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Feb 17, 2008 07:43 AM


Anybody been? had lunch at parkway bakery -- THE BEST po boys -- and mandina's was recommended over casamento's. ???

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  1. Mandina's and Casamento's are completely different places. Casamento's whole operation is based around one thing - oysters. That's why they close down for months during the summer. They have some other things like softshell crab and gumbo though.

    Mandina's is italian, creole. They have pastas, veal/chicken parmesans, and awesome speckled trout. I don't mean to make them sound like they have mostly italian because they don't. It's just that's what I always seem to get when i'm there. They have plenty of traditional new orleans fare and also great turtle soup. They have a much broader menu than casamento's. I love mandina's and casamento's. It just depends on what you're feeling like.

    2 Replies
    1. re: N.O.Food

      thanks for that. going with kids -- ages 4-10 -- and adults. leaving tomorrow, so have lunch available today. want authentic n.o. experience

      1. re: N.O.Food

        Mandina's is the archetypical neighborhood "jernt" with a large, varied menu of creole classics as well as Italian specialties. I think they lost something when they changed their decor (albeit for a very good reason, they flooded bigtime during Katrina) but their menu stays strong. I love a meatball poboy there, and almost never get anything else.

      2. Oh, my god...get the shrimp bordelaise. It's like a million shrimp over the yummies garlic butter linguine.

        But don't plan on doing anything but digesting the rest of the day.

        3 Replies
        1. re: faegood

          so is nba all-star game out of the question?!!

          1. re: aklores

            Mandina's is the first place I go for lunch when I fly into NO. We used to walk in high school and have a late lunch before our baseball game that night. The trout almondine was always great and I think it still holds up.
            I can honestly say that I've never had a roast beef po-boy at Mandina's, but would venture a guess that is is not as good as Parkway, because it's not one of the things people go to Mandina's for.
            Maybe they were recommending Mandna's over Casemento's for an experience type thing, they both have charm, in the local place sort of way, and Mandina's, IMHO, lost some of that charm after the remodel from the hurricane.

            1. re: roro1831

              My first experience at Mandina's was in January. Took a group of six friends from Minnesota here for some local eats. I've since been back three times when the family is in town and they've all raved about the place.

              The 1/2 loaf po-boys are absolutely huge ($9.95 is a steal IMO, you can easily eat one half and take the other home for lunch). Probably the best fried oyster po-boy I've had in my life. Love the pickles on the side. The onion rings are stacked high, with a thin and crispy coating...not the usual cakey batter.

              The po-boy portions are huge, I'd hate to see how large the full loaf is.

              The service is what you'd expect in a classic neighborhood eatery...gracious and accessible but not stuffy or hovering over you.

              The exposed brick and view of Canal Street makes it a must visit on my list.

        2. Mandina's has become a new favorite of ours on our last few trips to New Orleans. We stopped in last Friday and I had a wonderful soft shell crab with etouffe sauce, and Cynaburst had the gumbo which she said reminded her of the gumbo her family used to eat at home. On previous visits, we' ve also really liked the oyster/artichoke soup, the trout, and lots of other things. As far as the post-K "charm" question, it is somewhat cleaned up but we think it still has tons of character and the clientele is interesting and certainly more local than places in the Quarter.

          I agree with others that there's not really a basis for comparison between Mandina's and Casamentos (where I've been going for 25 years and which I dearly love--you'll find it on my top 5 restaurants list in my Chowhound profile); they're just different kinds of places.

          Since we were staying at a friend's house near the racetrack last week, we also went to Parkway (my first time ever!) and were wowed as was the OP, but that's for another thread.

          Mandina's Restaurant
          3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

          2 Replies
          1. re: PayOrPlay

            Mandina's poboys are very good. Not the best in the city, but close. If you go there with poboy in mind, you might change it with all the other great stuff there.

            1. re: PayOrPlay

              Back in NOLA for the first time in 15 years, so, based on the above, we rode the Canal car out to Mandina's for lunch. Those from out of town: this place does not have "fine dining" decor/ambiance; this isn't a bad thing, unless you've got the wrong expectations. This is a neighborhood place, with daily menu specials, and a local following.

              Soft-shells are in season; so I had the soft-shell half-loaf, which was truly huge (do people other than football players order their whole sandwiches and eat 'em?) and as wonderful as any s.s.c. I've had anywhere, with the POSSIBLE exception of Brigtsen's. Even the remoulade on the side salad was tasty, and the bread pudding, reccomended by the waitress, was a good finish.

              NOW I gotta go to Parkway and compare. Time to buy bigger-waist pants. . .

            2. Call me crazy, but I did not like Mandina's at all. It was just gross. Greasy, gloppy, noisy and sevice was obnoxious.

              1 Reply
              1. re: coolfoodie

                You're crazy. Mandina's rocks. Nobody mentioned the soups. Oyster & artichoke and turtle, both are great.