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trip to NOLA March 7-10

It has been a few years since we have been so we are very much looking forward to a long weekend in New Orleans. Even better that we will bringing a first timer!!

Looking for recs on a reasonable place to stay....thinking Quarter with balcony because of our first timer....$150. range. Perhaps someone will have other suggestions.We will be driving in so parking is an important factor.That would be the only ammenity factor .

We plan to spend most of our time eating, listening and shopping. Would much rather spread our money around than put it all into lodging.

Been reading this board about restaurants and needless to say it will be a tough choice there. Have been to most of the landmark eateries and are looking for something a bit different....more artisanal if you will.

I am a planner so really want to get this itinerary together. Looking forward to ideas.

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  1. If you want a divine break from the creole and cajun heaviness, plan a meal at Bayona. (http://www.bayona.com/) I recommend the sweetbreads, either as an appetizer or a main course; this is where I introduced my husband to them.

    1. Just MHO, but I would skip the balcony over Bourbon. In addition to the fact that there are no good restaurants that fit the description, watching tourist get fall-down drunk and puking in the gutters is not real New Orleans. For real New Orleans, take your guests to a real New Orleans restaurant, Brigtsen's, Dick & Jenny's or the aforementioned Bayona, for example. Being a planner, allot half an hour to walking down Burboun Street; then your guest can say s/he's done it and never has to do it again! Then, for more real New Orleans, hit a show at the Maple Leaf or one of the clubs on Frenchman Street.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Blumie

        So I got a CH buzz!! Apologies. Booked accommodations just outside the quarter and set on that part. Blumie, you are right I know as I have done the Bourbon Street thing in the past.Took a look at your bio and see you are a NOLA native living in an area I know well.Especially heading north to New Hampshire and Maine.
        So I ask, what would be your perfect 3 day flavor fest in NOLA? Starting with Friday Happy Hour and to Sunday dinner.

        1. re: FoodisArt

          Wow, that's a lot of responsibility! My opinions certainly are no better than others' on this board.

          You've got to pace yourself when eating in New Orleans; it's very easy to over do it. I'd plan my eating around your dinners. Here are my three dinner recommendations:

          Friday: Dick & Jenny's. This will require a cab ride from your hotel, and they do not accept reservations, which almost certainly means a wait. But they have a lovely patio on which you can enjoy a cocktail or a bottle of wine while waiting, and everything about this place smacks of New Orleans. Also, the Columns Hotel, on St. Charles Avenue, happens to be on the way to Dick & Jenny's; their porch overlooking St. Charles is one of the prettiest places to enjoy a late afternoon cocktail in New Orleans. So Friday is set: take the St. Charles Avenue streetcar to Columns Hotel for happy hour, then grab a cab to Dick & Jenny's for dinner. (Remember, don't be disappointed when you discover you need to wait for a table at Dick & Jenny's; just park yourself on the patio and order drinks or a bottle of wine while you wait.)

          Saturday: This is gonna be your splurge night (but still is likely to cost less than $150/person). Call Brigtsen's right now and make a reservation for Saturday night. This is many hounds' favorite New Orleans restaurants. It requires a cab ride, but it's well worth it.

          Sunday: By Sunday, you're gonna be ready to relax and go a little downscale. Plus, many places are closed on Sundays in New Orleans. If you want another upscale dinner, I'd vote for Stella, in the Quarter, but my recommendation is that you go to Coop's, a dive bar in the Quarter that, as a tourist, you'd never venture into unless someone you trusted (like us!) told you it was safe. Yes, it's a dive bar, but they have an extensive menu of excellent cajun and creole classics.

          That's enough of my yakking. I'll let others chime in and agree or disagree and fill in the breakfast and lunch holes. But, again, make sure to pace yourself!

          1. re: Blumie

            I strongly agree with pacing oneself in NOLA, with regards to dining. We usually end up doing breakfast, then dinner. Unfortunately, there are so many good lunch spots, but I just cannot do all that, any more. Whether it's NOLA, or London, or Honolulu, it's down to two good meals per day, and that is all I can handle. Wife is counting some sort of "points," so we have to figure out each dish, for each meal, and it gets to be too much calculating for me.

            I think that one needs a full week in NOLA, and that just scratches the surface. Too much good food, and too little time.

            Hunt

            1. re: Blumie

              Thanks so much!! Wasn't that fun? I love doing that kind of thing for people in areas I am familar with. No complaints yet!

              We will be doing the Friday part of your suggestion and I am thinking Stella's for Saturday supper. I think too Coops for Sunday will be great.Now we will want to fill in lunch on Saturday....I am thinking Po'boys.....where? Also Monday lunch...red beans and rice somewhere? And we would like to pick up muffalettas to bring home. I have heard of a place (other than Central) "something" Brothers maybe??? Too, isn't it mudbug season? Would there be a place for that on Sunday mid-day? We are driving in and my DH knows the city well as he lived there for a couple of years...obviously before meeting me and my CH ways !! Other than oysters at Felix's I have no idea where or what he ate !! What a shame for him but great fun for us to go back and share it all together.

              We currently live in the Fl. Panhandle, Ugh !! Not the best when it comes to good eating !! Or anything else for that matter !! Out of here soon !!

                1. re: FoodisArt

                  Upperline is a nice place for a Sunday dinner. Food is great.

                  I just read some not so good reports on Coop's on another board, which mentioned cold food and little to no seafood in the gumbo.

                  Mandina's is a good lunch spot for Saturday or Monday.

                  1. re: calliope

                    I ate at Coop's on Sat night. It was as good as ever. The gumbo certainly is not overflowing with seafood, but it's still mighty tasty.

          2. Chowhound has a very narrow mission--where to find deliciousness. General travel planning questions, like where to stay or what else to do while visiting a town, are off topic for our boards. Please keep your replies focused on helping the poster find great chow, as off topic replies will be removed.

            Thanks!

            1. I'd put the $ into the Audubon Cottages at Maison du Ville, and eschew the balcony. Next, you have Bayona, right across the st., and the Bistro Maison du Ville in the main house, just around the corner.

              Next, the beginner should do Galatoire's, and for a slightly down-scale meal, GW Fins is also around the corner.

              You, and your friend, only live once. Have an experience that no one will likely forget.

              Hunt

              -----
              Bayona
              430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

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

              Gw Fins
              808 Bienville St., New Orleans, LA 70112

              Hotel Maison De Ville
              727 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA 70130

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bill Hunt

                If you do want a balcony, French Market Cafe is nice as you can listen to the music across the street, and there's Muriel's in Jackson Square and that's about it for balconies, funnily enough. Lots of courtyards though - Brennan's, Bistro at Maison de Ville, Bayona, Napoleon House, Feelings (in Faubourg Marigny), K-Paul's has a small one, Court of Two Sisters has a good brunch and jazz, you can eat out at Pelican Club and at various places in the French Market.

              2. There is an authentic french bakery right when you enter New Orleans by the airport. It's called Chez Pierre Bakery. Their pastries are decadent, delicious, yet highly affordable. It is known for its chantilly cake which is a moist white cake layered with strawberries and a soft light cream. There is a beautiful arrangment of strawberries and kiwi on top and is sprinkled on the outside with your choice of chocolate or white chocolate shavings. It comes in a minature version just right for one person to eat. Also known is their fruit tart which is has a crunchy, flaky crust filled with a delicious cream, generously topped with fruits. There are about thirty to fourty other different items that is each unique in its own way. You can find the old traditional wine cake, brioche, petite four to creme brulee. They have the best French bread in town. They can also mold bread into shapes such as a crawfish or crocodile, great for bringing back home to show off. During Mardi Gras, you can find one of the best traditional king cakes in the city. There is a large selection of croissants filled with either strawberry, chocolate, cream cheese, almond, blueberry, apple, ham and cheese, or plain. They also serve crawfish bread, meat pies, crawfish pies, and breakfast croissants filled with eggs ham and bacon. They offer complementary fresh coffee.They cater to many different hotels and reception halls from there all the way to downtown New Orleans. Their service is friendly and welcoming. It has been a tradition for nearly 25 years. Because of their success, by the end of next year, there will be two more locations opening in New Orleans, one right next to target by clearview parkway and the other in new orleans east. It is located right at the corner of williams and veterans right when you enter the city from the airport. It is on veterans however. It is a great place to stop by on arrival or departure. They are closed on Mondays, open Tuesday to Saturday 6am until 6pm and Sunday 6 am until 3pm. They serve a full menu as doors open. It is my favorite bakery in New Orleans and I highly recommend it.

                3 Replies
                1. re: 8ball_Nguyen

                  Thanks for the great details. I have driven by Chez Pierre Bakery a few times. Your post makes me want to drive over there right now!

                  1. re: southerngal

                    Chez Pierre is great...best french bread this side of Dong Phuong. I like the chocolate cream pie (individual ones), as well as the fancier "hotel" pastries. I usually stop at CP before hitting the Hollywood Cinema, whose concession counter sucks. Now if Hollywood Cinema would start serving Indian snacks to go along with those Indian movies, the world would be a better place.

                  2. re: 8ball_Nguyen

                    I finally made it to Chez Pierre today. I agree with Hungry Celeste. The chocolate cream pie is great. Had one there and took some home. The sour dough bread is very good and inexpensive.