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Quick Trip for College

Going to NOLA with Mrs Jfood and a little Jfood who may go to college in NOLA. Booked Commander's for the one night we are there. Felt we gotta do it but I have not been there in >10 years.

Right Choice?

I do not like very spice, but can handle a little. Any suggestions for us Northerners.

TIA

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  1. I'm an out of towner myself, but in planning for an upcoming visit to NOLA, I've noticed the Hounds are not very high on Commander's since its re-opening. We have chosen not to return and have booked tables at Stella! and Jacques-Imo (near Tulane, but Cajun/Creole) instead. Loved both of them last time and thrilled they are still around.

    Have fun college shopping!!!

    1. Don't go there. Where are you staying? Stick to the FQ if you are staying near there. Stella, Bayonna, Pelican Club, Rib Room,Cafe Giovanni, Broussards, the list goes on. Outside, Cuvee, Restaurant August, Herbsaint, Bon Ton, Tommys,Rio Mar, again the list goes on. Explore something new.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tonto

        So, what's wrong with Commander's? Just "Don't go there." won't suffice for me.

        1. re: ChefJune

          I have yet to have a meal there that was good and that was preK. Ubiquitous service so why is the food always lukewarm at best? Haven't been postK but all who have been tell me they are not up to speed. Just Okay. It was just Okay before the storm in my opinion.

      2. I am thinking that little Jfood may enjoy going to Jacques Imo's. Yeah, I know about the wait, and there will only be three of you, so you cannot book a reservation, as I believe they require five. However, this is such a fun and yummy place. It is without a doubt my student's favorite, although he would not turn down Commander's or just about any of NOLA's finest. If you are staying in the Quarter, it will be a cab ride there and back. While O/T my last few visits I have stayed at the Hampton Inn on St. Charles to be closer to campus, and my student. Here is a recent post re: Jacques Imo's and Stella:

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/384785

        1. We always did Commander's for lunch for a fraction of what dinner costs there.

          1. I"ve enjoyed your posts on other threads regarding "not about food" and if I understand you a lil bit - you will really enjoy Bon Tons. Excellent food, definately New Orleans, great service! I Lived just outside NOLA for 7 years (graduated HS down there). I go once a year just to eat.

            Must haves, can't miss (to start):

            Mother's on Poydras (for any po-boy or red bean and rice - or anything)
            Acme Oyster Bar in French Quarter
            Roast Beef Po Boy at Parasol's in Garden District
            Muffelatta at Central Grocer
            Beneits at Cafe Du Monde
            BBQ Shrimp (I don't have a favorite place)

            Just graze all day, plan on 5-8 small meals a day................ I'm jealous!

            1. Here is a link to a recent posts on places near Tulane...I know you may not be spending much time near the University, but if you are touring, meeting, and need a bite and choose not to have it in on the campus (which would give your student a chance to spend time and see others, etc., thus not a bad idea, however it falls short of fine food) you may like to read some of the posts. Oops, realize I am jumping things here and thinking you are heading to Tulane, and I know it is not the only fabulous school in NOLA. Others clustered in the general area.

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/377098

              My student was there pre Katrina, and spent a semester elsewhere, a fine place, and could not wait to go back! Great for me, as I get to go often!

              1. From reading your posts on CH, I imagine you've done your homework on the NOLA board and seen that Commander's has been a tad spotty since it's reopened. Might want to wait a bit.
                Since you'll probably be busy all day with the Grand Tour, it sounds like you'll have time for only one really nice meal in the evening. A lot of the suggestions have great food, but the atmospheres can be pretty raucous and maybe not what you want if you are tired and want to talk over the day.
                Consider Upperline. Consistently good food and service. They take reservations and you'll be able to relax and listen to your daughter's impressions of the school/s.
                Or hit Galatoire's. Even without being able to make a reservation, the wait usually isn't a problem since watching the passing parade on Bourbon is so entertaining. If you go there, tell the waiter, you're from NJ, that you want the fresh, local fish, and let the house feed you the best. They have never let me down.
                If you want to avoid the French Quarter, you could also consider Delmonico's (Emril's) where I have had some good meals. Quiet with good service. Nice job with fish.
                If your daughter decides to go to school in NOLA, you'll look forward to many trips to enjoy the wonderful food at places grand and humble. I'm sure she'll know them all within months and be a willing guide for Daddy and Mom.

                13 Replies
                1. re: MakingSense

                  Very nice MS and many thanks. Looks like Galatoires may be a little too fancy for a first stab.

                  We are flying in on a sunday and the meal is that night, monday at school and monday evening out. Staying at the W in FQ, hope its as cool as others I have been to. Wanted to give Mrs jfood and little jfood a taste of what NOLA is on that sunday. I may sneak to Central grocer to grab a muff for the flight back.

                  If she goes to school in NOLA I will pack some Fedex lables so she can send me a weekly care package.

                  Thanks

                  1. re: jfood

                    As long as you're willing to put on a jacket, Galatoire's will welcome you and the lovely Mrs Jfood who always dresses appropriately from what we on CH have been led to believe from your postings. It's a great place for Sunday night supper. Not stuffy at all.
                    You might also think about Herbsaint. You can catch the St. Charles streetcar (at Canal Street) which is happily running again and it will take you right to Herbsaint's door. (Pretty sure they're open Sunday night.) They'll call for a cab to take you home.
                    Check the closing time for Central Grocery on Monday so you don't miss that muff for the plane ride home. They've always had funny hours. It was my local store when I lived in the FQ more years ago than I like to think about. Walk by there on your way to Café du Monde for café au lait and beignets. It's pretty much across the street.

                    1. re: MakingSense

                      As of this weekend, Central is closed Sundays and Mondays.

                      1. re: MakingSense

                        FYI, uptown streetcar's still only running from Canal to Lee Circle.

                        1. re: Hungry Celeste

                          Herbsaint is before Lee Circle. I always try to encourage visitors to use the streetcar when they can. Adds a nice local touch. A little nostaligia. The Magazine bus too. Great way to see two of NOLA's most interesting streets. An astonishing number of the places we always recommend are right on those two public transportation lines.

                      2. re: jfood

                        If you're staying at the W, you're only a half-block away from August.

                        I've had pretty good experiences at Commander's post-K, and generally good experiences before. The service post-K was hilariously spotty, but that's something you'll experience just about anywhere. What do I mean by "hilarious?" Well, we asked for a napkin, and the server came by with a blank look on her face and placed literally a dozen folded napkins on the table. It was actually sort of cute. It was like she thought, "Well, if one napkin is good, maybe 12 will be better!" We had some issues with getting the right drinks on the table, and timing was off, but the food was pretty good.

                        The W is also a hop skip and a jump away from one of my favorite restaurants in New Orleans, Cuvee. Someone has already mentioned the Bon Ton, and I suppose that's not a bad choice if you're really looking for something you absolutely can't get anywhere else but Louisiana. I'm not crazy about the food there, but that's likely because I've been there so many times that I've cycled through everything to the point I'm a little bored with it. Your mileage may vary. If you're looking for Cajun, you might try Cochon, which is a short cab ride away in the Warehouse district. I think reviews here have been mixed, but I love the place.

                        Given your location, I guess I have to mention the Windsor Court's Grill Room (or Louisiana Grill as I think it's now known). It's usually one of the best restaurants in the City, but it's not particularly local; their tradition was to find an outstanding and adventurous chef, often from the UK. I'm not sure who helms the kitchen there now, but at a recent business lunch there I got to see the dinner menu, and it looked pretty good.

                        Have fun, and let us know how it all goes.

                        1. re: Robert Peyton

                          He may be staying in the W French Quarter which is on Chartres and 1/2 block form KPaul's. But it is still a short walk to all the places mentioned above....New Orleans downtown is walkable and safe (for the most part).

                          1. re: Robert Peyton

                            The Bon Ton is only open Monday through Friday.

                            JFood, to check any of the hours and days of operation and for phone numbers for reservations, try www.nomenu.com. It's broken out by areas of the city and has a pretty comprehensive list of what's re-opened since Katrina.

                            1. re: MakingSense

                              Nice website MS, TY.

                              Quick question. Which area is Loyola/Tulane located?

                              1. re: jfood

                                TU/LoyNo are located in the Uptown neighborhood; more precisely, in the University section. The 6800 and 6300 blocks of St. Charles Ave, across the street from Audubon Park.

                                1. re: jfood

                                  From the best of my memory...the last couple of times I visited, and stayed in the Quarter, most recently in Sept., the cab from Quarter to Tulane was about $15.00 each way. Hey, I could be waaaaaaaay off, as this is from a memory. Uptown is wonderful, post Katrina, still some plywood and construction,. Loyola and Tulane are right next to one another. Depending on the parking situation, you may park in a Loyola structure to visit Tulane...doesn't matter, all is easy. OOOOH, I do hope we have little jfood to join our student in the dining mecca of NOLA, and the fabulous city of NOLA.. Most recent visits, I stayed closer to campus, and student has a car there now.

                                  1. re: Jesdamala

                                    Get out of FQ and take the street car to Audobon park across from Tulane and walk the park and go to Clancy's for dinner. My fave neighborhood non-tourist restaurant. If you are around that area during lunch go to Frankie & Johnnie's....great NO local food....

                                    1. re: hhhill

                                      Streetcar is only running to Lee Circle, sorry. There is a bus running the old streetcar line until it's back.

                        2. I went there a couple of weeks ago, I can think of 30 other restaurants where I would rather go if I were in town for one night. The service and food is nothing to write homw about.

                          1. Jfood reporting back and thank you for all the advise. Very successful trip.

                            Food -

                            The jfoods really wanted to try Comamnders. It was outstanding. We ate in the downstairs room, a magnificant re-do post-K. For apps we ordered the Turtle Soup (gotta try) the fried Oysters and a salad. All were fantastic. If I were a nitpicker I would only mention that the soup may not be ot enough if you like it steaming (perfect for Jfood) and I thought the oysters were a little on the small side (little Jfood loved them). Entrees were the shrimp w grits w BBQ sauce and crawfish crusted whole fish. The shrimp were perfect 10, cooked through with a nice touch of grits and sauce. Remember us Northerners do not get grits that often and I was not sure the others knew what it was and halfway through the meal I got the question. They loved it. The sauteed fish was OK but not great and gets a 7 on the Jfood scale. Dessert was out of this world, the bread pudding souffle is not on a ten but had been engraved as a Jfood To 10 desserts of all-time. The strawberry shortcake receives a 9 on the Jfood scale.The of course some good NOLA coffee.

                            Service - Impeccable. Anyone who believes this is not GREAT service should come up north. They were attentive, on top of the table and showed that southern hospitality. The only "bad" service would be the lady who answered the phone when we asked if we could arrive a little early. She I would give a 2 on the Jfood scale.

                            So overall Commanders recives a 9.5.

                            Cafe du Monde for coffe and beignets. What can you say about the best coffee and beignets in the country. Oh yeah I just did.

                            Then we found a great little reso off Magazine called the Flaming Torch for lunch. It was outstanding and the service was again a perfect 10. A salad, shrimp and Iced Teas/soda and we completed the perfect 24 hours of eating in NOLA.

                            BTW - Littel jfood loved the city and will probably attend so Jfood is taking his palate to your great city.

                            BTW - Can you please nuke Bourbon St.