where to eat and shop in New Orleans
I am going to New Orleans next week with some foodie friends (I am a professional chef) and am hoping to get some reccomendations on where to eat and shop. We are staying on Esplanade Avenue near the 10. We will have a kitchen, so I am particularly interested in food shops. Thanks for your help.
Find P & J Oysters at 1039 Toulouse just off Rampart Steet, not far from where you are staying.
They are the long-time wholesaler for restaurants in town but they deal to the public as well. In the shell or shucked with the liquor. We always buy from them. Early open and close typical of to-the-trade.
I sure hope you have a car as most food shops are not within walking distance from where you will be staying. I highly recommend Whole Foods if you want to cook. They will have the freshest vegetables, cheeses, oils, etc. For seafood, I always to to Little Fisherman or it may be called Big Fisherman now. It is on Magazine St. right next door to the A & P and right across the street from the Bulldog bar. You can get nice shrimp, crabmeat, and crawfish for cooking. Also, they have recipes just in case.
I would not miss going to Savvy Gourmet for lunch. This is also on Magazine St. between Jena and Cadiz. It is a cooking school with a store not unlike Williams Sonoma. They serve a wonderful lunch and it is fun to take a class for those who are not chefs.
For restaurants in your area, the Faubourg Marigny is not far and I really like Marigny Brasserie. For excellent food in the French Quarter, within walking distance, is Stella! and Peristyle. If you go uptown, I would try either Brightsens, Dick and Jenny's, Clancy's, or Vizards.
Right up Esplanade (3300 block or so) is the old location of Whole Foods which is now a quite similar store, but not a chain. I can't remember the name. Across the street is Terranova-- I haven't been in there, but I believe I've heard Celeste say it's ok. Italian meats etc. Also check out Central Grocery in the quarter, they have more than just muffalettas.
I don't know where you're from, so maybe this will be no big deal, but Hong Kong Market on the West Bank is a huge Asian grocery store. I hear from one of my students that the Vietnamese farmer's market in New Orleans East is up and running again on Saturday mornings, and then there's the Crescent City farmer's market downtown, also on Saturday mornings.
If you want an interesting food experience, go to Bacchanal (wine shop in the Bywater) on Sunday nights, Chef Pete Vasquez from Marisol (RIP after Katrina) cooks dinner.
Langenstien's and Diorgnaics ( sp. may be incorrect) are good sources especially for quality meats. Last time I looked the new market after Whole Foods closed on Esplanade was closed.
Nor-Joes is a great little Italian import store.
Byblos for lebanese or greek ingredients.
A new cheese shop on Prytania.
Martin's wine cellar for libation
Great suggestion, Tonto!
Langentstein's and Dorignac's are local stores. They'll have local and regional food products that you won't find at a national chain like Whole Foods and they're where long-time residents shop. All you'll find at WF will be the same stuff they'll truck into the one near your house back home when you return from vacation.
Look for hoghead cheese and Creole Cream Cheese at Dorignac's and Tonto's right about the great meat. Chisesi is a very good local ham. They also carry "red veal" which is the traditional meat for grillades and is hard to find. Their wine selection is better than decent and Martin's is only a few blocks down Veterans Highway.
The former original Whole Foods on Esplanade was closed when I went by there about 4 weeks ago.
The Crescent City Farmers Market is good for local things. Citrus is good - satsumas, kumquats, pecans, greens.
Some produce is available in the old French Market. It will more than get you by. There's a grocery on Royal at St. Peter (I think) where I used to shop when I lived in the FQ.