Berkeley Chowhound has tentative food agenda for NOLA
Any feedback would be great for the few days I have in NOLA mid-November...anything critical I am missing? Looking for more casual and hole-in-the-wall than high-end...
Casamento's - Po' Boys & Oysters
Cafe du Monde - Coffee and beignets
Central Grocery - Muffuletta Sandwich
Cochon - Cajun
Old Coffee Pot - Lost Bread, callas, and grits
TBD - depending on what we do during the day
K-Paul's - Paul Prudhomme Southern Louisiana restaurant
4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
NO stay in New Orleans would be complete without a trip uptown to Jacques-Imo's. It's funky, it's fabulous, and the food is quintessentially New Orleans. It also gets you out of the quarter and into the more residential areas, which are beautiful! Have your cab driver take you there via St. Charles Ave. The most stately homes in the city flank oak-lined St. Charles. NOT the New Orleans people expect.
Here's a link to the restaurant's website: http://www.jacquesimoscafe.com/
I recommend getting there at the stroke of 5:30 (if not earlier). They don't take reservations and there's almost always a (long) line. If you do end up waiting, though, try one of their watermelon Mojitos. They are outta this world!
Jacque-Imo's has their devotees, but the risk reward factor is probably to high. That being said there are great restaurants in the River bend. Best thing to do is to take street car or cab from where you are staying, to the end of the line, and just start walking. Sample a little bit from each spot and move on.
Cafe Grenada, Basil Leaf, One, Dante's Kitchen... If you are lucky the old Iris will be reopened by then.
I second Dante's Kitchen--fantastic, locally sourced, yum! Or, you could go to Brightsen's if you're willing to fancy it up a little or even Camelia Grill if you want a hamburger-waffle-chili fry-orange freeze night of excess...
One non-chow related benefit to the River Bend idea is that you can go to the Maple Leaf afterwards for the best possible New Orleans music experience.
I strongly disagree with Jacgues-Imo's. Funky yes , but the food is not fabulous and the service is less than fabulous. If you get there early your chances of having okay service are better, but the food is overly rich and highly caloric and that experience can be had at far better restaursants.
for casual eats, I go to J'Anita's, Cafe Atchafalaya, Cochon, Arabesque, Il Posto, Ruby Slipper. Coco Hut, Boswell's, Rivershack, Parkway Bakery & Tavern, St. James Cheese Company (wine shop next door), Cafe Degas (near New Orleans Museum of Art and nice for Sunday brunch), Mat & Naddie's, Liuzza's by the Track, Bywater BBQ, Parasol's, Domilisie's.
Switch Friday lunch to Napoleon House for your muff. Just as good and nicer service.
Sunday brunch has to be at EAT in the FQ on Dauphine and Dumaine. Great prices and byob. Stop off at any bar on the way over for a bloody mary or get a bottle of champagne at a liquor store for mimosas. Eat will provide the OJ.
You're very French Quarter and downtown-centric, which is OK, but ideally you'd get out and visit some of the charming neighborhoods and restaurants that tourists rarely go to. Casamento's is the farthest afield you're going, but I love Parkway Bakery and Tavern for delicious poboys (fried shrimp, fried oyster, and roast beef are my favs.
The FQ is lovely during the day, but you probably want to steer clear of Bourbon at night (and during the daytime, for that matter, except to go to Galatoire's.) Locals go to Frenchman St. in the Marigny for funky jazz clubs and divey bars. Tipitina's Uptown and the Maple Leaf are great music clubs, too.
New Orleans architecture outside of the FQ actually reminds me a lot of San Francisco. Lots of wooden Victorian houses. Take a Garden District tour. Take the St. Charles streetcar up to Riverbend and then back.
I would drop lunch at Central Grocery -- there's no place to sit, for one thing (it really IS a grocery) -- and grab a muffaleta for the flight back to Oakland (or SFO, depending upon your airline). That's what we do . . . OTOH, you might want to switch Cochon to lunch.
Also, K-Paul's is not as good as it once was, so I'd drop it, too (along with Jacques-Imo's which, I see, is no longer on your list).
I would think about the following restaurants (listed alphabetically): Herbsaint, Iris, Lilette, Martinique Bistro, and on the "higher" end of things, August, Bayona, or Stella . . .
When are you going? We'll be there Nov 13-17 for our annual food fest.
Bogus! You get Alice Waters AND Mendocino? Shoot, we're in the SF Area at least 3x per year, and I don't get trips like that.
I do have some Mendocino recs, that I'll post to your thread on the CA Board. Most sound a tad casual, but the folk swear by the food.
M-I-L just had a stroke, so it might not be until the end of the weekend, before I can sit down with my wife and get all of the data.
Enjoy and let me know if I've just had too much Zin, but I still see some little parallels with the two restaurants. Cannot put my finger on these, but every time I am in one, I have little flashbacks of the other.
Like I said, maybe just too much Zin.
Enjoy and travel safely. Wish we'd be there during that time, as I'd find a way to get to restaurant ____ and buy your dinner.
re: Bill Hunt
Well, I fell into a tub o' butter on this. I am "along for the ride" so to speak. A friend needs some help for an annual trip & I am the help. It gets worse--or better---we go up to Oregon for some theatre. I'm losing billable time here at home BUT I am gaining weather. Better yet, I get to learn about that world..I fell in love with the Central Valley and running up by Mount Shasta. It was great fun . My only prior experience "out there" was as a child. I was so glad to have really good sourdough---and sourdough toast.
Had some great meals: I expect to replicate the stops this trip. Biba is on the list, too. I almost never eat dessert but I had a lemon tart there last year that was simply outstanding
Thanks for your help...the M-I-L stroke hits home and I hope the patient ...and those who love her...find relief