Audubon Neighborhood

    I'd read a list of the best flavors in town and the fresh mint from this spot got lots of love. Known for the fact they serve they're regular sized snoballs in a Chinese takeout container they also make a mean creamed mint concoction. I found the best flavors in town tend to be made with cream on top of the flavored syrup. Check out this Southern Foodways spotlight HERE.

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    Frozen Mint Snowball (Extra Refreshing)
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    Sal's Sno-Balls in Meteraie - By this point I was loving me some sno-balls
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    Pho Bistreaux

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    Uptown

    It's getting to the point where I need to start checking out Nola's Vietnamese dining scene as it's kind of an unknown amongst tourists. For those unfamiliar the Vietnamese came to town a few decades back to work on shrimp boats and have since started their own communities down there. I didn't have the time to get down to the riverbank towns but sought out a couple Viet bites while waiting for my friends flight to touchdown. This place is a newer spot and seems to be very popular with the second and third generation of Vietnamese people down there. Lots of young folks, many of them taking pics of their food for instagram and why not when they're putting out bites like these sliders seen below. Just a typical bbq pork bun but the quality of ingredients make them a winner, I'd eat these often if I had the chance.

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    BBQ Pork Sliders
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    Lily's Cafe

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    Lower Garden District

    Aside from my trip to MoPho seen upthread (Best New Restaurant of 2014), I never had pho in Nola. Despite the fact it was 90+ outside I decided I had to try the signature bowl from this popular Top Chef hangout. I guess Padma, Tom and the producers were regulars here during the shows filming in New Orleans. According to the reviews online Lily's makes one of the best unconventional bowls of pho in town. In an homage to both their heritage and also the abundance of fresh gulf shrimp available they make a spicy shrimp pho. The broth is made with a potent shrimp stock that will put tears in your eyes while bringing joy to your stomach. I absolutely loved this and ate damn near every drop despite the sweating it was causing. Service was extra friendly, I can see it being in my rotation for every trip from here on in.

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    Spicy Shrimp Pho
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    Manchu Food Store

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    Seventh Ward

    I missed my chance to get to the famous Willie Mae's Scotch House when I messed up the hours of the place. I arrived onsite just as they were closing. The smell on the street made the crave for fried chicken real so I went ahead and rode over to this all in one recommended by a local on the street when he saw I just missed getting in.

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    Menu

    This place is a Vietnamese owned store pushing booze and Chinese food. Located in an eccentric part of town there was a party going on the parking lot but no one seemed to mind my presence. Just a few local cuties sending smiles my way that were there for the same reason as me . That reason was their fried chicken wing plate. It ended up being about as good as you'd expect for $5. Well fried wings with some fried rice did the trick before heading back to the airport to pick up my buddy.

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    Waiting on my number

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    Boones Farm and Mad Dog drinkers are good to go

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    Chicken Wing Plate
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    Harbor House Seafood

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    Kenner, LA

    Upon pickup I decided we'd try this locally loved spot for a seafood dinner. I guess the town of Kenner (where the airport is) is a seafood centric area and there's quite a few places like this that double as both a market and restaurant. From what I read online Harbor House is one of the most popular and luckily for us we just beat the rush. Crawfish season was not in swing so we went with a plate of spicy boiled shrimp to start. Never a bad thing.

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    Shrimp Boil with Hot Sausage

    My friend had a plate of oysters for his entree and I went with one of the specials that day. Two fried red snapper filets topped with a creamy crabmeat sauce came served with Cajun corn, smashed potatoes and garlic bread was about as much as I could ask for $16. Like almost every meal I've ate in-state, it more than did the trick.

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    Fried Snapper Filets with a Creamy Crabmeat Sauce
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    Random Stops and Shots in Town

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    Walking around

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    Drinks and Oysters at Cooter Brown's on the other side of town

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    Muffaletta from Matassa's Market (Featured upthread)

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    Gator Tour requested by the future groom (about 40 minutes outside the city)

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    Please feed the animals

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    Parked outside the Casino

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    Seafood Gumbo at Manning's - Not bad, good place to watch football and pay homage to the first family of New Orleans.
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    Royal House

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    French Quarter

    After we spent one of the mornings on the gator tour there were requests for oysters and someone mentioned Acme. This is where I step in and say hell no, we're going to Royal House please follow me. I cant vouch for the rest of the food and those that ordered food other than oysters weren't happy but I tried to warn them about that. I think this is your best bet for raw seafood in the FQ. It's been great every time I've been in and if you sit at the bar and tell them you're from the 'hood you'll get a discount on your total. The oysters were as fresh as ever on this particular trip.

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    Raw Gulf Oysters and an assortment of their grilled offerings
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    K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen

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    French Quarter

    Last meal of the trip was at an old New Orleans favorite. Chef Paul Prudhomme is often considered the Godfather of Louisiana cooking. Long before Emeril made a name for himself this guy was at the forefront of getting word out on the bounty of amazing food being made in-state. In fact I can attribute my love for all things Cajun and Creole to him as I remember reading my parents cookbooks of his back in the early days of high school. I wouldn't of picked this place as it's been around for a while and there's still other spots I wanted to take the group too but this was one of a few places that could sit all of us at the same table. In the end it was one of the best meals I had all year. Perfectly executed and enjoyed amongst some great company. The drum was out of this world, I should've known that the man that made blackening a thing would be putting out one of the best variations of it I've ever ate. From the food to the service, everything was flawless. Long live New Orleans.

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    Turkey Meatball Soup and Blackened Louisiana Drumfish cooked in a Cast Iron Skillet. Served with Drawn Butter, Potatoes and Veggies.
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    That's it for this trip...See ya next time.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Bevi Seafood Co
    4701 Airline Drive
    Metairie, LA 70001
    (504) 885-500

    Killer Po Boys
    811 Conti Street
    New Orleans, LA 70112
    (504) 252-6745

    Quarter Grocery
    836 Burgundy Street
    New Orleans, LA 70116
    (504) 529-2702

    Gene's Po-Boy's
    1040 Elysian Fields Avenue
    New Orleans, LA 70117
    (504) 943-3861

    Verti Marte
    1201 Royal Street
    New Orleans, LA 70116
    (504) 525-4767

    Pandora's Snowballs
    901 N Carrollton Ave
    New Orleans, LA 70119
    (504) 486-8644

    Williams Plum Street Snoball
    300 Burdette St
    New Orleans, LA 70118
    (504) 866-7996

    Sal's Sno-Ball Stand
    1823 Metairie Avenue
    Metairie, LA 70005
    (504) 666-1823

    Pho Bistreaux
    1200 South Carrollton Avenue
    New Orleans, LA 70118
    (504) 304-8334

    Lily's Cafe
    1813 Magazine Street
    New Orleans, LA 70130
    (504) 599-9999

    Manchu Food Store & Chinese Kitchen
    1413 N Claiborne Ave
    New Orleans, LA 70116
    (504) 947-5507

    Harbor House Seafood & Oyster Bar
    3203 Williams Boulevard
    Kenner, LA 70065
    (504) 443-6454

    Royal House
    441 Royal Street
    New Orleans, LA 70130
    (504) 528-2601

    K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen
    416 Chartres Street
    New Orleans, LA 70130
    (504) 596-2530
  • Post #360 - December 18th, 2014, 8:16 pm
    Post #360 - December 18th, 2014, 8:16 pm Post #360 - December 18th, 2014, 8:16 pm
    Hi- I have a question about Christmas Eve in New Orleans. I know we have somebody that lives there that posts here occasionally, and hopefully there are some people here that have been there over the holidays. I am looking for suggestions for restaurants that are open on Christmas Eve there. Last year my sister and I went to Luke's, but only because she checked open table, and discovered that there were not a lot of restaurants listed on open table for Christmas Eve. Christmas availability was even worse. My sister lives just a few blocks away from Commander's Palace in the Garden District, and I did not even see any tables available at Commander's for the 24th when I checked yesterday. Commander's Palace is a little more than we want to spend anyway. We are willing to go up to $60 a person not including booze. I know that there are a lot of restaurants open on Christmas Eve and Christmas in Chinatown. I was wondering if anybody knows if the same holds true for Asian restaurants in NO. I know there are some Vietnamese restaurants on Magazine Street that I suspect do not take reservations, and thus are not on Open Table. Would any of those places be open on Christmas Eve? Any other restaurants anybody would recommend that would be open on the 24th? PreKatrina we went to one of the hotels on the top floor in the CBD that we really enjoyed. I believe it might have been a Christmas Eve buffet, but we can't remember which hotel it is, or even if the hotel or restaurant is still in business. Does anybody have any idea which restaurant that might be? When I checked on open table yesterday, there were only 122 tables for 2 available at 7:00 pm, and Luke's was not one of them. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Nancy

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