If you can take the horrible kiddies, The Chimes is pretty good, right by LSU. The also have a joint called PArrain's on Perkins but it is likely to be descended on by football fans over teh next few months and thus be unberable.
DiGuilio Bros. on Perkins is nice Italian and Nino's on Bluebonnet is really good Italian.
Couple of new kaifs in town but have not tried them.
Try these spots--
--the Pastime; beer, poboys, and pizza under the I-10/Mississippi River Bridge on Nicholson.
--Fleur de Lis, oldest pizza joint in BR. Square, sicilian-style pizza on Govt. Street
--Ethel's Snack Shack; in Scotlandville, two blocks off Scenic Highway (upriver), just past the McD's. Breakfast favorite spot for SU students; cheap, tasty soul food. Delaware punch in the can & red velvet drapes. Used to sell a $3.00 plate of red beans & rice with half a dozen fried drumettes--I'm sure the price has gone up a little.
--George's; great club sandwiches on Perkins Rd at the I-10 overpass (under the bridge)
--Poor Boy Lloyd's (Riverside drive, downtown); nice fried seafood & mississippi mud pie
--Riverside Patty; Third St. downtown, huge, huge hamburgers. Lunches weekdays (don't know if they're open on the weekends)
One of my favorite places to eat in BR is kind of odd: when the legislature is in session, go down to the state capitol and have lunch in the House of Representatives' cafeteria in the basement (the Senate dining room isn't open to the public). All of the cooking & prep is done by trustee inmates of Dixon Correctional, and the menu is pretty routine (spaghetti on Wednesdays, red beans on Mondays). But, when the building is buzzing with LA politics, it's a fun time. You can see reporters, politicians, lobbyists, hangers-on, etc.
Also: a little grocery store on River Road in Sunshine (near St. Gabriel) sold plate lunches to the plant workers & prison guards. Can't remember the name, but it was near the ferry landing. Makes for a nice country drive, if you go via river road.
re: Hungry Celeste
There are tons of Lebanese/Greek places. My favorite is Atcha on Nicholson. Probably the most grungy looking of the lot, but definitely the most flavorful food. Bake their own pita and have a wide bakery selection, if you like Middle Eastern snacks. Louie's is good for diner food/breakfast food near LSU. Silver Moon on West Chimes, near LSU, has good soul food, although your arteries get quite clogged after eating just a sliver of their enormous portions. Saigon, also near LSU, has pretty good Vietnamese. The best Thai is probably Thai Kitchen, although it isn't that wonderful. You can get Jamaican at a place out on Jones Creek that was originally a Lebanese restaurant. It is called Aladdin. They still maintain a Middle Eastern menu, as well as the Jamaican fare. For beignets (despite the college students), go to Coffee Call on College, near the IHOP.
I like Saigon, too. Couldn't remember the name, although I've eaten there several times. Baton Rouge has many, many chain restaurants, but the locally owned restaurants seem to be on the upswing as well (with the exception of Giamanco's & Serop's both closing down). I hear good things about Mallini's, and my old favorite Mansur's is also still around.
My favorite seafood spot in BR is Mike Anderson's (Lee Drive), and I also like the food at Sammy's. For greasy bar food (bad for you but oh so good) try Brewbacher's (a couple of locations, incl. Nicholson & Bluebonnet). The fried chicken on croissant with bacon & swiss is a heart attack on a plate, but worth whatever dietary sacrifices you need to make in its wake.
Thinking of BR food reminds me of a campus favorite: West Stadium concessions. This was a snackbar located in Tiger Stadium, just behind Johnston/Hodges halls and the J-school. It was open all day, run by a blind guy. The little spot served stadium food--hot dogs, nachos, burgers, etc. Food wasn't much to write home about, but the proprietor was quite a character who enjoyed a good story. I'm sure somebody else out there remembers this place...
I second this suggestion. When I was working at one of the chem. plants down the road, they had food brought in from there several days. I stuffed myself on the boudin balls. Also one night I got the boiled crawfish, a couple of beers, took them to my hotel room and pigged out. Good food! Also a sign of a good place, is the parking lot was crowded and busy.
If you want a very nice white tablecloth establishment try Mansur's. Its in a plaza I beleive over on College, south of I-10. Try their crawfish salad, with fried crawfish and a nice sweet dressing, its really good.
For upscale food, my favorite is Maison Lacour. Wonderful traditional French haute faire with a LA twist here and there (along with wonderful service) and the best treatments of steaks around - perfectly cooked and yes, better, than Ruth's Chris, Sullivan's, or the other places that people think of when looking for steak.
For burgers, etc. the aformentioned George's is the best, although Brewbachers is good too.
Welcome to B.R. New Orleans it ain't, but it has more to offer than many appreciate. And N.O. is only an hour away!