Tulane/NO visit need dining help
I will be bringing my daughter to NO to visit Tulane in 2 weeks and need some dining suggestions. Neither of us has ever been to NO before. We both will eat anything although she's not big on anything too spicy. In particular would enjoy eating the local cuisine as much as possible and keeping meals to no more than $20 or so a head (exceptions are allowed). Looking for the following:
1) Thursday evening not far from the Intercontinental. Flight doesn't get in until 7pm so something easy to get in and out of.
2) Friday dinner near Tulane. We won't be done until probably around 5pm so it would be nice to try something near the University. Alternatively, we want to go to Preservation hall and could go Fri or Sat and so could do dinner before that.
3) Saturday dinner at Luke (I have reservations and think we'll both enjoy that even though a bit higher end that I want other meals to be.
4) Sunday brunch and/or simpler meals. Our flight isn't until 4:30 and we won't be eating until the next morning so suggestions for whatever Sunday would be great.
Breakfasts any day (something near the hotel or Tulane would be really great for Friday). Saturday we'll go anywhere interesting since we don't know how we're spending the day yet.
Any and all suggestions welcome.
So this is the report back. Thanks for your suggestions. As you can see we took many of them.
Thursday night we were so exhausted that when we got in we just went to sleep with no dinner.
Friday morning, we went to the Camellia grill and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We loved the food, the quirky waiters with their white jackets and bow ties, the milkshake machine used to whip the eggs for the omelets, the counter seating where we were asked midway through the meal to move over a seat to make room for a large party. More than anything else, my daughter and I loved the attitude of everyone there. It was just fun. FYI, this was around 9am and we had no wait.
Friday after our visit to Tulane, we finished a little earlier than expected so went back to the hotel and then were too lazy/tired to head back uptown so we ended up eating dinner at Rambla (where we were supposed to go Thursday night). The food was very good, the atmosphere extremely nice. Our favorite tapas were the empanadas, the Alsatian onion and bacon flatbread and the beets. The patatas bravas were a bit too spicy for my daughter but I really liked them. We tried the grilled octopus but didn’t particularly care for it. Portion sizes were generally OK although the beets were a tiny portion.
Saturday morning we went to Mother’s and braved the line which did move fairly quickly. I had the biscuit with egg and baked ham which was absolutely impossible to eat as a sandwich but the components were all good. My daughter had a single pancake and baked ham. We both agreed that the ham was superb.
Saturday night we went to Luke where we had a truly enjoyable dinner. We split the seafood gumbo (much spicier than the waiter said but good nonetheless) and the fried oyster, bacon and avocado salad (which they nicely split for us). For entrees I had the shrimp farci and my daughter had the crab ravioli. Both were very nice. Being with daughter, we shared a dessert which I think was hazelnut crème brulle. All in all everything was very tasty.
The only misstep was our brunch on Sunday. We went to Lil Dizzy’s inside the Whitney hotel which was awful. The atmosphere was fabulous but the food was poorly cooked (some overcooked and other items undercooked) and under heated. The only good thing was the fried chicken which was spot on. Overall, truly pathetic. Oh well. You guys gave other suggestions but we just didn’t feel like going too far afield.
Thank you for the report. Glad that most of the culinary aspects of the trip worked out well. Your reviews are appreciated, especially as many accompany their children to universities in the area, and your request was but one, of many similar posts. The folk here know their chow!
With regards to the initial comment on "spiciness," I have found that, with exceptions, the food of New Orleans is heavily spiced, but does not possess that much "heat." I make a very strong distinction between those two terms. For me, typical New Orleans fare has layers of spices/flavors. There might be some "heat," but usually that is what the bottle of Tabasco on the table is for. I liken it to peeling an onion and discovering an additional layer of flavor, or experiencing a fine wine over a few hours, and it revealing itself, one layer at a time. Now, I grew up near-by, so maybe I do not notice the levels of "heat," in the food there, as someone else might. I do recall some friends in Denver were surprised at the "heat" of my wife's gumbo, and all I ever encountered was the wonderful layers of spice and flavors. I'd usually add a dash of Tabasco, to add some heat. Unfortunately, the "heat level" that was encountered was more than your daughter appreciated. I can understand. I have been the only Gringo in a Mexican restaurant, and have been brought to my knees with tears in my eyes, and the rest of the patrons have been complaining that the food was not "picante" enough. It was like a friend telling a Thai chef, "man, you don't know what HOT is... " That nearly killed both of us.
Still, it sounds like you enjoyed yourselves, and I hope that you get to sample much more of the wonderful food of New Orleans.
Suggestions all look great. Ciro's definitely could work well on Friday. I'm assuming the wait shouldn't be too long if we're not there late. Camellia grill will also probably work out well. We'll have to see if we feel like going back to the Riverbend area or trying another area of town for during the weekend. I have plenty of suggestions for all our meals now (probably way too many).
Thanks to all. I will report back.
There is sometimes a very long wait for Camellia Grill. If so, walk right around the corner on Hampson to Refuel. Or up to Oak St. Cafe, I was just there this morning and it's great. I hadn't tried it for a few years and they have definitely stepped it up. Live piano and singer, too.
I think you'll like Ciro's.
Good to hear you're coming to take a look at Tulane - I'm currently attending law school at Tulane and can say only good things about the school and area. For dining around the University area, there are certainly great options, particularly in the Riverbend area where St. Charles meets Carrolton.
For a dinner in the Tulane area I would suggest Ciro's Cote Sud on Maple Street, which is a little French and Italian style bistro (mostly french influenced entrees but also really good pizza) that is one of my personal walking distance to school favorites. Also I would look at Jacques-Imo's for a unique New Orleans experience. I think Jacques-Imo's has a mixed reputation on this board but for me it is enjoyable as much for the atmosphere as for the food - which I also have found to be very nice, just prepare for a wait on a busy night .
Sunday brunch I would definately suggest Dante's Kitchen - seconding everybody elses opinion, which is a meal I have repeatedly taken out of towners to with rave reviews all around. Really great little place once again in the Riverbend area. Since you have time I think it is definitely worth the trip.
Last for breakfast in the area of your hotel, Mother's is a good bet and further uptown I would go for Camelia Grill as pointed out by Hungry Celeste.
Have a great trip!
1)Rambla, at the International House hotel. Just a short distance from the Intercontinental. It offers a menu of tapas, intended for sharing. You can eat as much or as little as you'd like, with dishes to share. Or try the Bon Ton for crawfish etouffee, crab au gratin, etc. Both of these options are more than $20 a head.....
2)Why not hop on the streetcar and head back downtown, stopping at Slice for pizza? Every undergraduate-to-be needs to check out the local pizza scene, and Slice offers decent salads and slightly ambitious pies as well. Plus, you can eat inexpensively to make up for Friday's arrival dinner.
4)Camellia Grill for a breakfast/brunch; an institution, with breakfast & diner food. Located in Riverbend, not too far from campus, near Carrollton & St. Charles; you can take the streetcar from downtown, and then hop back on for a quick trip back to campus.
re: Hungry Celeste
I like the looks of Rambla and am assuming (correct me if I'm wrong) that we can dress casually and that we shouldn't have too long a wait on a Thurs evening. I suspect we can escape for under $30 each so that's fine.
We're not too into pizza since my daughter has it twice a week at school so need to find something else.
Camellia Grill looks good for breakfast. Might try that Friday morning before getting to Tulane since we don't have to be at the University until after 10.
I suspect her pizza consumption will only increase once she hits college!
Other possible options for an early, casual dinner on Friday include Casamento's for raw or fried oysters, softshelled crab, and other simple but delicious seafood. Or you could try Dante's Kitchen (in Riverbend).