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New Orleans May 14-May 20

Hello, Fellow Chowhounds! Hope you are all having a tasty 2009!

I will be in New Orleans for the Tulane graduation (nephew). Plan to arrive Thursday night - May 14. Family accomodations will be important - we'll be doing the crawfish boil on campus Thursday night. Saturday night is Chef's Night at the Frat House....... yes, I'm 50, but one of the frat boy's Dad is a Chef in NO and promised to put out an authentic NO dinner. Saturday will be early early for the graduation, so will do Luke at the Hilton St. Charles, which is where we are staying.

That leaves Friday brunch, Friday dinner - both on the less expensive side in deference to family. When they leave on Sunday afternoon two of my sisters and I plan to start splurging. Here's my initial list of possibilities - any thoughts? Also, I adore Farmers Markets - I see they are on Saturday and Tuesday - thoughts on those as well?

Note: My sister and I are fighting on some restaurants. Ideally, I would like a total NO experience. I recognize that there are some fabulous restaurant, like Bayona,Stella!, but I want to feel the NO/Creole/southern experience at every meal.... Alos, we will not have car, and will rely on st. charles line, walking, or cabs...

Friday breakfast/lunch: Central Groc muff, in a picnic by the river
Friday Night: Cocktail at Arnaud's - a Sazeral or French 75; Felix's; The Old Abscinthe House or the Bourbon House for more cocktails...

Sunday Brunch: Celebratory Brunch: Dantes Kitchen or Patois? Or, if family can afford, would best high end choice be Galatoires?

Sunday night: Upperline

Monday: Trolley Stop - then day long tour of bayou and plantations
Monday night: August

Tuesday: this is tough - Croquette; or Pascal Manale BBQ Shrimp Po Boy, or Oliver's Creole Restaurant (crawfish etouffee), or Herbsaint???
Tuesday night: Brigtsens

Wednesday: Johnny's Poboy

Other considerations - based on my readings of this site and others and my tastes:

Rambla Cochon (lunch); Commander's (lunch, NOT dinner) or K-Pauls' (Turtle Soup)); Yo Mammas (Crawfish); Casamentos (on Magazine street, after shopping - oysters); Dookey Chase (creole+soul); tujaques; NOLA Grocery (lunch); Boucherie

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  1. May I suggest Parkway bakery and tavern you can take the canal street streetcar to it. They have the best overall poboys in the city at this time.

    10 Replies
    1. re: joedontexan

      Do you like them better than Domilise's? It's funny that no one has mentioned them.

      1. re: mgarland

        It depends what kind of poboy you are talking. Domilise's has the worst roast beef poboy IMH, but their fried stuff is good.

      2. re: joedontexan

        where exactly do you get off of the street car for Parkway Bakery? I will be staying at the Ritz on Canal Street in a few weeks and want the easiest route there via street car, hopefully.
        Thanks

        1. re: Bayareafoodiei

          You are about 2 miles away. Take the streetcar to North Jefferson Davis Pkwy and go right(name will change to N. Hagan) for about 1/2 a mile. Parkway is located on the corner of Toulouse and Hagan. Just as a warning...the Canal Streetcar is a slow ride, with people getting on and off at almost every stop, so you may consider a cab if you are in a hurry. If not, it is always fun to enjoy the ambiance of the streetcar. (I talked my husband into taking the streetcar to City Park and Brocato's one day and it took us over an hour from Harrahs, so I speak from experience : )

          1. re: ScarlettNola

            Questions:

            Isn't there bus service on Jeff Davis Pkwy. I thought that they ran to the hospital (name eludes me - Methodist?) That would put you 2.5 short blocks away. Do you still get transfers from the streetcars for bus service?

            Other than the Riverfront streetcar ride, I have to admit that it's been too long ago, and much has changed.

            Thanks,

            Hunt

            1. re: Bill Hunt

              I ride it so rarely that unfortunately I do not know. Sorry.

              1. re: ScarlettNola

                Thanks. Someone will fill in my blanks.

                BTW, the hospital at Jeff Davis and Bienville was Mercy. The site would neither allow me to edit, or to even Reply to my post. Still, it has not dumped me completely tonight.

                Thanks,

                Hunt

                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  No bus on Jeff Davis as far as I know. And Mercy ain't dere no more.

                  To reiterate Scarlett's instructions, just take the Canal St. streetcar to Jeff Davis and walk the few blocks to Parkway. You can "walk" the route on google maps beforehand if you want to see what it looks like. It's very easy. I can't imagine it taking an hour from the Ritz, but I'm a commuter and don't ride during busy times like festivals or even weekends really. Anyway, my point is you can easily get to Parkway on the streetcar.

                  1. re: uptownlibrarian

                    Thank you for the transit update. I just was not sure what might, or might not, be available.

                    For lunch, I agree that the walk would be a nice one. Later in the evening, I'd hesitate a tad.

                    Yes, Mercy became Lindy Bogg's, and then Katrina hit. My mind was just clouded, though my B-I-L's place is across the canal/bayou and in between Canal and Parkway. We usually stop in to see him, and then walk the few blocks to lunch, often bringing back lunch for his office. Though we've both been gone for decades, we always see someone, who we know, having lunch there.

                    Thanks,

                    Hunt

      3. That's a pretty thorough plan you've got going there. A couple quick thoughts:
        -Dooky Chase is only open for lunch but Willie Mae's Scotch house can fill pretty much any need Dooky Chase did in your menu
        - I don't believe Casamento's is open that time of year, so you'll have to find a place that does not follow "the R rule" so strictly

        4 Replies
          1. re: thecajunfoodie

            Actually, I think Casamento's typically closes at the very end of May or beginning of June, so rp1760 might be in luck.

            1. re: mikemill

              Mike I think you're right, their website actually lists June, July, and August as the only months they are closed. Something tells me they are usually closed part of September also, but rp1760 you may indeed be in luck!

              1. re: thecajunfoodie

                Off topic, but I think you're right about September. Didn't they open somewhere around the 16th or 17th this past year?

          2. Don't miss Boucherie. I didn't care too much for their bbq shrimp po-boy but everything else was wonderful. Also, the last time I had Pascal's bbq shrimp (in December), it wasn't so good. I'd had Mr B's bbq shrimp the day before and they were outstanding.

            1. If you want to venture out the quarter area, Parkway Bakery for poboys is much better than Johnny's, or R&O's poboys in Bucktown.

              1. Definitely Herbsaint on Tuesday. Commander's has the best turtle soup. K-Paul's tastes like chili I can't mention enough how outstanding Emeril's has been recently. Yet another wonderful meal Fri. evening. I'd rather spend a bit more for terrificc food than waste it on a mediocre meal at Upperline. Just my 2 cents.

                1. Thanks for all the good ideas?

                  Now, a question. The chef's dinner got moved to Friday, so we have Saturday for dinner. We have 10 people - varying tast buds - that are looking for medium-priced (i.e. entrees $20) for dinner. Should we book at Bourbon House? Any other ideas?

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: rp1760

                    I would say for that type of food GW Fins is better than Bourbon House.

                    1. re: nikinik

                      Thanks!

                      Any thoughts on Mulates?

                      1. re: rp1760

                        bad tourist trap. Hit cafe bon ton or k-paul's instead.

                            1. re: rp1760

                              Thank god I asked! Had no idea.

                              1. re: rp1760

                                This thread has some exquisite posts and visitors to the New Orleans area should revere some of these recommendations.

                          1. re: rp1760

                            We took a big group (12? 14?) to Mr. B's back in November and everyone thought it was great. Fantastic service, reasonable prices ($25 per entree was the most) and great drinks too, for the college crowd.

                          2. I've been reading NO posts daily, and am so looking forward to some great dining experiences next month!

                            My family and I have finished coordinating plans, I think.... Some are coming early, some later - I will enjoy it all as I'm staying for 6 nights! This plan is pretty close to final, I think. Any other considerations/suggestions/comments? THANKS!!!

                            Thursday: Crayfish Boil at Tulane Campus

                            Friday: lunch -play by ear, Dinner - Brigstens

                            Saturday: Graduation am, Farmers Market, play by ear for lunch, Dinner (for 10!) at Dante's Kitchen

                            Sunday: Goodbyes to most of family; WWII Museum; Upperline for dinner

                            Monday: Plantation/Bayou tour during day; August for dinner

                            Tuesday: Shopping/Strolling day - HELP!!! Rambla? One? (Will be solo dining this night)

                            Wednesday: Leave - pick up muff to go at Central Grocery

                            As you can see, interested in fine dining for dinner. Not much of a breakfast/brunch eater - will probably just check out casual places for those meals. I can hardly wait!!!

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: rp1760

                              Dang - I already got edited by sister to:

                              Friday: Bayona
                              Saturday: Dante's Kitchen
                              Sunday: Upperline
                              Monday: August
                              Tuesday: Brigsten's

                              1. re: rp1760

                                All excellent choices although I LOVE Bayona for a Sat. lunch!! Re: Brigtsens, Frank could cook a shoe and make it taste good!
                                In reply to JazzyB, I have never, ever, ever had anything but great meals at Upperline.
                                It sounds like you might be there for part of NOWFE - you should try to get in a wine dinner on the 20th if you are able.

                                1. re: ccmurieta

                                  Great idea, but I'll be on a plane Wednesday night. Darn. Am so looking forward to trip! Do plan to head to Farmers Market on Saturday, maybe Tuesday too. I look forward to visiting/wining/dining in the great city of New Orleans!

                                  1. re: rp1760

                                    My sister in Cincinnati asked me to look into Court of Two Sisters for their Jazz Brunch one of our days. I'm not much of a buffet lover, but their website looks interesting. Your thoughts?

                                    1. re: rp1760

                                      Don't like it at all. Way, way, way overrated. Dante's and Patois both do a brunch on Sunday but not a Jazz brunch.

                                      1. re: rp1760

                                        Last trip, we were going to do it "for old time's sake," but chose not to, after looking at the menu. We did Brennan's instead, and had our second really good brunch there. That said, I have to admit that I was not a fan of Brennan's, when we lived there. Cannot say what has changed (us, or them), but they have done a good job on two trips in a row.

                                        Normally, we're either breakfast, or brunch fans, and do our main diining in the PM. Just cannot dine, like we once could.

                                        Enjoy, and travel safely,

                                        Hunt

                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                          Thanks, Bill. I'm with you on the breakfast/brunch thing - but sister joining us from San Francisco wanted to have a nice meal with the rest of us before heading back.

                                          Here's a question for you, after reading some of your prior posts. Would you suggest MiLa or GW Fins for a solo diner on a Thursday? :)

                                          1. re: rp1760

                                            GW Fins is a bit more open, and the bar area is nice. We've done their old wine tastings there (do not think they are still doing those), and the service is great.

                                            MiLa is a bit more of a "happening" place, especially with regards to the decor. Cannot say that I took good notice of the bar area though.

                                            For doing table dining, either would be great. Fins will be heavier on seafood, but we've always found it good. Were I doing a solo, I'd look for a 2-top by the windows at Fins. Unless they have revamped the interior layout, there were two, if memory serves me. Watching people on the street is great fun for me.

                                            Enjoy,

                                            Hunt

                                          2. re: Bill Hunt

                                            Thanks,Bill!

                                            Now -a question - what would you recommend for a solo diner on a Thursday - GW Fins or MiLa? Others, also would like your ops - thanks!

                                2. Hi, all.

                                  I am so sorry I cannot post a personal review. I had an unexpected eye procedure and had to miss the trip! I do appreciate all your comments - hopefully others gained some insights - and I'm sure I'll be back someday to one of my favorite US destinations!

                                  My family reported in this morning by phone, so I will share the secondhand reviews as provided by my very picky chef sister out of san francisco. Bayona lunch (solo diner): salad so-so, sweetbreads with sherry sauce outstanding, dessert OK. Dante's Kitchen: service fantastic, located in lovely house with large porch, perfect for pre-dinner cocktails. Ten people at the dinner. App's: Escargot - very unusual combination, but best she's ever had..., BBQ shrimp very large, nice sauce, beet and strawberry salads OK; main's: best overall was the chicken roasted under a brick - got an A+++, pork steak was tender, flavorful, amberjack was big disappointment - blackened, overdone, but the side crab salad was beautiful, roasted duck breast was perfectly prepared, sides of mashed potatoes OK, seasonal vegetables boring, candied sweet potatoes fabulous; desserts: strawberry shortcake OUT OF THIS WORLD - shortbread was sauteed, slightly carmelized, strawberries incredibly tender and sweet, huge mound was impressive, rest of desserts OK.

                                  That's all. Thanks again for taking the time to provide helpful information - even though unused by me, it is appreciated.

                                  -Mary

                                  1. Hi, all.

                                    I am so sorry I cannot post a personal review. I had an unexpected eye procedure and had to miss the trip! I do appreciate all your comments - hopefully others gained some insights - and I'm sure I'll be back someday to one of my favorite US destinations!

                                    My family reported in this morning by phone, so I will share the secondhand reviews as provided by my very picky chef sister out of san francisco. Bayona lunch (solo diner): salad so-so, sweetbreads with sherry sauce outstanding, dessert OK. Dante's Kitchen: service fantastic, located in lovely house with large porch, perfect for pre-dinner cocktails. Ten people at the dinner. App's: Escargot - very unusual combination, but best she's ever had..., BBQ shrimp very large, nice sauce, beet and strawberry salads OK; main's: best overall was the chicken roasted under a brick - got an A+++, pork steak was tender, flavorful, amberjack was big disappointment - blackened, overdone, but the side crab salad was beautiful, roasted duck breast was perfectly prepared, sides of mashed potatoes OK, seasonal vegetables boring, candied sweet potatoes fabulous; desserts: strawberry shortcake OUT OF THIS WORLD - shortbread was sauteed, slightly carmelized, strawberries incredibly tender and sweet, huge mound was impressive, rest of desserts OK.

                                    That's all. Thanks again for taking the time to provide helpful information - even though unused by me, it is appreciated.
                                    -Mary

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: rp1760

                                      Mary: Glad to help! I hope that your recovery from your surgery is brief and you will be able to visit NOLA soon!

                                    2. Hi, all.

                                      I am so sorry I cannot post a personal review. I had an unexpected eye procedure and had to miss the trip! I do appreciate all your comments - hopefully others gained some insights - and I'm sure I'll be back someday to one of my favorite US destinations!

                                      My family reported in on Sunday morning by phone, so I will share the secondhand reviews as provided by my very picky chef sister out of san francisco. Bayona lunch (solo diner): salad so-so, sweetbreads with sherry sauce outstanding, dessert OK. Dante's Kitchen: service fantastic, located in lovely house with large porch, perfect for pre-dinner cocktails. Ten people at the dinner. App's: Escargot - very unusual combination, but best she's ever had..., BBQ shrimp very large, nice sauce, beet and strawberry salads OK; main's: best overall was the chicken roasted under a brick - got an A+++, pork steak was tender, flavorful, amberjack was big disappointment - blackened, overdone, but the side crab salad was beautiful, roasted duck breast was perfectly prepared, sides of mashed potatoes OK, seasonal vegetables boring, candied sweet potatoes fabulous; desserts: strawberry shortcake OUT OF THIS WORLD - shortbread was sauteed, slightly carmelized, strawberries incredibly tender and sweet, huge mound was impressive, rest of desserts OK.

                                      That's all. Thanks again for taking the time to provide helpful information - even though unused by me, it is appreciated.

                                      -Mary

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: rp1760

                                        Ok, it's posted three times.
                                        Hope your recovery goes well.

                                        1. re: roro1831

                                          Dang! I was having issues - would submit post, then it wouldn't show, then they all showed at once......sorry...

                                          1. re: rp1760

                                            You are not alone. Though I have only gotten one big snafu with the site in the last few weeks, I almost gave up on CH, because the site had gotten so wonky.

                                            Hunt