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Please help! First Time NOLA visitor!

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This will be my first trip to the Big Easy, and I am hoping to have some wonderful food experiences without breaking the bank.

I am coming into town for about three days, but a good portion of that will be sitting in a conference. :-( However, I will have a whole day to explore and a couple of evenings to eat out.

I won't have a car, so I will most likely stick to the Quarter. One of the vendors at the conference has already offered to take me to Emeril's NOLA one evening.

Here are my questions:

1. Any menu recommendations for Emeril's NOLA?

2. What adult beverages do I need to try and where? ( I've already had my eye on the Hurricane at Pat O'Briens, a Sazerac, and I would like to try Absinthe)

3. What other local fare (for reasonable prices) should I try in the Quarter? (I've thought of heading to Acme for the oysters)

4. What sites are must-see on my day in the Quarter? (I know I want to see Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral)

I know this is a long post, but based on others I've seen, I know it helps to be detailed!

I appreciate your opinions, and if anyone is ever headed to Pinehurst, NC for some golf, let me know and I can give some great recommendations for food!

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  1. The desserts are great at NOLA...also the BBQ shrimp appetizer.

    My favorite cocktail in NO is the Pimm's Cup at the Napoleon House...also a French 75! And if you feel brave and have no issues with a hangover, try the nasty Hand Grenade at the Tropical Isle.

    The chargrilled oysters at Acme are a favorite of mine, and the half shells are good as well...have never had anything else there....but I always go for oysters at least once per visit. I am going to go to Drago's next visit (2 weeks,,,YAY) and see how theirs compare.

    Gotta go to the Cafe du Monde, gotta ride the streetcar....

    1 Reply
    1. re: betheroo

      i actually really like the Hand Grenade :) unlike the hurricane i find it something i enjoy on a semi-frequent basis. while not as sweet as the hurricane, its still sweet so i usually order it in the small size, which is in a regular cup and is $2 cheaper.

      i second Drago's char broiled oysters. you can order them at their downtown Hilton location, which has the same prices and as far as im able to tell taste exactly like the dreadful metry location (sorry, trying to drive out there is a fate worse than death IMO..!)

    2. It is a requirement for a first time visitor to have a Hurricane. Most locals think they are terrible but it is a requirement. Walk down Bourbon St. from Iberville to St. Peter. Go to Napoleon House. Get a Muffaletta from the Central Grocery but be sure to share it, it is huge. On your way to Central Grocery, stop by Tujagues for a drink. Antoine's has a brand new beautiful bar on St. Louis which looks like it will become a legend along with the restaurant. It just opened 1 week ago. To see how the locals drink, go to Yo Mama's right across the street from Pat O's and hit the Johnny White's on the corner of Bourbon and Orleans. This bar never closed, even during and after Katrina--the military supplied them with ice. Stay between Bourbon and the river.

      1. IMO Hurricanes and Hand Grenades are tourist drinks. That said, get your Hurricane from Lafitte's Blacksmith Shoppe (much better than Pat O's) not to mention it's a more interesting bar. Go to Pravda for the Absinthe. Go to Muriel's for a Ramos Gin Fizz and ask to sit in the Seance Lounge or on the balcony overlooking Jackson Square.

        Great Poboys at Johnny's Poboys. You also might enjoy the French Market, http://www.frenchmarket.org/ the antique shops on Royal St. Here's a link for a self guided walking tour. http://tinyurl.com/b9k3h6

        I think the entire FQ is beautiful and just love to walk and enjoy the architecture.

        Like betheroo said, be sure to ride the St. Charles streetcar so you can see the Garden District homes.

        1. I am also hoping to find a 'cheap' place in the quarter to eat some traditional NOLA fare on Friday evening (since my dinner Thursday evening will be at Emeril's NOLA - which I take to be a non-traditional spin on Big Easy cuisine).

          Any places you can recommend? What do I have to try?

          2 Replies
          1. re: pinehurstfoodie

            The Gumbo Shop in 600 blk of St. Peter--fair to good but NO food.

            1. re: pinehurstfoodie

              Try a Pimm's Cup. Stand at the bar at Felix's for 1/2 shell. Wash them down with an Abita draught. Beware, their horseradish is killer. Galatoire's for quintessential New Orleans. If you don't imbibe, it won't break the bank. Their turtle soup is good as well as any fish with meuniere and crabmeat. Mr. B's has great gumbo Ya Ya and barbque shrimp. Get a muff at Central Grocery to take home. They travel well. Johnny's for poboys...they close early. K-Paul's is open Thur- Fri- Sat. for lunch. Basically self serve. Menu changes. Stop in for a cup/bowl of excellent chicken andouille gumbo. Be sure to take the St. Charles streetcar for a glimpse of uptown/riverbend. The Canal St. streetcar will take you to City Park/art museum. Frenchmen in the evening for several music options.