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Jun 2, 2008 05:21 PM

Lower-priced casual dinner for group of tourists...

as a replacement for Herbsaint.

Is there anything in a lower price range (e.g., entrees topping off at $15-20) that is nice and casual but doesn't make me pine all night for Herbsaint's pork belly which I've read so much about?

We're a group of friends from all over the country coming to New Orleans for the first time. I had pitched a dinner at Herbsaint during our short stay, but the probability of this plan is looking bleaker so I'm fishing for a backup. I'd like to have a short list of restaurants just as delicious and well-received, but at a lower price point. Suggestions are greatly appreciated!

(My current long list of food for the trip consists of very inexpensive eats and upscale casual, but little in between)

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  1. Unfortunately, I would say there is little in between inexpensive and upscale when it comes to local fare. I would say Mandina's or Jacques Imo's are a good bet. Are they as good as Herbsaint? No way, but I would put Herbsaint in NOLA's highest price point - on par with commander's, brigtsen's, cuvee, etc. Taking it down a price point also takes the food down a notch.

    1 Reply
    1. re: N.O.Food

      I tend to agree with you. Cochon is a "notch" down, price-point wise, and is still very good. Do not know if it would fit within the offered budget.

      Were I a tourist, on my first trip to NOLA, I'd take out a second-mortgage, but that's just me.

      Hope others, who are still local, can chime in with some recs.


    2. The Delachaise has upscale food at a lower price but it is a bar and smoking is allowed. You'd have to go when they open at 6 to avoid a loud, smoky restaurant.

      1. How about a neighborhood restaurant like Mandina's, Liuzza's, Ye Olde College Inn, R&O's, etc? Down a bit on the price scale, but still very much a part of our local culinary landscape. All of these choices will require a car or a cab.

        Liuzza's Restaurant & Bar
        3636 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70119

        Liuzza's By the Track
        1518 N Lopez St, New Orleans, LA 70119

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

        Ye Olde College Inn
        3000 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

        R & O Restaurant
        216 Metairie Hammond Hwy, Metairie, LA

        1. Martinique Bistro, Cafe Atchafalaya, Arabesque, Sara's in the Riverbend, Sidecar, RioMar, La Boca, Dante's Kitchen

          2 Replies
          1. re: edible complex

            Good calls, but I think OP wants local cuisine. You're right though. When we want a mid priced meal, we usually turn to "foreign" - for lack of a better term - food. Lola's, Jamila's, Thai, Vietnamese, etc. Dante's is a good idea and maybe Matt n' Naddie's would work also.

            1. re: N.O.Food

              my last meal for 2 at Mat & Naddie's was close to $200! the lunch buffet is $10pp; I haven't been, but have heard good things.

              I'm also hearing good things about:
              Chef's Corner. 710 S. Carrollton Ave. 504-865-0090

              You might also try Il Posto, J'Anita's, Stein's Deli, St. James Cheese Company, Ignatius Eatery, Crabby Jack's, Franky and Johnny's, Parkway Bakery, Two Sisters Kitchen, Li'l Dizzy's Cafe (on Poydras), or take the Canal St. ferry across the river and walk the 1/2 block to Dry Dock Cafe (it is worth it for the ride and view of the city)

          2. Or Thai.
            Some restaurants have three course dinner specials Palace Cafe comes to mind, but it might be $25.