Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New Orleans >
Mar 1, 2009 01:36 PM

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:

Voodoo BBQ
French Market Farmer's Market
Creole Creamery
Tommy's Cuisine
Joey K's
The Joint
West Indies Cafe
ACME Oyster House
Cafe Du Monde (the fiancee wants to take me there)
Mother's Restaurant
Deanie's Seafood
The Rusty Nail
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop
Aunt Tiki's
Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery
Kim Son
Pho Quang
The Red Sea
Verti Marte
Praline Connection

whew...I better have a second stomach installed.

I appreciate all your help. Cheers to ya.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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
    etc etc

    1 Reply
    1. re: thew

      You gotta get some boudain too.

      As an amendment to my original post:

      I'm a diehard chilehead and am always looking for a "Don't go into the light"/"I can see through time." capsaicin high. Any recs for spicy food are happy making.

    2. Things to avoid:
      voodoo bbq
      tommy's (although, the wine bar is dark and romantic with an impressive wine list)
      the joint(u live in texas right?)

      great nightlife to catch:
      spotted cat
      hiho lounge
      r bar
      and one eyed jacks, to name a few

      have fun!!!

      5 Replies
          1. re: N.O.Food


            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.
            Casamento's- amazing
            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.

          2. re: hooliganyouth

            For raw oysters: I perfer Acme Oyster house in the FQ and Felix's oyster house across the street from Acme. On the same block check out Dickie Brennan's Bourbon House for fresh raw oysters too. Enjoy

            1. re: richard ko

              sorry Richard, but I would not recommend raw oysters this time of year. Any other type are great!

        1. ADD:

          Igor's Buddha Belly Burger Bar
          Alibi Bar & Grille

          3 Replies
          1. re: hooliganyouth

            Igor's Buddha Belly? ...Really? I mean, I hang out there, but that just renders it MORE low class....

            Now, the original Igors I like, if only for the large burgers and aforementioned healthy population of freaks...

            1. re: CheBeret

              I am no slouch when it comes to low class.

              1. re: hooliganyouth

                In that case, you may want to add Checkpoint Charlies to your list (on Esplanade at Decatur).

          2. 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.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kibbles

              I think it's the RubyFRUIT Jungle, actually.

              1. re: kibbles

                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!

              2. Sad to say, the Dixie Brewery today looks like it is in Berlin, 1945.