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  • Post #301 - April 25th, 2012, 3:11 pm
    Post #301 - April 25th, 2012, 3:11 pm Post #301 - April 25th, 2012, 3:11 pm
    sujormik wrote: Wasn't impressed with the dining hall food...we've been to half a dozen campuses in the past couple years, this was without doubt the weakest of any university dining we've had.


    Yeah, Tulane's on-campus dining is terrible. But it's New Orleans. If you spend much time eating on campus, you're doing it wrong!
  • Post #302 - April 25th, 2012, 4:05 pm
    Post #302 - April 25th, 2012, 4:05 pm Post #302 - April 25th, 2012, 4:05 pm
    mikehartnett wrote:
    sujormik wrote: Wasn't impressed with the dining hall food...we've been to half a dozen campuses in the past couple years, this was without doubt the weakest of any university dining we've had.


    Yeah, Tulane's on-campus dining is terrible. But it's New Orleans. If you spend much time eating on campus, you're doing it wrong!


    Love that 26 years later, nothing has changed :lol:
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #303 - April 26th, 2012, 9:28 am
    Post #303 - April 26th, 2012, 9:28 am Post #303 - April 26th, 2012, 9:28 am
    Not a thing.
  • Post #304 - April 28th, 2012, 11:00 pm
    Post #304 - April 28th, 2012, 11:00 pm Post #304 - April 28th, 2012, 11:00 pm
    I agree that the Tulane thing is not such a travesty because there are other, better options close by, but there is absolutely no excuse for how awful the food is at the airport in New Orleans. Seeing as how every time we fly back to Chicago from New Orleans, our plane is delayed, would it really be that hard to have something that even reasonably begins to do justice to that city?
  • Post #305 - April 29th, 2012, 1:03 pm
    Post #305 - April 29th, 2012, 1:03 pm Post #305 - April 29th, 2012, 1:03 pm
    Matt wrote:I agree that the Tulane thing is not such a travesty because there are other, better options close by, but there is absolutely no excuse for how awful the food is at the airport in New Orleans. Seeing as how every time we fly back to Chicago from New Orleans, our plane is delayed, would it really be that hard to have something that even reasonably begins to do justice to that city?

    Wow, is this ever true. We flew back from a trip at Christmas, and needed a bite of lunch at the airport due to the timing of our flight, and there was just nothing -- although, as I recall, there might have been a place before you went through security?? Acme Oyster, I think? Or am I misremembering?
  • Post #306 - April 29th, 2012, 6:52 pm
    Post #306 - April 29th, 2012, 6:52 pm Post #306 - April 29th, 2012, 6:52 pm
    Matt wrote:I agree that the Tulane thing is not such a travesty because there are other, better options close by, but there is absolutely no excuse for how awful the food is at the airport in New Orleans. Seeing as how every time we fly back to Chicago from New Orleans, our plane is delayed, would it really be that hard to have something that even reasonably begins to do justice to that city?


    That's NOLA politics at work. Longterm contracts with terrible food providers. Everyone knows it's horrible, but nobody can do anything about it.
  • Post #307 - May 9th, 2012, 3:23 pm
    Post #307 - May 9th, 2012, 3:23 pm Post #307 - May 9th, 2012, 3:23 pm
    Just to update, my daughter chose the chowdah over the gumbo, so we will be routinely visiting Boston, not New Orleans. Still, this thread and our recent visit rekindled my desire to get back sooner than 26 years from now!
  • Post #308 - May 31st, 2012, 2:15 pm
    Post #308 - May 31st, 2012, 2:15 pm Post #308 - May 31st, 2012, 2:15 pm
    Thanks to everyone on this thread for their suggestions and thorough reviews/evaluations. I just got back from a long weekend in New Orleans, and with the suggestions of the people on this board, I am convinced NOLA is one of the best food cities in the world, possibly #1 in the US.

    Though it has been said upthread, I can't reiterate this enough: Go to Commander's Palace. Seriously. I headed out to Commander's with my girlfriend for a Saturday night (Made a reservation 2 weeks in advance, even then they only had 6pm or 9pm). I was pretty excited, and when I got there I immediately felt like the anticipation was warranted. The staff was warm and friendly, and they led my girlfriend and I through the kitchen (felt like the scene in goodfellas) to our table, and every single staff member we came in contact with made eye contact with us and said "welcome in." Charming.

    As was advised by everyone here, I wore a full suit and tie, though there were many in the restaurant who were wearing less formal clothes. Honestly, unless you break out in a rash with formal wear on, I would recommend doing it up. I am certainly the furthest thing from a Southern Gentleman, but I did my best impersonation of one. For some reason it just felt right in this place, and I think that the staff does notice as someone said upthread. Not sure if that's why we got amazing service, but we most certainly did. All the little details that I don't even think about were attended to by our waitstaff, they were friendly and helpful without being pushy or smothering. The decor of the interior is fantastic, the courtyard section is also beautiful, and the history of the place as told by our waiter was interesting and all added to the mystique that is Commander's Palace.

    Food was fantastic. I was disappointed that my girlfriend didn't want to get the tasting menu (the entire table needs to be in agreement if you are doing the tasting menu), but since the turtle soup and bread pudding souffle were not on the tasting menu and I really wanted to try these, I wasn't that upset about it. I think I made the right choice.

    Started off with appetizer of crawfish gnocci:
    Image
    Excellent start - loved the flavor of the crawfish with the spices and cheese of the gnocci, just the right amount of heat (I like it hotter, but probably not necessary)

    We both then went on to the turtle soup, which was brought to us at the exact moment we finished our appetizers. Accompanied by delicious fresh baked french bread, this was one of the highlights of the meal, I recommend everyone try this dish:
    Image
    Totally unique flavor, hearty but not too rich. The swirl you see is sherry which the servers pour right at the table, it gave the dish an added complexity that I really enjoyed.

    My entree was the softshell crab:
    Image
    The crab itself was perfectly fried - crispy but not oily or heavy. The accompanying accoutrement were also a good compliment, not overshadowing the crab flavor. I forgot what was in the sauce, but it was really delicious. I sopped it all up with bread after I devoured the entire thing way faster than I should have. As I sat there watching my girlfriend eat the rest of her entree, I cursed myself for not taking my time.

    My special ladyfriend's entree was the duck (med rare) with foie gras stuffing and fried sweet potato strips:
    Image
    I only had a taste of this, but what a taste it was. The duck was super rich, and when you add the foie gras stuffing, oof. Avoid this if you can't handle decadence. As they say in New Orleans, "if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing."

    And finally dessert, the bread pudding souffle with a whiskey cream sauce:
    Image
    This picture doesn't do it justice, I should have also gotten a pic of it after "opening the top." The souffle comes to the table fresh from the kitchen, then the waiter punctures a hole in the middle with a spoon and then sprinkles the whiskey cream sauce inside it / over it, asking you to tell them when its enough. I wish I had asked if they could have left the sauce at the table. This was an amazing dessert, the whiskey cream sauce isn't too thick and not overly sweet, but it is very boozy, so maybe not the best if you don't like alcohol. Luckily I do, and love whiskey, so really appreciated it. The texture was also very interesting, the top is like a fluffy turnover/popover while the bottom of the dish was more like bread pudding.

    I didn't take pictures of our cocktails, but they were also quite good. I went with the Sazerac (the official cocktail of New Orleans), which was great. My girlfriend got some sort of purple drank martini which I made the mistake of forgetting to try, and a glass of wine which she said was delicious and suprising since most wines that are by the glass only tend to be garbage. Our total bill came out to be 147$ before tip, which I think was really not that bad since we had an appetizer and drinks and were stuffed.

    The other places we went in NOLA were also delicious - po boys at Johnny's and Napoleon house, crawfish boil, beignets and cafe au lait at cafe dumonde, and late night burgers and chocolate cherry freeze at camelia grille, Everything we ate at Cochon Butcher. However, our Commander's Palace meal was something special, and I'll probably try to go back here everytime I'm in the Big Easy from now on (which I hope is frequently).
  • Post #309 - May 31st, 2012, 2:21 pm
    Post #309 - May 31st, 2012, 2:21 pm Post #309 - May 31st, 2012, 2:21 pm
    Suiname wrote: I am convinced NOLA is one of the best food cities in the world, possibly #1 in the US.


    thats what I said and still say after my visit last year. Ill catch crap for this statement, but Id rather live there than here.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #310 - May 31st, 2012, 2:32 pm
    Post #310 - May 31st, 2012, 2:32 pm Post #310 - May 31st, 2012, 2:32 pm
    jimswside wrote: thats what I said and still say after my visit last year. Ill catch crap for this statement, but Id rather live there than here.


    If we're talking just based on food, I would probably agree, but if you take into account the other factors (heat and smell being the two overpowering ones) I don't think I would. If I could live here during the summer and there during the winter, that might be the ideal situation.
  • Post #311 - May 31st, 2012, 5:56 pm
    Post #311 - May 31st, 2012, 5:56 pm Post #311 - May 31st, 2012, 5:56 pm
    I love NOLA. Been going there for work and play for years, including just after Katrina. Love it. I disagree strongly with the sentiment about the place as a truly great food town. A mile wide and an inch deep, as they say. You definitely won't go hungry, but you very well might get bored.
  • Post #312 - June 1st, 2012, 10:42 am
    Post #312 - June 1st, 2012, 10:42 am Post #312 - June 1st, 2012, 10:42 am
    Suiname wrote:If I could live here during the summer and there during the winter, that might be the ideal situation.


    That's what I told my wife I'd love to do in retirement.
  • Post #313 - June 1st, 2012, 2:33 pm
    Post #313 - June 1st, 2012, 2:33 pm Post #313 - June 1st, 2012, 2:33 pm
    JeffB wrote:I love NOLA. Been going there for work and play for years, including just after Katrina. Love it. I disagree strongly with the sentiment about the place as a truly great food town. A mile wide and an inch deep, as they say. You definitely won't go hungry, but you very well might get bored.

    I think this is a fair point, but I think many of those who love New Orleans love the idea of a place where the "American" restaurants and the mom-and-pop joints are basically Louisiana restaurants, featuring a cuisine that would fit in the "specialty" or "quasi-ethnic" category here. New Orleans obviously excels in creole, some Cajun, and diner/bar food with a Louisiana twist. Also, upscale French-influenced food, again through a Louisiana filter, although there are a handful of more "traditional" French restaurants as well. Plus places specializing in Gulf and lake seafood. One might get bored with that, for sure, but the reason most of us do not is because most of us are happy to eat at the aforementioned types of places for the 3 days to a week out-of-towners typically find themselves in New Orleans.

    The reality that Jeff points to (in terms of the lack of depth), though, is presumably in large part a result of the fact that New Orleans does not have the size or the immigration patterns to support the ethnic cuisines you can find in Chicago and other big cities. While there are now places in most major categories, you are not going to find a lot of variety in, say, Indian, Korean, Thai, or non-French European. That said, Vietnamese is certainly strong. There are some Mexican places sprouting up reflecting the influence and demand of the post-Katrina workforce (but nothing coming close to the regional variety found in Chicago and other cities with large Mexican populations). Some pretty decent Middle Eastern options. Not to discount Jeff's experience, but there is more depth now than there was 10-15 years ago, albeit you may have to go a bit further afield to find it. Just don't expect to find what you would find in larger, more multi-ethnic U.S. cities.
  • Post #314 - June 11th, 2012, 8:47 am
    Post #314 - June 11th, 2012, 8:47 am Post #314 - June 11th, 2012, 8:47 am
    My husband and I just returned from a trip to New Orleans, and I wanted to thank everyone for the information. We had some terrific meals thanks to you all!

    We were staying at the St James Hotel and arrived late Sunday night, so our first dinner was not memorable. We were grateful that the Oceana Grill was still serving food at 10 p.m., and the service was very friendly, but the prices were amazingly high for just ordinary food.

    On Monday, I prepared for dinner at Cochon by taking a bike tour (yes, in 94 degree heat -- but there was a breeze!). Luckily for me, Confederacy of Cruisers bike tours was created by people who used to work in the restaurant industry, so they were eager to tell everyone where to eat and drink. As it happens, Cochon is at the top of their list, too, but their website also has a list of recommended spots in different neighborhoods; they are, in any case, a good source of updated information. I believe they also informed us about the $. 25 martinis at lunch at Commanders Palace (now limited to 3 per customer -- what's New Orleans coming to?). CoC also offers a "History of Drinking in New Orleans" tour, for those who would like to savor the local cocktails and beer.

    Again, based on recommendations, we focused on the appetizers at Cochon. For me, the wood-fired oyster roast was the best thing I ate. We also ordered the boucherie plate, which was excellent, but really overshadowed by the oysters. That reminds me -- one of the other John Besh restaurants, Lüke, still has a $ .50 oyster happy hour, so take advantage, if you get the chance.

    Our dinner at Commander's Palace was also perfect. We were seated in one of the downstairs dining rooms, which was lively but not too loud, and it was a very festive atmosphere. The shrimp with tasso ham were my favorites there, and I appreciated the waiter's explanation that they do their own curing. Great cocktails at Commander's, too, though neither of us has become a fan of the sazerac.

    Our last day was our chance to visit the rebuilt Scotch House. On a Wednesday at noon, the place was packed with a steady stream of locals and tourists. The fried chicken lived up to its reputation: juicy bird with a shatteringly crisp crust. And the green bean side dish is a mixture of green beans, tiny cubes of potato, and hot pepper. I've never had anything like it, and I'm very glad I ordered it.

    To sum up: we didn't have a bad meal and New Orleans treated us very well. Thanks to all!
  • Post #315 - December 20th, 2012, 4:12 pm
    Post #315 - December 20th, 2012, 4:12 pm Post #315 - December 20th, 2012, 4:12 pm
    wife and I were in New Orleans last week. It was my first visit, her second. I have the following restaurant reservations.

    [*]Commander's Palace: A very lovely restaurant but it did not meet my (perhaps overblown) expectations. My sweetbread appetizer was quite nice, but the pecan-crusted gulf fish (drum) in a corn/oyster sauce was underwheming - the sauce had congealed and the oysters were barely noticable. My wife said that her trio of soups (including turtle and gumbo) were "meh". I forgot what my wife ordered for an entree but I remember that it wasn't especially memorable.

    [*]Bayona: The food at Susan Spicer's restaurant was very good, especially my wife's rabbit roulade. My double-cut pork chop was very good but was no different than what you would find in any good fine dining establishment. My gripe is that there was a 30 minute gap between appetizers and entrees; while our main server was oblivious, her colleague was very apologetic and comped us two desserts with liquor pairings.

    [*]Pelican Club: We loved this place on Exchange Place near Canal Street, and we both selected from the special Christmastime "reveillon" menu. My baked oyster appetizer was grand, as was my wife's turtle soup with sherry. I loved my whole crispy flounder, which was a quasi-Asian preparation. with citrus chili sauce and jasmine rice. My wife's butter poached lobster was also great. A visit to Chef Robert Hughes' Creole restaurant is a must for anyone traveling to New Orleans.

    [*]Restaurant R'evolution: This is Rick Tramonto's New Orleans venture and it has a contemporary bistro feel with white and black tiled floors, akin to Mon Ami Gabi here in Chicago. The “'Pig Out' Board" (i.e. charcuterie plate was great and featured house-made salumi), while my "pork and beans" (braised pork shank with baked beans) was quite good. While I like the food quite a bit, it seemed like a Chicago or New York restaurant transported to the French Quarter.

    [*]Broussard's: This is a hidden gem on Conti Street in the French Quarter. We sat at a table in the rustic back dining room overlooking the quaint courtyard (it was a slow night, so the more formal front dining room was closed). The food was wonderful - everything that we expected traditional New Orleans Creole food to be - rich, decadent and delicious. I had the redfish Broussard's (pan fried with oysters, crabmeat and mushrooms) and my wife had the veal Broussard's with shrimp (if I recall correctly). The services was great - our server wasn't busy and he was very chatty. Along with Antoine's, Arnaud's and Galatoire's, Brussard's is one of the four so-called "Grande Dames" of New Orleans Creole cuisine.

    [*]Cafe Amelie: Like Broussards, another lesser-known but nevertheless wonderful French Quarter restaurant. There is a beautiful courtyard - while some guests were dining outside, it was a bit chilly (for Louisiana!) so we opted to eat in the main dining room. Our waiter said that the seared duck breast with butternut squash and wilted greens would be "the best y'all ever tasted or I'll take it back". He didn't have to - it really was some of the best duck that I've ever eaten. The multi-layer cake was amazing.

    [*]Muriel's on Jackson Square: We were here for lunch. My alligator sauce piquante with chaurice sausage was spicy good, while my wife loved the suffed mirliton (a local squash) with shrimp and andouille stuffing. The room itself is very old school New Orleans.

    [*]Central Grocery: This most definitely was a disappointment. The much vaunted muffaletta was so-so. The all-important olive salad was excellent but the sesame seed roll was definitely dry (almost day-old dry) and overwhelmed the filling. These are all pre-made, so when you order one, the guy at the counter just grabs a pre-wrapped sandwich and gives it to you.

    [*]Cafe Maspero: This place on Decatur Street looks like a tourist trap with bench seats and condiments on the table, but their muffaletta blew away Central Grocery's. First, the sandwich is made to order. Second, you get a 5" - 6" diameter round roll (not a half- or quarter of a larger roll). Third, there is about 1-1/2" of filling compared to Central Grocery's muffaletta, which has about 1/2" of filling. Fourth, about half the filling is pastrami, which puts this sandwich over the top.

    [*]Parkway Bakery and Tracey's: These are roast beef po' boy specialists in Bayou St. John and the Irish Channel (on Magazine Street), respectively. These were very good sandwiches, comparable to a pot roast sandwich at the Depot (but on french bread rolls and "dressed" with lettuce, tomato and mayonaise). I was really hoping to be blown away by these sandwiches, but they aren't as good as a solid Italian beef sandwich from Al's on Taylor Street, Mr. Beef or Johnnie's. Maybe I prefer beef soaked in jus to beef doused in rich gravy.

    [*]Acme Oyster House: Both the raw Gulf oysters (uniquely sweet and which you don't get up here) and the oyster po' boy were mind-blowingly good.

    [*]Cafe du Monde and Cafe Beignet: These beignet specialists disappointed, especially because they are supposed to be the sine qua non of this pastry. They were a little limp for my taste - akin to a funnel cake you get at a Chicago street fair and not as good as what they serve at Big Jones in Andersonville.

    [*]Morning Call: The beignets at this coffee stand in City Park simply blew-away those at Cafe Du Monde and Cafe Beignet - they were light and fluffy, and they were the perfect accompaniment to coffee.

    [*]Court of the Two Sisters: The jazz bruch at this French Quarter restaurant is a lot of fun. The food is good, not great, but it's a great atmosphere and they had two dixieland jazz trios (both consiting of clarinet, bass and banjo) in the main dining area and in the charming courtyard.
  • Post #316 - March 24th, 2013, 8:06 am
    Post #316 - March 24th, 2013, 8:06 am Post #316 - March 24th, 2013, 8:06 am
    NOLALTH Vets,

    I'll be traveling with a party of 8. We are all food motivated, and want to go to many of the places mentioned here. Unfortunately, we leave this Saturday (through Tuesday), and dropped the ball on reservations. Out of the board favorites, where might we have the best luck?

    Thanks!
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF
  • Post #317 - March 24th, 2013, 8:26 am
    Post #317 - March 24th, 2013, 8:26 am Post #317 - March 24th, 2013, 8:26 am
    Broussard's has been struggling and not turning out the best food for a while and new ownership recently bought the space: Creole Cuisine Concepts...owners of Royal House, Le Bayou and Pierre Masperos (very tourist-y restaurants and does not bode well for the place).

    You shouldn't have any problems with reservations at most of the 'board favorites', but you will run into a lot of closed restaurants on Monday.

    I introduced dicksond to Sal's Seafood on the Westbank (across the river, about a 20 minute drive) for crawfish when he was here recently...and I think he returned a few times after. Great spot for crawfish and a group your size. Boucherie was another winner (Uptown, near Maple Leaf if you want to catch some great live music -- http://boucherie-nola.com/).

    If the group is up for dive bar dining, Killer Po-Boys at the Erin Rose (on Conti, French Quarter) is excellent. I'm calling KP and two other newly opened po-boy shops, Avery's on Tulane and The Sammich at Chickie Wah Wah (music club), leaders in the Po-Boy 2.0 movement...not the same old roast beef or fried shrimp.

    Lemme know if you have specific questions or type of food/restaurant you're looking for and I can help you narrow it down.

    Anyone headed to NOLA in mid-April should check out Peche, the new asado-style seafood restaurant from Donald Link (Cochon, Butcher, Herbsaint). Great concept, and Ryan Prewitt (former chef de cuisine at Herbsaint) is the executive chef.
  • Post #318 - March 24th, 2013, 9:03 am
    Post #318 - March 24th, 2013, 9:03 am Post #318 - March 24th, 2013, 9:03 am
    Very helpful Crrush, thank you!

    I just got a Saturday night reservation at Luke, and it seems like a handful of places are closed on Sunday. Any recs for oyster happy hour (25/50 cent) on Monday? (Luke was on the list, but not anymore since we'll be there Saturday).
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF
  • Post #319 - March 24th, 2013, 9:31 am
    Post #319 - March 24th, 2013, 9:31 am Post #319 - March 24th, 2013, 9:31 am
    Just curious...is there a reason you chose Luke? That would not be my first choice (not even in my top 10 of choices, really) -- did you try getting a reservation at restaurants like Herbsaint or GW Fins (my favorite seafood restaurant in NOLA)? Luke's happy hour is great (.25 oysters, 1/2 price bar), but definitely not where I would go for a full dinner, particularly if you're on a schedule and limiting your dining to the 'best'. Boucherie might be a little small for your party of 8, but I would recommend trying for a reservation if you don't mind the short drive Uptown -- you can also take the streetcar (but it'll take about 45 minutes to get there).

    Don't know of any other oyster happy hours in the FQ that I would recommend, but I always recommend Felix's for oysters (char-grilled and/or raw). If you stand or sit at the oyster bar, the shuckers always end up hooking you up with "lagniappe". Bourbon House has a great oyster bar too, and happy hour specials, but not .25 oysters. Everyone lines up at Acme, but Felix's and Bourbon House are both on the same street and easier to get into.

    Another tip: if you're into craft cocktails, the owners of Cure (Uptown cocktail bar...opened by one of the guys who helped open Violet Hour in CHI) have taken over Pravda on Decatur St. ...they're serving an Eastern Euro snack menu (interesting, tasty) and excellent cocktails if you're wandering around the French Quarter and looking for good libations that aren't served in a plastic novelty cup shaped like a hand grenade or fleur de lis. :)
  • Post #320 - March 24th, 2013, 9:56 am
    Post #320 - March 24th, 2013, 9:56 am Post #320 - March 24th, 2013, 9:56 am
    Thanks! For Luke, it was just based on reviews and being able to score the reservation. No one in our party has been there or has strong feelings, so it sounds like I'll hold the rez and try to call the other places later...they don't open till 5:00 today.

    I'm looking forward to checking out Perestroika at Pravda(?).
    "We eat slowly and with gusto." - Paul Bäumer in AQOTWF
  • Post #321 - April 30th, 2013, 6:21 pm
    Post #321 - April 30th, 2013, 6:21 pm Post #321 - April 30th, 2013, 6:21 pm
    Hi- I just returned today from New Orleans. I went down there for jazz fest. I had a wonderful time as usual there, even though it rained on Sunday, and I am really glad I spent $16 on a pair of boots on my way to the fest. The boots were much needed.

    As usual I had much wonderful food at the fest, including crawfish monica, and some wonderful gumbo and bisque. When I got there Thursdays though, and my sister picked me up at the train station, we went to Landry's, and it was okay, but not great. I had this shrimp dish with cheese grits. I wanted to go to Acme Oyster House, but she did not want to go to the Quarter, and we could not remember where the other Acme was that we went to a few years ago. It was in Metarie I discovered later.

    My sister lives in the garden district near Magazine, and I walked over to Magazine, and had some wonderful strawberry basmatic sorbet at La Divita at their Magazine location. They used homegrown strawberries in it. Here is a link to their site. http://www.ladivinagelateria.com/ I also had some coffee at Community Coffee down the street. I then went to Decatur, and had some Beignets at Cafe Du Monde, and finally stopped in at Meals from the Heart in the French Market , 1100 N Peters, just a few blocks away from Cafe Du Monde, and had fantastic crabcakes. They received an award for being the best crab cakes in New Orleans in Gambit magazine. For those people who can't consume gluten, they are gluten free, and they are low sodium, and trans fat free, and trust me they are wonderful. The restaurant also has some vegetarian options, and they have a crabcake poboy, as well as a dish with crabcakes and fried eggs. The place does not have a lot of tables, and it is semi fast food. The crab cakes take about 10-15 minutes to prepare though. It is definitely not fine dining, but is worth checking out, and the owners are really nice. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #322 - May 2nd, 2013, 7:42 am
    Post #322 - May 2nd, 2013, 7:42 am Post #322 - May 2nd, 2013, 7:42 am
    Fun times at Jazz Fest! I live two blocks away from the Fair Grounds ... awesome time of year here.

    I actually volunteered at La Divina Gelateria's booth at Jazz Fest last weekend, just to see what the behind-the-scenes food vendor life is like ... tons of fun, and sticky. Their gelato is by far the best in the city, and the owners (Carmen and Katrina Turillo) are incredibly sweet folks. In addition to their location on Magazine Street in the Garden District, they also have a shop in the French Quarter, on St. Peter Street (an alleyway near St. Louis Cathedral). Strawberry Balsamico is just the tip of the iceberg. They do a lot of "local" flavors, too (Bourbon Pecan, Bananas Foster, Creme Brulee).

    A quick heads-up for anyone coming down to New Orleans: Donald Link (chef/owner of Cochon, Herbsaint & Butcher) just opened Peche in the Warehouse/Arts District at Magazine/Julia Street. I had lunch the other day, and like the other restaurants in his group, it's top-notch. They're focusing on open-fire asado-style seafood; good raw bar menu and knock-out desserts from the group's pastry chef, too. Peche executive chef/co-owner Ryan Prewitt was Link's right-hand man at Herbsaint the last few years.

    Another new place to check out: Mariza in the Rice Mill Lofts. A lot of interesting things happening in the Marigny/Bywater neighborhood (not all good), but Mariza is the best IMO - seasonal Italian-esque, New American (hard to pin it). Chef/owner Ian Schnoebelen also owns Iris at Bienville House.

    For people in search of great seafood, I can't stress enough: go to GW Fins, despite the name. Excellent, excellent.
  • Post #323 - May 2nd, 2013, 10:06 pm
    Post #323 - May 2nd, 2013, 10:06 pm Post #323 - May 2nd, 2013, 10:06 pm
    Hi- I took Amtrack down for the first time because I could not get a cheap airplane ticket going down. It only cost me $106 to take the train down there, and it took 19 hours to get there. I flew Southwest back, and I was talking to a gentleman sitting next to me, and told him that I took Amtrack down there. He told me that he worked for Amtrack and asked me how I liked it. I said it was okay although I did not get a lot of sleep. He then told me that he worked at one of the food booths at jazzfest two years ago, and he said it was one of his worst jobs ever. He worked all seven days, and worked at one of the poboy places, and he said he would never do it again. He was there from 9:00am until 7:30pm all seven days. I am sure your booth was not as crowded as his.

    I flew back Tuesday, but I heard it was supposed to rain practically every day this week in New Orleans. I am glad that I went down the first weekend. Last weekend it only rained on Sunday, I waited until it quit raining before I left for the fair grounds. My sister that lives down there, decided not to go that day, but she gave me a ride to the fairgrounds, and on the way there we stopped at Walgreens because she said they had some boots for sale there, It was the best $16 I have ever spent. The fairgrounds gets so muddy, and then it started pouring while I was in one of the tents too. I felt sorry for all the people that wore flip flops that day.

    BTW- I also had a scoop of the creme brulee sorbet at La Divina too, and it was also wonderful.
  • Post #324 - May 8th, 2013, 6:46 pm
    Post #324 - May 8th, 2013, 6:46 pm Post #324 - May 8th, 2013, 6:46 pm
    I had a relaxing and enjoyable ride from New York to the Fest on an Amtrak sleeper. My wife had flown down from Chicago, and she and our friends were waiting for me when I pulled into New Orleans. Our first dinner, Wednesday night, was at Bayona. Thursday night, we ate at Annunciation. Friday, Mayas, Saturday, A Mano, Sunday, Dante's Kitchen and Monday, Serendipity. All were largely competent but uninspired. Honestly, if any of these places were in New York or Chicago, I'd never visit any of them again. I didn't even feel the urge to photograph anything I ate, except this:

    Shrimp Po-Boy at Jazz Fest. Dee-lish.
    Image

    The food at the Fest was really good, including red beans and rice with sausage, terrific gumbo and jambalaya, killer cochon de lait, all manner of oysters and crawfish and some great sweets, like blackberry cobbler and beignets. Everything was tasty and reasonably priced. By contrast, the restaurants in town seemed to be playing it extremely safe with largely similar menus designed mostly for tourist appeal. Most everything I ate in town was some combination of too heavy, too salty or had too many ingredients. With the exception of Mayas' pan-Latin cuisine, one could line up everything we ordered and not know which dish came from which restaurant.

    None of this is to imply we didn't have a wonderful time. With a free day on Monday, we visited the beautiful (and surprisingly moving) WWII Museum. We lunched at The American Sector, celebrity chef John Besh's restaurant in the museum. Later we strolled up through the Garden District to Magazine St., where we sat outside noshing appetizers at Salu, washing them down with a couple too many mojitos. That's easy to do in the Big Easy.
  • Post #325 - May 8th, 2013, 7:55 pm
    Post #325 - May 8th, 2013, 7:55 pm Post #325 - May 8th, 2013, 7:55 pm
    Terrific picture, and that looks like some really beautifully fried shrimp.
  • Post #326 - May 8th, 2013, 8:41 pm
    Post #326 - May 8th, 2013, 8:41 pm Post #326 - May 8th, 2013, 8:41 pm
    Hi- The food at jazzfest is generally really good, and is not cheap, but is reasonable. I usually spend $15 a day on food there, but I never partake of the beer there. One day the person short changed herself $4, and so I only spent $11 that day. Both the bisque and the gumbo I had were wonderful, and I always get crawfish monica, which is the #1 seller there every year. It is a pasta and crawfish dish. My only complaint this year was that they only had one size of crawfish monicaa for $7, they used to have a $5 bowl and a $7 bowl to choose from. I like it, but I could have done with less of it. I also always get the mango freeze which is sold by WWOZ, the nonprofit radio station there that broadcasts from the fest every year. The only dish that I was not blown away by was the bread pudding.

    I am really glad that I went on the first weekend this year though. Out of the three days I was at fest it only rained the last day. I am really glad I bought some boots on my way to the fairgrounds that Sunday. It gets major muddy there. It rained some more before the second weekend started, and it rained a lot during the four days of the second weekend, and I heard the grounds were just awful that weekend, and plus it was cold. It got down in the 40's at least one night. It was supposedly difficult to move among the many food booths because of the mud.

    This is the 7th time I have been to jazzfest, and this is only the second time that I have had to deal with major rain and mud. At least this time I was much better prepared than I was in 2008.

    Anybody that is really into music, I would highly recommend that they go there. A lot of the people go there for the big name acts, but I tend to stay away from them because of the crowds, and mostly go to the jazz tent and the traditional jazz tent, along with a few other acts. You get to hear 7 hours of music for $50.
  • Post #327 - May 9th, 2013, 5:58 am
    Post #327 - May 9th, 2013, 5:58 am Post #327 - May 9th, 2013, 5:58 am
    I'm curious how you selected the restaurants you went to, Paul SL...Bayona hasn't been good in years. The others are an interesting mix and I can see why you feel your eating around town was mostly uninspired. Other than Serendipity, I would've told you to avoid all of the others for the reasons you mention (although I know Serendipity is struggling to find itself and the vibe doesn't come close to the spirit of Green Goddess).

    I'll make the offer again and again -- anyone coming to NO, please feel free to contact me directly. I try to post on this thread about the good/new/must-eat restaurants (see previous 2-3 threads). Ask anyone here who has taken me up on the offer...I can't guarantee great meals, but at the very least, I can help you avoid some of the ho-hum and tourist-y places.

    RE: Jazz Fest & food -- it is an awesome eating marathon, although locals bitch about the fact that the lineup never really changes/varies very much. I discovered a new favorite this year: Creole's Stuffed Bread. I'd always assumed it was some kind of cheesy monstrosity like Panaroma's crawfish bread (sorry Mr. John Ed, but cheese and crawfish...no thanks), but it's like a meat pie, with big slivers of andouille and spicy ground meat stuffed inside a roll. There's a squeeze bottle of jalapeno relish at the stand...a healthy squirt of that...and I've got breakfast. (Note for future Jazz Festers reading this: there are two types of stuffed bread at this stand ... not to be confused with the mozzarella, pepperoni bread they also sell).
  • Post #328 - May 10th, 2013, 10:25 pm
    Post #328 - May 10th, 2013, 10:25 pm Post #328 - May 10th, 2013, 10:25 pm
    Man I love New Orleans,

    However I think I might be too old for a 5 night run as I did this year again. What an amazing city to eat, drink and see live music.

    Some of my highlights: Second lunch at Casamento's! Damn amazing oyster's, fried in the loaf, shucked by Mike the old oyster shucker from Ugelisch's, and now char-broiled. WOW.
    We ate at the Swizzle Sick bar in the Loew's Hotel which is a Brennan restaurant and had the Shrimp and Tasso Corn dog's on 3 different occasions, these things are Dynamite! Large Shrimp on a stick, ground tasso in the batter, Mornay sauce on a bed of pepper jelly. Miss Lu Brow is the bar chef for the Brennan empire and makes some of the best cocktails one could ever want. This place is way under the radar!!

    Drago's Char-broiled oyster's do not disappoint.

    Cochon for the 5th time did not disappoint...this place is just the most inspired food ever. We had 5 guy's and plenty of ordering power, The fisherman style fish in the wood burning oven is alway's amazing, Louisiana Cochon, with Cracklin tasty, smoked ham hock with spaetzle and the wood fired oyster roast top notch.

    Mother's for breakfast a Debris biscuit with egg and cheese. Amazing.

    Johnny's Po-Boys for breakfast where I met the Leidenheimer bread guy and was so cool he said meet me here Sat, at 9:30 after I asked for a bumper sticker and told him we were from Chicago. Well Luckily my friend was headed back in his truck that day to Chicago since the nice gentleman gave us 5 sacks of bread and would not think of taking any money! The catfish Po-Boys we made with that bread rocked...

    A crawfish and rib party at CRRUSH back yard and a good friend had a boil a few blocks away on the same night added serious local flavor.
    Meeting friends at Liuzza's by the track for Bloody's is a tradition before and after Jazzfest..

    Even in the mud at fest on Thursday I did my 1-2 punch of Cochon De Lait and Prejean's Pheasant Gumbo.Very Tasty

    This was my 14th Jazzfest and as stated above one of the few times weather really became an issue.

    Some watering holes we hit,

    Vaughn's Lounge- Markey's Bar-Mimi's- Tracey's-Parasol's-Ernst Cafe-Manning's-Grand Isle-Rock-n-Bowl Just a few.....

    Sorry New Orleans over New York any day...Disclamer: Wife born and raised in the Bronx and Sis In -Law just moved from Brooklyn to Queens. so I visit regularly.. DB
    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?...........Louis Armstrong
  • Post #329 - May 22nd, 2013, 11:01 am
    Post #329 - May 22nd, 2013, 11:01 am Post #329 - May 22nd, 2013, 11:01 am
    Among the many posts I have failed to make is this one - based on the better part of two weeks in and around NOLA late February and early March this year. I had the kind guidance, and pleasant company of crrush for some of this, so many of the places are not new, but here are my findings.

    Given the amount of time I spent in NOLA a couple of things happened - first I could have killed myself with one too many late night outings (when they closed the doors with me inside at Perestroika, a glass of Absinthe, a bar and a few fellow drinkers keeping me company, on a Sunday evening, I had clearly crossed a line). Music was great, drink just as good, people very, very friendly until things started to go Spring Break crazy at the end of my visit and much of the food was to die for. Finally, and tellingly, there were a number of places I went to more than once, and a couple of others I wish I had gotten back to. Those were my faves, no question.

    Arrived on Sunday just after the marathon. The city was clearly recovering from the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras. The next few days were delightfully quiet and friendly - restaurants and bars were easy to get into, and everyone had a relaxed, slightly hungover and very friendly attitude. I recommend visiting around that time.

    Hit the dive bar and poboy shack, Erin Rose, in the quarter first. Went with the lamb and cilantro poboy and a nice amber brew. Made new friends. I never made it back to Erin Rose - tried on a Monday toward the end of my trip, but the kitchen was closed, and I missed it. Very tasty.

    For comparison, I went to Crabby Jacques a couple of times, usually highly regarded, on the edge of town, when coming and going on trips to the gulf, the airport or whatever. Oyster poboy and roast duck with gravy poboy on the two visits. Not bad, but nothing too special. I liked the gumbo and cole slaw okay. Mostly went back the second time because I was not that impressed on my first visit. Still not impressed.

    I had driven down via Memphis and was dying from heavy, fried food, so I decided on a light dinner and some music at Three Muses on Frenchmen Street. Cocktails were good (the Orange Blossom Sazerac in particular), though they can be a little on the sweet side. The tofu bulgogi bowl was light enough, but with some flavor, to serve my dining purpose. And I fell in love with the chanteuse du jour and stayed until closing on a very rainy night. A great start.

    The next day it was off to Cochon Butcher for a sandwich. As it worked out, this was a place I visited three times (only one other place did that for me), which is a little strange. It has a somewhat annoying hipster vibe, more like Blackbird than NOLA, and the food, while generally tasty, was a little hit and miss. But it was fairly convenient, the ingredients quite good, they are trying to do something interesting, and it served me well as a neighborhood spot. So I started with the porchetta sandwich and some sort of tasty slaw and a pellegrino soda and was quite happy. I fault the porchetta for being very lean, roast pork, too lean, and not what I really expect of porchetta (though I would not suggest you dare question the hipsters on this!), but that did not detract from my enjoyment.

    Dinner found me down the street at Annunciation, which was close to totally empty that Monday night. Since I drove, I had brought some wine along and that night I discovered for the first of a few times how completely wine friendly NOLA is - $10 corkage, which was the norm, except when they did not charge anything. Dinner was a Spinach salad with (fried) crawfish tails, and a fish special that I do not recall too well, aside from it being lightly fried in a creole cream sauce with some crawfish tails to keep it company (another reason to visit at that time was the abundance of sweet, fresh, crawfish - more on that to come). I do recall the exquisite nature of the preparations, perfectly cooked fish, nice balance of sweet and savory, and the very pleasant bartender who kept my company. An excellent meal. And who can you not like a fancy place that calls its cuisine soul food?

    More to come as time permits.

    Erin Rose
    811 Conti St, New Orleans

    Crabby Jacques
    428 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans

    Cochon Butcher
    930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans

    Annuncation
    1016 Annunciation St, New Orleans
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #330 - July 17th, 2013, 2:51 pm
    Post #330 - July 17th, 2013, 2:51 pm Post #330 - July 17th, 2013, 2:51 pm
    Any ideas for a church youth group of about 15 during a tour of the French quarter (without a guide)? They will be there either on Sunday or Monday. Thanks.

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