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Eating New Orleans dry...

This is my first post here on Chowhound!

I'm a chef here in New Orleans and I know a lot of the chefs around the city.. But I feel like I'm eating the city dry. I've eaten everywhere and everything.. Vietnamese, Creole, Cajun, French, Italian, Poboys, Crawfish, Pizzas... etc..

List of Places I've already eaten: (off the top of my head)
Stella, August, La Provence, Cochon, Herbsaint, Bayonna, K Pauls, GwFins, La Petite Grocery, Pho Tau Bay, Tanh Dinh, Kims, 9 Roses, Frosty's, Mother's, Zoe, Cafe Du Monde, Morning Call, Puccinos, Zea, Cuvee, Palace Cafe, Kanno, Rock n Sake, Horinoya, Sake, Dragos, Muriels, Baccos, Andreas... ok I'm going to cut it off there. It was getting obnoxious.. lol

Anyways... Any recommendations? I'm tired of the same ol' food, and I know that the menus are constantly changing but I'm in search of something new.. Anything?


does that count as the "Sig"?

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  1. How about Jamilia's or Bennechin's? Sorry if they spelling are wrong...too lazy to look them up right now.

    1. Didn't see Brigstens on your list; been there?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Philly

        Yeah I've been there.. Good food and nice place.. I liked it but nothing mind-blowing though.

      2. more than 800 restaurants in the city; you've only scratched the surface. Ten to try:
        1)Marigny Brasserie
        8)La Boca
        9)Cafe Atchafalaya

        After that, only 790 to go!

        2 Replies
        1. re: steveds

          Fire is closed. The rest are all good recs.

          1. re: steveds

            Yes I know about the 800+ restaurants in the city (I prefer quality over quantity.. a lot of the restaurants are good, just gotta find them right? ) As for your list... Those are great restaurants! I have been to a few of them now that you mention it. Iris and Alberta both have good solid food.. Domilse's Po' Boys are pretty damn tasty. I've also been to La Boca and Vega, I enjoyed it.. Marigny isnt too bad either.. Never been to Fire or Adolfo's (been wanting to try it though).. and never heard of Lola? And I did read something about Atchafalaya today in the paper... maybe I'll try it out. Thanks for the recs!

          2. It is well worth getting off the beaten path. I pulled into Cajun Seafood on N. Carrolton on my way to San Muguel taco's. The fried chicken was unbelievable (it also has the best shrimp in town). Thankfully, it was so hot, it did not alter my direction, and my plate of chipotle pork and other offerings at San Muguel was superb.

            Here's another vote for Bennachin. Order the bennachin and domoda, but I prefer the dishes with chicken rather than beef. Great ginger drink too.

            Christy's poboys on the westbank (Stumph). Go on Friday-Sunday and order the oxtail stew. The Red Maple on the west bank is also excellent.

            Two Sisters (not the court of); Siamese; Madrid; Lil Dizzy's; Salt & Pepper . . . more to follow.

            6 Replies
            1. re: pilaf

              Bennachin... another place I've never heard of... I'll look it up. Thanks!

              1. re: chef_eats

                Have you tried Bacchanal where Pete Vasquez does a weekend menu.

                1. re: Tonto

                  I haven't! How is it? and what kind of food is offered?

                  1. re: chef_eats

                    Fridays are Tapas and tomorrow Sunday it is all Italian, but it is always changing. He used to have the restaurant Marisol's

              2. re: pilaf

                Welcome to chowhound. I suggest you try the neighborhood approach: concentrate all of your eating for a month or two to a particular neighborhood....dig deep, try the plate lunch joints and corner groceries, meat markets and shrimp-fried-rice-n-wings dives. Start with your own immediate neighborhood....dig deep. Some fascinating food can be found in surprising spots in this town; it's easy to eat good "high on the hog" (as most of your list was mid-scale to upscale) but takes a real hound to sniff out the goods in the 'hood. Make friends with your local taco truck guys & gals. Figure out where your UPS deliveryman (or in your case, the Caire's or Loubat's delivery guy) eats lunch.

                1. re: Hungry Celeste

                  Okay, I just realized that I didn't list any actual restaurants. Focusing on Kenner alone, how about Madrid, Pupuseria Macarena, Hillbilly BBQ, Restaurante da Piero, le Parvenu, Calas, Baru Cafe, Harbor Seafood, Siamese Thai.....

              3. Mandinas, Theos,Slice, Camelia Grill, Dragos, Vic and Natlies (North shore)

                4 Replies
                1. re: momus410

                  I have eaten at Madinas, Theos, Camellia, and Dragos...

                  Slice? Vic? and Natlies? What's good and what kind of food is it?

                  1. re: chef_eats

                    If your willing to make a trip there's a bunch of places kind of outside the city; Middendorf's in manchac (great fried catfish) on the northshore there's Young's steakhouse, worth the trip and not too too expensive, Badeaux's (great burgers and malts) or Morton's right next to it (great seafood), and finally theres Pig's (family style buffet food and burgers. Pretty interesting spot if you don't mind little old rundown places)

                    I know I've said it on a few of my other posts but Calas Bistro is a great new place out in Kenner (great new spins on traditional New Orleans dishes and a great list of whines as well. Chef used to work at Brighstens) or Dante's Kitchen right by Camellia Grill if you haven't already tried it; they both have pretty similar menu's

                    I know you probably said it on your other website post but what restaurant are you (or were you) working at?

                    1. re: gamecook91

                      I'm currently working part-time at the Metairie Country Club.. I own my own business so I'm very busy, but whenever I can, I try to get over there and help out. Thanks for the recs!

                    2. re: chef_eats

                      Slice is pizza on St.Charles , VicandNatlies is Bunny Matthews take on N.O. great burgers chicken jambalaya etc.

                  2. I would check out Longbranch in Abita Springs. Juan's Flying Burrito is good and really inexpensive. Lola's is a hidden gem that I would not miss -- their seafood paella is great!

                    1. I've had a few wonderful meals at Cafe East on Rye St. in Metairie (Clearview exit). Excellent wine list and the food is definitely Chinese fusion but far better than anything this city seems to consider "Chinese food". The ambiance, styling and even the glassware are above average. They're open daily for lunch and dinner.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: igloominaboom

                        If you are going to come out to Metairie you really shoud try Laurentino's.

                      2. Have you been to The Joint? Also would recommend Bacchanal Friday and Sunday (get there early on Sunday). Both are on Poland deep in the Bywater...

                        1. Dante's Kitchen
                          Cafe Degas
                          Irene's Cuisine
                          Le Crepe Nanou

                          I agree - Lola's & Adolfo's are wonderful, but if you go on the weekends, expect a looooong line.

                          1. I can't believe you didn't mention Galatoire's or Commanders, or Antoine's, Arnaud's, Brennan's or Mr. B's, they're the most famous in New Orleans .......

                            1. You need to get uptown! There are tons of restaurants hidden in every little neighborhood in the city and uptown/garden district seems like your next best bet. Commanders Palace, Jacques-Imos, Dick and Jenny's, Crepe Nanou, Upperline, Brigtsen's, Casamento's, Lillette...oh and go to Port of Call for a burger over on Esplanade...

                              14 Replies
                              1. re: NK623

                                is port o call on esplanade, considered uptown or what? rememeber passing by their on the walk from the racetrack all the way back down to the french quarter.

                                1. re: kevin

                                  Port o Call is definitely not uptown...just one that I thought I'd throw in there. It is on the far end of the french quarter. If you walk down Bourbon street to the very end you run into it.

                                  1. re: NK623

                                    what's that area called then? is it fauburg marigny or something else? thanks.

                                    1. re: kevin

                                      Port o Call is in the French quarter. Esplanade is the dividing line between the quarter and the Marigny. Downriver from the Marigny (past Elysian Fields) is the Bywater. North of the quarter is Treme, and continuing up Esplanade, you are in Mid-City by the Fairgrounds (including the smaller neighborhoods like Bayou St. John and Esplanade Ridge along Esplanade itself). West of the CBD, you've got the lower Garden District (lower meaning downriver) below St. Charles and Central City above St. Charles. I usually include the Garden District (below St. Charles) and Irish Channel (below Magazine) in "uptown", which then extends all the way to the Jefferson line (Riverbend/Carrollton) and up about to Claiborne or Earhardt, where midcity starts again.

                                      I'd love to hear a real local's definition; I've only been here 9 years.

                                      1. re: JGrey

                                        is jefferson, the city and parish, very near the upper reaches of uptown. thanks.

                                        i think jefferson hwy turns into claiborne right? and to keep this chowish,
                                        where's good to go for some coffee and a bakery (if possible, beignets would be great) in the carrolton neighborhood area or along claiborne? thanks.

                                        1. re: kevin

                                          notice you haven't mentioned Cochon...check it out...great pig

                                          1. re: kevin

                                            Jefferson is the parish abutting Orleans parish to the west, composed of Harahan/River Ridge, Metairie and Kenner, as well as most of the West Bank. Yes, Claiborne turns to Jefferson Hwy, Crabby Jack's is right over the line in JP.

                                            I can't think of any beignet purveyors in the Carrollton area. I just noticed a for rent sign on Maurice's Bakery on Carrollton, anyone know what's happening with that?

                                            In this area, I like Rue de la Course and Zotz (though it's smoky) for coffee and decent snacks, and there's always La Madeleine (a chain, but pretty good). You can google locations. La Boulangerie is where I would recommend, on Magazine near Napoleon.

                                            1. re: JGrey

                                              that's it J, thanks.

                                              Rue da la course will do nicely, is there a location really close to Tulane U.

                                              also, ate at Crabby Jack's which is a great place, casual, good eats (though the popular slow roasted duck po boy i didn't care for, tasted more like bland pot roast.).

                                              1. re: kevin

                                                Rue is at the corner of Oak St. & Carrollton Ave, pretty close to TU. Just down the street from Rue is Oak St. Cafe, which has cooked breakfasts & fresh doughnuts from the Baker's Dozen in Jefferson (across the street from St. Agnes on Jeff Highway).

                                                  1. re: Frolic

                                                    They're good--the "house doughnut" at my office, where every Friday is doughnut day. We like Baker's Dozen better than Joe's (on Causeway, and a close second, but often drenched with too much glaze), with Tastee running third and Krispy Kreme at the back of the pack. BD is a family-run business; no wacky nouveau or meta-doughnuts with bacon & peanut butter, just the usual glazed, chocolate, nut-topped, cake, etc.

                                              2. re: JGrey

                                                Maurice's on Carrollton closed due to them moving back into the old bakery and that location just not making enough money.

                                              3. re: kevin

                                                The definition of Jefferson City is Toledano to Joseph, Claiborne to the River. It existed from 1850 to 1870, when it was absorbed by New Orleans, but people still sometimes use it as a reference when they mean uptown but not Garden District, LGD, Universities, Riverbend, etc. At least this has always been my understanding.

                                                I second Baker's Dozen as the best doughnuts in the area.

                                                1. re: uptownlibrarian

                                                  The Jefferson in my post is not Jefferson City, but rather "old" Jefferson, or the community riverside of Shrewsbury in Jefferson Parish: from the Huey P bridge along Jeff Highway to the river & the Orleans Parish line.

                                    2. I know it's gotten a really bad rap, but I went to Riche last weekend and LOVED it. The menu has changed a little and the service was 1000x better than when they first opened. I had the whole redfish smothered in a new orleans style bbq shrimp sauce and it was absolutely divine. My husband had the double cut pork chops and they really were outstanding. We started with their french style seafood bisque and frisee aux lardon salad. . . perfect, perfect, perfect. Dessert we split strawberry dessert that had a fried strawberries on it. I would have been happy with a bowl of fried strawberries alone. I definately think this place is worth another look.

                                      1. For a non-po-boy sandwich, Martin Wine Cellar is great. I live in NYC now, and have yet to find a better sandwich here. Well it might not rank as high on these blogs, Martinique Bistro on Magazine is one of my favorite meals in the city and it has caribbean slant, so could be a change of pace for you. Checking on Zagat, Eleven 79 has a new chef, but the italian was fantastic. Pre-Katrina they had a "feed me" flight, where they would just bring you out unknown app size portions until you cried "stop!"