Yes, another damned first timer with questions:
I have dug through the numerous posts in here re: restaurants et all.
My fiancee and I are spending our honeymoon in your fine city, our hotel is in in the French Quarter. We will have a car but will spend most of our time walking or taking public transport.
Here are a few of my questions:
Where's the Chinatown/Koreatown in NOLA?
Is the Southern Food and Beverage Museum worth checking out?
Are there any Ethiopian restaurants? I've tracked down Tunisian, West African, and Jamaican so far...
I found some listings for banh mi but haven't been able to find a well recommended place for pho - in particular Hue style.
What bars do the punk rockers/goths/rockabilly/rude boys/tattooed lunatics hang out in?
Where can my fiancee and I get a nice quiet - aka grown up/pleasant atmosphere/lack of the stench of urine and vomit - drink?
What style of BBQ do you guys lean towards: pork or beef? Over my last decade in Texas I'm kind of filled to the gills on brisket and beef ribs.
Is the Dixie Brewery still MIA?
And finally out of this list what should I prioritize and/or avoid:
French Market Farmer's Market
West Indies Cafe
ACME Oyster House
Cafe Du Monde (the fiancee wants to take me there)
The Rusty Nail
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop
Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery
The Red Sea
whew...I better have a second stomach installed.
I appreciate all your help. Cheers to ya.
i have similar questions, will be there early may -
but i'm not interested in any "ethnic" cuisines other than those indigenous to the area (im from new york - so i'm looking for local gems from NO)
i want to know what are the best high end places, but even more so the best hidden gems and hole in the wall places.
the best gumbo
the best muffaleta
Second Casamento's for oysters.
There is no Chinatown/ Koreatown. In fact, I wouldn't recommend eating either cuisine here, especially if you can get good versions of them where you're from.
SOFAB Museum was very dry and boring in my opinion, but I was there right when it opened and the Beverage part hadn't opened yet.
As far as Ethopian, I haven't heard of anything. If you do, I['d enjoy hearing about it.
I hope you found Dong Phuong for banh mi. They're amazing, dirt cheap, and the ladies who work there are awesome. As far as pho, I'm not sure of the regional distinctions, but Kim Anh's in Harahan has great pho, and the pho shop in Hong Kong Market in Terrytown/ Gretna is good as well.
As far as the nice, quiet, grown-up drink I'd go to Swizzle Stick in the Loews Hotel, or the bar at the Pere Marquette Hotel. Both very good, and both beautiful spaces, although the service at the Swizzle Stick leaves something to be desired.
BBQ sucks here. Period. Someone's going to say the Joint, but that sucks too, honestly. Don't bother.
I've completely deleted those I either don't know about or think are a waste of your time:
French Market Farmer's Market for your wife.
Creole Creamery- good, but hit La Divina Gelateria instead.
Tommy's Cusine- alright, but not worth it for a visitor.
Cafe Du Monde (the fiancee wants to take me there)- gotta go. touristy, but not too touristy to skip.
Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery- wow wow wow.
Pho Quang- not sure about this one, but like I said, I'd pick Kim Anh's
Jamila's- lived across the street for a year and never went, but it looks good and interesting.
Galatoire's- I know this goes against the grain, but I had a miserable, miserable meal here and would have a really hard time going back. Unseasoned food, indifferent service. I guess I'm just not a regular.
too many restaurants to cover, but will pipe in on the bars.
you can get a non-vomit stench drink just about anywhere in town, save for bourbon street. i dont mind strolling down it and there are a couple good bars (Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, Fritzel's Jazz Pub), but its largely for the "kids".
as for the alt scene, there are some. One Eyed Jacks has many tats behind the bar, but it's mostly a show venue, check the schedule. The Dungeon used to be a heavy metal hang out, but im not sure how legit the vibe is. youll find some dark & crusty places on lower decatur -- the abbey, molly's at the market.. Pravda is a neat, dark & moody vodka bar run by a couple goths. sadly, our oldest goth/industrial bar, The Whirling Dervish (prev The Blue Crystal), has closed. its now a poppy lesbian club called Ruby Jungle.
outside the quarter you will find R Bar on royal. the Hi Ho Lounge on st claude (bit ouf of the way) is more of a show venue which does rockabilly sometimes. Mimi's in the Marigny on royal is a locals bar that is home to many alts.
hope that helps.
Agreed on kibbles bar recommendations, And Bayou Teche is right, Checkpoint's is owned by the same folks and much more interesting, you definitely want to avoid the Buddha Belly, it's way uptown and kind of lame, sadly. The Alibi, deep Quarter, has been a stallwart for both strippers and food service workers getting off shift, so you would get some definite character there (and greasy-so-bad-it's good late night food) Mimi's has great tapas, so would serve as a meal destination too (definitely go upstairs, try and snag a couch, they often have music later at night). Add both the bar directly across from the Hi Ho and the Saturn Bar further down on St. Claude for bonafide nola freak-factor. Perhaps the Circle Bar on St. Charles as well, a small music venue (although depending on the show and night it has been occasionally overtaken with the decidely un-crusty). Someone mentioned One Eyed Jacks, and this is right on. They have a bar in front, so you can soak up a drink and the vibe even if you don't want to pay to see the show (often worth seeing) If you wanna go really local, Marky's Bar in the bywater is one of many "corner neighborhood bars" including Pals and the Milan (not technically on the corner) which could almost be so local as to be a little clubby, but might fit the bill. You should be able to get great local advice for itenerary at any of these. More great and out of the ordinary, though strangely ordinary for new orleans, "good mix" locations include Bacchanal's back patio on Sunday (if you're here for a Sunday) where celebrated chef's from around town serve al fresco foods while various local bands play in a tiny wine-shop's wild and mishmashed backyard, and Coop's on Decatur which has food and at least a streak of freak factor (depending on the time of night, and definitely the servers).
Nicer Romantic "older" bars that are loaded with characer and yet ain't too fancy(again, haven't read through, so sorry if i repeat reccs) include Napolean House and if you hit it right, and there isn't a tourist group, there is a bar on the back corner of St. Luis Cathedral (Pirate's Alley side" that is a nice place to sit relatively open air and sip an Absinthe (many places for this). You can also go into many of the "Grand Dames" and have a drink at their distinctive, unusual bars.
Yes, DIxie Brewery is, alas, closed. You could tour the New Orleans Rum Distillery, quite a cool place but very hard to find even for locals, but the distillers there are very cool and the owner (the Artist Michaloupolus) has spared no expense, being that it's a warehouse out in the middle of a wasteland. Great rums too (and Rum isn't my favorite)
On food: Forgive me if I'm being redundant, as I haven't read through all the replies yet, but I think you would be wise to forgo too much searching for various international cuisines here, certainly the bbq, and stick to what we do best: seafood/cajun/creole/soul/fried and/or spicy and none too healthy...That said from a local born non-seafood eating vegitarian who has done plenty of time both working and eating in various "other cuisined" restaurants. As it is your first time, you want to cover what makes us unique. Now Bennachin (african) is an exception, as it truly wonderfully speaks to our culinary roots, and is cheap and funky and a typical atypical experiencse (byob and be prepared to enjoy it slowly,it can take some time). Also, if you are coming in the summer Cassemento's will be closed. I'll let others offer their opinions on oyster eating in non-R months (well posted topic). I absolutely love both Boswell's and Kim Son, but especially the later is decidedly out of the way, lacks our special ambience, and one can make mis-steps depending on the order. Go grab a poboy at Parkway or Liuzza's By the Track or Parasol's, depending on what you want to eat (check old posts) and soak up the ambience of our dual-identity bar/restuarants. Eat a muffeletta on the river, or watching street musicians. Get gumbo. And after a little too much time in one of those bars where the rockabilly roustabouts hang-out, make sure to soak up the excess with a big pile of cheese fries and a cold abita.
Phew, longer by far than I had intended. But of course I would want a newly married first-timer with my type of tastes to have a better trip than they could even imagine. Have a great time and welcome to the Big Easy!
Love love Parasol's - best roast beef po-boy and cool dive bar. You need a muffelatta - we usually do Central Grocer (believe it's the original). Bon Ton's is great for New Orleans must. I love the bbq shrimp at Deanie's.
and yes, you need a second stomach or third in New Orleans - we are going in june and can't wait to do Casamento's (hadn't been yet)
no no no! oh, because oyster's aren't in season but heard they made a great po-boy too. I've been learning to shuck oysters so I'm not tooooo bummed about it not being oyster season - I might be missing crawfish season too (maybe??) That - I will be bummed about as I can get wonderful oyster here in teh northeast but no where can you find a crawfish boil!!!
+1 One Eyed Jacks...and I also would've +1 for the Whirling Dervish and I'm sad to hear that it's now closed!
The the best pho anywhere...Pho Bang on Manhattan in Harvey.
Voodoo BBQ - Pass
Casamento's - Great oysters!
Parasol's - Yummy roast beef po-boys.
Joey K's - GREAT onion rings and fried catfish...though service is VERY slow.
The Joint - About the best BBQ you'll get here...but nothing to write home about.
ACME Oyster House - Great char-grilled oysters...but I prefer Dragos.
Cafe Du Monde (the fiancee wants to take me there) - Definitely.
Mother's Restaurant - I never thought it was worth the hype.
Deanie's Seafood - Very good fried seafood.
Clementine's - FANTASTIC belgian food. Do not miss the mussels and frittes.
Kim Son - Very good.
One Eyed Jacks is VERY funky, often has good music, and is not to be missed. I also like Deanies and think the gumbo ain't half bad. Cafe du Monde is a New Orleans classic and the beignets really are amazing so don't play the superior traveler! Must admit I was unimpressed with Joey K's...avoid the gumbo!
for BBQ, try Hillbilly BBQ. but try some alligator sausage or something you might not find at home. they do great pork as well.
Kim Son for salt baked crabs and lobster.
I don't see rabbit on your list, but if you like it, go to either Patois, Jacques Imo's or N.O. Food & Spirits (only on Thursdays lunch, and get there early)
for authentic Chinese, go to China Rose and ask for the authentic Chinese menu.
search the archives for ethnic cuisine and ethnic foods for more ideas.
Hillbilly Bar BQ
208 Tullulah Ave, New Orleans, LA 70123
re: edible complex
well, I've eaten witchity grubs and roo and emu at Ned Kelly's Bushtucker (after going to a petting zoo). I'm so sorry, but it was all good, for me...them, not so much.
disclaimer: no zoo animals were harmed or eaten
not sorry about the rattlesnake sausage (I actually have a skin w/rattle in my freezer)
West Indies Cafe - Closed
Aunt Tiki's - Fills your bar bill, also check out Erin Rose on Conti
Boswell's - good, fun Jamaican
Bennachin - great, cheap
Dong Phuong - awesome
You might also enjoy Coco Hut for Caribbean.
I disagree on the pho place outside Hong Kong Market, I don't personally care for it and think Pho Tau Bay is better. However, the banh mi counter inside the market is awesome and ridiculously cheap: $2.50 for fully loaded dac biet on fresh baked bread, among other pork treasures to be had there.
2515 Bayou Rd, New Orleans, LA 70119
Monaghan's Erin Rose
811 Conti St, New Orleans, LA
If you want something both truly local, and a little grown-up, I'd say go to Bacchanal in the Bywater on a Friday or Saturday night - it's a wine shop with a great back patio, and usually features a rotating cast of local chefs doing a super-cheap prix fixe cooked outdoors on weekend nights. You can buy a bottle, have them open it for you, and while the night away.
I would not bother with BBQ while you are here; the only good "BBQ" item we have in LA is Cochon de Lait (roast suckling pig) and while delicious and the equal of anyone's bar-b-que it's not something really found on menus. Requires an outside oven or pit and at least a day to make.
French Market Farmer's Market <- no
Bennachin <- heard it's good, never been
Creole Creamery <- excellent
Casamento's < closed
Tommy's Cuisine < never heard of it
Parasol's < best roast beef po-boy in the city
Joey K's < lunch place, nothing special
The Joint < ok but don't bother with BBQ!
Cafe Du Monde (the fiancee wants to take me there) < - yes
Mother's Restaurant <- very good, but overpriced
Deanie's Seafood <- ok
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop <- kinda touristy
Aunt Tiki's <- definitely
Verti Marte <- for a late night gut bomb when you're drunk it's great
Praline Connection <- nah
Galatoire's <- definitely
A few you haven't mentioned - I'm restricting myself to New Orleans food only here:
Elizabeth's (esp for breakfast)
Cochon (includes a Creole boucherie inside, really great)
Johnny's Po Boys (quarter)
Bon Temp (downtown)
Liuzza's by the Track (esplanade)
Brocato's (mid-city) great Italian deserts, ice, cannoli
Ralph's by the Park (city park) <- very romantic on the balcony overlooking city park, excellent food
"What bars do the punk rockers/goths/rockabilly/rude boys/tattooed lunatics hang out in?"
Mimi's (marigny) <- also with great food
Hi-Ho (marigny) <- most punk shows are here
One Eyed Jacks (mostly shows, expensive)
Aunt Tiki's (quarter) <- sit down place with great juke box, cheap strong drinks
The Abbey (quarter) <- very dirty
Dragons Den (Marigny) <- many punk shows here
Vaughn's (Bywater) <- less punk, more New Orleans
The Saint (Uptown) <- more hipster than anything
... but no one makes stonger, cheaper drinks than the neighborhood gay bars in the Marigny
All these within biking distance (except the Saint), though Vaughn's would be about a 15 min ride