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Nov 16, 2002 03:40 PM

Hate the tourist trap, love good food, coming to NOLA.

  • j

We're two serious chowhounds looking for quality NOLA nosh. We are in town for 3 days, 3 nights, 9 meals and looking for quality food. We love the hunt for the restaurant as much as the food itself, and so we shy away from well-publicized places...we are willing to make exceptions of course. We hear that Central Grocery's muffaletta is the best but we are stumped for places to go for the best oysters, po-boys, and white shrimp. Any advice would be helpful - we'd really like to avoid going to "Mother's"!!

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    1. re: LibationMan

      There are different types of shrimp depending on the season and country of origin. The types I am familar with are brown, white, pink and tiger..also prawns and rock shrimp. White shrimp are suppose to have the least amount of iodine and pink shrimp the most so therefore white shrimp has a milder taste.

      What??? You thought he was making a racist remark? Goodness, you are strung a bit tight, my friend, and obviously not a Gulf Coast local...

      1. re: Shrimper

        Thanks for coming to my defense! I'm just looking for good food!! Incidentally, do you have any favorite places for good shrimp?

        1. re: JJ

          I assume you want stuff like boiled or fried shrimp? Not the fru-fru shrimp ala flambe variety? Although shrimp is really hard to mess up it might be a hit or miss thing in the quarter since most restaurants just fry their shrimp frozen and breaded in a bag. I honestly don't know who in the quarter actually batter coats and fries fresh raw shrimp. Maybe some one here can help. In Bucktown there's Sid-Mar's and Bruning's. Northshore restaurants that prepare and cook their shrimp is Middendorf's and Morton's.

    2. For oysters, go to Acme in the quarter; locals and tourists alike and cheap, messy, and delicious. But for SURE also go to Casamento's out on Magazine street---near Napolean Ave, maybe??? Supposedly great oysters but erratic operating hours, so I would call ahead....they are closed all summer and I missed them by a week or two in September, I think.

      A great meal is to be had at Irene's in the quarter on St. Philip street near Chartres. We have been there a number of times. VERY crowded with locals in the later evening...go early to avoid the wait.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Piglet

        Thanks for the info. I have also heard about Felix's and Drago for oysters and Mr. B's and Dick and Jenny's. Are these places worth a visit?

        1. re: JJ
          Beau Nappatee

          There's a thread further down on Dick and Jenny's. It's a small place so you may have a half hour wait or longer, but the food is top notch. I like the pork crown with sauteed apples on top and suggest you try things that sound like home cooking. My group was impressed by the renovation they did to convert this little house into a restaurant, we loved the atmosphere. More detail in the other thread from a week or more ago, so keep looking at the message board.

          1. re: JJ

            Drago's is great! Their chargrilled oysters is my favorite oyster dish in town.

            1. re: JJ

              Mr. B's is extremely overrated--don't waste your time. If you want to go to a Brennan's establishment, go to Palace Cafe.

            2. re: Piglet

              ...don't jump to conclusions. I did not in any way think this guy was being racist. Being a NATIVE New Orleanian, I had just never really heard of White Shrimp. Brown Shimp are what you see the most down here. I was simply asking for clarification.

              1. re: LibationMan
                Hungry Celeste

                Local shrimp primer: white shrimp are caught in local waters in the spring (May for inshore waters), and in the other months of the year offshore. Brown shrimp are caught in and near-shore in the late summer (August).

                Year-round, local shrimp trawlers ply the gulf, bringing in shrimp. In colder weather, shrimpers trawl deeper waters, catching a variety of shrimp called sea-bob (a corruption of "sept barbres", referring to the spiny head, which supposedly has seven small spines. I never counted, to be honest). In addition, you'll find a small, colder-water shrimp variety in most inferior New Orleans shrimp poboys. These coldwater shrimp have little taste and are often mushy in texture.

                Yes, you can get rock shrimp in LA, but they're not from LA coastal waters. You can get pinks and the huge tiger shrimp, too. Many of the "exotics" are pond raised (Ecuador, Phillippines, Malaysia) and flash-frozen, then defrosted here and sold (legally) as nearly fresh.

                My advice: stick with brown or white shrimp, either fresh in season or flash frozen. The LA shrimp industry (fishermen, wholesalers, brokers) is being decimated by cheap, cheap imported, pond-raised shrimp from tropical areas. These shrimp often show traces of banned antibiotics. (See online reports by the LA Dept. of Agriculture)

                Buy local--try your local farmers' or seafood market: if you're buying frozen, ask where they're from. DON'T buy imported frozen shrimp (if they're cheap or on sale, they're probably imported). Next shrimp season, buy lots of local and freeze 'em yourself. I bought BEAUTIFUL 26/30s for less than $2 a pound this summer off the back deck of a boat in Cheniere Caminada.

            3. My husband only goes to Felix's for oysters when in town.

              Go to Ugelisch's for po'boys, etc. Forget Mothers!

              Dinner Suggestions: Try Clancy's for a "not the tourist trap" restaurant. It's in the Garden District at Annunciation & Webster. Also, get to Stella! while in town. Both accept reservations. You won't be disappointed!

              Cental Grocery has the best muffelata we've had - we tried Napolean House on rec's from the board & were disappointed.

              1. i
                I love New Orleans FOOD!

                GO TO STELLA!!!! I was there 2 weeks ago and it was one of the best meals I have ever eaten! It is top notch!! The food, the service,the restaurant is so cozy it is first rate!! Clancys is worth the trip uptown as is the Upperline! Enjoy NOLA