Lattes in the Marigny
The honey and I are visiting your fair city next week, and while I have a list of places to eat that's far longer than we could ever possibly get through, I do have a few specific questions, to wit:
I'm turning 40, and using that as leverage *cough* emotional blackmail *cough* to get my honey to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity with me for a few days. But those days start at 7:30 and I prolly shouldn't be operating power tools without a hefty dose of caffeine first. We're staying in the Marigny neighbourhood--is there anywhere close by to get a hefty latte at 7 in the morning? Also, we need to pack a lunch--is there anywhere we can get someone to play mom and pack us a brown bag?
So we're only here for 11 days but my list of places to eat is about a month long (I've included it after the questions). If there are any restaurants with an open kitchen-chef's table concept, where you can chat with the chefs while you eat, I'd put them at the top of the list--any suggestions? And what about tasting menus? They're all the rage here in Toronto--any New Orleans restaurants that are having fun with that?
But I've realized that we'll be there for Good Friday--is Good Friday a day when New Orleans repents its ways during the rest of the years and all the restaurants and bars are closed, or is it business as usual? I'm, of course, hoping for unrepentant dinner and music that day...
And finally, during a trip a couple of years ago, someone told me that there are second line parades every Sunday -- is that true? How can I find out where and when they are? To keep the chowthread, last year at Jazzfest I tried the Ya Ka Mein that they apparently have at the second lines and it was such a flackback to university days hangovers that I fell in love, and want to get some more...
And my list of places to eat:
Mandina's (we are there the first time I visited New Orleans on a night with "Rain of biblical proportions" according to the Times-Picayune the next day) Dooky Chase, Bayona, Cochon, Jaque-Imos on Tuesday and then the ReBirth next door at the Maple Leaf, Dick and Jenny's, K-Paul's (sound like, from the chatter on this list, they're banging it out of the park these days), the little wine store in Bywater on Sunday, when the chef from Marisol cooks there, Commander's Palace because it's still there, Galatoire's (my honey won't wear his manpris this time) Fiorella's, The Joint, Mimi's, Elizabeth's if they have the strawberry stuffed French toast, Frankie and Johnnie's for crawfish, Willie Mae's Scotch House if it's open, and of course Brigsten's, and Casamento's fer oyster loaf--I've been hallucinating about that oyster loaf since I first had it last year...man, I better put up a lot of drywall or they're gonna have to send me home on a cargo ship.
Thanks so much, I'm more excited about this trip than any of my previous trips to your wonderful city.
Cafe Flora at Royal & Franklin (right across from Mimi's) is a very funky, entirely local coffeehouse that is in the heart of the Marigny. They open at 6:30, and that would be my first choice. Otherwise, you can hit Rose Nicaud at Frenchmen & Royal-ish for a less bohemian, though not at all bad, cup of joe. They have the added bonus of serving food, which you might be able to take for lunch...but I have never actually been that early in the morning, so I don't know if they offer savories at that hour.
Mona's on Frenchman would be a good option for a bag lunch, the vegetarian stuff like hummus, or the falafel sandwich would probably hold up very well on the job site.
Tasting menus I've been impressed with were at Cuvee and August. Both pretty pricey.
I think your list sounds pretty comprehensive; try Angelo Brocato's for dessert when you're up by Mandina's, and Coop's (sort of across from Fiorella's) has very good pretty cheap food.
For coffee in the AM; yes Flora's is there but be warned it's a heavy local place with cheap coffee and the neighborhood is very nitty gritty bohemian. I sent a well traveled liberal friend there in the am to do some work and she was uncomfortable they also smoke inside. Rose Nicaud is centrally located with diverse clientelle and is open at 7am there is also Marigny Perks on Burgundy and Marigny; great little local spot with the best coffee in the neighborhood.