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Jun 23, 2007 12:37 AM

Local Favorites in New Orleans

I'm a SF Chowhound that is making my first trip to New Orleans and MS.

With your help, I'd like to find local favorites for restaurants under $20, hole in the walls, road stands, diners etc. for local food: cajun, creole, bbq, seafood and whatever is regional. Food I can't get at home.

I'll have a car, so I'm not limited to the French Quarter. Hopefully you can show me the best of what you guys have to offer. Thanks!

[No need to cover MS, I posted that request on their board.]

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  1. Here are my favorites:
    Commander's Palace (Washington at St. Charles) pricey
    G W Finns (off Bourbon) pricey
    Ralph's in the Park (City Park Avenue near the museum) (ny newest favorite) medium priced
    Palace Cafe (on Canal) medium priced
    Camelia Grill (near intersection of Carrollton and St. Charles) cheap
    Galatoires (on Bourbon) pricey
    Masperos (on Decatur-order a muffaletto--cheap)

    If you take I-55 to go to MS, stop at Middendorf's for thin cut fried catfish. It's on Bayou Manchac near Lake Maurepas and you can't miss the exit. Lots of signs. If they have soft shell crabs, try at least one. Middendorf's is the only place where I would recommend fried seafood, but it's a tradition. Middendorf's is extremely casual and noisy and they don't take reservations. Wear your shorts and have a beer while waiting for your table in a line that forms at the door.

    Another option on the I-55 journey would be the Bavarian Inn in Ponchatoula. Open for breakfast, lunch and has delicious baked goods. Get some for the road. I think they are closed on Monday's. It's located on a country road, but not too far from I-55.

    You didn't say what part of MS, but if you go to the coast, stick with the food in Beau Rivage restaurants. Those are topnotch. Not too many local recommendations since Katrina.

    Hope you enjoy your visit to the south as much as I enjoyed myself when I visited SF.

    2 Replies
    1. re: marchperson

      Middendorf's is great but I have to disagree on the only place for fried seafood. I live about 45 miles outside NO toward BR. We have 3-4 restaurants here (Sno's Seafood, Mike Anderson's, Kevin's, Berthalot's) that are equal or better than Middendorf's with fried Seafood.

      Also, if you want good Cajun food, drive out of NO. I usually only drive to NO to eat when I want a more up class experience such as the Commander's Palace or Emril's. Other than that I find much better food outside NO that isn't tourist driven.

      One place that was fairly cheap and very good and actually a fairly romantic atmosphere was Petunia's on St. Louis street. I don't know if they are still open after Katrina.

      I guess if you want to try some Cajun food. The closest to authentic in NO that I know of would be Mulate's. I have never ate ate the one in NO but the one in Beaux Bridge is great. The one that used to be in BR was good but not as good as Beaux Bridge.

      One last note, if you are a Top Chef fan, Tiffany from Season One is or was Executive Chef at Riche at the Harrah's Hotel. I haven't made it there yet to try it out. I don't know the price ranges as well. Just thought I would throw it out there for you.

      1. re: Scuba Steve

        Petunia's is open. They have pretty good breakfast, I haven't tried dinner there. Mulate's in NO is not good, sadly. And Tiffany is no longer at Riche, which, judging from reports, is not a bad thing.

    2. Hm-m, under $20. It's been too long and several hurricanes ago, so I can't help with NOLA recs. However, for a bit more, I can make two recs. for the MS Gulf Coast:
      27th Ave. Bistro, Gulfport and Mary Mahoney's, Biloxi. I wish that I had a URL, but the normal sites for those are still not operative. This, however, depends on where in MS, you might be heading. For good seafood at the specified price-point, the Blowfly Inn, Gulfport (I'd have called it Hansboro, but that name has passed into oblivion) is quite worth the treck. On Bayou Bernard, north of the Coast Hwy., but south of I-10, it's not easy to find. Even though I grew up in those environs, I missed two turns. Again, no URL, but most locals can give you directions.


      3 Replies
      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Actually, unless things have changed in the last few weeks, Blowfly Inn is now in operation at a temporary location in one of the hotels on Hwy 49- I think it is a Holiday Inn. Their old location on the bayou must have had 30 feet of water!

        Lil' Ray's on Courthouse Road is back in business, and you can get one of the best shrimp po boys in the world there. Other seafood is pretty damn good too.

        Now that the bridge is open to Bay St Louis, it's worth the drive to go over and enjoy a meal at Tripani's, and another at Ricky's- both are operating from temp locations in strip malls on hwy 90...

        1. re: Clarkafella

          Thanks for the update. Having NOT been down, since Katrina, I am now, always hesitant to make mention of places that might well be gone.

          Glad to hear that the Bay St Louis bridge is open. We'll be on the Coast for a day in July, and I have very mixed emotions about the trip. OTOH, we're in NOLA for a bit more, than a week, and I have some of the same feelings, especially regarding the restaurants.

          I'll check out the Blowfly and do a report on the South board.


          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Bi prepared- there have been a few changes, as I'm sure you can imagine. To the best of my knowledge, about the only restaurants that were south of the railroad tracks that have re-opened are Mary Mahony's, Vrazel's(sp), and of course some of the casinos...

            You can still find lots of good food, but sometimes it is in odd places- like the Blowfly Inn being at the Holiday Inn!

      2. This thread should give you a good start:

        I like Crabby Jack's, Coops, Mandina's (under $20 if you stick with the excellent poboys and turtle soup). BBQ isn't really native here, but The Joint is excellent, reminiscent of GA or Carolina bbq. You can get a cochon de lait poboy from the people who run the booth at Jazzfest from Walker's BBQ in New Orleans East. I've never been out there, but I get one at Jazzfest every year.

        1. Frankie and Johnny's should do the trick. It is very much a hole in the wall great cheap food kinda place for seafood and po-boys.

          1. Elizabeth's in the Bywater neighborhood is fabulous!
            Frankie & Johnny's
            Cafe Reconcile is great for a soul food lunch, cheap & a non-profit