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Just One Lunch!

We're going to New Orleans for a wedding and will have only 1 lunch to ourselves. We're staying at the Pavilion. Where would you go? We do plan to sneak out to Cafe du Monde as much as we can and buy pralines, too. Thanks for all suggestions. We love everything and can't wait to be back in New Orleans.

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  1. Galatoire's, Commander's, August, Bayona. Which day?

    2 Replies
    1. re: JGrey

      It is a Friday in November. We can't wait to go.

      1. re: DaisyM

        Depends on what type of lunch experience you want. August provides an elegant atmosphere and food. Open only on Fri. for lunch. Galatoire's will be a loud, boisterous room filled with locals and old world Creole preparations. You would go more for quintessential NOLA experience rather than the food. Commander's (garden room a must) is fun with IMO the best service in town and quite good food. I prefer it to having dinner there. 25 cent martinis too. Bayona is not a favorite.

    2. Wow--just ONE lunch? That's hard. If you're gonna be here in May, I'd probably go to Casamento's and have a softshell crab sandwich, a side of fries, a Barq's root beer, then a cup of cafe au lait for dessert. They're closed June-July-Aug, though.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Hungry Celeste

        We're actually going to be there in November. Only 1 meal, because there will be all kinds of wedding related festivities. We have to sneak out so that the rest of the family doesn't follow us!

        1. re: DaisyM

          We just returned from 4 days in NOLA and one of our best meals was our lunch at Commander Palace. It was perfect in all manners and respects.

      2. Hello Daisy, There are so many places to chose from, but if there is time for 1 and only 1 my suggestion would be Palace cafe. it right on canal st. close to your hotel and is owned by the brennan family, same as commander's palace. It is old world cuisine with a modern take. Great service and a local favorite.Enjoy!!

        5 Replies
        1. re: carlos lainez

          Carlos - My recent lunch at Palace was mediocre at best. We stopped in to try the famous crabmeat cheesecake and the white chocolate bread pudding. While those items were good, to be honest, they weren't worth the detour. Furthermore, the other items we ordered were problematic; the lettuce from the cobb salad was old and wilted and it seemed that it was pre-plated while the replacement (while tasty) was overcooked and came with a charred bun. Service was also problematic as our waiter was difficult to understand and rarely came by our table. Probably one of the worst meals (along with Emerils) during our trip. If the OP wants to stay in the FQ I would try Mr B's Bistro instead. A much better lunch experience.

          1. re: bgut1

            I meant to say the replacement dish - a hamburger - was overcooked and came with a charred bun. Sorry.

            1. re: bgut1

              We just returned from New Orleans, and the ONLY meal we hated was at Mr. B's. Food, service, and noise level were all atrocious. On the other hand, our lunch at Commander's was superb. As close to perfect as one could wish for. I'd go there.

              1. re: Plano Rose

                Plano - What did you eat at Mr. B's and what was wrong with the service?

                1. re: bgut1

                  bgut1, I ate gumbo yaya and barbecued shrimp. The gumbo was tepid, not even lukewarm and inedibly salty. I really like worcestershire sauce, but it overpowered the shrimp. When the waiter saw that I hadn't eaten much, he remarked that I must not have been hungry, I told him that no I just didn't like it. He shrugged and walked off. Not even a "sorry 'bout that."

                  The other nine restaurant meals in New Orleans ranged from good to magnificent.

          2. I would go to Bon Ton. It's within walking distance and the food is wonderful.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mrsfury

              I second Bon Ton Cafe. It is just a few blocks from your hotel, and the food and atmosphere are wonderful. You won't be disappointed.

              1. re: mrsfury

                I agree with Bon Ton Cafe, and it has an electric feeling in it. Not to mention they have some good cocktails.

              2. What you are asking is like going to 6 Flags and asking which ride to ride IF you can only ride one.

                Lunch Uptown is very nice at Commanders. Lunch in the Quarters Antoines is very special. Arnaud's is also quite good for the whole experience of a historic restaurant.

                August and Bayona are different. They are both very good but not historic. The buildings are but the restaurants are newer. Well not over 100 years old.

                If I had to make a definitive choice for lunch at one of our restaurants and it was all about the food, I would pick Cuvee. If you want a FQ experience. Antoines. The restaurent is very cool. Service amazing. Food is way above average, especially if coming from out of town.

                Court of Two Sisters has one of the nicest courtyards.

                1 Reply
                1. re: webechil

                  Cuvee would definitly be my first choice however, they are only open Wed/Thur. for lunch.

                2. As has been elluded to, it would be easier to help if you could hint at what type of dining experience and food you are looking for...also, were you hoping to stay close to the hotel, or is transportation not an issue?...that said, there are some great suggestions here already, and loads more to add. And with your enthusiasm, I'm sure you will have a superb experience wherever you choose.

                  1. Yes, I realize that it is completely ridiculous that we only get to have one meal on our own. And believe me, if it wouldn't cause WW III, I'd blow off some of the wedding events! The more I think of it, the weekend will be filled with fine dining. I think what will be missing is po boys, gumbo, etc. We've both been to Commander's Palace and Arnaud's. Both fantastic...but this time I think more casual will do it.( Sorry, I hadn't really given it enough thought when I first posted.) We are absolutely going to take my adorable 92 year old father-in-law for his first trip to Cafe du Monde. He'll just love it!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DaisyM

                      Whatever you do, please don't go to Mother's. It's a tourist trap and would be a complete waste of time. You could try Lil' Dizzy's in the Whitney Bank on Poydras St., corner of Camp St. I haven't had their po-boys, but the Trout Baquet and fried chicken are excellent and the prices are reasonable. Also, Napoleon House and Bourbon House in the FQ are very good.

                    2. Okay....so it turns out we have two lunches! I'm going to make reservations for Commander's Palace for one day. For the day we arrive I'd like a more casual place in the French Quarter (Staying at La Pavilion) Should it be Bon Ton or Casamentos...or something else? We've already planned to make a run to Cafe Du Monde every night. Can't wait to go back to New Orleans! Oh, one more thing....where to buy the best pralines? Thank you.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: DaisyM

                        Casamentos is uptown, not FQ, on Magazine (next to Miss Maes) 2 doors off Napoleaon. Oyster loaves, 1/2 shell. Small menu. Although not casual, Galatoire's will offer the quintessential NOLA experience. Jacket not required for lunch, no shorts. I don't eat pralines so no help there. Pick up a muff. from Central Grocery to take home. Enjoy!

                        1. re: DaisyM

                          Between those two, I'd say bon ton. It has a wider variety of food. Casamento's is almost exclusively an oyster restaurant, so go to Casamento's if you're feeling bivalvy. If you want to do a really good lunch in the quarter, go to Bayona. There's also Herbsaint, Rio Mar, Cochon, Cuvee, MiLA, Galatoire's, etc. Sorry for the extra choices, and good luck deciding.

                          1. re: DaisyM

                            As far as pralines, I am partial to Aunt Sally's (right next door to Cafe Du Monde)- but I'm biased, since I worked there for 3+ years! Every praline is different, so it's definitely a matter of taste- some are chewy, some are crunchy, some are smooth, some are grainy, etc. There are a few places in the French Market that sell them, it might be fun to sample and decide for yourself :)

                            1. re: southernyankee

                              I remember Aunt Sally's from years ago! I think you are right....for scientific purposes we really should try as many kinds as we can.

                              1. re: DaisyM

                                oh! and if you happen to visit Aunt Sally's when the ladies are in the kitchen making the pralines, ask for a warm one- they're so good that way! :)

                            2. re: DaisyM

                              cafe beignet has funny hours, but the superior beignet.

                            3. Southern Candymakers has the best pralines IMO. Most places will give you a taste, so you can figure it out for yourself too. Have fun trying them all!

                              Bon Ton and Commander's sounds like two great lunches, you'll love em!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: justagirl

                                plus, southern candymakers is very generous with their samples. amazing pralines, amazing product.

                              2. Since this is a May post. You have to have come and gone, so where did you go and how was it?

                                1 Reply
                                1. I promise a full report when I get including how much weight I gained!