Itinerary help wanted
A friend and I are coming down from NYC for 3 days in December. After pouring over this board and talking to friends, we've got a tentative ambitious eating plan, and we'd love to get your comments as well as suggestions for Saturday and Sunday lunch. We've resigned ourselves to the fact that we won't be able to eat everywhere we'd like :(
Additionally, we'd appreciate suggestions on favorite places to hear some jazz. Is there some way we can find out who's playing where ahead of time (website, magazine, etc.)
Lisa and Elizabeth's Excellent Eating Adventure:
Lunch - Uglesich's
Maybe drinks at the Columns Hotel
Dinner - Acme
Breakfast - Mother's
Lunch - TBD
Dinner - Bayona (hopefully - am calling tomorrow)
Breakfast (if we can stuff it in) - Camellia Grill
Lunch - Casamento's or Jacques Imo's
Muffalata from DiMartino's or Central Grocery for our layover in Charlotte as we roll home.
Note - We've both already been to Cafe du Monde. I must confess that I prefer doughnuts to their beignets.
Regarding Uglesich's: Go early. I went last week at 11:30 in the pouring rain and we got the last table, and the line formed behind us. Also take cash. It's not cheap and they don't take credit cards. The appetizers are small but many of the entrees are large.
Jacques-Imo's is not open for lunch. If you can fit it in for a dinner, again, go early (I think they start serving at 5:30). They don't take reservations. If you go after 6:00 you will have to wait. It is worth it, though, and remains on our must-do list for out of town visitors.
Thanks for the tips. Being New Yorkers, I think we'll probably opt to wait on line rather than eat dinner before 6 or lunch before 12!
Just curious -- what is "not cheap" by New Orleans standards? (Again, Manhattan has skewed our view of reality - $8+ salads and desserts, entrees in the $20s at unremarkable places.)
re: Lisa Z
Well, what I meant is this: Uglesich's is in a fairly downscale neighborhood, and it is definitely not fancy. It's not expensive compared to upscale restaurants, but to me it seems more costly than one might expect given the decor and surroundings. I'm not saying it's not worth it. However, the first time my husband and I went we had about $27 in cash between us because we didn't realize they didn't take cards, and we left sort of hungry after sharing two small appetizers and one entree and spending every cent we had. The appetizers are in the $6 - $8 range and entrees are from $11 or so to around $16. So, you won't need LOTS of cash and of course it's not expensive by NY standards, but don't be caught off guard. You will want to try lots of things.
As Pepper suggests, you might want to try a late lunch to avoid the crowds, if you don't want to eat early.
re: Lisa Z
I think it's safe to say that by New York standards, Uglesich's isn't going to seem expensive. While some of the fish/seafood entrees are go up to two digits, I've found that the fancy entrees aren't as good as the raw oysters, the fried green tomatoes, and just about any appetizer that features a sauce. And the sandwiches, very reasonable, are terrific.
Try www.nola.com and self-navigate to jazz and/or clubs. I concur w/ advice re: Uglesich's/Acme; and @ Uglesich don't be compelled to find "right" dish--I've found v.enjoyable route is to go nuts on appetizers--get 5 or 6 (or more, dep. upon size of party) and pass-and-eat (always anti-clockwise). Mange!
Thanks all for your input!
We got a 9:30pm reservation at Bayona (Galatoires was going to be our second choice). Maybe we can fit in a second late lunch on Saturday! Willie Mae's seems to be calling me (a woman with that name used to work at my grandmother's store), so I think I have to manage to get over there for fried chicken.
Found out about www.offbeat.com for music info.
I'll definitely report in when I get back.
Your itinerary looks pretty good to me. The one big change I would make is to visit Uglesich's and Acme on separate days. Why? They both excel at raw oysters and fried food (I do think that Uglesich's raw oysters are at least the equals of Acme's, although I dearly love the latter).
Having dinner at Acme is a pretty good counter-programming. Not that it isn't busy/popular for dinner, but I think of it more as a lunch place.
Also, I have to dissent with Jim about Camelia Grill, unless something has changed in the recent past (haven't been to CG on my last two trips). But the breakfasts there have been extremely popular (indeed, many people eat breakfast there in the late hours), and their omelettes, waffles, potatos, etc., are terrific.
I absolutely love Bayona. If you do get shut out for dinner, consider trying to book it for lunch, when it tends to be a little less busy, and a little less expensive.
re: Dave Feldman
re: Dave Feldman
Actually, I always think of Acme as more of a snack place. As Diamond Jim Brady used to say, oysters have no weight. The idea of what might constitute a meal seems to fly away in the face of a New Orleans weekend.
To be a contrarian, I think once is more than plenty for Mother's, which has some decent food but is wall-to-wall fannypackers, and as an experience doesn't rate all that high.
Try a slightly out-of-the-way place, like the Italian Creole restaurants Mandich's or Mandina's, or the stupendous roast beef po' boys at Liuzza's (near the track), or if you have a car, even Sarah's beloved Rocky n' Carlos for a better hit of local flavor. Conversely one of the great classics (specifically Galatoire's) or modernized Creole restaurants (I like Palace Cafe--scoff if you like, but if it were stuck somewhere out past Elysian Fields, there would be a million messages on this board advising a $15 cab ride) would not be out of line.
Bayona is actually more pleasant for lunch: pretty and sun-splashed, relaxed, and much cheaper. And don't count out the fried chicken at Willie Mae's.
We are in sync about New Orleans.
Re: Acme. When I know I'm going to have a huge dinner, then lunch is often a dozen oysters at Acme (I can't trudge to Uglesich's and just have the oysters, great as they are).
As I said in my last post, I've switched to lunch at Bayona most of the time. The staff is so much more relaxed, there is no time pressure, and sometimes specials are offered that aren't available at dinner.
I've had good food at Palace, but I have a strong preference for Mr. B's among the bustling Brennan restaurants, although most of the natives I know prefer Commander's. Whether I've gone by myself or with a group of 16 who needed separate checks, the staff is unflappable, and the food delicious. The menu is much deeper than barbecue shrimp and gumbo. And the bread pudding and strawberry shortcake (in season) rock!