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Mar 18, 2008 09:56 AM

NOLA resident - where do you eat?

Looking for some awesome dives in NOLA - the kind the locals know and love and the tourists overlook. Please advise..

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  1. I eat at G&B Grill all the time on South Carrolton, their burger rivals pot of call without the tourist mark up.

    We also eat a t domilise's every other Saturday, best shrimp po-boy in town. Belle castle and annuciation.

    1. I eat (and have for many years) at Venezia's on Carrolton. You can ride the "City Park" streetcar out Canal Street. It will make a right turn onto Carrolton Ave. and Venezia's will be in the first block after the turn. Very convenient.

      14 Replies
      1. re: bg1811

        Really? what do you get?
        I went recently and the place was packed, with a 20 min wait, and when we got our food it was one notch below mediocre. I had an eggplant dish with seafood, hubby had something else- don't remember. I'm not going back.

        Is it popular because it's the only italian restaurant in the area? I just don't get it.

        1. re: Carrolltonsnob

          Do you think since the place was packed and you had a 20 minute wait says something? I just eat plain dishes there like spaghetti and meatballs, house salads, and pizza. After you finish, if you have room, you can walk about a 1/4 block to Angelo Brocato's Ice Cream Parlor. I think you should give them another try.

          1. re: bg1811

            The fact that it was packed was a BIG MYSTERY to me. Since then I've asked a couple of other people (in person) what the draw was and what I was missing. They agreed at the oddness of the whole thing. The place is always packed but the food isn't that good. I think this is an example of LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION.

            There are too many restaurants in this city to go back to one that wasn't good- sorry.

            1. re: Carrolltonsnob

              Speaking in general terms, not this establishment necessarily...
              REPUTATION, REPUTATION, REPUTATION!! is a it good...or bad.

              1. re: Uncle Bob

                I don't get Venezia, either. The food is borderline bad, the pizza's terrible. Too many other good places in town to keep going back. I think it survives on nostalgia alone.

                1. re: Hungry Celeste

                  Venezia's is popular because it's from another time--where ladies have big blue hair and ask "how's your mama," and little kids in Catholic school uniforms sullenly pick at garlic bread while their parents talk local politics. People go there because they've always gone there. Generally I'm OK with the "foodie" ascendancy, but there are restaurants that should be exempt from nitpicky foodie protestations. Venezia's food isn't special, but it's an iconic family restaurant, a New Orleans tradition. If it tinkered with its menu and attempted more "authentic" Italian, I'd cry foul. There are unquantifiable charms to places like this (and many others in New Orleans) that a foodie does not have the vocabulary to describe or understand. There are cities flush with cash that are buying their restaurant cultures wholesale that can NEVER reproduce restaurants like Venezia's, Domilise's or Galatoire's. I realize this is a board where we talk about food only, but maybe that's the problem. In New Orleans, if you really know the city, the food is only ever half of the picture.

                2. re: Carrolltonsnob

                  It's the nicest pizza dining room in the city.

                  1. re: Carrolltonsnob


                    I'm with you- we ordered pizza from Venezia's and it was totally inedible (quite difficult to do to a pizza) the cheese and sauce never cooked or something- it was like pizza soup

                    long lines or not we will never go back

                    1. re: chef4hire

                      Glad I'm not alone. I mean if it's your neighborhood place and you like it, great. But don't send the tourists there!

                  2. re: bg1811

                    "Do you think since the place was packed and you had a 20 minute wait says something?"

                    Yes. Inertia is a factor in dining as well as a fundamental principal of physics.

                  3. re: Carrolltonsnob

                    Its actually not the only Italian restaurant in the area Mandina's is only a couple blocks away and Venesia has always been pretty excellent when we've went, maybe it was a bad day

                  4. Liuzza's by the Track
                    Yo Mama's

                    1. At least once a month I will find myself at Kyoto for sushi (the Sarah Rolls are the BOMB), Cafe Granada (newish tapas place on Carrollton where I have yet to try a bad tapa), Angelo Brocato's, and Roman's Pizza (technically delivery; I think it's the best pizza in New Orleans, no lie). Several nights a month I end the night with some eats at either 13 Monaghan on Frenchmen or Clover Grill. At 13 they have these incredible things called Tater Tachos which are nachos made with tater tots instead of tortilla chips.

                      Now that we're getting in season, I'll pick up a couple pounds of crawfish at Big Fisherman every other week or so.

                      1. I am a tourist, not a native; but I would be willing to bet that the plate lunch at Matassa's on Dauphine would fit your criteria...