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Jun 22, 2009 10:54 AM

NOLA Trip (brief)

We vacationed in New Orleans June10-15. With recommendations from this board and Tom Fitzsmorris we enjoyed some wonderful meals. Starting the first night, we went to ACME in the Quarter. I was unimpressed. We had charbroiled oysters and sides of jambalya and red beans & rice. I have a hunch the oysters weren't served straight from the broiler. The cheese was stuck on like glue. OK so first night wasn't great. Thurs. we headed to Coops for lunch. I was so hungry for red beans and rice with sausage it was wonderful. We have eaten at Coops many times and usually aren't disappointed. My husband had the duck and rabbit jambalaya and totally loved it! I can't remember the order of every place we ate but I guess it doesn't matter! Fri. lunch was at Commanders Palace. What a treat! We were seated in the Garden Room. My that place is a maize to travel through! What wonderful waitstaff, so helpful and courteous. I had the shrimp and tasso in pepper jelly. Delicious! Husband had turtle soup and the (I believe) bourbon soaked shrimp. I had the broiled hake and we split a pecan praline dessert. (I didn't take notes so exact names of dishes may be off a bit!) . I love Luke! We weren't hungry, but I had to eat there! We went about 9pm the app. was a hit. We shared the pate. The pickles and bread that came with it was about a meal in itself. We split the hamburger and fries and they brought it out on individual boards. Once again the waitstaff was great. We will definitely return to Luke. Ate dinner Sat. night at Palace Cafe. I had the pork shank. It looked as if it had been cooking all day. It was hard and crunchy on the outside. Our waitress agreed and took it back and brought another, not much better I just didn't like it. They were pleasant and took it off the bill. My husband had the duck and said it was good so the meal wasn't a total wash but I doubt if we will be back. Before we ended our vacation, we had one more trip to Coops. This time for poor boys. We both had the fried shrimp and oyster. What a huge sandwich! Once again delicious. Almost forgot Bon Ton Cafe. Would go back there too! I had the drum with crab and brown butter sauce. I can't remember what my husband had. It was a oyster dish. Wonderful bread too. Didn't mean for this to get so long. Thanks for having us in your wonderful city. Looking forward to another dining vacation next year!

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  1. glad you enjoyed yourselves.

    if youre interested in charbroiled oysters, next time go w/ the folks who set the bar -- Drago's. there are two locations including one in the Hilton hotel just outside of the french quarter. ive had them both several times..same prices and, at least as far as the charbroiled oysters go, same food. (not a ton of atmosphere as its a large hotel restaurant, but man, those oysters...)

    Drago's Seafood Restaurant
    2 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130

    Drago's Seafood Restaurant
    3232 N Arnoult Rd, Metairie, LA 70002

    13 Replies
    1. re: kibbles

      Don't get the charbroileds at Drago's at the Hilton. Go to Metairie for them. The Hilton cannot charbroil them properly as they are located in the hotel. We tried them a couple of times and there is no comparison. We did not like the ones at Acme very much either and Felix's (across the street) were the worst. We stop off at Drago's straight from the airport when we come down which is four times a year. Enjoy!

      P.S. We never order anything else besides their gumbo and shrimp or crab corn bisque. We find the rest of their food lacking as there are so many other great places to eat.

      1. re: dcata25

        WOW you get to go to New Orleans 4 times a year! I only get to go once. Thanks for the heads up on Drago's.

        1. re: dcata25

          just curious, what does being in a hotel have to do w/ the flame broiler? i work in the CBD so ive had them many times at the hilton location. there is butter and there is fire...

          myself, i find metairie an abomination which is to be avoided at all times. the driving is a cluster-frak and its ugly as all get-up (strip-mall & chain central). definitely not where i send my out-of-town guests...

          1. re: kibbles


            I have to agree with the avoiding the Hilton and going to Metry....the oysters at the Hilton Drago's are horrible...not sure why but there is something missing...

            funny on the abomination ~ that made me laugh!

            1. re: chef4hire

              hmm. from a biz perspective, i find it a bit hard to believe the dragos family is using a different oyster supplier between their (only) two locations. id wager the difference is mostly sentimental.

              one way to find out -- ill call and ask :)

              1. re: kibbles

                not sure about sentimental but I've have them twice and they just didn't cut it for me

                I'm sure it's not the oysters but the any rate if you're getting good meals there then please enjoy ~ it just hasn't been my experience

            2. re: kibbles

              It would depend on what kind of food your out-of-town guests wanted to eat. If you never went to Metairie (and other outlying areas), you'd be missing out on just as much great food as if you never ate in the French Quarter or Uptown, although it might not necessarily be the "Creole/Cajun" our guests are often looking for.

              1. re: uptownlibrarian

                while i dont intend to start a food war, i would wager that metairie doesnt have as many must-try's as the other food-neighborhoods youve mentioned -- FQ, Uptown, CBD...

                if we were to dig up all the nationally recognized Top X lists from Gourmet, Food & Wine and etc, i just dont think many places from metry would be stacking up. i use "nationally recognized" as the standard because while there may be places in metry that people love, thats really human nature (proximity theory). places recognized by a national or international body seems less biased to me.

                1. re: kibbles

                  No food wars, just thinking out loud a bit.

                  I am thinking mostly of "ethnic" and very casual and cheap places, actually, rather than Top X list-style restaurants, which of course are clumped geographically in the FQ, CBD and Uptown. That's why I said it depends on what kind of food you or your guests are looking for. Most guests are interested in experiencing iconic New Orleans food, but great food is great food, those of us who live here are lucky to get to deeply explore all the offerings, and you would be missing out if you never left 70130/70115. Also, I want to put quotes around "iconic New Orleans food," because we all know and have discussed (here and elsewhere) the flaws in thinking of our cuisine as a stagnant canon of dishes.

              2. re: kibbles

                I have had them at both the metry and Hilton locations, and have to say I see absolutely no difference. In fact, found a similiar recipe and make them at home and there is not too much difference. It is kind of a hard dish to screw up in it's simplicity.

                1. re: kibbles

                  Kib, we were told by management at the Hilton location, that they can't flamebroil the same way the Metry location does due to some kind of restrictions because they are in a hotel. The ones we have gotten at the Hilton were defnitely not "charbroiled" the way it is done in Metry. No black anywhere on the oyster; spices and butter were the same but not charbroiled at all. We prefer the ones that are blackened more. YUM!

                2. re: dcata25

                  Have never tried the ones in Metairie, but I found the ones at the Hilton to be a very, very bad joke. Matter of fact, there was absolutely nothing from that location, that I would ever try again. We were just there and they were 100% off of our list. We wheeled M-I-L across Uptown to dine on our first night, rather than go back to that Drago's.


                  Good luck, and I hope that the Metairie location is 1000x better. It would have to be, for me to ever darken their door again.


                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    YIKES!....gee, that sets a new bar for, well, LOW-ness. I trust your judgement. The Met'ry location has had good oysters (I have not eaten there in awhile--I admit) but there was never anything else on the menu I bothered with. Disheartening...

                    Say Bill, I'll be In Mendocino in late July and, briefly, again in August iin Berkely. Let's have a drink. (I will NOT be properly trimmed, shod, or's a rough life.)