Dining in New Orleans for One
I'll be visiting New Orleans next week for a few days and will be dining alone for maybe two lunches and three dinners. I love to check out the best restaurants in each city I visit. However, I'm not too excited about planning an extravagant meal and spending much time eating by myself (especially at dinner). It just seems kind of awkward.
In spite of that I'd like to have at least a few great meals. How can I pull this off?
The restaurants I'm really interested in are:
In a previous visit with my husband, I got to try Bayona, K-Paul's, and Muriel's. I've also already done the Cafe Du Monde thing a few times.
Along with the more expensive places, I'd like to grab a couple of delicious, inexpensive meals.
I'm up for some suggestions. I'll be staying in the French Quarter/Downtown area.
I travel on business so often dine alone as well. My favorite can't leave without are the Barbequed Oysters at Red Fish Grill - nice causal atmosphere for lunch or dinner. A po boy from Johnny's Po Boy - cheap, quick and open lunch hours only. And GW Fins for dinner has excellent Lobster Dumplings and about anything else. Never had a bad meal there. Also they have my favorite bread pudding of all the restaurants I've tried. Red Fish makes a killer double-chocolate bread pudding which they slather in molton dark/white chocolate tableside....but I still like GW's better.
I think Cochon would be excellent. It's great food but low key and relatively cheap. Plus the service there is wonderful.
I also went to Luke on my last trip. Stay away! The service was some of the worst I've ever experienced.
If you want to grab something on the go that's fast, easy, and cheap, go to Verti Marte. Everything I had there was excellent, and what I didn't have looked yummy.
I got back on Monday from a trip to NOLA (I was alone).
My tasting notes from all of my trips:
Herbsaint has a great bar to eat at if you are alone. The bartender is very nice and the service is pretty decent.
Stella is totally fine for a table for one. I went on a Sunday and they were not busy at all so the service was good as well as the food. I don't know how a Friday or Saturday night would compare though.
Luke - i went there Friday night. I won't be back for a long time. I went with my Harrah's Casino Host and we were both not impressed with the service. The food was fine and parts of the meal were excellent (the boudain sausage and sauce for the ribeye was fantastic) but the service was sub-par. We had a 9:30 reservation and were actually seated promptly. However, our server didn't bring us water for 10 minutes after we sat down, never introduced himself, told use about the restaurant/if there were any special and didn't even ask for our drink order. I had to tell him that I wanted a Dr. Pepper before he went and got it for me. The service was horrible and while the food was good, it wasn't enough to make me go back for a very long time.
I visit NOLA very frequently by myself and have never had a problem eating alone.
Non-expensive places to eat:
Gordon Birsch (Harrah's Hotel)
ACME Oyster House
Adolfo's is fun and good (try the Oysters with Pernod appetizer!), but I've never had decent wine there. You can (and should, in my opinion), BYOB. The restaurant charges a very modest corkage fee.
In the Quarter, pick up a bottle of wine at Vieux Carré Wine & Liquors (422 Chartres St., btw. Conti & St. Louis. Open daily 'til 9:00 p.m.
One of my favorite places is Adolfo's in the Faubourg Marigny area on Frenchmen St. above the Apple Barrel bar. Its small, no reservations, the cook is the owner, one waiter, wine only, and very quaint. The food is inexpensive and you get large portions of pasta, salad, and bread w/ your meal. The service is typically subpar and the place is typical of most in NOLA (i.e. could use a good cleaning). However the food is great and I believe they use the term Creole Italian to describe it. Just get one of the fresh fish selections w/ the Ocean Sauce.