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Most overrated NOLA restaurants

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I have never been overly impressed with Dick & Jenny's.

Thoughts on other overrated restaurants so I can avoid them?

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  1. Ooh, breakfast at Brennan's gets my #1 vote. #2 is Mosca's. Flame away, y'all.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      Breakfast at Brennan's for sure - I wish I could just sit at the bar and order the Eggs Nouvelle Orléans without the extras or the side show.

      1. re: Hungry Celeste

        Agree with HungryCeleste . ..also, Bayonna, Delmonico, Emeril's, NOLA,, Jacques-Imos , Upperline.

        1. re: JazzyB

          1) I wouldn't agree with Bayona.

          2) Upperline is, in a sense, New Orleans' version of Chez Panisse: it was cutting edge when first opened, but it exists in sort of a time war unchanged and very good, but others have surpassed it.

          1. re: JazzyB

            I would disagree with Bayone as well.

            Jacques is what it is, a lot of good fried and heavy food in a fun and casual atmosphere. It is not fine dining, but does not hold itself out to be.

            Also, I know some people have problems with Emeril's but I have had nothing but great experiences there. If anything, I say it gets knocked a little too much.

          2. re: Hungry Celeste

            Mosca's OVERrated ????? Of all the places you could say that about and you pick Mosca's ???

            My first post since K

            1. re: ezron

              Welcome back. Sorry EZ, difference of opinion is what makes the world go 'round. I always leave Mosca's feeling ripped off ($32 for TEN bbq shrimp? In a year when shrimpers are half-starving due to ridiculously low prices?) and regretting that I didn't just go to the grocery and cook at home. They're not doing anything in that kitchen that I can't do in my own. Still, the little sesame seeded rolls in the breadbasket are damn good.

              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                Besh Steakhouse BBQ Shrimp Appetizer is $20, but the shrimp are huge and with bread, its enough for an entree. Best BBQ shrimp I've had.

                Back on topic, I think the following places are overrated:

                Dick and Jennys - though supposedly they have new owners, never had an interesting meal at Emerils Warehouse District (though not NOLA, which I feel is underrated), Herbsaint - my hanger steak was bleh and top 40 in the US on Gayot?? Top 50 in Gourmet? Really? I can think of 50 places i've had better meals at. GW Fins was a disappointment as well.

                Oh, and Upperline has a fish entree on their menu that was USA Today's best dish of like 2003 or something. Must have been a down year - Its basically just fish seasoned with cayenne. Thats it.

              2. re: ezron

                I second Mosca's. Used to be a favorite for YEARS. Went back and all thought it was outright lousy. Food is easily duplicated ( i.e .improved) at home.

              3. re: Hungry Celeste

                I completely agree...Everyone raves about Mosca's and I just don't get it.

              4. Commander's gets my vote. Never had a good meal there. I always feel like I can do much better at home...and for the price, it just doesn't work for me.

                1. I'll get bashed for this, but Clancy's. It's perfectly fine - but for the price, I feel like I can get much better meals elsewhere.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Burgoober

                    Clancy's is an overated, overpriced, noisy fraternity house. There are many, many better restaurants in New Orleans. Losing reservations is a hallmark of this place.
                    If dining in a vulgarity filled room is to your liking this is your place.

                    1. re: State St.

                      Back when I went there, all the chat was about the fried oyster and brie appetizer, like it was really something special. I got a small plate of fried oysters with a cold slice of brie laying on each oyster. I thought, "Huh?" (I assume it was supposed to have been melted, but still, "Huh?")

                    2. re: Burgoober

                      Saying Brennan's is over-rated is like shooting fish in a barrel.

                      Amen to Clancy's being over-rated.

                      Mother's is over-priced and the server's are surly but that doesn't bother me so much as the feeling that no one there gives a damn.

                      However, I can NOT get down with the Domilese bashing - I love their shrimp po-boy. The gravy has set the standard for roast-beef po-boys for me for years.

                    3. Great topic! I'm with Hungry Celeste on Brennan's all the way.

                      1. Emeril's, Delmonico's, NOLA

                        Jacques-Imo's, Acme (except for sitting at the bar and eating frest oysters), Mother's

                        Commander's if you're a tourist (but not if you're a regular and have your own waiter to take care of you)

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: Blumie

                          I don't know if Jacques-Imos is one of the most overrated but had the bbq shrimp last week and was significantly underwhelmed. They used old shrimp ( peeled a long while ago) so that the shrimp when cooked were mushy. They take the middle shell off leaving the head and tail shell on and probably did so days before (that is why the shrim was mushy). Whereas other places, the shrimp are plump and have texture, Jacques-Imos' didn't. A few days later went to Deanies (by French Quarter) and it was a revelation -served with full shell and heads. Absolutely delicious. Everything BBQ shrimp shd be and wasn't at Jacques-Imo. The other food there was good, however, but not blown away. Deanies' bbq shrimp does blow you away, however. Ordered the appetizer portion for lunch, and served with baguette which was more than enough. Can't really comment on rest of Deanie's food because didn't have any. However, it is worth a trip just for the shrimp. Beware that you are going to have to work at it but it is worth it\!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

                          1. re: dec111

                            Which Deanies? The one on Annunciation? Or the one IN the FQ on Iberville? And for those that dont know, these restaurants are NOT related. The Deanies on Annunciation is kind of like Mother's in the sense that it has plate lunches and po-boys (much cheaper than mothers) and the Deanies in the Quarter is related to the Deanies in Bucktown (same exact menu). I prefer the Deanies on Annuciation but they are really different restaurants so its not a fair comparison.

                            1. re: indiwaiter

                              The Deanies in FQ. I cannot speak to the rest of the menu but the BBQ shrimp was amazing.

                              I would add Cochon for lunch as most over-rated restaurant. I know it made the NY Times recently as a Top restaurant but don't understand it. My husband ordered the smothered chicken which was a lackluster (looked like a pigeon meat bec it it was so small) thigh in a ramekin as an entree, for not so cheap. The gravy was thin and watery , without flavor.

                              The waiter was nice but when he asked how everything was we were honest but he offered nothing but surprise.

                              The rest of the food was nothing to write home about. While they use local ingredients, there is not much that is really memorable or a must come back dish.

                              Not to be a New York City snob but Cochon would last barely one week in NYC. Any soul food restaurant in Harlem or Bed-Stuy would cook circles around Cochon's smothered chicken for half the price. In terms of creativity, I could go down the street and find a half dozen restaurants that are more creative and tastier. Save your money. There are plenty of great restaurants in NOLA.

                              1. re: dec111

                                I live here in NOLA and my husband and I were very underwhelmed by Cochon. I don't understand why people like it so much. Although, I've only been there one time in all fairness.

                          2. re: Blumie

                            Mother's -- for sure. i think they may have been good about 30 years ago, but today the roast beef has nothing on the stories of yore. pretty watery & bland, really. yet, that doesnt stop dozens of first-timers from lining up outside it...

                            1. re: kibbles

                              I second the vote for Mother's. There were at least 30 people outside in line today. They've got some good PR people!!! The food is not good.

                              1. re: kibbles

                                "First-timers"?? My in-laws want to eat there every single time they visit. Every time I stand there thinking, "why am I in line for this place?" I will say they were fabulous for my Rehearsal Dinner, though. Just not worth the wait for a regular dinner.

                                1. re: briox

                                  yes, most of their customers are first-timers - tourists who read about it from a travel guide, etc.

                              2. re: Blumie

                                There's no such thing as "your own waiter" at Commander's. You're confusing it with Galatoire's and Antoine's.

                              3. I had the worst expensive lunch of my life at Emeril's.

                                1. Emeril's, Commander's Palace, Stella!, all of Brennan's restaurants . . . .

                                  1. Without a doubt galatoire's and Antiones. Both resturants were 2 of my worst meals I have ever had.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: cereed007

                                      I've heard the same about those two.

                                      My votes go to Mother's and Clancy's. Both are fine, but nothing has ever blown me out of the water--on multiple visits. Why do I let myself get dragged into going?

                                    2. What is interesting about all these posts is that they include, with only a couple of exceptions, every highly recommended restaurant in New Orleans. I guess that's the nature of "overrated". A place has to be highly rated by most to be considered overrated by a few. If it were not highly rated in the first place it couldn't be overrated.

                                      15 Replies
                                        1. re: ddavis

                                          Exactly! With no hype, or expectations, there can be no "overrated," no disappointments.

                                          1. re: ddavis

                                            I love your post ddavis...if you ask me, too much "bullcrit" shows up here these days.
                                            We're just back from our first post-Katrina visit and intend to beat the drum loudly for this treasure of a town.Those who knock Mother's miss the point-the place is FUN, and we covered delightful food ground from Middendorf's (Manchac) to Herbsaint, One and Willie Maes.Thanksgiving at Bacco was a treat,with some very fairly price wine to boot .Have fun folks and spend your time stressing the positive! Those fighting for the city ARE winning and the great kitchens are the front line of the battle.

                                            1. re: caborojo

                                              I couldn't disagree with you more as Mother's is not fun. We waited in line for 40 minutes to be treated terribly by staff who clearly didn't appreciate their customers. Then we waited another 30 minutes for a wrong order. Getting the order fixed involved rolling eyes, slamming plates, and zero apologies. Sorry, but there was no point missed and to me that isn't "fun."

                                              1. re: kkak97

                                                That is the shtick at Mother's. It is off putting if one is unfamiliar.

                                                Carborojo Thanks for visiting and giving a positive upbeat comment.

                                                1. re: Tonto

                                                  Let's see, I waited for over an hour for the wrong food, got major attituted with no apology and my plate slammed down in front of me...yep, it's me that doesn't get it and clearly the 4 other people didn't get the shtick either.

                                                  Worked great since none of us will be back.

                                                2. re: kkak97

                                                  I've used the place as an "orientation" and "departure" point,with numerous others,including well versed locals.Maybe it's just that we have a higher tolerance,maybe we've just been lucky (dozens of times..).One thing's for sure, the place does elicit reaction! There is some truth to a statement such as "well in KC this would be a great Nola place", but I've been around to stand by my "fun" statement..and no newcomer should be afraid to hit the place because of what you see posted here! It IS fun (unless you're a crank to begin with...loNYerl)

                                                  1. re: caborojo

                                                    I've been to New Orleans 3 separate times since Katrina. It is our favorite city. Been there twice this year, and will be back at New Years. Our first experience at Mothers was so, so. I had to talk my husband into trying it agian. The second time told me my husband was correct..it's awful. Too many other places in the city are deserving of my money and my jollyness.

                                                    Love it if you want, but I dont have to... and I won't.

                                                3. re: caborojo

                                                  The city's restaurants have come back strong, but people should still feel free to criticize a place they don't like. Mother's sucks, IMHO, and I don't feel like I'm attacking the city by saying so. If you like that kind of shtick, more power to you, but those of us who don't shouldn't have to feel guilty about it.

                                                  1. re: Blumie

                                                    I feel as you do. I want to be as supportive of the restaurants in NOLA and the Gulf Coast, as I can, but in the end, it's about the food, the service and all the things that go into a really good dining experience. I might overlook a bit, given the circumstances, but it's the food that tips the balance.

                                                    I'm also not a fan of "attitude" when I am dining. No "soup Nazi" for me. There are just too many places, that had the same hardships, and are doing a great job, to let someone slide. "Call it, as you see it, and let the chips fall, where they may." I've never had a good meal at Mother's, and this was take-out, or dine-in, as it may be. I have stood in the line at Camilia Grill, been herded by the older couple (from pre-K) and still had great food, plus a nice dining experience. Maybe the servers soothed my frazzled spirit from the seating drill. Heck, last time that I drove into Mexico and had to pass both Immigration and the Mexican bureau, that issued temp. permits for autos, the buracracy was less, than at either CG, or Mother's.


                                                    1. re: Blumie

                                                      No argument about non-guilt; my main point is that the "sheep" mentality should be disregarded by everyone on the board.Go to a place and have your own opinion,if you WISH to, no matter what any other windbag...er,chowhound may advise! The original intent of this board was
                                                      trailblazing,and that seems to have gotten lost.Posts often remind me of those terrible entertainment gossip TV shows!

                                                      1. re: caborojo

                                                        More like name calling children. Hmmm.

                                                        1. re: kkak97

                                                          Don't think I don't include MYSELF in that windbag category-why else would I be posting here? All I'm saying is that New Orleans and it's food has been good to me for 30 years,and I've returned from my most recent trip determined to CHEERLEAD for this great town and its' even stronger & fighting residents.
                                                          Yes, a "majority opinion" can be helpful re: a particular food venue..but it's like Celine Dion, if YOU actually LIKE it it's GOOD,and that's all that matters.Go to a place if you feel like it no matter what you read.
                                                          Perhaps the MOST UNDERRATED list is where our energy should go!

                                                          1. re: caborojo

                                                            We can do that too. No reason not to talk about both what we like and don't like. There's plenty of opportunity for both in New Orleans.

                                                      2. re: Blumie

                                                        Love Mother's. Mother's and Camilia Grill are always must do's when I'm in town and I've lived in NO and been everywhere.

                                                  2. I've hesitated to comment, as I no longer live in New Orleans, and do not get to dine there, as often as I'd like, or should to add to this thread. However, the two most highly-rated restaurants (at different ends of the spectrum), that I have encountered, that have fallen so far short of the hype, have been Mother's and Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse. Another, though not on the food end, would be the Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel. Not sure if it's still called that, as there have been many changes, fairly recently.

                                                    Over the decades, there have been more, but I'm not sure how any of those are rated now, so to say "overrated," might well not apply, Tony Angelo's and Andrea's come to mind.

                                                    One also must factor in exactly who is doing the rating. Is it "Southern Living," "Food and Wine," "Gourmet," "Destinations," "Wine Spectator" or someone else. Around CH, I find that there are personal favorites and different tastes, but that, on average, one is likely to not get too high a rating on a mediocre restaurant.


                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                      I found Alberta to be one of the most overhyped meals of my life.

                                                      I suppose that's why it closed...

                                                      1. re: mikemill

                                                        Lunch at Dooky Chase. I realize that they have not re-opened; this was pre-Katrina. Food was pedestrian and we didn't feel particularly welcome.

                                                      1. re: GroovinGourmet

                                                        I actually had dinner at Galatoires last night and it exceeded my expectations, but that is probably because I was expecting to be average. Chef Brian Landry has revived the food since the storm.

                                                        I do agree with Antoines they just don't care and are trying to get buy on their name.

                                                        Commanders, two thumbs down terrible and over rated!

                                                        I felt that Iris was exspensive and a let down

                                                      2. 1. NOLA
                                                        2. Mother's
                                                        2. Antoine's
                                                        4. Arnaud's

                                                        1. Great topic! I agree with a lot of other posts, but the one place that jumps to my mind is Pascal's Manale. I really couldn't believe the food after hearing great things about it.

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: Adrienne

                                                            In time gone by, I've had several good and several mediocre meals there. Never, has the meal been great. I guess that I'd equate it to the Court of Two Sisters - neat venue, with history, but not a real CH sorta' restaurant. Though I have to admit that I have a ceramic plaque of Pascal's Manale on a wall someplace.


                                                            [EDIT] Corrected the spelling: no "e" in Pascal's

                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                              I completely agree, but with one exception - the oyster bar is excellent. Granted, I've only been a few times, but they had excellent oysters every time.

                                                              1. re: Burgoober

                                                                Do not recall ever doing the oyster bar. We dined there on many occasions, but that WAS years ago, so much could have changed. I still find it a neat venue and it definitely has its supporters.


                                                                1. re: Burgoober

                                                                  I have heard that before and I need to get over the food I've had there and try their oysters-- they are one of only two restaurants within a 5 minute walk from where I live.

                                                                  1. re: Adrienne

                                                                    If you live uptown, it may amaze you how inaccessible the raw oyster can be. There are some great options that fall off your list if you have children, though. Having said this, the oysters at Pascal's are always excellent and always shucked to order. We have even gone there for oysters before heading off to dinner.

                                                                    As for overrated, they may be but it is all about perspective. When we have the pleasure to live in a city where the worst restaurants still would be world class in other, larger, more 'metropolitan' locations (rhymes with Schmallas), it is easy to become jaded to what we have available to us. My wife still makes the best BBQ shrimp I have found, but PMs is a good place that holds onto some of its heritage without forgetting that things do change. A little, a very little bit. But hey, that's New Orleans for you, bra!

                                                                    1. re: sirvelvet

                                                                      I had PMs bbq shrimp over crispy pan fried drum filets about 5 years ago and I still think about that dish...YummmmmY

                                                            2. Dragos! great grilled oysters but other than that , it's bad food! Terrible waiting lines to put your name in to eat!!!!!! What is the deal with the crappy way they make people wait just to oput in a name?

                                                              1. Central Market. Terrible service, and the chow didn't live up to the hype for us.

                                                                8 Replies
                                                                1. re: YaYa

                                                                  Central Grocery? There is no service. You wait in line. You buy a sandwich. You leave.

                                                                  1. re: Blumie

                                                                    Unless they refuse to sell you things clearly located behind the counter.

                                                                      1. re: chef4hire

                                                                        Some sort of bottled soda, don't remember which one. I was told they were out. Several people behind me were able to buy it though. Is there some sort of bottled soda club I should know about? ;)

                                                                        1. re: YaYa

                                                                          Clearly there was some sort of misunderstanding. Give them another try (but don't expect them to be warm and fuzzy!).

                                                                    1. re: Blumie

                                                                      Central Grocery's specialty is service with a smirk. If somebody behind the counter ever smiles the roof will collapse.

                                                                      1. re: Rum Runner

                                                                        I thought the "service" was pretty annoying. As soon as my turn came up in line, one of the guys disappeared and it took me another 10 minutes to be helped. Then, they were going to let some guy cut in front of me. Sour attitude in general. Seems like they find tourists annoying. But, whatever, the muffaletta *was* worth it.

                                                                        1. re: Rum Runner

                                                                          It would collapse, and why would you want that? I think this is a food reality judgement call. If you go to a Subway with the nicest kids in there serving up sandwiches, as much as you would like to support these guys, would you rate them over a good to great sandwich with a smirk at Central?

                                                                      1. Domilise's. We just don't get it.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: ichabodsdad

                                                                          Second Domilise's. Expensive mediocre po boys, fryer grease has not been changed since 1984.

                                                                        2. Coop's place. Vibe is cool but the food is not as good as suggested on the board. I know I;m in the minority on this one...

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                                                                            I must come to Coops defense although my first experience was not good. Coops menu is big so that increases the possibility of a few stinkers. Something I have found annoying is that everytime I haved dined there I ask the server what his favorite dishes are and EVERY single time they have said "Everything is good" and dont name a single dish-I have to twist their arm to have them recommend a dish or two.

                                                                            Ok now for the good things about Coop's.... The Jambalaya Supreme is flat out delicious. I mean last meal kind of good. It is very spicy so its certainly not for everyone. It really is one of my favorite things when I visit the city. The gumbo is also good. I have had a couple pasta dishes that were tasty. The duck Quesdilla was pretty damn good also.

                                                                            If you dine there and stick to these recommendations I guarantee you will have a great meal. Its also a bargain.

                                                                            1. re: indiwaiter

                                                                              Of course Coop's sometimes misses. Everyplace does. But a miss at Coop's price point is very different than a miss at Commander's at its price point.

                                                                          2. Arnaud's - total tourist trap.

                                                                            And the Mulate's by the convention center - absolutely putrid.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: GroovinGourmet

                                                                              Sure it's putrid, but Mulate's can't be overhyped cause no one's hyping the place.

                                                                              1. re: Blumie

                                                                                But Alton Brown went to Mulate's FIRST upon his arrival in NOLA during this past season of Feasting on Asphalt. There goes any credibility he had, imho.

                                                                                1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                                  I agree with you about Alton and Mulates- but that whole series really ruined his credibility for me.

                                                                              2. re: GroovinGourmet

                                                                                Well, as I no longer live in NO, I suppose that I qualify as a "tourist," however, we have always had good meals there, along with good service. The only complaint that I have ever had with Arnaud's, even going back to when I did live there, was that the wine list has a gapping hole, right above Kendall-Jackson, but below the older 1er Cru Bdx. @ $3K/btl. If they concentrated on filling in the $100-300/btl. part of the list, I'd have no complaints.

                                                                                Is it the food, the service, or something else, that you have a problem with? Some of the other restaurants, I understand. This one is a mystery to me.


                                                                              3. I'm sure I'll be crucified for this, but I do not get the obsession with Five Happiness. Every time I've been there, I feel like I'm eating Panda Express food.

                                                                                Also — and this isn't a hugely hyped restaurant — but Basil Leaf is overpriced and puts pineapple in everything.

                                                                                15 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Oyster Queen

                                                                                  I think people just like 5 happiness because there aren't many Chinese options here (can you think of any local Chinese places you'd *really* recommend?)

                                                                                    1. re: mikemill

                                                                                      I have not been! I will have to try that then.

                                                                                      1. re: Adrienne

                                                                                        It's very good. It's on Vets near Bonnabel.

                                                                                  1. re: Oyster Queen

                                                                                    I've eaten at Basil Leaf about 10 times, tried 5-6 dishes and have never had anything with pineapple.

                                                                                    1. re: blake wilbanks

                                                                                      I agree, but I've only had the pad thai

                                                                                      1. re: mikemill

                                                                                        Is their pad thai good? I'm looking for some delicious thai food. I love spicy pad thai.

                                                                                        1. re: christina_hunnicutt

                                                                                          I like it, but it could be a lot spicier.

                                                                                            1. re: christina_hunnicutt

                                                                                              Sukho (sp?) Thai in the Marigny is really good.

                                                                                              1. re: malenky

                                                                                                I've heard of this restaurant. Thanks, malenky. I'm getting excited about my holiday- a whole week in New Orleans!!

                                                                                                1. re: malenky

                                                                                                  Its still BYOB right? I thought the prices were upped just a little because of that, but its def good Thai.

                                                                                                  I like Bangkok Thai in Uptown, on S. Carrolton and St. Charles, next to Cooter Browns. Its pretty solid, reasonably priced, though more college-y and less Marigny than Sukho Thai.

                                                                                                  1. re: Kingrover

                                                                                                    Bangkok also has awesome photos of their family up...they look like boy bands.

                                                                                                    1. re: Kingrover

                                                                                                      Yeah, still BYOB. It is a little more pricey, but the food is worth it. They spice their food as they say they will unlike a lot of places.

                                                                                                  2. re: christina_hunnicutt

                                                                                                    Siamese off of Vet's is amazing. I actually recommend it for curries more than the pad thai -- they make their pad thai with lemon instead of lime which for me takes something away. But the rest of their food is amazing and definitely spicy -- it goes up to level 5 hot but they won't let you order more than a 2 your first time there, they mean business with their spices. If you like real Thai, I highly recommend trying Siamese.

                                                                                        2. Casamento's There is no secret to buying a good oyster, shucking it and serving it cold. The fried seafood is good, but not great.

                                                                                            1. When every place in town is named, the game is over. Counting down fast.

                                                                                              1. WHAT FUN!!! 90 posts--40 offering up 34 restaurants that are overrated. 50 posts commenting on others' opinions (or lack of taste). Anywho....
                                                                                                24 of those restaurants were mentioned only once or twice, including Dick and Jenny's which started it off and soon disappeared from comments. So here's a listing of the ones most mentioned--remember it's over rated, over-hyped:

                                                                                                Arnaud's--5 times
                                                                                                Emeril's--5 times
                                                                                                Mother's--5 times (albeit an almost equal number lamely coming to their "it's the schtick " defense).
                                                                                                Antione's--4 times
                                                                                                Brennan's--4 times (includes mention of all Brennan's family venues)
                                                                                                Clancy's--4 times
                                                                                                Commander's P.--3 times
                                                                                                Domliese--3 times
                                                                                                Jacques Imos --3 times
                                                                                                NOLA--3 times

                                                                                                18 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: crewsweeper

                                                                                                  Felix's - before going to NOLA I read much about the oyster debate and heard 3 names.
                                                                                                  Felix's, Acme, Drago's

                                                                                                  Tried Acme and the fresh and char broiled were absolutely fantastic.
                                                                                                  Actually went back several more times.

                                                                                                  We went across the street to Felix's and were unimpressed with the both the fresh and char-broiled oysters. Not impressed with the plain surroundings of the place either and had colder, cheaper beer in many other places - I only mention the beer because they tout having the coldest beer in town...

                                                                                                  1. re: crewsweeper

                                                                                                    Arnaud's, Mother's, Antoine's, and BRENNAN's are all deserving of derision

                                                                                                    I am not certain any legitimate local foodie would tell you any of them are places they would recommend, so I don't see them so much overrated as living off reputations that long ago may have been deserved, but no longer are warranted

                                                                                                    1. re: paz5559

                                                                                                      I must jump to Arnaud's defense. As a former resident, I spent many happy lunchtimes and many LONG dinners there with my family. This place lives in my heart. Never had a less than wonderful experience, and I've had just about everything on the menu over the last 40 years. I know Arnaud's is not the "in" place anymore, based on it's absence from most sites and mags I've read over the years. It is sad. But "deserving of derision?" Please.

                                                                                                      1. re: txtiger

                                                                                                        It is a totally different experience for regulars and visitors in my experiences of going with expense-account visitors and random meals there.

                                                                                                    2. re: crewsweeper

                                                                                                      Many months have passed since I started following Chowhound New Orleans. This list is most helpful and insightful. I would love to hear if these are still places that my husband and I should avoid during our visit for 12 days this Christmas? Love playing musical chefs .

                                                                                                      On the list I have eaten at Mother's and would not go back even though it was a fun experience, but certainly a not memorable dining. Just a sort of bad lunch. I have eaten at Domliese. I enjoyed the half and half po boy and would go back for another, until I eat a better one. Plus I liked the "Back of the House" down home atmosphere. Cochon was mentioned as laking for fine food, however, I found the chairs the most problematic thing. But I would go back for another try, as some of the food was pretty darn good. I would hit the bar for the grilled oysters at the original Drago's, but never wait in line for a table or bother eating anything else. Besh's Steakhouse, only if you like the dulcet tones of the Slot machines and garish lighting protruding from the casino. The food was fine, but not exceptional. None of the other places mentioned are ones that I have dined at except the ones open in the late 50's when I visited for a week while in Junior High. That dates me. On that trip we hit all the "known" restaurants and certainly compared with my normal dining experiences in Oklahoma, they were all amazing to my yet educated palate.

                                                                                                      The second question is, if my 93 year old mom who is joining us for part of the holidays,wants to eat at least one of the touristy ones on this list of the Over-Rated in NOLA, just for the memories, which would you suggest? She doesn't care that much about eating exquisite food, rather she cares more about the ambiance and service. She doesn't eat anything raw, but loves crab and shrimp, and chocolate. Not together. Vegetables are not important to her. But she loves a good gumbo or a hearty soup. My husband and I do care, but we will have plenty of time to go to some choice spots recommended in Chowhound, Tom Fitzmorris, R.Peyton and B.Andersen, so I am willing to give up a meal or two and bit the bullet and eat at some of these places. No pity as we are also coming down for 10 days in April.

                                                                                                      "Caveat lector" that our son is a chef at one of the fine dining restaurants NOT mentioned on this list, so we will be dining at some of his favorite places, from white linen to holes in the wall, as well as at the one he cooks for in the CBD.

                                                                                                      But Mom would love a meal or two at Co2S or CP, or Antoine's or Brennan's. So which one and for which meal and what should we order? Asking in my first post to recommend the least bad from a list of the Most Over Rated Nola restaurants is painful and slightly sad. But for my Mom's sake, thank you, Mumba

                                                                                                      1. re: mumba

                                                                                                        Galatoire's would be a great just for the memories place without being overrated. Please post all of your son's recommendations in a new thread.

                                                                                                        1. re: fl bob

                                                                                                          Bayona - ugh. The food, service and ambience are not what they should be considering the pricing...there are so many other better NOLA restaurants that cost the same amount. And of course the Emeril restaurants...waaaay overrated as well. Commander's Palace is overrated in terms of food for sure, but the ambience and service are worth a trip for people who come from out of town (and the lunch is actually pretty affordable).

                                                                                                          1. re: Restaurant Examiner

                                                                                                            CP may be a good bet for a lunch for Mom. We can do it around an afternoon in Uptown enjoying the holiday sites . And having recently read jkt Nov informative review about a lunch at Galatoires, that included a great gumbo, we will do that for sure especially since it didn't make the list for the most over-rated in NOLA. But not on Friday. I had forgotten about it as an option for an oldie, but goodie. Then I read a thoughtful review for Brennan's from Bill Hunt which makes me think that Brennen's is a perfect spot for her to enjoy her Nola memories in the courtyard over a brunch. Non of it sounds too painful if our expectations for CP and Brennan's aren't over the moon. I will post our thoughts upon return.

                                                                                                            As to my son's favorites. He is a chef, so not much time off ever except Sunday. I will put together a list when we get back of where he sent us which will be indicative of his favorites. He will be hitting the po boy fest, so I can give some feedback about that as he is a big fan of the po boys. Mumba

                                                                                                            1. re: mumba

                                                                                                              If you can post a list of where your son is sending you before you go, many of us here would appreciate it! We are also in the process of planning our xmas vacation, so would love to get some more insider info before nailing down all of our reservations! Thanks!

                                                                                                              1. re: sibeats

                                                                                                                I will post something when I can pin him down later this week, but not on this post of the most overrated. That wouldn't be fair. I even felt badly about posting anything about Galatoire's as it seems to get mostly raves. I don't think any on this list of restaurants of places to maybe avoid are any places that I have heard him mention in any way. He is very diplomatic. We need to get some reservations too. Mumba

                                                                                                                1. re: mumba

                                                                                                                  I hate to be posting on a year-old thread, but I have to say that I wouldn't put any credence in this list. All of the best restaurants in New Orleans are on it. This list is for personal grievances and entertainment value.

                                                                                                                  1. re: N.O.Food

                                                                                                                    A very good point. I have agreed with some, but countered others, based on personal dining experiences. Seems that I made a "zombie" comment up the thread, when it came back to life around Halloween. What year was that, 1968? [Grin]

                                                                                                                    That is one reason that I put more stock in a full review, rather than a quick jab at any spot. I feel the same for many reviews on other boards. If one tracks down some of the posters, you'll find that they hate every restaurant.

                                                                                                                    However, if you, Hungry Celeste, or some others pan a spot, I am less likely to dine there. You may not like what I like, but you, and some others, do a great job of telling it, like it is, based on your personal tastes and experiences. That is what I rely on. Hey, I'm an adult, and can read between some lines, if necessary.

                                                                                                                    Good point,


                                                                                                            2. re: Restaurant Examiner

                                                                                                              Sorry that you had a/some bad experience(s). We had a wonderful meal on all accounts. It was the same as we had experienced, when Chef Susan first opened. It was many years between visits. Was it the best meal, of the last 10? No, but it was about #5, right in the middle of similarly priced restaurants.

                                                                                                              One has good nights, and bad nights. Obviously, we had a good night.


                                                                                                          2. re: mumba

                                                                                                            For mom, I'd suggest Galatoire's, hands down.

                                                                                                            OTOH, we have done two brunches at Brennan's and I am forgetting the feelings, that I harbored from decades ago. They have been hitting on all cylinders for that particular meal (mostly on Saturdays). Still, tow really good brunches at Brennan's does not equal one Galatoire's for me.

                                                                                                            Much recent discussion on Court of Two Sisters. We'd have done it, but they were not doing a brunch on that particular day. MIL and wife wanted to try them, but it did not work out.

                                                                                                            Though the thread is over a year old, there is still merit to the topic. Even though you have family in the business, I hope that you do a separate thread on your choices and experiences. On can never have too many reviews, especially from people, who know food.


                                                                                                            Galatoire's Restaurant
                                                                                                            209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                            Brennan's Restaurant
                                                                                                            417 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                              Bill Hunt, I agree this thread has merit. Even if it is an old list of some of the possibly most over rated restaurants, I don't consider it stale. Taking a year to digest in this casual format the current justifiable fame of many restaurants in New Orleans that have taken generations to build hardly seems out of line.

                                                                                                              It is a vicious circle to not return to those that universally are considered to be the "Fine Dining" restaurants in Nola by the countless tourist that have been told so by every other tourist returning from the known" Dining Mecca" that is New Orleans. This list may not be pertinent for the serious diner who can read beyond the old hype or have the time and money to delve into what is current and comparable on the national dining stage with what is now considered exceptional in Nola. And by separating what in Nola that are famous and, maybe now, just famously bad or tired and nothing more than a memory that ought not be revisited with a fork, from those old and new restaurants that are best is essentially the function this review.

                                                                                                              It is certainly not always fair to dismiss a venerable old dining spot by a snap shot by a never satisfied patron, or a disgruntled old employee or just a single bum meal, however with this year old thread, along with a lot of other sleuthing of other posts by many of you about the old greats that I needed to consider for my Mom's memories has given me a couple of choices.

                                                                                                              I guarantee, my Mother has never heard of Bayona, Stella, Herbsaint, Couchon and the couple of serious CBD contenders and others. To the vast number of visitors this list may be Nola least universally known, but certainly among contenders for the very best of the current restaurants. So for my Mom's sake I thank you for this list. I will report back.

                                                                                                              1. re: mumba

                                                                                                                Allow me to clarify. As for the age of the thread, I generally have a prohibition about bringing up old posts. This is true even if I'm adding new information to it - I'll start a new post in most situations. In this case, I think the age is irrelevant to this thread's uselessness. It's useless because of its content. I'll quote some poignant posts from above:

                                                                                                                "What is interesting about all these posts is that they include, with only a couple of exceptions, every highly recommended restaurant in New Orleans. I guess that's the nature of "overrated". A place has to be highly rated by most to be considered overrated by a few. If it were not highly rated in the first place it couldn't be overrated."

                                                                                                                "When every place in town is named, the game is over. Counting down fast."

                                                                                                                I thoroughly agree with those two posts. The main point I was trying to make is that I personally would take nothing from this list - as it concerns where I choose to dine. Personally, I really like Stella, August, Commander's, Bayona, Casamento's, Galatoire's, Clancy's, Dick and Jenny's, and they're all on this list. Have I had bad less than stellar meals at all of these places? Sure, but 9 times out of 10, these places are excellent. I get the feeling that most of the posters ate at a place once and left feeling underwhelmed. On the flip side, I agree with some of the posts regarding over rated joints. That said, this is just like any other list: agree with some disagree with some. However, when just about every good restaurant in town is on here - some that I know are excellent choices - the list is simply moot.

                                                                                                                I would check out the TP's dining guide. It just came out a few weeks ago, it's not advertisement driven, and I typically agree with Brett Anderson's reviews. I would turn to it before I relied on a year-old list of "new orleans' most over-rated restaurants."


                                                                                                                1. re: N.O.Food


                                                                                                                  I think that it was you, who pointed out to me that the referenced "Dining Guide" list is also not driven by readers. That does add more weight to it. We all see too many "best of's" that the readers get to "stuff the box" for their favs.

                                                                                                                  I also agree that the OP might have been better served by starting a new thread, and maybe adding a reference link to this thread. CH's board does something different, than many boards that I frequent - old threads are brought to the top, when there are new posts. This does help in that on other boards, only a person, who has read every thread, and sees the "red flag," or whatever, will even see the addendum.

                                                                                                                  Still, to the OP, I'd take mom to wherever she wishes to dine, and keep an open mind. Do post your review though.


                                                                                                                2. re: mumba


                                                                                                                  I completely understand the "trip down memory lane." Because I grew up in the shadow of NOLA, and then lived there for a decade, I have marvelous fond memories. Some, I have been able to revisit, some just do not "do it" for me now, and many are all history. (Just picked up the WYES series "New Orleans Forgotten Restaurants" on DVD, plus a ton of other similar productions.)

                                                                                                                  On many trips over, I am faced with similar, in that my MIL, a NOLA native is often in tow. We attempt to satisfy her quest to relive better times, and are often pleasently surprised by the foods at places that she insists on trying, just because she has great memories of that place.

                                                                                                                  Also, as to the relevancy of this thread, I think it is good to look at NOLA all of the time, as things have changed, and are changing since Katrina, and the aspect of a restaurant being over-rated is something that may change, as changes occur. What might have been "over-rated" pre-K, might well have changed for the better, post-K. Same for places that were not doing such a good job, immediately post-K. If they have revamped and changed, they should fall off of a list made some time back.

                                                                                                                  For me, I am so very glad that just pre-K, we did the "Grand Tour," of the great restaurants from the past in NOLA. Some were STILL doing it right, and well. Some, deserved a prominent place on this thread. Still, when Katrina hit, I knew that things would be changed greatly and possibly forever.

                                                                                                                  You know, even though this is CH heresy, sometimes great dining experiences transcend just the meal. Memories count for something.

                                                                                                                  For me, I'd go with what you mom wishes and let the memories count for as much as is possible.

                                                                                                                  Please do post a review, and from your mother's perspective would be appreciated.



                                                                                                          3. Mandina's (I can make canned green beans at home). Resting on its laurels for way too long!

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: vmaras


                                                                                                              1. re: Yankeestuckintexas

                                                                                                                I think Mandina's is overpriced, but I will say they aren't known for their pasta sauce. Next time try fried seafood of some sort, maybe the platter. I think you'll have a better experience.

                                                                                                              1. re: JazzyB

                                                                                                                JazzyB - you crack me up - LOL!

                                                                                                                1. re: JazzyB

                                                                                                                  You got that right....geez, where are we resurrecting these things from?