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Healthy Eating; Restaurant Etiquette

I will be visiting New Orleans for a week, and I, unfortunately, am on a diet. I don't expect to lose weight in NO- I've been to New Orleans before and came back ten pounds heavier- but I would like to find some healthier options for some of my meals. Does anyone have a restaurant that they enjoy that has healthy entrees? I know I can always go with a salad (boring!) but I am seeking out innovative, healthy main courses.

Because I am trying to eat lighter, I was curious as to whether or not it is OK to order appetizers as a main course in some restaurants. For example, I was interested in The Bank Cafe's mussels appetizer, but didn't want to eat that and a main course. I would probably order soup as a starter and a cocktail. What is the protocol in New Orleans restaurants?

Thank you for your help!

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  1. First, The Bank is closed.

    Personally, I think no one is really going to mind if you order just apps.
    I often do it.

    However, I cannot imagine coming to New Orleans and being on a diet.
    Oh, you could do it, and salads would be helpful, but unless it is for a life threatening reason, I still can't imagine it.

    Not trying to be sminky, just honest.

    4 Replies
        1. re: christina_hunnicutt

          I don't know when it closed, my memory of hearing about it is vague.
          If you click the link you provided, nothing comes up.
          Their phone is disconnected.

          Just this week, a friend mentioned she spoke with the owner of The Bank and in their conversation he was telling her why he closed the restaurant.
          Now unless, there are glitches with the phone service & their website (which is entirely possible) and maybe the guy was an imposter . . . .
          It would seem that all signs point toward them being closed.
          Sorry to be the bearer of this news.

          1. re: Isabella

            It is totally closed - we tried to go there a few weeks ago and it is all locked up and for sale! The website fooled me too - they need to take it down!

      1. Cafe Rani on Magazine has some really delicious and healthy menu items. And...the shopping is great on Magazine. Also, in many places there may be some salad, soup combinations that could be lower in calories.

        Order the dressings on the side. Another possibility (don't know how the restaurants feel about this) is sharing an entree with a friend. That would allow you to taste the good stuff, but not becoming engorged on it.

        Also, you could try eating really light at most meals and splurge at one.

        Good luck. Enjoy!

        2 Replies
        1. re: marchperson

          Thanks for the info on Cafe Rani. I've heard about it, but it's nice to get a rec from someone who's actually been there.

          I am planning (looking forward!) to eating a indulgent meal once a day and sticking to lighter meals the rest of the time. Thanks again!

          1. re: christina_hunnicutt

            Be sure to check the hours of Cafe Rani. I just returned from a day trip to New Orleans (I am from Baton Rouge) and Cafe Rani closed at 4 p.m. Of course that was their Sunday closing time, but call first just to make sure. We spent the afternoon in the WWII Museum. I highly recommed that as well.

            Since we couldn't eat at Cafe Rani today we went to the newly reopened Camellia Grill. If you are avoiding fatty foods, stay away from Camellia Grill..They do however, have wonderful breakfasts and killer chocolate pecan pie.

            If you do walk to the Marigny area, try Marigny Brasserie on Frenchman Street. I can really recommend it. We love to go there. It has a neighborhood feel, but elegant food. Good wine list, too! In addition, if you walk after dark, stay on the well lighted and busy streets. Don't take any side street short cuts. I am sure that natives of the city would be offended by that,but it's like any big city. Stay where the crowds are.

        2. Ordering apps as entrees will not be a problem, I often do it. Many restaurants have at least one grilled fish/shrimp entree. Go for the sushi places (Horinoya) or spanish places (RioMar) for seafood without all the cream sauces.

          But I second what marchperson said: do it the French way. Eat very lightly for 2 meals, walk everywhere, then have something rich and delicious for dinner, in small portions.

          1. Don't know if you are into exercise or not. We visit NOLA 2-4 times a year. I am a jogger and some of my most favorite runs have been early mornings in the Quarter, along the River, and finishing through the Marigny. A brisk walk would also work. Heck, I'd do just about anything to kill calories so I could eat as I want in NOLA.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Spencer

              We end up walking so much more in New Orleans than we do at home that weight gain isn't a problem. Early morning walks on the Quarter are terrific.

            2. Depnding on when your here, boiled crawfish are a great coice. And, you can get boiled shrimp any time of the year. Even though its summer I had raw oysters at Acme last night and they were delish!

              5 Replies
              1. re: roxanne207

                I'll be in New Orleans in December-- is that a good time of year for seafood?

                1. re: christina_hunnicutt

                  Excellent time of year for crawfish, shrimp and oysters.

                  1. re: christina_hunnicutt

                    I think it is too early for crawfish - the season doesn't usually get going until late January.

                    1. re: cor

                      Same sentiment, but slightly different take: it's too LATE for good boiled crawfish. They're still available many places, but the shells are very hard, so it's not an optimum experience. Once the weather turns really warm, the shells get hard, usually mid-May/early June.