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Help me identify a restaurant across from the Marriot Courtyard on St. Charles.

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I once ate a bowl of gumbo at a place across from my hotel near St. Charles and Canal? Poydras? I think I had to go upstairs and it was kind of a joint. It was just down the block from the St. Charles streetcar turnaround.

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  1. THE PEARL RESTAURANT AND OYSTER BAR 119 St. Charles Ave. 525-2901 The mosaic of oysters on the sidewalk outside lets diners know that plenty gulf oysters await them inside. Since the 1920s, Pearl has been serving seafood gumbo of shrimp, crab and okra and crawfish etouffee at this location just beyond the French Quarter. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Credit cards. $$

    I believe they don't have a website.

    I would pick the Bon Ton Cafe or, better still, Mr. B's over Pearl. Both are walking distance from the Courtyard Narriot.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Abner

      Thanks for solving my mystery. I ate there in 1996 and could never remember the name of the place. By some odd happenstance, the name came to me a day or two ago, but wasn't sure it was the same place. I think it's a place frequented by Dave Robicheaux in the James Lee Burke mysteries.

      fyi, I had just flown in from Tampa by way of Atlanta just before that year's horrible winter storm. I arrived in NO to see frost on the ground and my hotel's boiler broke so no hot water the 1st night. I ate at Pearl to tide me over before my dinner at Brigtsen's. I went to Bon Ton for lunch the day I flew back home. Never heard of Mr. B's.

      1. re: Abner

        I haven't eaten at the Pearl in probably 2 years, but when I last did, it was awful. If you're a seafood restaurant in New Orleans, and you can't do seafood dishes? The service was abysmal too. You'd wait 20 minutes to get rude service when the place was empty. And I was in the habit of going there once a week with friends from work for a while, so it's not like they didn't recognize me as a regular.

        For a while, the only thing I'd eat there was their corned beef & cabbage, a lunch special they ran once a week. I think they stopped serving it, and given that everything else about the place was terrible, I had no reason to keep going.

        Oh, did I mention that it's expensive, and the portions are small?

        1. re: Robert Peyton

          Long ago, when the Pearl was still a dump, it had good-enough food. I used to get the turkey or ham...carved from a hunk on display in the window. Then someone decided to renovate, and the food took a sad turn for the worse. It's really a shame; the location provides a built-in audience of downtown folks & tourists, it has a nostalgic look...too bad the food sucks.

      2. I'm almost certain the Pearl never reopened after Katrina.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Frolic

          The Pearl is back open and could use more customers. I had a great carved turkey po-boy there last week and have also had a good fried oyster po-boy there recently as well.

          1. re: oysterboy

            Interesting. Did it reopen recently?

        2. Mr. B's Bistro is one block closer to the river than Galatoire's. Galatoire's is near the corner of Iberville and Bourbon. Go one block further (Iberville is a one way) toward the river, and you are at the corner of Royale and Iberville. The restaurant is an offshoot of Brennan's. Therefore the name Mr. B's.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kdbroussa

            It has not yet reopened, but it should open soon.

          2. I'm not sure when they reopened. But it's been open at least two to three months.

            1. I ate at Mr. B's in the spring of '05----best meal of my trip and I ate at:

              Commanders
              Acme's
              Felix's
              Palace Cafe
              Redfish grill
              Deanie's
              Kpaul's
              and several others......can't wait to get back.