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May 7, 2002 03:05 PM

Ethnic Food in the Big (Gr)easy

  • h

Okay, folks: what's your favorite ethnic food in the greater NO area? I'm most interested in Thai, Chinese (dim sum, esp), Vietnamese, Central American, and other Asian cuisines. Any new discoveries? What about ethnic markets for the aforementioned cuisines?

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  1. Central/South American:

    Taqueria La Mexicana (West Bank)
    Tacquero's (Kenner)
    Bienville Restaurant (Midcity)
    Papuseria de la Divino Corazon (West Bank)


    Pho Tau Bay (West Bank)
    Nine Roses (West Bank)


    Basel Leaf (high-end Thai -- Uptown)
    Siamese (Metairie)
    Singha (CMD)

    3 Replies
    1. re: TDZ

      Has anybody been to the Korean restaurant in Metairie, which I think is called Korea House? I think it is near Drago's. I keep meaning to go, but am tentative because I fear disappointment. I really love Korean food.

      1. re: TDZ
        Hungry Celeste

        Is Singha any good? I don't work downtown anymore, so I'm wondering if it is worth a special trip at lunchtime. Or is it open on the weekends? I frequent Siamese Thai on Vets, but am always seeking new spots.

        1. re: Hungry Celeste

          At lunchtime Singha serves lunch combo specials, which means you get one Thai entree with an eggroll. I would much rather order several entrees among several people and share them. They are open until about 7:00 in the evening, and my husband and I ate there early one day after work and ordered a selection of items, and I thought that food was better than what they serve for lunch. Maybe they would let you order in that fasion at lunch but my coworkers always want those combo plates so I'm stuck with my own. And I'm not an eggroll fan. Plus, they're very busy at lunchtime. If you go early in the evening you will get much more personalized service, and they will adjust the spicyness to your liking.

          On the plus side, they do have tom kha kai soup, even at lunch -- however it's spelled -- the lemongrass chicken soup made with galanga and mushrooms, and they do have Thai iced coffee, one of the few places in town that serves these items.

      2. c

        Vietnamese food is by far the best ethnic choice in the New Orleans area. So far I've tried 9 Roses and Kim Son on the Westbank and Pho Tau Bay in Metairie. There is a Vietnamese Farmer's Market (very small) in New Orleans East. Take the 510 exit off of I-10 and then take the Chef Menteur Hwy. exit. Go left onto Chef Menteur and go about 1 mile. Look for a large strip mall on your left (the strip mall is actually on the road intersecting Chef Menteur). Turn left into the strip mall and the farmer's market is in an alleyway on the left hand side. You can pick up all kinds of asian produce very cheaply here such as bok choy, large bags of fresh basil, cilantro, chinese chives, lemongrass, and mint.

        On the way back to the highway, be sure to stop at Dong Phuong Bakery (on your right just after you leave the strip mall). Excellent baguettes, pastries, dim sum-style pork buns, plus wonderful Vietnamese po-boys made with roast pork.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Carpetbagger

          I think the original Pho Tau Bay, on the West Bank, is not as good as it used to be. I like Than Dinh (sp?) on Lafayette better. It's about three or four blocks off the West Bank Expressway on the left. 9 Roses is also very good, more upscale in appearance than most local Vietnamese places, but still very reasonably priced.

          There is a Vietnamese grocery store next to Pho Tau Bay in a strip mall, on the West Bank Expressway about a block past Stumpf. On Saturday mornings they have a whole Vietnamese-style roast pig hanging in the corner, from which an employee whacks chunks at the customer's demand. This is a true guilty pleasure, the skin portion something like cracklins, but with other flavors. They also sell the hanging roast ducks, which I have yet to try.

          1. re: Sarah C

            Sounds interesting. What do you do with the pork? Add to a stirfry or just make a sandwich?

            1. re: Carpetbagger

              I just snacked on it. I suppose you could use it in other ways but I only bought 1/2 pound and it was all gone in a very short while.

              1. re: Carpetbagger

                Usually the roasted pork is cut into smaller chunks and is eaten with the skin... with rice, without rice, as finger food, and any way to one's delight.

                Hmmm... Making a sandwich out of it sounds good too. In a soft french roll, slivered pork and cracking with a little sweet and vinegary shredded cucumbers.

                1. re: Maillard

                  I think that it is the pork that is often used in a pork banh mi thit (Vietnamese sandwich - crusty little baguette stuffed with seasoned or barbecued pork, chicken, Vietnamese meatball, pâté or, most often, a combination of meats, with lightly and sweetly pickled carrots and cucumbers, various hot peppers, cilantro, and soy sauce)

          2. Dim Sum
            I've looked around for Dim Sum and found 3 places that served up the goods.

            1/ Royal China on Veterans Blvd in Metairie.
            2/ New Hong Kong Restaurant on Crowder in New Orleans East.
            3/ Ding How on Houma Blvd in Metairie.

            1 and 2 you order using a picture book. 3 brought food around the table via a tray. No push-carts to be found.

            All of them were okay. They hit the spot when I needed a fix.

            Royal China is probably the most popular.
            Ding How - you may need to call to see if they still serve dim sum.

            I hope this helps. Please post if you find others.


            The Reaction

            1. c

              Almost forgot...

              There's an Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurant called Red Sea on Earhart Blvd. near the intersection of S. Carrollton Ave. Great food and really nice owners.

              For those not familiar, Ethiopian food consists of spicy meat or vegetable curry-like stews served family style on a large platter. You pick up the food with pieces of pancake-like bread called injera. It's lots of fun to go with a group of friends.

              I've attached a review.


              1 Reply
              1. re: Carpetbagger

                Ditto on Vietnamese being the best "ethnic" food in New Orleans. My faves are Tan Dinh, Pho Quang and Doung Phong, the bakery. Also try Fiesta Latina restaurant in Kenner. It's the best Central American food I've found, but steer clear from the Mexican dishes there.