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NOLA What to see/do?

I got a list of places to eat, what should we see/do? 4 day honeymoon.
A girl from Cleveland

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  1. Some French Quarter food recc's would be good as well.

    We are def. going to Galatories based on the reccs here.

    1 Reply
    1. re: malibujessi

      Hey Cleveland Girl:
      I'm heading to NOLA at the end of this month for a 5 days. Based on recommendations from locals and this board, I'm planning on eating at Brigtsten's (Riverbend); Pelican Club, K-Pauls, Central Grocery, Acme Oyster House, Mother's, Coop's Place (French Quarter); Dick & Jenny's, Cassamento's, Pascal's Manale (Uptown); and Commander's Palace (Sunday brunch - Garden District). Don't forget café au lait and beignets at Café de Monde for at least one morning! (okay, every morning!) You can search these places on this board using the Search function.

      I suggest you check out www.experienceneworleans.com for a list of things to do and
      www.offbeat.com for music clubs and performers.

      The St. Charles Steetcar line through the Garden District is still out of service (bus service is available), but the Canal Street line is running, if you want to see a bit of the city.

      Have a wonderful honeymoon and enjoy NOLA!

    2. If you're a seafood freak (like me), you might also want to try Ralph & Kacoo's, particularly one of the "Louisiana Platters." A tip -- if you want pralines, get them from a place that makes them fresh. They crystallize if they sit around very long.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mpalmer6c

        Ralph & Kacoo's is a chain, and I was extremely unimpressed with my single experience there. Please go to a local place instead. Casamento's or Mandina's, for example.

        1. re: mpalmer6c

          Please don't go to Ralph & Kacoo's. It's owned by Picadilly Cafeterias. Long, long ago, it was a real restaurant (originally in Point Coupee), but those days are gone. Indifferent to bad food. You can do much better at the same pricing point.

        2. If you're looking for a food-centered way to kill an afternoon, and to see something else, try this.

          Board a Canal streetcar headed toward the lake (Doesn't matter if it's marked City Park or cemetries.) Buy two one-day passes ($5 apiece) as you're going to get on and off a couple of times.

          Ride out Canal to Mandina's (3800 Canal, pull the stop string just beyond the wide median of Jeff Davis Parkway.) Have lunch. Note that it's cash only.

          Once you're done with lunch, go back out to the streetcar line. Catch a City Park car (not cemeteries, it matters now.) Ride to the end of the Carrollton Avenue spur at Beauregard Circle.

          Walk into the park toward the New Orleans Museum of Art, (www.noma.org) the building at the end of the formal drive. To the left, you'll see the sculpture garden. Tour sculpure garden. You may also be interested in what's inside, especially if it's hot, but I'm particularly fond of the garden, which has the added bonus of being free.

          When you're done at the museum, go back to the streetcar. Ride back to Canal and Carrollton and get off. Go into Brocato's (facing Carrollton on the business strip there) and have some gelato or spumoni.

          Go back out to Canal and Carrollton and catch a streetcar going back toward the river.

          End of long, lazy afternoon.

          Two tips. The museum part of this is no good on Mondays and Tuesdays because the art museum is closed those days. Also, you may want to go to the transit system web site (www.norta.com) and get a streetcar schedule, as some service is infrequent.

          I'd offer my similar St. Charles streetcar itinerary, but the car is not running past Lee Circle until they repair damage from you-know-who.

          7 Replies
          1. re: jamy

            Jamy describes a lovely afternoon. A few additional options along this route, near the Canal & Carrollton intersection: Cafe Minh (vietnamese fusion by Minh Bui, formerly of Lemongrass), Doson's Noodle House (inexpensive vietnamese), Guerro's (so-so tacos), Juan's Flying Burrito (inexpensive tex mex)....

            1. re: jamy

              Jamy, can you recommend a similar itinerary on the St. Charles Street bus since the streetcar is closed?

              I have vague idea of going to Casamento's and Commander's palace and Maybe for Praline's by Jen?

              What do you think?

              1. re: Problem Child

                I would take the Magazine St. bus to the zoo-- get off right before Louisiana Avenue, in that four block stretch is a gelateria, a wine store with table out front, a good coffee shop (Rue de la Course, not Puccino's), and further down is the Bulldog with a great beer selection. Big Fisherman across the street will sell you boiled crawfish, and the Bulldog has a lovely patio. Also lots of good shopping right in there.

                Hop back on the bus, if you get off at Napoleon, Casamento's is right there for a dozen raw oysters, and Miss Mae's for dirt cheap drinks. Just past Napoleon is Tee Eva's, a little food stand with lots of New Orleans treats. La Boulangerie is a great french bakery, and Savvy Gourmet is across the street, you might be able to catch a noon cooking class.

                Back on the bus, continue to Jefferson Ave, there are a few more coffee shops and some very nice boutiques in those few blocks, and a Whole Foods if you need more sustenance. At the end of Magazine, get off at the zoo. Across Magazine from the zoo is Audubon Park with a nice walking/biking path. Behind the zoo is a riverfront park.

                If you want to see the houses on St. charles, walk about a mile up through Audubon park to catch the St. Charles bus back downtown. Or you could walk around Tulane a little bit, and get a crepe at the crepe stand (Crepes a la Carte) on Broadway.

                Commander's is between Magazine and St. Charles (2 blocks off St. Charles) on Washington St.

                1. re: JGrey

                  Awesome recs! Thanks so much! I assume all these areas are quite safe to walk around in the daytime?

                  1. re: Problem Child

                    Absolutely. I'd feel pretty good at night as well.

                    Oh, on the way back, The Columns Hotel on St. Charles makes a great bloody mary.

                2. re: Problem Child

                  My St Charles plan, for bus use.

                  Catch an uptown St. Charles bus at the corner of Canal and St. Charles. Buy the $5 daily pass. Ride all the way out St. Charles. If you have a good guidebook, it should name some sights along the way.

                  Get off just past the bend where the bus turns onto Carrollton. Go across the street to the (NEWLY REOPENED) Camellia Grill. Have brunch or lunch (pecan waffle or omelette or one of those funny freezes with the chopped-up ice). Hope that cloth napkins are back.

                  If diner fare doesn't sound good to you, ride the bus a few blocks further up Carrollton and get off at Oak Street. Towards the river, there are several interesting or decent restaurants. You can pick by window shopping, or seek further advice on the list. The Camellia Grill is somewhat sacramental to me, as my brother once fell off the stool there and hit his head on the floor when he was five.

                  When you're done eating, get back on the bus headed downtown. Ride most of the way back downtown to Washington Avenue. Get off here. Most self-guided walking tours of the Garden District (again, a good guidebook) begin around Washington and St. Charles.

                  When you're done with your walking tour, head back to St. Charles. If you're not done for the afternoon, get back on the bus headed back uptown, and ride past Louisiana, and get off at the Columns Hotel. Have a drink on the porch.

                  Get back on the bus, ride downtown to St. Charles and Canal, and you're done.

                  This tour could be modified where you rode outbound to Washington, had lunch at Commander's Palace, and took your walking tour of the Garden District after that. Although on a hot day, the right clothing combination of decently formal yet cool and comfortable would be tricky.

                  It also could be modified to ditch the garden district walking tour, and instead walk through Audubon Park to the zoo. Be warned that's a 15-block hike in either direction from St. Charles, although I find the zoo to be a fun and even somewhat romantic destination. JGrey's Magazine bus plan might be better if your heart is set on the zoo.

                  I think the key to either of these eating-and-outings is to keep it simple, and not try to pack too much into a day. That's especially true when using the bus or streetcar, as there will be some waiting around.

                3. re: jamy

                  Jamy,what a great post.I'm coming to New Orleans soon and am intent on trying your full meal deal of fun and food.

                4. You have got to go to Jacque Imo's (they don't take reservations) and then hit the Maple Leaf. Manale's is a great meal too. After Manale's hit Ms. Mays the Club. Total local dive with very cheap, strong drinks and lots of characters. Check the schedule at Tippitina's and catch a great concert, do the cemetary tour or even the ghost tour. If you have enough time, take a riverboat cruise. There is so much to see and do, and I agree with the person that said take the streetcar. Going through the Garden District and seeing the magnificent homes is a nice, relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Have fun!!!

                    1. walking tour through the garden district is really nice - beatiful homes. Really awesome pub that has the best roast beef po-boys called Parasols right there too - combine it.

                      Don't know if the zoo is open but it really is an excellent zoo. Hubby and I started our honeymoon in New Orleans then hopped on a cruise ship but I'm a bit biased, lived in New Orleans for 7 years and miss it so I go whenever I can.

                      If you've never done a cemetary, pretty neat since they are above ground. History of New Orleans is great, definately do a romantic buggy ride to lean about the French Quarter.

                      We also did one of the plantation tours and that was fascinating, hubby loves that stuff and I although I hesitate, I'm psyched that we went.

                      Never miss eats: Mothers's, Muffelatta at Central Grocer, Cafe au Lait, Parasol's, Acme Oysters and one of Emeril's places (and of course a million others).

                      congrats and have fun!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: lexpatti

                        If pressed for time, I'd pass on Pascal Manale's and the Pelican Club. The former was "The Place" 40-50 years ago and still smells like cigars, the latter has inconsistent food and service. Any Copeland's (a local chain) will probably be better than Ralph & Kacoo's.

                        While strolling the French Quarter, make sure to walk Royal Street to check out some of the excellent antique shops, especially M.S. Rau's.


                      2. You have already been given a bunch of great recommendations and I suspect you will get many more. One that jumped out at me that wasn't about food was M.S. Rau's on Royal. Very cool antique shop with all kinds of interesting things to see. Could be the place to buy a funky thing to remember your honeymoon by.

                        In the past I always made a stop at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe for a couple beers, usually Abita. The music was great, particularly when Pud Brown was still alive. My wife knows that if I die first, she and my 2 closest friends (with whom we often traveled to New Orleans) are to call the Palm Court and buy drinks for four people at the bar. Great memories of a cool club. Haven't been there in a long time, but if the music is half as good as it is in my memory, you will have a good time over a couple of drinks. Can't speak to the food though.

                        One of my absolute favorite places on earth is the Napoleon House in the Quarter. It is dark and moody and classical music always plays quietly. My wife and I make a point of going there for a drink several times during our trips. It is a great place to stop on your way to dinner. Try a Pimm's Cup at least once there, if only to say you did and especially if you are there during the summer.

                        Also, although it gets mixed reviews for understandable reasons, Mother's is worth seeing. Their debris sandwich is the best medicine for a little too much to drink the night before.

                        Central Grocery is always good for a muffaletta. I guess some locals think you can do better but I have always enjoyed them, especially since I don't prefer them warm. If you like it, buy a jar of the olive salad to take home to ry your hand at making a muffaletta when your trip is over.

                        Finally, have a Hurricane at Pat O'Brien's. Yes, it is touristy and ridiculous. And you will pay too much for a drink (don't bother buying the glass when you are finished). And there may well be a bunch of amateur drinkers or batchelor parties acting absurd. All that said, I am not too cool to admit that sitting in the piano bar and writing my tipsy song request on a napkin isn't a good time. You gotta see the place once, even if you decide that once is enough.

                        I could go on and on, but I'll leave it with one more place. Consider going to Bayona for a more quiet and intimate setting than other higher end restaurants in New Orleans. I haven't been in a couple years, but I thought it was terrific. At the time I think it was considered one of the better places to eat in the city, particularly the Quarter. Susan Spicer is the chef.

                        Happy Honeymoon. Please give a report about your trip when you return.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: bananna slug

                          I am local...and can firmly say there is not a muffaletta better than Central...and yes, Pat O's is touristy, but locals still go out of their way to go their ( I know my friends and I do).

                          If I may highlight since you received a million reccomendations...
                          Can't miss things to do: (in this order) Jackson Square, a stroll down Royal, Magazine St./St. Charles/Garden District, Bourbon, World War II Mus., Zoo/Aquarium, the French Market.

                          Eats: Galatoire's, Cochon, Central Grocery, Herbsaint, Commander's, oysters at Casamento's or Acme Cafe du Monde, and Mandina's.

                          Drinks: Bulldog for beers, St. Joe's for a blueberry mojito, Column's for Bloody Mary, Pat O's, Carousel Bar (my favorite bar in the city)...Cooter Browns for beer, Napoleon House for a Pimm's Cup, and I suppose a hand grenade from tropical isle is worth mentioning...and any drink at Galatoire's (I think any lawyer in the city would agree no one mixes a better drink, well maybe Mandina's).

                          I will mention another quick fun thing to do....take the free ferry at the foot of Canal to old Algiers (that is where Mardi Gras world is) and they have a great cafe or two and a really cool English Pub right there when you get off....old Algiers alone has more historical house and charm than most American cities. In case you were interested (the whole thing would take a couple of hours, unlike Magazine which takes a day)... http://www.algierspoint.org/ http://www.oldpointbar.com/ http://www.crownanchorpub.com/ http://www.mardigrasworld.com/ http://www.toutdesuitecafe.com/

                          1. re: bbares81

                            I was going to say the same thing about Pat O's. If we're out and about in the quarter, we generally stop in there for at least a little while. I prefer the mint julep to the hurricane, though, and definitely specify you are not buying the glass when you order.
                            And I'll miss the tray-tapping man, he was so great.

                            The rest of my list of bars is pretty similar to yours, as well! Love the Carousel. Not while hungover, though, that spinning will really get ya. :)

                            1. re: JGrey

                              The Carousel hasn't been spinning lately. I think maybe it's broken. Not for good, I'm sure.

                            2. re: bbares81

                              I was very happy to see that bbares81 mentioned Carousel Bar as a place to have a drink. Unlike bbares 81, I am not a local, but my wife and I read about the bar once before coming to town and were happy we went before calling it a night. The bar is in the Hotel Monteleone. (By the way, the hotel was a nice place to stay for a lot of reasons.)

                              1. re: bbares81

                                If time allows while ferrying over to Algiers, definitely visit Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World. They'll pick you up in a van and return you to the ferry afterwards.

                                Very interesting tour allows you to see the floats under construction and the artists at work. You leave with memories of it all....

                            3. what is the place (slightly out of town) that's real famous for barbequed oysters? my lord those things are sublime, but I'm having a brain cramp... think you have to go over the bridge? btw, do go to emeril's (the original)-- it's quite a scene, and everyone there truly cares about every aspect of the experience.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: alias wade

                                My "not-to-be-missed place" in NOLA is Dooky Chase on Orleans Street in the Treme. Take a cab, but don't miss Leah's Grillades and Grits or Shrimp Clemenceau. Real, true authentic Creole.

                                1. re: ChefJune

                                  I believe this is still closed due to Katrina damage.

                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    I'd heard she was reopening on Holy Thursday. Did that NOT happen?

                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                      I don't know. I hope this is true.

                                      1. re: ChefJune

                                        I think that was a private event for people who have been helping her reopen, I don't think it's reopened to the public yet.

                                  2. re: alias wade

                                    The location I believe you're thinking of is Mosca's, which is sort of out in a swamp on Highway 90 across the Huey P. Long bridge. However, if you said famous for barbecued oysters, I'd be pointing you to Drago's which is near Lakeside Mall in suburban Metairie.

                                    1. re: jamy

                                      Yes! Drago's. Those barbequed oysters are one of my favorite five or ten things to eat on earth.

                                  3. I just read that Camillia Grill finally opened (since Katrina). That's an icon, you much enjoy breakfast at Camillia while on yoru honeymoon. There is a very recent thread about it on Chowhound and great ribbing cutting video clip.