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Jun 29, 2007 04:07 PM

Anyone remember New Orleans Emporium?

I used to go there on occasion about 20 years ago, in the Adams Morgan area as I recall. Best New Orleans food in DC at the time. My pals and I would start at the bar with some Dixie beers and "Cajun popcorn" -- a basket of spiced, battered and fried crawfish tails -- and some "shooters" -- a raw oyster and a dollop of thick hot sauce in a shot glass, covered by chilled peppar vodka. Wow, that was some good bar snacking! Then we would head downstairs to the restaurant for the "blackened lamb chops" or one of the other outstanding New Orleans dishes. The place closed suddenly in the late '80s or early '90s and there really hasn't been a quality New Orleans place in the District quite like it (maybe Acadiana is as close as it gets for now).

Would love to see any other recollections about the New Orleans Emporium, or why it closed, or what are the choices for best New Orleans type restaurant in the metropolitan area now. Thanks!

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  1. I had a big birthday dinner there one year, and it was one of the special places I'd take someone for a dinner date. It was there in the early days of Paul Prudhomme and his blackened redfish. Good stuff.

    1. I found this on for some more background:

      "Bardia's on 18th St. in Adams-Morgan is an excellent New Orleans-style place (better IMHO than Lousiana Express in Bethesda, albeit w/a more limited menu). Some background: many years ago during the height of the 1980s Cajun/New Orleans fad, the top restaurant in that category was a place in Adams-Morgan called the New Orleans Emporium (IIRC it was where the McDonald's is now). The Emporium closed when A-M briefly "degentrified" after the Mt. Pleasant riots/1st Bush Recession. As I understand it, the Emporium's former owners opened LA Express, but Bardia was 1 of the guys who worked in the kitchen (don't know if he was the chef)."

      So there's a little more of the background. How about some of the Board sages fill in some more....I miss the New Orleans Emporium a lot.....