- betsy keller Dec 24, 2001 07:56 AM
I'll be arriving in NO by plane on Thursday at about 1 p.m., and I suppose getting into the city by say 2 or so. Since I am only staying until Sunday morning, it's finally dawned on me that my only chances to go to U's would be Thursday or Friday. But for Friday I made lunch reservations at Bayona, so that means Thursday is the only chance for U's unless I cancel Bayona lunch. So my question is, since everyone says get to U's at 11 a.m. to get served, is there any chance I'll get served if I go there Thursday at 2:30 or 3 or so? If not, I'd better cancel Friday at Bayona in order not to miss the legendary Uglesich experience.
Many thanks for any advice--
A decade ago late lunch worked well. Perhaps someone still local will reply with a current accessment.
re: Dave Feldman
I'll jump in as a non-local but usually annual visitor to NO.
Our last visit to Uglesich's we thought the food was very good but somewhat expensive. The long waits might also be a big negative for some folks, but people waiting to eat at Uggie's are usually pretty cool and fun to talk with, as is Ant'ny. And the fried green tomatoes are sublime. OK, what am I saying? I guess what I am saying is go once and decide for yourself.
As for Bayona, it is a great restaurant for sure but I can't help feeling that unlike many of NO's other top restaurants, you could find Bayona or something close to it in other cities. So my conclusion on Bayona is that it depends how indigenous you want your food when you visit New Orleans.
re: Bob W.
I agree, I guess, with Bob W, in the sense that when you are eating in NOLA, are you looking for unique New Orleans/Louisana style food or are you just looking for good eating. I believe that choice influences greatly where you go.
For instance, when I'm in New Orleans, I'm pretty happy getting a burger (with waffle for desert) at Camilia Grill as I am in eating at say Bayona. That is, of course, because of the sui generis of Camilia Grill. Frankie and Johnny's was also mentioned somewhere in this thread. Again, that place just typlifies New Orleans eating. On the other end of the scale Galatoires and Comander's Palace mean something and rate something.
On the other hand, when I lived in New Orleans, occasional dinners, at say, Maximo's (still there?), a straight ahead "yuppie" northern italian resturant, were the equivilant of ethnic dining in other cities.
But hey, that's just me.
re: Bob W.
I don't disagree with anything you've said. But as V.I. says, some restaurants are sui generis, and I think Bayona falls in that category. It isn't the type of food that is unique to N.O., it's the style and charm of the place. Offhand, I can't think of any equivalent place in, say, New York or Los Angeles. If there were, I'd eat there often!
your late lunch plan is actually ideal. you have lesss a chance of waiting in line and more of a chance to get a moment to talk w anthony. good eating, john t
Can I ask, first, where else are you going?
Perhaps, you can get an oyster fix somewhere else. I lived three gluttonous years in New Orleans. Back then, Uglesich's was as well known for its seedy setting as it was for its seafood creations. The hype had yet to overwhelm. A lot of us in uptown were more than happy to visit Casamento's weekly for oysters, fried or raw.
Casamento's is on Magazine street just past Napolean. You can easily get there via bus or even streetcar (walking towards the river the few blocks from st. charles to magazine--that would be to your left as you are getting off the streetcar from canal.)
Casamento's will not necessarily be less crowded than Uglesisch's. The seating is tight, with a limited amount of large tables. With its sparkling black and white tile, you will almost believe you are eating in your bathroom. Adding to the wait, is the way the oysters are handled. Before each oyster loaf, a collection of bi-valves is gathered with a small rake from an ancient ice-box. They then get shucked, corn-meal dusted and fried, not a quick process. The classic loaf comes between thick "pan bread" not the expected new orleans style french loaf. With pickles and hot sauce, you will be rewarded. The remaining fried seafood like the softshell crabs are also good, the other stuff, i.e., the ultra-soft spagetti, are acquired tastes.
Now this is just one 'born and raised' opinion, but Uglesich's is completely overrated. It is in that elite group of places (that includes Mother's and Deanie's) which have become overpriced and overhyped. There are hundreds of places in town to get food like you get at Uglesich's. Take the chance while you have it and have lunch at Bayona. Susan Spicer is a talent and her food, even at lunch, should not be missed. As for more casual places...
> R & O's
(Solid food all over the menu)
> New Orleans Food & Spirits
(Best fried seafood out there right now)
> Acme Oyster House
(Oysters! and some other great seafood dishes)
> Frankie & Johnny's
> The Galley
(Chef Austin Leslie previously of Chez Helene)