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Trip review 7/7 - 7/10

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My husband and I rolled into town on Saturday afternoon for my 30th b-day celebration and headed to Liuzza’s via cab. As we arrived they were shutting their doors because their cooler had broken – we were bummed out as we had been dying to try the place. Looped back around into the French Quarter and after the cabbie talked me out of Johnny’s we hit up Felix’s. Husband had half a dozen on the half shell, I had a wedge salad covered in bleu cheese and we split an oyster po boy. Service was terrible but the food was delicious. The bread on the po-boy was the best we had all trip, the oysters were fresh and I was pleased with my wedge.

Dinner that night was at Brigtsen’s. Service was absolutely fantastic and better than I remembered. I started with the shrimp remoulade appetizer – huge fresh shrimp, creamy deviled egg and perfect potato salad, while my husband had the pork appetizer. I didn’t get to try much of his as he gobbled it down, but was a huge fan nonetheless. I was sad to note that they no longer used the cornbread stuffing with the duck so my husband ordered the duck and I ordered the beef tournedos. Both entrees came with the creamiest mashed potatoes ever, and the duck was melt in your mouth delicious. My beef was perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned and I finished it all, which I rarely do! Although we were full we decided to rally and go for dessert, with my husband ordering pecan pie a la mode while I went for the banana bread pudding. Both outstanding desserts, though I wish we could have finished them.

Breakfast on Sunday was at OMG I Cannot Wait to Go Back Cammelia Grill. I have just discovered my favorite breakfast spot ever. My husband ordered the Western Omelet and ate the whole thing, even after watching them pour what appeared to be a cup of butter on it. Best omelet ever! I had a waffle which was equally delectable and a side of crispy salty bacon. We shared a chocolate freeze and decided that the hour long wait was worth every minute.

Too full from breakfast to do lunch, we decided to head to Coop’s Place when we finally got hungry about 8 hours later. Unfortunately their A/C was out and it was a good 10 degrees warmer inside than outside. Nonetheless, we decided to tough it out and shared another oyster po-boy –just okay, not as good as Felix’s, and a sampler plate – so much goodness on the plate that I don’t know where to begin. Their jambalaya was out of this world and we loved sopping up the gumbo with their yeasty rolls. We ate a little fast as it was sweltering, but will definitely be back for more.

Breakfast on Monday was at Petunias. Worst meal of the trip. Good service, but neither my husband nor I enjoyed our undercooked and overcooked meals, respectively, and left nearly full plates. We won’t be back

Late lunch/early dinner was at Deanie’s. We shared the bbq shrimp appetizer and an oyster po boy. Noticing a theme with the po boys? I’m pregnant and once I get something in my head these days I must have it… all the time. Luckily my husband is a trooper. :) The shrimp app had four or five shrimp the size of my hand, they were huge and the sauce they were simmered in was divine. We couldn’t finish our sandwich but they did a great job with the oysters and the service was wonderful.

We were full until about 10 at night, when we hit the A&P down the street from our hotel and ordered some New Orleans Coffee and Chicory ice cream. Highly recommend this ice cream; it was smooth, rich and addicting!

We had plans to hit The Coffee Pot the next day for breakfast but overslept, so we booked it to Central Grocery for our first CG muffs ever. I was excited and really looking forward to it as was my husband. I ordered a ½ muff and 2 bottled root beers. The surly gentleman behind the counter informed me that they were out of their bottled sodas, and sent me to the vending machine in the back. The people behind us, who he greeted by name, ordered the same and two bottled sodas miraculously appeared! A couple from NYC came in a few minutes later (they sat next to us later on), and they were also informed that there were no sodas, and sent to the vending machine while other locals (?) came in and were able to buy the bottled root beer. I thought that was lame and my husband and I felt very unwelcome there for reasons unknown. The muff was good but since I can get so much better service at so many other places in town, I will not be back.

In between our eating adventures we also hit up Café Beignet and Café du Monde for beignets and café au laits. Both places were great, though Café Beignet is my favorite.

All in all, a fantastic 30th birthday. I didn’t get as much eating in as I normally do as my tummy doesn’t love the spicy rich foods it normally does, but I will make up for lost time when I return. With the exception of Central Grocery everyone was so nice and made us feel so welcome, that we’re already planning our 10th time back to our favorite city.

Thank you for another wonderful visit, NOLA!

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  1. So glad you had a good time. I recently ate at Petunia's for the first time, and it was ok. I'm starting to accept NO just isn't really a breakfast town. I like Camellia for the atmosphere, still not convinced about the food.

    Next time try the oyster poboy at Mandina's, I love their breading.

    10 Replies
    1. re: JGrey

      I agree. i have been in New Orleans 8 months and can't seem to get my breakfast groove on. Went to Petunia's (granted Jazz Fest Weekend) and wanted to go home and fry myself an egg after the 2 hour wait to get in and 1 1/2 hour wait for food. Camellia Grill is my next undertaking.

      1. re: noeater

        Has anyone tried Refuel? Uptown Riverbend area, near One. That is my favorite breakfast place in town. I love their early riser special from 7-9am - eggs, bacon, toast, grits and coffee for 6 bucks. They have a wonderful brunch also. We go every weekend almost. No booze though.

        Oh and I also heard they are doing Tapas and BYOB (no corkage fee) on Thursday nights. I have yet to try it but I bet it's great.

        1. re: lawstudent

          Yep, I like Refuel. I also like Riccobono's on Panola, and Bluebird. But I'm originally from the midwest, where breakfast is the ONLY thing that's really good to eat out, and nothing compares to home. :)

          1. re: JGrey

            Get thee (on a weekday) to Dunbar's in exile at Loyola Law School. The breakfast special is $1.99: grits, scrambled eggs, bacon/sausage, and a biscuit.

            1. re: Hungry Celeste

              I've been meaning to go for lunch, but now I teach 12-2. I wonder what time lunch is over? I'm craving fried chicken.

              1. re: JGrey

                Sorry, lunch is over at 2, but it starts at 11, so maybe you could eat early.

            2. re: JGrey

              I truly hope that you aren't including Chicago in that statement, because I'm from the midwest too, and that certainly is not the case.

              1. re: mikemill

                The exception that proves the rule. :) Chicago has great food of all kinds.

                1. re: JGrey

                  Amen to that! I gained 20 lbs the first six months I lived there.
                  Chicago was my introduction to "REAL" food.

                  I've been gone 10 years, and still miss it to this day.

              2. re: JGrey

                Both Panola and Peppermill in Metairie are two of the great breakfast spots.

                Although not a revelation, Dot's also makes a passable omelet.

                Elizabeth's used to be wonderful - I know it has changed hands since I was last there, so I will leave it to others to comment as to its current fare

        2. Camellia Grill open again. How great is late night munchies again!

          1. Great report and glad that you had a (mostly) good time. We were to be there that week, but had to postpone until Aug.

            Sounds like CG needs to get their priorities re-aligned. Maybe too many episodes of Seinfeld's "Soup Nazi." I always enjoyed the place and always got good service, though in those days, liked the sandwiches at Frank's, nearly next door. To me, local or tourist, you sell it, until you run out - for everyone. Unfortunately, it's something that you'll remember, and not in a good light.

            Sorry that you missed Maxie's, er, I mean the Coffee Pot. In the past, it was there, or Camilia Grill for us. Depended on how far we wished to drive from River Ridge.

            We were set up for a big dinner at Brigsten's, as it was my in-laws anniversary and they are more than regulars there. I hope that we can reprise the reservations, as it will be b-i-law's birthday, when we go. I cannot imagine a trip over, without a stop at Brigsten's.

            Have not done Deanie's (Lake Ave?) in years and years, even though I designed their old building. Sounds like I need to make the effort.

            Again, thanks for the report. I hope to have some reviews at the end of Aug, as well.

            Hunt