need advice on reservations, locations, etc.
- E Keller
I've had a great time reading this message board, and appreciate the advice already given to me regarding my upcoming trip to N.O. from Dec. 27 to 30th. After absorbing many hundreds of posts, I'm putting together a plan for my trip, and would love to get feedback from anyone who cares to offer it.
This will be my first visit to N.O., and I would like to have as full and delightful an experience of the town as possible. I may not get there again for a long time.
I'll be staying at the Monteleone, on Royal St. in the FQ. I plan to try the beignets at Cafe du Monde. I plan to visit the French Market. I'd like to try to lunch at Uglesich's. (How is it pronounced, by the way?) I may try to lunch at NOLA, since a friend did so and had a great experience. I'd like to try dinner at Bayona. But how expensive is it? I don't have an unlimited budget. And how far in advance would I be likely to need to make a reservation? Unfortunately, the conference I'm going to is scheduled so that I'll be there thurs, fri, and sat. (so maybe it'll be harder to get into restaurants.)
I hope to hop on the streetcar and ride down st charles ave, perhaps stopping for meal at the Camellia Grill.
I'd also like to try to have drinks at the Napoleon House.
I might try Irene's or Brigsten's for dinner.
Would love to get out of the quarter as much as possible, however without a car, and with needing to check out the conference proceedings at least ONCE in a while, it's not clear how far I'll get to roam.
I hope to do some browsing in antique stores, particularly one I read about called Lucullus, with French culinary-related items. (?) Since I'm a Francophile and love food and cooking, this sounded like a good bet.
I would like to walk along the river, and perhaps take a ferry ride as well.
So does anyone have reactions to these plans? Advice on restaurant reservations in general, and getting around?
No doubt you'll get tons of suggestions here. I think that you can't do badly with Brigsten's. Nappy House is still nice (but I preferred in in the Old Days) and I think you will certaily enoy Bayona although you will need some dough for that. For me, I take out of towners to Galatoire's and let them get the full treatment. It is the quintessential New Orleans restaurant and the "experience", as we learn to say, involves far more than the food. Insist on eating dopwnstairs in teh old dining room. It is right around the corner from the Monteleone at 209 Bourbon. Jacket for men after five o'clock (and, according to locals, at ALL times) If you have one bang-up dinner, that's the place for it. (also, it is open all day at the same prices so you can go at, say 3:00PM)
Commander's was not up to speed last summer, but jamie Shannon was deathly ill at the time and his presence was missed. Word is that the matters are being addressed and we all hope so but I'd hold off on the old gal for the moment.
If you want a dalliance day, take a cab to the racetrack and have a corned beef poor boy, but spring for the extra two bucks and go to the clubhouse where it is FAR better than downstairs. I had one (a corned beef sandwich, that is) last week and it was so good that I almost took one "to go" as a sample to shop around and show folks how to REALLY do it right. Besides, who knows? You might snag a nag and win a few bucks . . ..
If you're going to Bayona you should make your reservations now. NOLA is pretty pricy too, even though it is supposed to be Emeril's less fancy restaurant. Another possibility for your streetcar trip is Jacques-Imo's, a couple blocks off the streetcar line on Oak Street -- only open at dinner time, though.
As Sarah said, make reservations for Bayona right away. When I was there a month ago, I tried 2+ weeks in advance and could only get 10 and 10:30 on the weekend but managed a 9:00 on Thurs. Entrees were about $20-27, glasses of wine were about $7-9. I was too impatient to wait for lunch at Uglesich (how *do* you pronounce that, I still don't know). Took the streetcar ride out to Brigtsen's which was nice but it takes a while. Same price range as Bayona. I've been told a ferry ride on the river isn't all that but don't know first hand. We had a good, cheap meal at a funky place called Coop's around 1100 Decatur for your basic jamabalaya, etc.
The ferry ride is brief, but free. It takes you across the river to Algiers Point, a historic old neighborhood. Right by the ferry is a little neighborhood bar/cafe, the Dry Dock; another block away is an English-style pub. You can walk around and see the beautiful old houses, most of which have been renovated. Mardi Gras World, where many of the floats are made, is another nearby destination, just a short walk up the levee. You can take a tour for around $10. I commute home from CBD to Algiers Point by ferry every evening after work -- a lovely way to leave behind the tensions of the day.
Uglesich's pronunciation is something close to this:
You-gleh-sich (soft "sich" like "sandwich").
Lots of antiques on Royal. Acme oyster house on Iberville is close to your hotel, casual, not expensive and, I think, a great place for lunch or to just stop off for some oysters and a brew. Can be crowded around lunch time. Bayona, sweetbreads, yum!
I stayed at the Monteleone the last time I was in New Orleans - very nice hotel. If you decide to try Brightsen's or Jacque Imo's (they don't take reservations) I would suggest taking a cab "to" and ride the street car back to the Quarter. The Garden District should still be all lite up for Christmas. If you cannot get dinner reservations at Bayona - you usually can get in for lunch (again, Sweetbreads are terrific) Another favorite of mine is Mr. B's - right across the street from the Monteleone - great BBQ Shrimp. Acme Oyster House is around the other corner, so if you need a "snack", stop in for a Shrimp Po'boy.
I hope you really enjoy your trip to New Orleans.
re: Steve N
Run, don't walk, to this place for breakfast! I seem to remember it was the last stop on the line of the St. Charles Street Trolly. Its worth the trip and really gives you a feel for the local area.
I was so full, I actually walked all the way back into town after my breakfast. Great walk - safe neighborhood - lots to see, including some really nice homes and the college.
You must order an omlet and make sure you sit near the cooks - Watch these dudes perform their magic with the potatoes, eggs whipped to a frenzy in blenders, tons of ingredients just thrown into your omlet. I'm getting hungry just thinking about this place!
Like a lot of other Hounds, I also loved Mother's for lunch. The Garbage (?) Sandwich was terrific - savory ends and bits of their baked ham and their roast beef combined. Sounds crazy but boy was it great.
I got a lot of good ides from the Stern's Roadfood website - these people know all about reasonably priced homey food - Hey, just look at them and you know they love eating. They do a great job with New Orleans.