Dining advice for a New Orleans novice
I'm going to be in New Orleans from the afternoon of Sun, Sept. 24th to the morning of Thurs. the 28th for work. I've never been before and am excited (albeit overwhelmed) by the number of great places to eat. I'll be staying in a hotel on Bourbon Street in the middle of the French Quarter and mostly need suggestions for breakfast and dinner. I've already had suggestions for Cafe du Monde for coffee, Acme Oyster House, Brenan's, NOLA, and Dooky Chase (if open). What are other places I should not miss?
Royal Blend Coffee Shop - 621 Royal Street. Used to work around here, and was back for a visit in July. They have great muffins (lemon poppyseed - YUM), scones, etc. - and my husband had a bagel with eggs/cheese on it, that was actually quite tasty and freshly made. Iced Chocolate Mocha is sublime...and you can enjoy it all in their quaint courtyard in the middle of the Quarter. Its quick, and its quiet! :)
Croissant D'or Patisserie - 615 Ursulines. Good value, nice pastries.
Stanley - Decatur Street - Very interesing mix of comfort foods. Open 7A - 3PM daily I think. Omelet Sandwich & Reuben are really delicious.
I have also heard of, but never been to, Petunia's and The Coffee Pot - both in the Quarter.
As for dinner, I would NOT recommend Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse - it was horrbile back in July - from the service to the cold main course - YUCK. In contrast, Dickie Brennan's Bourbon House was very good though - nice fish and tasty apeetizers - beautiful space. I would high;y recommend Stella! for a dinner choice (http://www.restaurantstella.com/).
I also like Coop's Place on Decatur, very casual, and I would second NOLA - we were there in July and it was fantastic.
Have a great Trip!
I second the Coffee Pot - used to be Maxie's Coffee Pot. Their pan perdoux is excellent. Go for the courtyard, or one of the tables overlooking St Peter St.
I also second the nix on Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse. I will never be back. Not having done his Bourbon House, I'd recommend NOLA.
Mother's on Poydras and Gravier (near the Windsor Court) is great for breakfast or lunch. It has all the standard cajun choices and all are solid.
Jacques-Imo's Cafe is in uptown but it is fantastic - 8324 Oak St. From what I gather, this is kind of an uptown institution. It is really great cajun/creole.
I had an outstanding meal at the Palace Cafe (on Canal street across from the Sheraton). This place has a beautiful space and really interesting dishes that I've never had anywhere else - cajun/creole.
Both Dick & Jenny's (4501 Tchoupitoulas St.) and La Crepe Nanao (1410 Robert St) are not in the French Quarter but are great restaurants.
And, my last meal was at Port of Call (838 Esplanade Ave) - which is the most fantastic place to go when you've had a few too many and need something to soak it up. This place serves hamburgers with a fully loaded baked potato. It's absolutely great!
If you want some excellent cajun go to the Bon Ton cafe on magazine. Not too far from Mother's. For nice, try Broussard's in the quarter. Fantastic! Last time there I talked with head chef Gunther Preuss over a fine cigar in the bar after dinner. what a great guy.
While some may argue that the food is not as good as other restaurants, you really should try one of the old-line French Creole restaurants that have existed for 100 years or more in the Quarter and are still run by descendants of the founder. If they are still in business after that length of time, they must be doing something right. The three that are still run by the descendants of the founder are Antoine's, Brennan's, and Galatoire's (my favorite and still in the same location in which it opened in 1905). Arnaud's, Broussard's, and Tujague's are under different ownership, but still maintain the traditional French Creole tradition.
I agree - these places represent the continuing tradition of French-Creole dining in the city - they are not "not as good" as newer places - they are just a different style - the original style, that gave New Orleans the reputation it still enjoys for superb dining. Brennan's and Galatoire's are my favorites. Eating at Galatoire's, in particular, is like going back in time.