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Mar 20, 2008 03:51 PM

Meal Plan For April Visit

My family will be in town for the weekend of French Quarter Festival (April 11-13) and I just moved here a few weeks ago so I have a limited knowledge of good spots. I'm trying to come up with a good meal plan for a group of Northern CA foodies on a somewhat moderate budget. These are the restaurants I have in mind. I'm assuming that we'll get food at the Festival at least one day but we have five dinners to cover. Places like Stella probably aren't quite in our price range (although I may try to convince the party to do one more expensive meal). Any suggestions or additions would be greatly appreciated:


Cafe du Monde

Lunch stops:

Frankie & Johnnie’s
Parkway Bakery


GW Fin’s
Dick & Jenny's
Maybe Cafe Degas (in my neighborhood but I've heard mixed reviews)

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  1. Jek, I think Degas is very nice, particularly in the spring. If that's your neighborhood, you may want to consider Lola as well: BYOB if you like and very reasonably priced. Another lunch or dinner option not too far from there is Mandina's. Do be aware that both Lola and Mandina's are cash only.

    1. Cochon is a great place for dinner-they'll enjoy- it but don't miss out on other inexpensive lunch time places for take out or eat in, especially Mothers and Port of Call.They're both pretty unforgetable for the interesting service or food.

      1. I'd add Sunday Brunch at Ralph's On the Park. After our second trip (both excellent, and we're hard to please), they are #1 on our list for that meal. It is not inexpensive, but is fairly priced and is far better than most. I always opt for a blazer (at any Sunday Brunch), but folk were dressed across the board.


        Ralphs On the Park
        900 City Park Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70119

        4 Replies
        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Thanks Bill, I have heard great things about Ralph's from a few sources after your rec, I definitely have to check it out. We'll add it to the list.

          1. re: jek1979

            So far, we have only done a couple of Sunday Brunches, but I'd "assume" that they hold their own for other meals, as well. They have impressed me and that is not easy.

            Their staff has given great recs. for other restaurants in their "family," like Redfish, but I have yet to experience these.

            For a now, non-local, it's hard to follow which part of the Brennan family each restaurant belongs. I usually do a search here, just to be sure what I am getting.


            1. re: Bill Hunt

              I actually ate at Redfish a few weeks ago with a group of coworkers and I have to say I was underwhelmed. The food was good but not amazing and the service was unimpressive. We waited a long time for water refills and to get our wine. Also, the tourist factor was high. One of my fellow diners said it felt a little like Disneyland.

            2. re: jek1979

              Ralph's is excellent. The menu changes seasonally, but if they have the pork with p&j oysters, get it. Their escargot is really good, too. It's not the average puff pastry with garlic sauce variety.

          2. Dick & Jenny's has been hit-or-miss lately, which is disappointing. Perhaps One R&L, or Brightsen's instead?

            1. Many overlook lunch at our fine dining restos. You get great food at bargain prices. Try Cuvee (Wed./Thur. only), $24.95 for 3 outstanding courses. Commander's has 25 cent martinis as well as lunch specials. Mila offers 3 courses for $20. Your currrent lunch options are all good, but all poboys. If you have a car, Bozos (IMO) makes the best oyster poboy. None are even close. Liuzza's by the Track has 1/2 poboy with gumbo for about $9. Only been to Degas once and wasn't impressed enough to return. GW Fins has IMO the best crabcakes in town. I've enjoyed my meals there, but not enough to recommend it to visitors when there are so many better options (especially for the $). I would choose Herbsaint over Cochon (same chef/owner). Dick & Jenny's is good, but if you don't make the first seating, (no res) you'll have 1 1/2 hour wait. IMO, not worth it. Martinique Bistro (around 5800 Mag.) is quite good. Also small so you'll need res. They are open Fri/Sat. for lunch as well.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JazzyB

                Thanks for the feedback. I may try to do Cuvee on Thursday as that's the only day they will be in town during the week. As far as Herbsaint vs. Cochon, I picked Cochon because I've been to Herbsaint several times already. I've loved my meals there but felt like I should try Cochon on this trip instead. Now I wonder if I'm denying my guests the better experience...thoughts?

                1. re: jek1979

                  How about an all appetizer lunch at Cochon? IMO their best offerings.