WHERE DO THE LOCALS EAT????
Going to be in NO in Sept. I am interested in REAL food that locals eat. Local favorites. What hotdogs, pretzels and knishes are to New York, but in New Orleans. Creole and Cajun. I'm looking for hole in the walls and foodstalls. Where can I find this in New Orleans? I am not interested in upscale restaurants. I want the authentic bite.
You'll need a car for most of these:
Liuzza's by the Track
Try the BBQ shrimp poboy (hollowed out french bread with shrimp in a spicy butter sauce stuffed inside).
For fried chicken and red beans & rice.
Frankie & Johnnie's
Boiled shrimp, oyster poboy or other fried seafood
(closed for summer, should be open in Sept.)
Lunch only, BBQ Oysters, shrimp remoulade on fried green tomatoes, Shrimp Ugee, Trout Muddy Waters
Good burgers & sandwiches, check out the barstools
Jaeger's on the Lake
(not the French Quarter one)
Wait for a table on the outside deck, the inside dining room isn't too nice. Good for any kind of boiled seafood (don't bother with crawfish though, they won't be in season).
For oysters, raw or fried
Mostly for the charbroiled oysters but the entrees are pretty good.
Good poboys and seafood specials
There's more around town that I've heard of but never personally been to. You can find addresses and maps in the restaurant section of insideneworleans.com
If you're from NYC, you'll do fine in any of the neighborhoods in NO. People here are friendly, unsafe areas are typically safer than perceived, especially if you use your street smarts.
Cabs are afforable. Public transportation is decent on major routes (St. Charles streetcar, Canal St. bus, Magazine St. bus, Carrollton streetcar/bus). Minor routes can be erratic. If you get a decent city map, you'll discover that many of the places mentioned are easily accessible on major routes. A few, like Mosca's, Sid Mar's, Jaeger's, etc. are in Jefferson parish and will require a cab ride. The Orleans to Jefferson parish bus connections aren't very reliable or frequent, in my opinion.
re: Hungry Celeste
I'd add Mandina's on Canal--take a cab..busses are awful.
Charlie's is on Dryades--or is it Baronne? Anyway, it is only a couple of blocks from St Charles streetcar line. Look for the drugstore on the corner of Napoleon Avenue. Past that a couple of blocks to Pascal Manale's, turn left and go a hundred feet.. On your left. It's no Luger's but it is good and its worth seeing a neighborhood steakhouse before some conglomerate or TV chef runs 'em out of business.
Sorry, Mary, I can't help you on the gumbo & jambalaya. I'm from the bayou and don't consider any "city" versions up to snuff. Both dishes are available in many permutations all over town, and my idea of "perfect" was formed at an early age in home kitchens. I have eaten decent gumbo at various places in town, including Casamentos, Dooky Chase, the Gumbo Shop, a host of white-tablecloth places, etc. I really don't care for any of the NO incarnations of jambalaya...many include tomatoes, oregano, etc. I guess there were no italians in my family, so I like a "brown" jambalaya with seafood (closer to paella in spirit).
As a New York transplant here in NOLA, let me offer my opinion re: gumbo and jambalaya. I think Zachary's on Oak...and Jacques-imo's just down the block from it-has some of the best gumbo in the city...but it's hard to find BAD gumbo here (hell, I had a great cup of gumbo at SNUG HARBOR last night, along with a great ear ful of piana from Butch Thompson).
My relatively few experiences with REAL country (i.e. brown) jambalaya still lead me to concurr with earlier commentators...a rural jambalaya is superior to almost any red version served here in town. But if you must eat red jambalaya, Mother's on Poydras has a good one. But damn has it gotten touristy and expensive! (I'd opt for the oyster stuffing at Zachary's over virtually any jambalaya in town)
Oh, before I forget, the Praline Connection used to serve one of the few bowls of Gumbo Aux Herbes (wonderfully corrupted into "Gumbo Zaire" on their menu)...a lovely, green herby mix. I haven't et there in years, but it might be worth a visit.
Ditto on all of the above, plus a few more:
Manuel's Hot Tamales (on N Carrollton); sit at the picnic table and enjoy good greasy tamales.
Sid-Mar's (in Bucktown on Orpheum Ave); go at sunset and enjoy longnecks and boiled seafood (esp crabs).
Hansen's Sno-Bliz (Tchopitoulas & Bordeaux); eat a sno-cone like none you've ever tasted (finer than snow!); make sure that you try the "sno-bliz" flavor.
Mike Serio's (St. Charles, near Canal); poboys, lots of LSU memorabilia; primarily a lunch/sandwich spot. Have yaca mein or a roast beef poboy.
Johnny's Po-Boys (in the Quarter); good middle of the road poboys of all kinds.
***Elizabeth's (corner of Gallier & Chartres, in Bywater); good breakfast & lunch spot, homemade pimento & cheese on Fridays. Killer fries. Last time I was there, I saw two local politicians and the mailman eating side by side.
Zachary's (Oak St. in Carrollton); soul food buffet lunch with excellent fried chicken. Usually has gumbo and a seafood entree as well. Don't laugh at the bread pudding with fruit cocktail baked in, it's good.
Charlie's Steakhouse (Freret St.); unchanged for decades.
Crescent City Steakhouse (Broad St.); another good local steakhouse.
Tee Eva's Pralines/SnoBalls/etc; Magazine St. A food stand offering sweets, gumbo, etc. You stand on the street or go to a nearby park to eat.
Mosca's (US 90 W in Avondale); LA-style sicilian food with incredible buttery garlicky baked oysters.
A friend is always telling me about two places in Treme, one has soul food, another has carribbean/west indian food. Both are tiny. Anybody out there know of these places? I think that I read about both of them in Lolis Elie's column (or maybe I was hallucinating). Y'all help me out here.
re: Hungry Celeste
I get to NO a few times a year and I've been to Serio's many times. I've recommended it a few times in these pages, and it's sometimes been pooh-poohed.
I feel vindicated now that you've also recommended it, and I hope to be back with in a few months, and you know where I'll be having breakfast or lunch.
K in Wash, D.C.