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Jan 5, 2009 09:52 AM

Please critique my planned NO weekend feast

My SO and I are coming into town early Feb. We have not been in severals years. He doesn't eat beef/pork, but eats everything else. We come from South Florida so we aren't looking for any fancy tasting menus or foods we are likely to get here. Based on what I've read here so far, here's the tentative food schedule:

Friday morning after arrival: Cafe du Monde
Friday lunch: Muff for me from Central Grocery. What's close by that he can eat?
Friday dinner: Luke
Sat. breakfast: Stanley
Sat. lunch: Mahoneys (I want the cochon au lait po-boy)
Sat. dinner: Brigstens
Sunday brunch: Patois

Comments/suggestions/replacements? All advice is appreciated.

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  1. Luke is not all that great. I would truly try somewhere else such as Herbsaint, La Boca, Tommy's Cuisine. Mahoney's is the worst. We waited 45 minutes for sandwiches that were just edible. Johnny's Poboys in the quarter or Domilisie's uptown would be a more intelligent choice. Patois is not good. The service was awful and we almost had to get our own drinks from the bar because the waiter would not come around. The food again was just ok. All of your other choices are wonderful. I eat out a lot in New Orleans and I see no reason to not be always having a fantastic meal. I hope this helps.

    6 Replies
    1. re: nolajulie

      I am going to have to disagree with Julie on just about everything.

      Luke is good and has been nothing but consistent on every one of my visits. I would however recommend lunch over dinner. Here are some pictures from my last lunch there:

      Mahoney's may be slow, but the po-boys, onion rings, and fries are all top notch. I have never been a fan of Domilisie's. Johnny's is OK.

      The food at Patois is very good, but the service can definitely use some improvement.

      Herbsaint and La Boca would both be excellent choices except for the fact that your SO does not eat beef or pork - Donald Link loves the pig and La Boca is a steakhouse. Tommy's would be a nice choice though for duck, soft shell crabs, or oysters.

      There have been quite a few hounders complaining about Central Gocery lately. I would suggest grabbing a muff for the plane ride home on Sunday but they're closed.

      1. re: Bocuse NOLA

        Is it geographically possible for me to get 1/2 muff at Central and then go to Mahoneys so my SO can get a po-boy (and I may just also have to taste a cochon du lait po-boy while I'm there)? Then we could go to Luke for lunch on Sat. and go somewhere else for dinner on Friday.

        If so, where should we go for dinner on Friday night? We've been to Herbsaint (before SO stopped eating meat).

        Also, which is better for lunch? Luke as I originally planned or Cochon? There are way too many good places to choose from!

        1. re: tlubow

          I would go to Patois. We ate there on Saturday night and the food was AMAZING and the service was wonderful. I consider it my favorite restaurant right now.
          As for Mahoney's, I was not impressed with the Cochon de Lait po'boy, however, the fries are great and I really enjoyed the meatball po'boy.
          I would pick up a muff and bring it home. Instead of Central for your friday lunch, I would go to Cochon. They have very good small plates, and there is fish on the menu for your SO.

          1. re: tlubow

            Honestly, it is not really feasible to go from Central to Mahoney's for the same meal. Also, I am not sure if you are aware, but Luke offers a pressed cochon de lait sandwich. Maybe that could save you a trip to Mahoney's?

            As for Luke vs. Cochon, I would probably have to give the nod to Cochon. The small plates there allow you to sample a bunch of different things, and I really enjoy that.

            And you are correct in that there are too many good places to choose from. I guess that just means that you will need to visit more often.

            1. re: Bocuse NOLA

              I'd go to Cental just for the olive salad

        2. re: nolajulie

          i have to disagree as well -- Patois was simply outstanding for dinner recently. new fav. ive also been to Mahoney's a handful of times and find it enjoyable -- the best onion rings, kickass meatball poboy, good veal..

          id say Luke is better for lunch -- they have some fixed-price specials, good soup & salad prices, and a very tasty burger.

          i do also enjoy Johnny's tho.

        3. On a friday or saturday night i would try restaurant Rambla. Its a new place we have been to a few times and its just absolutely great! The food is all small plates style, and has spanish and french and new orleans influences, and boat loads of fun. Its also super affordable, they have wines for under $20 a bottle. It offers a good alternative to luke, which i also find to be sub par, as it is just around the corner on camp. Brunch try Dante's Kitchen, and a muffelata is something you can grab at a local super market and eat on the plane...and it really is just as good as central grocery with out the ridiculous wait! Hope you enjoy your trip! Us new orleans people are always happy to host!!!


            11 Replies
            1. re: reddog1

              Okay. Based on all your feedback, which is appreciated, I think we'll do the following:
              Friday morning: Cafe du Monde
              Friday lunch: Mahoneys
              Friday dinner: Patois
              Sat. breakfast: Stanley
              Sat lunch: Cochon (small plates)
              Sat dinner: Brigsten's
              Sunday lunch before flight: Luke

              What do you think? Are Brigsten's and Patois good dinner choices?

              1. re: tlubow

                I"m going to try One for dinner, which was recommended to me recently on this board.

                1. re: rcburli

                  One is quite good. Go to to purchase a $25 gift cert. for $10.

                2. re: tlubow

                  Just a thought; If your SO doesn't do beef or pork, you might want to try the terrific small plates at Rio Mar for lunch. Cochon is very good, but the menu at Rio Mar might be more up your alley.

                  Also, Stanley has been closed for so long that it is essentially a new restaurant, and it has just re-opened. I have not been to the new incarnation yet, but it normally takes a couple of months for any restaurant to smooth out the kinks, so I would approach it with a flexible mindset.

                  Patois is great, but Lilette has equally superb food and better service, IMHO. Both good choices for French food.

                  1. re: jeffchow

                    We're going to Stanley for breakfast which I figure is pretty safe, but other breakfast suggestions are appreciated. We are staying at the Ritz Carlton, so something not too far would be good.

                    I am going to check out Lilette and consider instead of Patois. What about Brigstens? Is this a good choice, or am I making a mistake by not going to Restaurant August, which seems to be so highly recommended. I assumed that R. August would be very close to what we find in Miami or other cities we visit. Am I wrong?

                    1. re: tlubow

                      August will be different from what you find in Miami. Besh is very Louisiana ingredient-centric. They're prepared in haute style, but you can see local roots in all of his dishes.

                      Stella, on the other hand, is similar to what you'll find in any major city. Only I find they're not anywhere close to similar restaurants in other places. Tru in chicago comes to mind.

                      August and Brigtsen's are significantly different dining experiences. It just depends on what you're looking for. For formal and creative haute cuisine, go to august. For creative, home-cooked style delicious dishes, go to Brigtsen's.

                  2. re: tlubow

                    Great choices for dinner. Cochon is not open for lunch on might want to switch your friday and saturday lunch plans.

                    1. re: mortalcoil

                      I realized that about Cochon and switched it to Friday. I currently have dinner reservations at Patois, R. August and Brigsten's. I need to cancel one of them, but I can't decide which. I'm sure that we will enjoy ourselves at any of them, though. Thanks to everyone who has helped out with this!

                      1. re: tlubow

                        I'd cancel Patois. We ordered 4 apps. and 2 entrees. (way too much food). 2 excellent apps....gnocchi, mussels, everything else was mediocre. Brigtsen's is very consistent and will definitely give you a taste of NOLA. If available, get the softshell. Best in town. August is excellent. and more refined. Cochon as it's name implies, is pig centric. You can pick up a muff Saturday at Central and put it in the mini frig. They keep well. Don't waste your time/money on a grocery store muff.

                  3. re: reddog1

                    im curious... how are the oysters prepared and what does it look like.> The bbq oysters ive had at commanders didnt seem to be what I expected.

                    1. re: foodwhisperer

                      the oyster bar at Pascal Manale's serves raw oysters on the half shell.

                      they are famous for their BBQ shrimp. you can do a search and find many versions for the recipe of this dish.

                      I don't see "BBQ oysters" on any of the online menus for CP; was is a special?