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Apr 14, 2008 10:01 PM

New Orleans Trip Report- Day 1

I was in town the last week in March for my first time in a few years. A fantastic trip!

Day One:

After checking in to the hotel (International House - great stay!) My wife and I walked over to Central Grocery around 12:30. I know there has been some complaints about a "old" sandwich being served (I've had some in the past) but ours was perfect! We ordered a half for the two of us as we didn't want to wreck ourselves the first hour of the trip. The bread was soft and fresh and the olive salad was delicious. I really enjoyed this!

We then walked over to meet our friends and they had not eaten yet and wanted to go to Napolean House. What a perfect opportunity to try these favorite muffaleta's back to back! I was curious about the famous "hot" muffaletta. I ordered a Pimm's Cup (loved it), and a quarter sandwich. I know I am going to piss some people off here but what a terrible sandwich!!! Imagine a cold cut sandwich that is microwaved. The bottom bread was soggy and warm. Exactly why I don't microwave leftovers at home. It really wasn't good. Not sure where the glowing recommendations come from. That being said, I went back later in the week to have a sazerac and that turned into 3. Best saz I had in town so I would recommend the place for the cocktails.

Went back to the hotel and napped and cleaned up for dinner before heading down to the bar for an apertif. They carried Lucid absinthe, the genuine article, and took their time preparing it for us. A very nice pre-dinner cocktail!

For dinner (like we needed more) we went to August. My party loved their meal but I thought it was merely above average. I did enjoy my lemonfish but wasn't blown away. The fois gras 3 ways was good and the P+J Oysters were excellent! Don't know if I would go back given all the great places in town.

day 2- to be continued

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  1. Similar situations here at Napoleon House and August. Agreed: I don't understand the accolades posted here about Napoleon's insipid muff. August 2 years ago was exceptional, though 3 months ago it was just good. One dessert was bad, as in not fresh. Maybe John's got too much on his plate these daze.

    1. agreed 100 percent on central grocery versus napoleon house. i love napoleon house, but certainly not for the muffalettas. i'm enjoying your reports. thanks!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Shiloh

        What do you love Napoleon House for? I feel like when it's mentioned on this board it's always in reference to the muffs?

        Do you think the muffs are improved there if you ask them to not heat them up?

        1. re: ZestyZ

          Went to Napoleon House a few months back for lunch. Unbelievably bad sandwich. No kidding, it had 4 small slices of chicken on it, a leaf of lettuce and two slices of a roma tomato. Nothing came with it - no chips, pickle, nothing. I actually thought it was hilarious and when I pointed it out to the waiter - nicely - he was very rude. The whole experience smacked of the tourist trap the place really is.

          1. re: ZestyZ

            i love it for the cocktails and the ambience and its history. i think the food is subpar. admittedly i've only dined there twice. the muffaletta was bad and the red beans seemed to have come from a blue runner can.

            1. re: ZestyZ

              Napoleon House is about atmosphere...don't eat, drink. Sit in the little nook on a night when the french doors are open and drink in the FQ...

              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                I had an excellent mint julip there once. I'll never forget it- the bartender had freshly picked mint and really knew what he was doing with the muddling, etc. No wonder- it turned out that he had opened a bar called The Spotted Cat on Frenchmen, which has turned into a favorite hangout of mine when we visit nola.