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Mar 21, 2007 08:49 PM

Quick NOLA trip report.

Just got back from NO, a quick rundown:

Saturday night: Olivier's---very nice shrimp creole, shrimp and andouille gumbo very good despite the absence of any shrimp or andouille. Wife had a nice peice of fish. Set the tone for pretty decent meals served a bit cooler than I'd like.

Sunday AM- Cafe du Monde

Sunday Lunch: Acme. Confession here. I don't think I like raw oysters much. Oh, I've given them every chance, but they just don't do it for me. The gumbo was ok (if a bit cool), but the bottom of the barrel on the trip. Wife had a nice po' boy.

Sunday dinner: Bourbon House. I realize that this place rarely shows up on this board, but the fried platter was excellent (and hot!) and the wife's redfish on the 'halfshell' was her favorite of the trip. Gumbo was excellent as well, 2nd best of the trip.

Monday: Had a Denny's-like breakfast at Mena's Palace----was probably the only place that we weren't welcomed heartily.

Lunch: Bon-Ton cafe. Just OK, I had the crawfish jambalaya and (of course) the gumbo. Both were tasty and the crawfish were very fresh, but again the temperature was luke-warm at best. (I don't remember this in 2005, is this a new trend??). The wife had fried shrimp...I've made better at home. I had the distinct impression that the regulars get better food here. On the upside, I do love getting a bottle of beer and a seven ounce glass to pour it in (seriously, no sarcasm).

Dinner: NOLA. OK, OK, I'm an Emeril fan (well his TV show is lame, but his restaurants have been uniformly great). I had the hickory roasted Duck the wife had the fried chicken with the sweet potatoes. We split the Bananas Foster bread pudding which was great. One final note, the staff was training a new employee and the service was seamless, enthusiastic and appreciative. The hostess mentioned my two previous visits (to other Emeril restaurants) and we had a complimentary shrimp app within 2-3 minutes upon being seated.

Tuesday: No breakfast.

Lunch: Coops. Great Gumbo, not so great shrimp creole....spent much of monday afternoon here digging the great jukebox as well.

Dinner: Brigtsens. Was almost as much as it is made out to be. I had the grilled pompano, the wife had the parmesean crusted sheepshead. I had the awesome rabbit-sausage gumbo---the best on the trip. The cafe au lait creme brulee was sublime---easily the best I've ever had (and I've had a lot). I'm not sure anything can live up to the hype that Brigtsen's enjoys on this board, but it came 90-95% close.

All in all, the town is clearly appreciative of tourists; the effort is there in the kitchens, but it seems most places are slightly off their game. That being said I ate at least ten times better than I'd eat here in central Illinois.

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  1. Sounds like a pretty good trip....

    Try raw oysters with a squirt of lemon and some horseradish only....cocktail sauce just masks the flavor of the oyster.

    Try the gumo/food at dick and jenny' favorite gumbo in the city.

    Sounds like your wife and you really enjoy fish...GW Fins, Jacquesimo's and Galatoire's are my personal favorites for fish.

    And thanks for coming down to New Orleans...we need tourist like y'all to keep coming down.

    1. yay for you!! glad you like brigsten''s always good...the parm crusted sheepshead is my favorite, too

      don't feel bad about liking NOLA- I go there often because a friend has a coroprate acct and I always have an enjoyable meal

      next time- try K Pauls...really a good time out - the bread basket alone is worth the trip

      8 Replies
      1. re: chef4hire

        I ate at K-Pauls in 2005---great, great meal. My little dude (1 year old) vomited all over the table right as we were finishing dessert-----the servers acted so fast, no one but us even knew.

        Went to Mr. B's in 2005 as well, glad to see that they are getting closer to opening.

        1. re: chris in illinois

          Heading to NOLAs in a few weeks - looking forward to it. Also heard that Moolots (?) is a good place to try - we'll be at both the embassy suites and in the French quarter.

          So glad to hear that my child is not the only one who vomits on the table in restaurants! (He's not coming the trip so no worries)

          1. re: rouleau

            Mulate's is a complete tourist trap, please don't waste a meal.

            1. re: JGrey

              does mulate's at least have a view or good music or atmosphere? anything? as a redeeming quality to make up for the food.

              1. re: kevin

                No view. They do have cajun dancing sometimes, I think, but that and the decor are still pretty tourist-trappy. If you want cajun dancing go to Tip's or Rock n Bowl when they have zydeco.

                The reason everyone has heard of mulate's is that they advertise heavily in all the tourist pubs that get put into hotel rooms. I've never heard of a single local going there on purpose.

                1. re: JGrey

                  on a side note, is tujaque's also a tourist trap? thanks.

                  1. re: kevin

                    I second that emotion...Mulate's is a complete waste of time and $$$. Tujague's, while not in the same class as some of the best restaurants in the city, is still an authentic dose of old New Orleans, IMHO

                    1. re: kevin

                      No, it's an old-fashioned place that does just a few items in an old-fashioned way. Known for boiled beef and chicken bonne femme. Not a hint of modernity in the place.

        2. Very nice, straightforward report. Thanks.

          1. Sounds like you had a great time. Next time you should try some good breakfast places though, like camelia grille or Dante's kitchen right next to Brighsten's