Special, New-Orleans only eats in New Orleans?
I'm visiting New Orleans around this year's Halloween for the first time, and planning to stay for four days. I'd like to try cuisine that can only be found in New Orleans. Right now what comes to mind immediately is Cajun and Creole cuisine, as well as small items, like po'boy. What else am I missing? Can anyone recommend me restaurants that serve dishes/food that very much reflect New Orleans? I read in several threads a recommendation on 100 year old restaurants like Galatoire, that sounds like the type of resturants that I am looking for. Which others should I dine at?
Cost is of no concern, willing to drive, and willing to search. Much thanks to the hounds!!
We frequent Brigtsen's on our many trips to New Orleans, thanks to the recommendations of the New Orleans Chowhounds. I saw below that you already have plans to eat at Brigtsen's during your visit....great choice! Enjoy Frank Brigtsen discussing his restaurant and the post-Katrina New Orleans restaurant scene at the link below. It'll even give you a few suggestions of what to order while you're there.
I love answering questions like these but then hours later all sorts of new ideas pop into my head. For traditional New Orleans creole food, the two best are Galatoire's and Arnauds. Oysters brochette, shrimp remoulade, trout almondine, cafe brulot, and crabmeat maison are the dishes that are truly New Orleans. Here are other suggestions: Turtle soup at Upperline, jambalaya and a fried seafood po-boy at Mother's, gumbo and raw oysters at Casamentos, fried seafood at Jaques-imos or at Deanie's seafood. For cajun style over creole, crawfish etouffe and bread pudding at the Bon Ton, blackened redfish at K Pauls, and soft shell crab po-boy at the Galley seafood in Metaririe. Also, for the most authentic italian influenced creole, Mosca's restaurant is a must. It is a hike but the food is well worth it. Don't miss the oysters mosca and the shrimp diavolo or is it diablo? Finger lickin'. Good luck. Some of these places I mentioned are not glamorous but they are generally local except for Mother's which has "plenny tourists" but still serves great, local food.
I disagree about blackened anything! All of our grandmothers were horrified at the concept of burning good redfish! And then everyone did it so poorly. Stick to the classics.
Casamento's has wonderful oysters. They only take cash and close early.
Don't stand in line with the tourists for Acme - try Felix's or The Pearl instead.
And anywhere you go, ask the waiter what's fresh and what the locals order. You'll get the best food. As mikey says, the best places in NOLA often aren't elegant, but you will eat well.
Parasol's has a great roast beef po boy.
Pascal's Manale for the Barbequed Shrimp.
For any place, check the hours because they're erratic post-Katrina. But the City is trying hard!
Personally, I'm not a big fan of Mother's. I think the food is mediocre on a good day. Galatoire's is very uniquely New Orleans in atmosphere and in menu (if you go for dinner, be prepared to dress up. Jackets are still required for men). Antoine's is also coming back after years of resting on their laurels, but it's even more expensive than Galatoire's, and I prefer G's, personally.
Keep checking this board because rumor has it that Commander's Palace will reopen some time in October. That's certainly worth a trek. My favorite "creole bistros" (great food, not too touristy) would include Brigtsen's, Upperlline (can be erratic), and Dick & Jenny's. I really am a proponent of venturing out of the quarter for at least one meal and I've taken a lot of people to both Brigtsen's & Dick & Jenny's who come away amazed at the quality of food in these "hidden" gems. I used to be a big fan of Jacques-Imo's, but it's losing a little luster IMHO.
If you're an oyster lover, the best single oyster dish in town are the charbroiled oysters at Drago's in Metairie. Drago's also has the best raw bar. Also would agree w/ previous posters about Casamento's (for fried oysters), K-Paul, and Bon Ton. In the quarter, Frankie & Johnny's are the best po-boys. Out of the quarter, I like the BBQ Shrimp Po-Boy at Liuzza's By the Track and Mike is 100% correct about the softshell po-boy at Galley Seafood.
If you're up late and find yourself hungry, go to Coop's on Decatur, for the great, cheap, jambalaya. My favorite Sunday brunch is at The Palace Cafe on Canal St. You can experience an excellent New Orleans jazz brunch w/out paying exhorbitant prices. And nobody's mentioned cafe' au lait & beignets at Cafe' duMonde. It's a required stop, just so you can say you've been.
Warnings: There are a number of good restaurants in the French Quarter, but there a lot that are tourist traps and that the locals avoid like the plague. Stay away from most places directly on Bourbon (Galatoire's being the major exception). If you go to Mosca's, take CASH. No credit cards accepted. Some places like Dick & Jenny's and Jacques-Imo's don't take reservations except for large parties, so plan your timing w/ those things in mind.
The Marigny is adjacent to the FQ, immediately to the east (downriver). Cross Esplanade and you're in the Marigny. The main street is called Frenchman--that's where you'll find Adolpho's and a bunch of other bars and restaurants.
The Treme is not at all the same as the Lower 9th ward. The Treme is adjacent to the FQ, across Rampart St. The Lower 9th is a couple of miles downriver from the Quarter, past the Marigny and the Bywater and across the Industrial canal.
I want to toss in Casamento's for a great, traditional oyster loaf on pan bread. They just re-opened on the 12th. Two Sisters on Derbigny is great and on Sundays I like the food, drinks, music and vibe at Bacchanal in By-Water. Make sure to try the Vietnamese restaurants like Ba Mien, Duong Phong, Pho Tau Bay, Tanh Dinh, Nine Roses, or Kims. It may not be Creole or Cajun but it has become very much a part of our food culture and is great. If you want to stick to the more familiar New Orleans foods, all the previous suggestions are right on and there is a cute new place called Ignatius on Magazine Street that serves decent etouffe, gumbo, shrimp creole, jambalaya, etc. Enjoy. New Orleans is amazing.
Galatoire's without question. Order oysters en brochette, oysters rockefellar, hot crabmeat ravigote and whatever else your witer suggests. You will not find this food in any other city in the world. Brigtsen's is also unique to N.O. I have to take exception to Irene's. I have heard many good things, but ate there recently and was thoroughly unimpressed. It was mediocre at best. Bayona is also excellent although the service seems bit iffy recently. Agree with K-Pauls. Palace Cafe brunch varies a little from the old standards and is excellent. Try the crabmeat cheesecake.
This is a HUGE topic, not one that can easily or competently be covered by a few posts to a message board. You need to start with a little background reading & research, then perhaps return to the message board for more narrrowly focused queries and specific post-Katrina restaurant updates...I recommend the following guides to get started:
--Eating New Orleans, From French Quarter Creole Dining to the Perfect Poboy by Pableaux Johnson
--New Orleans Neighborhood Restaurant Guide by Kevin R. Roberts
Thank you all for your recommendations!!
So far, this is my list:
Brigsten - Creole - Oct. 27th
Commander Palace - Oct. 28th
Galatoire - Oct. 29th
30th evening is empty as of now
Casamentos - oysters & seafood
Jaques-imos - deep fried seafood
Coop's - jambalaya
Palace Cafe - Oct 29
I'll continue to fill in the blanks, but thank you all for the great recommendations that enabled me to start reservation now. It is not yet the end of September, but I had a hard time getting Galatoire and Commander Palace's reservation! Galatoire is booked solid on Oct 28, with limited availability on 29th, and Commander Palace has nothing before 8:30pm...
I'm hoping that lunch does not require reservation....:) Truly looking forward to my trip in Nola!
Jacques-Imo's isn't open for lunch (and I wouldn't recommend it for dinner). Perhaps you meant Crabby Jack's? I would recommend that place.
None of your lunch options take reservations, so no problem there.
I wouldn't worry about reservations at Galatoire's. You can only get those for the upstairs room. The fun is downstairs, and no reservations are taken there. I would just show up.