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Disappointing food trip to NOLA (very long review)

I may be the only person in history to have lost weight on a trip to NOLA. Sigh. We had the most frustrating string of bad luck when it came to restaurants.

Reference.... family of 5 on an extended road trip.... in NOLA for the weekend.

Friday. It took longer than we expected to get into New Orleans and get checked into our hotel (Place de Armes.... loved it BTW). No one had eaten lunch and by 7:00 p.m. we were starving. We had a scheduled 8:30p.m. tour, but we thought.... surely we can eat in 1.25 hours and still get to our tour. WRONG! We walked up to Acme, found a line out the door, so crossed over to Felix's where we were seated at apprx 7:15. We ordered and then waited. It should have been a tip off to me that no one around us had food on their tables and that they all looked pretty miserable. We waited and waited. Our drinks eventually arrived. We ordered the house special... some sort of spiked up lemonade thing. It was nauseating; sickenly sweet and artificial tasting. At around 7:50 some shucked oysters finally showed up (our server promised our food would be right out). The oysters were fresh, but they had been so poorly shucked that there were pieces of shell and debris littered through out. Shame on them! At 8:15, fully an hour after we were seated, our food still had not shown up. We had to leave without eating. Thank God Cafe du Monde is open 24/7.

Saturday (our one good food day).

Lunch... We tried to go to Coops but a single gaming machine meant that our teens couldn't go in. Ended up at the Napolean House. Very nice lunch. Gumbo, Red beans & rice and Jambalaya all very good. Po Boy and Mufuletta nothing to write home about. I thought the Muffuletta needed more meat in it to balance out the olive relish. Introduced to Pimm's Cup. Yumm!

Dinner... Boucherie. Everything I hoped it would be. There was a crowd waiting to get in, but we had a reservation and our table was waiting for us when we arrived. The service was very good and the food was wonderful. They make a smashing Pimm's Cup (best one we had in NOLA). I had the Boudin Balls and Shrimp/grits. Delicious! Son who is a bit of an expert when it comes to mussels having eaten them all over Belgium, France and the Pacific NW said that they were some of the best he had ever had (the broth has "some delicious greens in it). Both son and husband raved about the ribs. Dessert was a bit of miss. They need to hire a good pastry chef. If I lived in NOLA, I would eat at Boucherie all the time.

Sunday.... After Mass we headed out to Dante's Kitchen for brunch. We were a bit late getting out of the Quarter, so we did not get to the restaurant until 11:20. At 11:20 there was a 1.5 hour wait!!!! Yikes! We had to get out to our Laura Plantation tour, so we could not wait. I told the kids we would eat on the road. BIG MISTAKE! We didn't really see much on the way to the freeway. Once out of town, tourist information told us that there was a restaurant right next to the plantation. CLOSED. We ended up not eating again all day. Back in the quarter for dinner, most of the restaurants we wanted were closed on Sunday night. We ended up at Mr. B's.

The minute I walked in, I thought... uh oh. My senses told me that this was the type of place that probably catered to business travelers and tourists. I was right. The food was expensive, mediocre and even bad. Both gumbos (seafood and regular) were inedible. I took three bites, put my spoon down, but was never asked by my server if I wanted something else. My two older kids liked their cheese and leek soup, but watching them eat it, I thought the soup had sort of a gloppy consistency that was unpleasant. Main dishes... two older kids had the soft shell crab. They liked the crab, but the crab was served on some sort of corn concoction that my 16 yr old son graciously pointed out was NOT a good pairing for the crab. My 15 yr old daughter just gagged when she tasted it. To be fair, my husband liked his crab ravioli. I ordered the BBQed shrimp which everyone says is the must order dish. Now I'm an experienced eater. I've eaten things that most people would not get within 10 feet of. I'm no shrinking violet and I enjoy tucking into food. However, this BBQed shrimp was ridiculous. It came with every thing still attached to it (head, legs, shell) and it was served in a deep wide bowl full of sauce. I don't know what the problem was. I've shelled plenty of shrimp in my day... maybe they were over-cooked, but these shells were not coming off for love or money. They tended to break up in small pieces in my hands and by the time I was finished shelling, I was up to my wrists (literally) in sauce and I felt like I had participated in some sort of Grecco-Roman wrestling event. I was fuming! The shrimp tasted pretty good, but they were ABSOLUTELY NOT worth the effort. Dessert was pedestrian at best. In the end, our bill was $200 (we did not have wine) and we had had a boring, if not bad meal. I was beside myself because I had so wanted to eat good food in NOLA.

Anyway.... once again praise for beignets and Cafe du Monde. Also for Pimm's Cup, our new found summer cocktail. All in all, we loved NOLA and I can't wait to come back with just my husband. Hopefully we will have better luck with food next time.

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  1. fwiw, BBQ shrimp in New Orleans is usually served heads on and shells intact

    1. glad you had some high points....sad 'bout the others. I DO live here, and still get to Boucherie 'almost' often enuf......wish more, tho' The barbq'd shrimp was served to the norm, but the preparation sounds pretty poorly done. There were lotsa recommendations in response to your earlier request. It just sux when, with limited chances, several come up short. Try again

      1. II am soory to hear that your dining experiences did not go as you had planned or wished. Boucherie and Napoleon House are great and I am happy to hear that you enjoyed them. Just as a note-oysters are "out of season" this time of year although people do still eat them- but the manner in which they were shucked sounds like someone inexperienced in shucking was at the helm on that one. BBQ Shrimp in NOLA is always a spicy dish with copious amounts of butter, worcestshire sauce, pepper, garlic, hot sauce etc., and shrimp with heads and tails on. There is really no BBQ to the dish so I am not exactly certain where the name came from. Mr. B's, while not the best restaurant, generally has good BBQ shrimp. It sounds like perhaps yours were overcooked. If you have any interest in trying them again Pascale Manales are pretty good-although I have heard they were made with margarine and not butter, but cannot confirm that. Did you have a reservation at Dante's Kitchen? Generally they are not that crowded, so I am suprised that with a reservation you would have had to wait. You missed out on a good brunch there. You could have hit one of the po boy spots or taken a muffaletta on the road with you, in case you ever run into this again. Mandina's also usually seats you pretty quickly and has a large dining room and they are open Sunday evenings. If you do come back with your husband, here are a few tips to help you to gain back the 5 lbs you lost.
        1. MAke reservations at ANY place that will take them, even if they say it is not a necessity. This will insure that you have more of a set plan and do not have to settle on a place that is not part of your wishlist.
        2. Stay for a little bit longer if your schedule permits so that you are more relaxed and are able to fit more into your trip.
        3. Plan on branching out from the Quarter. If there is a conference in town, or a busy weekend, you will generally have to wait in restaurants. There are a plethora of restaurants Uptown that are easily accessible by streetcar, taxi, or car, and you will find more locals and local flavor and less of a tourist crowd.
        4. If you are with children/teens again, try Jacques Imos. They are casual but accept reservations for parties of 5 or more. Also try Cooter Browns, or one of the Po boy joints. You won't have to make a reservation and can always get it to go if there is not much available seating.
        5. For more formal dinners try Commanders, Brigtsens, or Bayona. Commanders also has a great lunch or Sunday jazz brunch, but you must make reservations. Mat and Naddie's, Ye Olde College Inn, and Dick and JEnny's are more moderately priced, but still have great food. Dick and Jenny's is the only one in that group that does not take a reservation.
        I hope this helps and that you give us another chance to WOW you with our food in the near future. I know how dissapointing it is to expect more than you got. I am sure al ot of factors came into play, but I am certain next time you will have a great time, gain 5 lbs, and rave about the food! Thanks for coming!

        13 Replies
        1. re: ScarlettNola

          Are kids allowed in Cooter Brown's? It's more of a bar with good bar food and oysters . . .

          1. re: midcity

            Good question...I think cbrand said she had teenagers not small kids. I have always seen alot of youngish looking college kids in there who are more than likely teens so I just figured. I guess she may want to call first. My kids are little so I havent taken them.

            1. re: midcity

              My brother loves Cooters-I just called and he said NO KIDS! I guess the ones I have seen have had a fake id. Oh well.

              1. re: midcity

                I am 98% sure that there is a side outside at Cooter's saying that it is over 21 after 8pm which leads me to believe that before then kids should be fine

                1. re: spotonjane

                  I've seen kids in Cooters in the afternoon with parents, after 8 pm, no go.

                  1. re: roro1831

                    Why are we stuck on Cooter's? The poster said Coop's!!!!!!

                    1. re: Samuel Smith

                      I suggested Cooters in lieu of Coops for future reference in case they bring their kids back and want a quick bite. People weren't certain if kids were allowed.

                        1. re: Samuel Smith

                          No problem! The review was EXTREMELY long, I just wanted to stress the importance of having a plan in place as well as reservations, so it would have been easy to miss in my "novel"

              2. re: ScarlettNola

                I so strongly agree with you on reservations. NOLA can become strapped for table space, depending on which conventions are in town (a good thing). Even with some local "strings" to pull, we do so about 3 mos. out.

                When we travel, we are usually all set for most major meals at the 6 mos. timeframe. In Europe/UK, we'll do these 9 mos. out. Yes, Yes, spontenaity is not likely to result in a great seat, but I reserve these for lunch, or breakfast. Still, if we wish to dine at restaurant X, we make the reservations. [If we have to cancel, for whatever reason, we always call for those, as well, even if it's Paris, or Frankfrut.]

                To the OP, sorry that this was not the wonderful trip that you had planned on. That is a shame.

                One little thing that many do not realize is that NOLA functions on its own time. It's kinda' like Hawai`i, with "Island time." Few are in a hurry. It's too hot and muggy to get in much of a hurry. That has been the "pace" of the City for the last six decades, and probably much longer than that. It is not NYC. It is not San Francisco, Chicago or even Los Angleles. It moves on a European schedule, and one during hot weather to boot.

                Many years ago, I learned to not be in a hurry, when dining in NOLA. If we had theater tickets, or other, we'd pull our head server aside, and I'd pass $10 into her/his hand, and give the time. Always worked a treat. Never missed a curtain, though some were close.

                Still, I am sorry that all was not wonderful. I'd speculate that it should have been.

                As for the "BB-Q Shrimp," there are a couple of threads on how the recipe goes, and what one should expect. What you got, is what you should have gotten. It is not what most tourists expect, and I think that more restaurants and servers need to point this out, but do not.

                Still, thank you for coming to NOLA, and sorry that everything was not wonderful. It should have been.


                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  We only go to Felix's for oysters 1/2 shell. We will only have them at the bar where they are freshly shucked. Folks seated at tables get preshucked /preplated oysters that the waitresss picks up from a cooler behind the bar. OP, aside from Hunt, I've not seen any recs for getting anything other than oysters at the bar at Felix's.

                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Quick question...sorry if its silly...however if in a place like Dante's kitchen has a really long queue, is it possible to jump the queue just to get a takeout order? Say for example they ordered 5 muffelata's to go?

                    1. re: waytob

                      Usually no. If you want 5 muffaleta's to go, try Central Grocery.

                2. Sounds to me like you made some poorly-informed choices. If you didn't like the muffaletta at Napoleon House, there's no pleasing you, and (as another poster has pointed out) Barbecue shrimp has "every thing still attached."

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: pikawicca

                    I really don't like the hot muffaletta at Napoleon House either-Central Grocery is my favorite. To me, that is a matter of personal preference.

                    1. re: ScarlettNola

                      Now I grew up with the toasted muff at the old Frank's, when his M-I-L was still cooking there. Still, I can appreciate a well-made cold one. I do not differentiate, so long as the ingredients and especially the olive salad and bread are goo.

                      Some choose one vs the other. That is personal taste.

                      Have never tried the Napolean House for a muff, but must do so, as this board is so highly polarized on their muffs. Gotta' make my own determination.


                      1. re: ScarlettNola

                        You can order an unheated muffaletta at the Napoleon House, although I firmly believe that heating it brings the flavors together. Ever try the Muffaletta at Nor-Joe's? For a small surcharge they add proscuitto.

                      2. re: pikawicca

                        Totally agree, pikawicca. You needed to make better choices. A little education on New Orleans cuisine would have gone a long way in this case. Oysters should not be eaten this time of year, and I'd never eat at Felix. I know some people swear by it, but I had one bad experience and have never been back.

                        I've been to Mr. B's for brunch on just about every visit and have never had anything but wonderful food and service. I think their Gumbo Ya Ya is one of my favorite gumbos in the city. I think their roux is a work of art.

                        Napolean House is a wonderful spot. Best muffaletta I've found.

                        Take some more time to savor the cuisine and the cooking methods. That is as much of an education as any site seeing tour. I'm sorry you had a terrible trip and things didn't turn our like you hoped. I certainly hope you try it out again as New Orleans is simply an amazing place.

                        1. re: FoodChic

                          I loved their Gumbo Ya Ya so much that I learned to make it myself - just the best. We used to go there frequently about 15 years ago; it was consistently good.

                      3. Suggestions for your next trip to NOLA:
                        If faced with a time crunch before a tour in the FQ at 7 pm, I probably would have hit VertiMart for some takeout and enjoyed the Place de Armes courtyard.

                        The neighborhood around Dante's kitchen is riddled with as many restaurants as a dog has fleas; you could have skipped around the corner to find a salvadoran pupuseria, a vietnamese cafe, a sushi joint, a pizza place, cheap chinese, LA Pizza Kitchen, La Madeleine, etc. Don't know which route you took to I-10, but on your drive out to Laura, you passed four parishes' (counties) worth of good food.

                        The travel lesson of the day is to always have a backup plan, and don't ever ask tourist information for recs. Ask real people: employees at the plantation, people you see at a gas station, the folks in line at a convenience store buying lottery tickets, etc. Worldwide, I've rec'd the worst advice from "tourist information." Depending on the locale, they're either simply poorly informed, paid to steer business to certain establishments, extremely middlebrow & conservative out of some misguided effort not to offend the visitor, or just disinterested in food.

                        RE: the BBQ shrimp: head & shells on is the norm for our BBQ shrimp. IIRC, the menu clearly states that the dish is served in the shell. If the shrimp were overcooked, you should have sent them back!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Hungry Celeste

                          "The travel lesson of the day is to always have a backup plan, and don't ever ask tourist information for recs."

                          There have been a few times, where both Plan A and B crashed, and I wished that I was traveling with my laptop to ask CHounds for some instant help.

                          Now, I'm usually doing higher-end restaurants for dinners, so I have a spreadsheet of our evenings, and fill it in about 3-6 mos. out. I also try to plan around any events (golf, tours, meetings, whatever), and give myself some time. Little is worse than having to cut a good meal short, because of something on my schedule, whether vacation, or work.

                          We also try to leave a few holes (not usually in NOLA), so if we find a great looking restaurant, or the sommelier at another place gives us a great rec., we can then call and try and secure a reservation. For NOLA, I have the plan in place, as soon as I know the dates. OTOH, I could also drop by 100 places, and find great food, if I could just get in.

                          [Disclaimer - in another lifetime, I was a civil engineer, so spreadsheets (did not exist in their present form way back then), and similar, are part of my nature. Spontaneity does take a backseat, except for those few open dates. This sort of structure might not work for others.]


                        2. Next time you don't want to sop up every drop of Mr. B's "BBQ" sauce send it to me.

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: kukubura

                            Or me. And I'll take the muffaletta off your hands.

                            1. re: mrsfury

                              In re: Felix's.......you were better off not eating their prepared food. I do, however, recommend eating their oysters on the half-shell, with one caveat; at the bar only. Okay, two caveats....at the bar only and during oyster season. The shells and debris may have come from poor shucking or from a widespread practice of pre-shucking oysters and stacking the trays on top of each other for table service. The jostling of the trays will cause the spread of debris.

                              1. re: mrsfury

                                I'll take the Mr. B's gumbo ya-ya and BBQ shrimp and the Napoleon House muff.
                                and I'll add a hot boudin from any gas station on the drive to the plantations.

                                sorry your meals were not as anticipated. these things can happen on occasion when traveling or even in your home town. I'm confidant next time will be tastier.

                                1. re: mrsfury

                                  OP here.... I'm responding in one post to most of the issues raised above.

                                  Re Felix's: Felix's gets a lot of recs on this board. As for eating oysters "out of season", the oysters tasted fine... very fresh. It was the poor shucking I had issue with. Also, when we order Po Boys and jambalaya, I don't think it should take 50 minutes + to get our food. There were lots and lots of people around us that were steaming mad that they also had to wait so long for food.

                                  Re: muffalettas at Napolean house. As I noted, I thought the meat to olive ratio was off. We had a muffaletta in Memphis at a place called Cafe Beignet (around the corner from the Civil Rights Museum) that I thought was better because it had more meat in it and it balanced the taste and texture of the olive.

                                  Re reservations at Dante's Kitchen. They DO NOT take reservations for brunch. I had talked to them on the phone before we left Colorado and they said that things did not heat up for them until closer to noon so I was very surprised that at 11:20 there was a 1.5 hour wait (it was Father's Day but a look around the restaurant did not show too many families, mostly groups of young professional types). I know brunch can be busy, and it was my fault that I did not get my family out the door sooner. As to passing plenty of restaurants on the way to the freeway.... where? We went out Carrolton. We stopped at Madeleines but we could not get a table there either and besides, we were hoping to eat more regionally specific food (we can get eggs/pancakes anywhere). Other than that, we did not see anything else open. Remember... it was Sunday morning.

                                  I don't think the tourist info place gave a bad recommendation. The sort of divey seafood restaurant they sent us to is exactly the type of place we were hoping to find. The problem was that it turned out to be closed. If you have ever been out to Laura Plantation, you would know that there is NOTHING out there other than that one restaurant.

                                  Re: Mr B's.... I knew I would get this type of flack for posting a bad review, but so be it. I'm sorry, but our table had both gumbos (seafood and YaYa) and they were both bad. My seafood gumbo tasted like they had forgotten to season it in any way. I did not taste the YaYa, but both my younger son and husband said it was bad. Note: our family did eat gumbo in two other restaurants that we all thought was much better so this isn't a "we don't like gumbo" thing. Finally, the head/tail thing on the BBQed shrimp was really not the issue. It was that for whatever reason, the shells were NOT COMING OFF. It made it really, really difficult to eat. Should I have sent it back? Maybe.

                                  1. re: cbrand

                                    In re: Mr. B's.......yes, bbq shrimp are cooked and served head/tail/shell on. No, they shouldn't be hard to peel. Overcooked. Send em back.

                                    1. re: cbrand

                                      And the tourist info folks should have KNOWN that the place wasn't open on Sunday....right? I'm guessing they sent you to B & C seafood. Does no good to steer visitors to things that aren't open. Laura's just outside of the town of Vacherie (sorry, not the middle of nowhere by LA standards, by a long shot). Vacherie has several chain places, but it also has an independent pizza joint, Spuddy's for sandwiches, and a few others open on Sundays. You were just a short drive from Oak Alley plantation, which houses a restaurant open every day of the week.

                                      In addition, Wayne Jacob's Smokehouse (in Laplace) is on the way to Vacherie; it has a nice Sunday brunch & a great selection of smoked meats & cajun/German Coast charcuterie. A short detour upriver to Convent would have taken you to Hymels, definitely open for lunch on Sundays.

                                      Come back, and post a query on CH in advance...we'll do better than the tourist info folks any day.

                                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                        not to mention Houmas House and Latil's Landing.

                                      2. re: cbrand

                                        BBQ shrimp, if done properly, should be able to be peeled off by a child(my kids do it all the time! :) Obviously these were overcooked. Maybe it was an off night there. It happens in the best of places but is still unacceptable. I was not aware Dante's Kitchen did not take reservations for Brunch. I will note that for future reference. Hope y'all will come back soon and give it another shot.

                                        1. re: ScarlettNola

                                          I have visited NOLA numerous times. Mr B's has the best bbq shrimp. Yes it is a chore if you don't know how to pull shells off easily, but that is part of the fun. I have tried pasquale's for bbq shrimp and they are not as good.
                                          the trick is to lick some of sauce off , pull head off, and suck juices from open head. then take a small bite into the open end of shrimp so you squeeze meat out of the shell into mouth. then, you peel the empty shell off from the first bite; then continue doing the same. It is the easiest way of "peeling" shrimp. Essentially you do it with your teeth, not hands.
                                          Most shrimp is overcooked in restaurants. (once shrimp becomes pink, they are cooked); This Shrimp at Mr B's is not. You are just not used to well-cooked shrimp. My husband had amazing rabbit at Mr. B's made with bacon bacon bacon. We had a very good meal there.

                                        2. re: cbrand

                                          Let me address some things in reverse order:

                                          With last things first, I do not see any "flack." Certainly some of your experiences will likely run counter to some others' experiences. This happens. Much can depend on personal tastes, or how the kitchen is running at that precise moment. I applaud your post, and would encourage all to do half so well as you did. Often with a negative review, the OP does not provide any details. You did a wonderful job and should be proud of taking the time to do so. Others WILL be helped in the future.

                                          As for the gumbos, that could well be a personal palate, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. What else can we, as reviewers, draw from. None of us should care about a Michelin star, or a great review in "Food & Wine." It is about what we tasted on that visit. You shared that. Though I have not been to Mr. B's in some years, I did enjoy my food one each visit. Still, it's up to you to evaluate it. While I did enjoy, back when, it's not a sacred cow of mine. Luckily, there are few of those. Also, just because I had a great meal on one day, does not mean that what you were served was the equal. You were right in reporting what you encountered, and eveyone should respect that. A big thank you for so doing.

                                          As for some locations in Louisiana (and my native MS), there can be some many miles between good food spots. Unlike, say Denver Metro, or any major urban/suburban area, much of the Deep South is highly rural. OTOH, I'm glad that the tourist bureau did a good job. Yes, it would have been better, had the restaurant been open. Unfortunately, there were probably good spots within 12 miles of you, but without prior knowledge, one might never find them. Though I used to travel extensively in that (and many similar) area(s), I would have been at a total loss. Though I once knew much of rural LA, I'd have to call up my wife's Tele-Aid on her MB, if we had driven, and thrown myself at the mercy of her concierge for recs.

                                          I understand the problem with restaurants that do not take reservations. I hate them, though I do love some of the food. We were hit by the same exact situation. My wife called, and was told that reservations were not needed. She pressed, and the host/hostess told her it was just not necessary for that night and anywhere near that time. We arrived and were told that it was a 2 hour wait, as they had gotten busy, unexpectedly. Guess who went elsewhere, and would not return. I would not wait 2 hrs. for Pizzaria Bianco, and am not about to do so for any restaurant, unless I have a table, bottle of fine wines, stemware and all the time in the world. Ain't gonna' happen. When traveling, I do not dine at any "no reservations" restaurants, unless we walk up and there is no line - and we want to dine there. I flat hate waiting in line!

                                          Sunday moring is not usually a problem in NOLA. Still, some of the spots are not right on Carrolton. If one had never lived in NOLA, it would be easy to pass by the neighborhoods and not know to turn off on ____ St. This happens to me all of the time, in areas that I just do not know. How many toruists would be likely to find Sonoda's, or New Orient in Aurora, CO? Ya' gotta' live there to know where to turn off the highway, or the main street. That you probably missed some cool spots is not reason to unload on you. How could you be expected to know? It is unfortunate, but it happens to all of us.

                                          I've already commented on some variations on muffs, up-thread. Some like 'em hot, some like 'em cold. Also, some like various nuances and might overlook an aspect, that another might resent. Again, it's personal tastes. Do not know the restaurant in Memphis, but glad that you liked theirs. You are fortunate, in that I still have fond memories for a muff, that no longer exists, but is the one, by which all others shall forever be judged. I seem to find fault with most others, so your finding a good one, for you, is great. It just did not happen to be in NOLA. No fault there.

                                          OK,we're gettin' near the end, or so I think. I am a fan of Felix's, as this was my mother's favorite, between it, and ACME. Other family members insisted that ACME was the ultimate, and a few insisted on going to The Pearl. That said, I am more of a shrimp po-boy fan. I like oysters (crispily fried, or raw), but am not one to sit at the bar and order them "as fast as you can shuck 'em." My mother was, so I did dine that way, as a child. Way back then, she knew most of the shucker's names, though we lived 100 miles away. She had her favorites, and they knew that she tipped very well, and she always got the same gentlemen - year after year. Nowadays, I cannot comment on the quality of the gentlemen behind the bar. Some might be better than others. Still, your bad experience at Felix's does not break my heart, other than a visitor to NOLA did not get the best. I cannot defend the shuckers that night. If they did not do right by you, I side with you completely.

                                          HC, and others, have commented on the BBQ Shrimp. There was a fairly recent article by another visitor, who commented as did you. It can be a misconception, and not 100% good, when one encounters it. Though we were "locals" at one time, and my wife is a native of NOLA, we recently were dining at a forgotten restaurant. The server commented to my wife that their BBQ Shrimp were "peeled," and my wife appreciated this, as most are not. As I did not read your menu, I cannot comment on any side-notes. Still, if some restaurants point out that their version is "peeled," it might be something to consider for those, where that is not done - even though it is the norm.

                                          Never be worried about posting of not having the best time and food of your life. While it saddens me greatly, nothing was your fault. You offered a review, based on what you encountered. I support you for sharing. Some of the things that you pointed out might well be taken for granted by too many of us. However, they should help other visitors. To me, the only thing better than sharing the cuisine of NOLA with others, is to enjoy it myself.

                                          Thanks. Your reviews and their details, were greatly appreciated.


                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                            Not crowded on Sunday in New Orleans? Are you kidding? There isn't a restaurant in this city that isn't PACKED on Sunday mornings (Surrey's, Mandina's, Coulis, etc...)

                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                              thanks, Hunt - for being approving of trying and posting after a visit. It is so important to be able to give feedback. Maybe some of it was poster's unrealistic timelines, but some was just circumstance! I have a trip coming up to NOLA May 5-10, and have lots of reservations in place; but some of life when traveling, you just have to leave holes in your schedule - you know? If you don't go often enough, a post-katrina tour might take longer than you think... so calculate that on Saturday, you are taking the tour and taking a chance on no reservation to Mr. B's and hoping for bbq shrimp at the bar at 2pm... no worries. I agree, that if you can't get in, have a plan for for god's sake -ask the BT or the host for where to turn in the hood! They will know!!!

                                              I am excited to come and spend my money and time in your town; haven't been back since the floods, so looking forward to eating your colective town's chef's intellect, generousity, and wit when we come. Thanks for having us. We feel honored to visit!

                                              Now, I just have to finalize our Sunday (Mother's Day - ouch!) out in Breaux Bridge for Zydeco and boiled crawfish after n Laura plantation in the AM, then to breaux Bridge by 3:00 pm for La Pousierre music.... still need dinner plans so we can go to a bar and dance later. Only hole left. Oh, and I know to leave time for things, cause' you just might want to stay awhile, or change your plan.

                                              Thanks Chowhounds - you have added to my current planned trip, and I hope you may post for my boiled crawfish quest for early Sunday eve. Mom's day!

                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                Don't miss dinner at the Green Goddess- Best new place in the Quarter!!

                                                Green Goddess
                                                307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                      3. You are correct that Dante's (which is very good) does not take brunch reservations. They open for Sunday brunch at 10:30, meaning an 11:20 arrival placed you right in the middle of the first seating, probably the worst possible time to arrive. Even the very first diners were likely not yet finished, and so no table had turned. Additionally, it was ridiculously hot on Father's day, so I am sure many patrons declined the patio option, cutting down on available seating. I'll echo the other posters here that Mr. B's is and has consistently been very good. Not at all a tourist trap. I can understand your frustrations with peeling the shrimp. The ability to peel them unconsciously in about 1.5 seconds seems to be coded in the Louisiana DNA, and perhaps we miss the fact that it can be a challenge for others. I recall watching a man in a Barcelona restaurant attempt to peel a shrimp with a knife and fork. My wife and I discussed leaning over and peeling the little guy for him (ok, there WAS wine with our lunch), but we decided that sort of cultural outreach might not be appreciated. Hope your next visit is better.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Vineaux

                                          I guess I missed the part where it was mentioned that it was Father's Day. IHMO, Father's Day and Mother's Day are two of the worst times to dine out in NOLA unless you have a reservation. Things are always hectic, and to me, the quality of food is not there. Even with a reservation, there have been occasions where we have had to wait which is a pet peeve. Now at least I understand why DAnte's was so crowded, because on a normal Sunday you should have been okay.

                                          1. re: ScarlettNola

                                            Two of the worst days (add Valentine's and New Year's Eve) to dine out ever! We don't do it.

                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                              Ditto on all of the above. We stay away from the hype, and either celebrate at home, or celebrate prior to, or after the actual day. Just don't worth it, no matter which city you are in. But cbrand didn't have an option to stay at home as she was out of town. i cannot stress to anyone the importance of reservations in NOLA. Space is often at a premium. If you are traveling anywhere near a holiday, call well in advance to book reservations. I booked an Easter Brunch at Commander's Palace 8 weeks prior. Planning is key, especially if you must dine out over a holiday!

                                            2. re: ScarlettNola

                                              If we are going to be anywhere on any "special day," we always make reservations well ahead of time. I would never go, in hopes that there might be an opening, anywhere. There are several very good places, that do brunch, and take reservations, that I would never "chance it." Yes, Dante's is good. Even with my "insider connections," I doubt that I could have gotten a table on such a date. Same for some top spots in PHX, where I can call up from 1 mile away, and get a table on most nights. I'd never try it on Valentine's, Father's Day, etc.. This was just flat unfortunate.


                                          2. cbrand,

                                            You are getting a lot of replies to your post because you used words such as "bad," "inedible," "ridiculous," etc. to bash some dishes that we locals enjoy on a regular basis, if not revere.

                                            I'm sure Mr. B's would be fascinated to learn that they served inedible gumbo to you, and would be grateful to your 16-year-old for pointing out that the "some sort of corn concoction" was a NOT a good pairing for the soft-shell crab. Was it Macque Choux, by any chance?

                                            Frankly, the language you used said more about you than it did about the food.

                                            Unless you like strongly-worded replies to your posts, maybe you should substitute phrases such as, "wasn't what we were expecting," or "not to our taste" for the more inflammatory words phrases that you used. We take our food seriously down here, so a more diplomatic approach in your comments would elicit more sympathy from us for what was obviously a frustrating visit.

                                            Of course, that's just my opinion; I could be wrong.

                                            13 Replies
                                            1. re: Absinthe Minded

                                              The "corn concoction" referred to in the OP is indeed a creamy corn macqe choux.

                                              1. re: FoodChic

                                                Macque choux is a fabulous dish, but I make mine a bit lighter. Has anyone tried the creamy dish at Mr. B's?

                                                1. re: ScarlettNola

                                                  Macque Choux...bless you. I love it too. Patout's did a great version w/cream and tasso and thyme that I adored, so I make it that way at home.
                                                  have not had Mr. B's version, as I stick to my gumbo ya-ya and usually the grilled fish of the day or a special. the lamb shank during the holidays was to die. no one could believe I ate the whole thing, as it was Flintstone size. I did maage a bite of a DC's hamburger that was also very good.
                                                  I prefer the place for lunch, not dinner. and never leave w/o profiteroles

                                                  1. re: edible complex

                                                    Could you pass along the recipe for that one? Always looking for new versions of my favorite dishes. Just bought 10 ears of corn for our 4th of July celebration and have some tasso ready to go.

                                                    1. re: ScarlettNola

                                                      I'm not sure about this because I have the book in a box somewhere but I think Alex Patout put that in his cookbook of 1982 or so....that's a good cookboook, certified by my coonass friend who is the best cajun cook I ever saw.

                                                      1. re: ScarlettNola

                                                        I have a couple I'll pass on to you in the morning.

                                                        1. re: FoodChic

                                                          Perfect! Thanks! I have my standard recipe but like the idea of tasso.

                                                        2. re: ScarlettNola

                                                          I don't measure anything and cook to taste, but here goes:
                                                          Maque Choux:
                                                          Green & Red Pepper, Celery, Onion, Tasso, Corn, Cream, Thyme, Oregano, Cayenne, Celery Salt, Garlic Salt
                                                          Saute the tasso in olive. Add the trinity, thyme, oregano, and corn - sauté until soft, stir in cream, reduce, season, and enjoy!

                                                          1. re: edible complex

                                                            Made it with your suggestions. It was awesome! The tasso and cream added a great flavor in comparision with my usual recipe. Husband and kids loved it. You are like me-I rarely measure, but the results were excellent.

                                                      1. re: Absinthe Minded

                                                        +1 AM! Additionally, corn not pairing well with crab? I don't know how that could ever be possible.

                                                        1. re: Absinthe Minded

                                                          Absinthe Minded, I couldn't agree with you more: "Frankly, the language you used said more about you than it did about the food."
                                                          CBrand would have generated far less hostility had she accounted for the fact that she planned poorly (on Father's Day!) and her choices weren't suited to her tastes. Her strong language caused me to become immediately defensive of a favorite spot I'd enjoyed not a month before she posted - and I ate both the YaYa and the shrimp.

                                                          Whether the kitchen was having an off day or not (which I've yet to experience at B's in nearly 15 years of dining), I have never experienced anything less than stellar service. However, I have often heard waiters complain about their rude diners...her negatively charged and inflammatory post makes me suspicious that she and her family could be just the kind of table a professional waiter would prefer to avoid - or hurry out.

                                                          As many others on this board have suggested, dining in New Orleans is part of the experience. Expect a measured pace, considerate service, possibly a wait if you are a larger party (more than can fit at a standard table) and/ or do not have reservations. Ask questions if you're unfamiliar with ingredients, description or preparation and be a polite patron; if you're on a schedule, ask if you can finish dining within your time constraints. And for goodness' sake, when you travel to unfamiliar places, be open-minded or don't go! In a city known for eating alligator, rabbit, soft-shelled crab, turtle and Lucky Dogs, whole shrimp aren't that far out of the ordinary, unless you'd rather be at an Applebee's.

                                                          For those of you considering Mr. B's, please don't let her "corn concoction" description of their delightfully creamy macque choux dissuade you, or keep you from trying a "glop"py soup, made with a roux base - which takes 8+hours to bake in their oven. And don't miss the "bowl full of sauce" - also made with said roux - it's served with bread because most don't want to waste a drop!

                                                        2. research Research RESEARCH!!! so important! Sunday can be a frustrating dinner meal, but we were able to get into Acme after a short wait (that line goes pretty fast) and the grilled oysters are a great alternative to summer oyster-eating if you want to avoid them raw.
                                                          The saddest thing I ever heard in our hotel lobby during one visit was a group of other guests asking 'Which way are the restaurants??'
                                                          I can only imagine where they ended up! There is some lousy food out there, but next time plan your whole darn trip around the meals, make reservations where possible, and you'll be planning your NEXT visit before you even head home!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: piglet3000

                                                            Every time I walked through the hotel lobby someone was asking the concierge "where's a good place to eat?" I couldn't believe it.

                                                          2. Mr B's was good years ago, but it's mediocre at BEST...

                                                            15 Replies
                                                            1. re: Suzy Wong

                                                              I'd have to agree with Suzy that Mr. B's isn't what it used to be, and there's been a real dip in quality since Katrina. I've stopped in on each of my last two visits and been disappointed. Hope the place turns around, since I used to be a fan.

                                                              1. re: BrooksNYC

                                                                I was there in March, and it was just lovely. I think it's the best it's been since Katrina.
                                                                My service and food were just like I always remembered.

                                                              2. re: Suzy Wong

                                                                hmm id have to disagree with this. the BBQ shrimp is perhaps my favorite in the city, and i always take out-of-town guests there, much to their delight. have also enjoyed filet mignon and numerous fish preparations. service as always been full of effort. i dine at the bar and in tables.

                                                                not long ago brett anderson did another reivew of Mr. B's, in its post-K incarnation. as i recall it faired pretty well. 3 out of 5 beans?

                                                                1. re: kibbles

                                                                  Chacun à son goût. I've been going to Mr. B's practically since it opened, and the shift after Katrina was startling. At my last meal, the seafood gumbo (formerly one of my favorite gumbos in the city) was watery and tasteless. My fish entree (details of which escape me) was bland and unmemorable. The bread pudding, which used to be excellent, was heavy and insipid. Nothing would delight me more (except, perhaps, turning back the clock 50 years at Antoine's!) than knowing Mr. B's was back up to speed.

                                                                  1. re: BrooksNYC

                                                                    Wish I could say that it was completely back up to speed, but it still has a few hiccups now and then. Remember, Mr. B's had to completely rebuild internally from the basement up after Katrina. We, too, had some really bad stuff there after their reopening, but today, when they get things right, they get them right. For example, a few weeks ago, for lunch they were serving Kobe beef short ribs over cheese grits, and I thought I had died and gone to fat heaven. Absolutely eyes-roll-back-into-your head good!

                                                                    We cut B's a lot of slack because it's also one of our favorite Friday all-day lunch spots, with $1.50 martinis and very cool bartenders. We frequently see a lot of the same old-school locals in there, dressed to the nines and cutting up with "their" waiters.

                                                                    So, Suzy Wong, BrooksNYC, I think you should give B's another chance. I think they've earned it. If you don't agree, I'll buy you each a Brandy Milk Punch....which is something I'm sure the OP and her family wouldn't like, either.

                                                                    1. re: Absinthe Minded

                                                                      It's a deal! Of course I'll give it another chance. My last two visits were in 2006 and 2007. Am happy to hear things are looking up.

                                                                      1. re: BrooksNYC

                                                                        BrooksNYC, I'd like to know what you think. My last visit was just this past March and my DH and were thrilled with the results. A very noticable difference from our visit last Oct.

                                                                        1. re: FoodChic

                                                                          If I can win an all-expenses-paid vacation to NOLA, I'll be more than happy to report back!


                                                                          1. re: BrooksNYC

                                                                            LOL....How about I report back FOR you after my trip in Sept!

                                                                            1. re: FoodChic

                                                                              Argh! Some people lead charmed lives! I rejoice in your good fortune, and look forward to reading your report.

                                                                2. re: Suzy Wong

                                                                  I cannot comment about Mr B's quality--the last time I wasas there is was fine, not great, but that wass on someone else's nickel and it wass in the 1980's..it is not on my radar, really. And moreover, it makes me sad to be in there because (and Bill Hunt will remember this) the building used to be Solari's store....it was a great place with hogsheads of olives and smoked meats hanging. This is not their fault, of course.

                                                                  1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                    I loved Solari's! I used to accompany my grandmother on her weekly trips downtown. Sometimes we'd have a sandwich at the counter; other times we'd lunch with my great aunt, who had an apartment in the Pontalba Buildings.

                                                                    Solari's closed in 1965. Two photos:

                                                                        1. re: BrooksNYC

                                                                          Yup..that's it...AND it had the basement men's room (still in Mr B's, of course). I think I shall now dissolve in tears....

                                                                    1. on Mr. B's and price -

                                                                      if your total bill was $200 for a party of 5, that really isnt too bad. thats $40/ea, taxes paid.

                                                                      like many/all of the Brennan restaurants, Mr. B's also often has a prixe fixe menu in place -- soup or salad, main and dessert for $25-40 (depending on the main).

                                                                      their COOLinary menu specials may also be in place by now as well. this is a summer-time promo where some of the city's best restaurants offer a fixed prixe menu at $30. see listings: http://tinyurl.com/mje3hf

                                                                      ...my only other comment is that whole soft-shelled crab may be a bit of an acquired taste. it certainly isnt for everyone (i was pretty spooked first time i saw it) and not faring well with teens wouldnt surprise me.

                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                      1. re: kibbles

                                                                        Bruch for my DH and I runs $130 - $150 depending on how much alcohol is consumed.
                                                                        We share an appetizer, both have gumbo and an entree, and split bread puddding. I think for what we get it's not bad at all, but to each their own.

                                                                        1. re: kibbles

                                                                          The immediate question I have regarding the soft-shell crad is: fried or sauteed? It sounds fried. That might be a way of introducing people to soft shells but it is not the best way to prepare them...see, e.g., H.L.Mencken's comments ("what assassin invented the New York scheme of frying soft crabs in batter?"). There will be howls for this but, well, there you are....

                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                            I agree about "taste and little more" as you posit it, but I suggest that "it" is about "flavor"(a component of taste) and, yes, more...so much more. If you don't mind, I shall just call the American Museum of Natural History on CPW and ask to have a spot held for me wit the dinosaurs...paleontology appealed to me back in 1959 and still does, today.

                                                                            Guilt? Phooey! T'Hell with'm

                                                                            BTW, The Roosevelt is open again! Ain't that Grand?

                                                                            1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                              Have you been able to check out the Sazerac Bar? We had to delay our trip home until end of July so I am dying to check it out! In regards to the soft shell crab, there is nothing better than a sauteed soft shell crab, but for a newbie, the task of eating it may appear to be quite daunting at best.

                                                                              1. re: ScarlettNola

                                                                                As to soft shells, you have a valid point--I have introduced many an oyster devotee to the art of eating those things by starting with fried oysters. Fried soft-shells is not a bad intro but then we can learn from there.

                                                                                Spoke to a friend who went to the Sazerac and she said it was wonderful. I probably won't go until cool weather and after the buzz wears off.

                                                                                1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                  I used to take out buster crabs from Tony Angelo's on my home from work. They were $2 pc, not bad for those tasty little morsels.
                                                                                  and I adore the soft shells at Clancy's.
                                                                                  sauteed or fried...just give me soft shells!

                                                                                  1. re: edible complex

                                                                                    Soft shells are among the things I love at galatoire's..simplicity itself and all you need is heat and butter and some garlic...or they'll do it anyway you want....add mushrooms if you care to. Clancy's, of course, does much the same thing. None of this is rocket science.

                                                                                  2. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                    One rule of thumb I've found useful when travelling is not to try to wedge in sit-down meals between tours and events if you really want to enjoy the meals. You have to allow for a considerable chunk of time if you want to enjoy yourself at a good restaurant. Po-boy joints or one of the decent taquerias are good choices if you have to squeeze in lunch in NOLA before heading to a plantation or swamp tour or what have you.

                                                                                    And, as Bill points out, one diner's experience can differ mightily from that of the next. I think the BBQ shrimp, the gumbo Ya Ya, and the profiteroles are always fabulous at Mr. B's. While I do not care for the seafood gumbo there, I think the Ya Ya is one of the best, if not the best gumbo, I've ever had anywhere. That said, I've had two or three less than stellar meals at Mr. B's--of 40 to 50, I guess, and twice those meals included the same dish I had ordered, and loved, on countless other occasions. But not every meal at a restaurant, no matter how good, will be wonderful. Still, Mr. B's is a steady favorite, delivering, imho, most of the time.

                                                                                    But, BBQ shrimp is something that is hard to love for some people, my husband, a man with a sophisticated palate and very healthy appetite, being one of them. And for him, it is strictly about the shells. Last week, having acquired some gorgeous jumbo shrimp, I decided to tweak the preparation I love best (Paul Prudhomme's), removing the shell from most of the tail and leaving on the very end of the tail and the head, which I consider essential for flavoring the sauce. I cooked them very briefly as most of the flesh was exposed. And while this struck me as a great compromise, when I served them to DH, his look said it all. While they looked comely and delicious to me, it was clear he was not going to engage in even the slightest dismemberment. So I reached over, grabbed his dish, and removed the offending heads and tails. After that, he dug in, enjoyed his crustaceans sans carapace and sopped up every drop of buttery shrimp essence. They were delicious.

                                                                                    But DH will never accept BBQ shrimp, traditionally or even quasi-traditionally prepared. Getting his hands dirty eclipses any deliciousness for him. And I think there are many people for whom this delicacy is simply too, um, indelicate. DH has the same reaction to soft-shell crab, no matter how toothsome their preparation. (Otherwise, he's a good guy. )

                                                                                    I think we should afford all their particular squeamishnesses. And also accept that when they did try said delicacies either (1) they were not prepared to love said delicacies for what they were or (2) the delicacies or their preparations / presentations/ introductions failed to move the earth, or give up the sea . . . or the swamp or the spillway or whatever.

                                                                                    OP, give NOLA another chance.

                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                      I don't like dealing with the mess, either, so I use Emeril's recipe where he shells the shrimp and uses the shells to make the sauce.

                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                        Any man who required assistance in peeling his own shrimp wouldn't be eating my home cooking more than once. But hey, I'm sure he has other qualities important to you.

                                                                                        1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                                          unless I'm up to my elbows, I ain't happy. that goes for bbq shrimp or rb poboy.

                                                                                          1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                                            Not something I usually do, believe me. But I couldn't let those shrimp go to waste.
                                                                                            And it would be kind of hard to ditch the shell-phobic guy at this point. I knew of this weakness when I married him, but foolishly thought I could change him!

                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                              I would have saved the shells for my gumbo stock.

                                                                                          2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                            I've known many people--including blood relatives--who argue that peeling shrimp is just too much trouble. Won't even bother with it. One of them loved crawfish when cooked up as cardinale or whatever..but never bothered to peel. It's a messy business, f'sure. I once had to teach a couple of kids from New Orleans how to break open crabs at Tyler's Beer Garden on Magazine..they otta have known. I uess I take the longer view to the OP post...some folks just need exposure..give 'em a chance to learn without contuming them(not that you are but there were harsh comments elsewhere). I've known how to eat crab and peel crawfish and eat artichokes since my nonage but it is no genius of mine--I just happened to born in the right place and have family that loved this stuff--back in the 1950's, before "food was invented"

                                                                                            In talking about such things...the yuk and muck of peeling and so forth...I recall a friend who loved Caesar salads. I made them several times and he adored them. One day he wanted to see how it was done---and he was horrified to see a raw egg added. What can you do?

                                                                                            I was very lucky---I was exposed to brain and tongue when I was a child and thought it fun, long before I had a chance to have my mind set against such things. That is the trick..expose 'em early. But, as regards the OP, there is always hope...

                                                                                2. IT IS New Orleans! It's eclectic and crowded and dangerous and humid....and, and, and a WONDERFUL event! There ARE places that you will wait forever, and some worth that wait. Coop's CAN’T let minors in because it is the LAW! And you seem a lil naïve to think that you are going to be in NOLA and sit down to peeled and deveined grocery store shrimp?? And, with NO reservations??? I’m thinking that your money and time would be better spent (and with teens no less) at Epcot or maybe a Six Flags.

                                                                                  1. WIth respect to the food quality at various NOLA establishments - I say, to each his own.

                                                                                    However, I find it more than a bit surprising that one would believe reservations unnecessary for brunch or breakfast on Father's Day. That is operator error.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: bodie

                                                                                      Interesting that there are 86 replies to a NOLA dining thread. While some of my "sacred cows" got gored, it's about the day and time of the dining. I may have hit several of these, and had a different experience only hours before, of after. Still, the reviews were good ones, and I have tried to take notice.

                                                                                      As for reservations, I do mine months in advance, but that is just me. Regardless of the venue, I also allow plenty of time for each, and for each event.

                                                                                      Hawai`i is another good example. I plan each dining event, and then plan ancillary events around that/those. I hate to be rushed in my dining, so I will plan an extra hour, even if it's just for an additional glass of wine between. Same for my airline connections. Being a member of many airlines' "Lounges," I'll spend a few hours with their poor wine selections and relax, in between flights. This translates to my dining and to my "events."

                                                                                      Still, if I am dining on any sort of "busy day," I will work around that. This weekend, we did Basitlle Day and worked around the night. Happens about 6x per year.

                                                                                      For me, it's plan ahead and build in enough time.


                                                                                    2. Unfortunately, your bad food trip was your fault. Any and everyone knows that Restaurants in New Orleans are a WAIT, especially on a Friday night. You should have asked at your Hotel for suggestions. Never do the tourist thing when it comes to food. Try using the yellow pages next time. Or better yet give me a call, I'm a true New Orleanian and won't steer you wrong. Sheila (504) 400-9439. That's the way we do!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: srbageon

                                                                                        I think we've beaten up on the original poster's bad judgment enough. We've all made mistakes! Hell, I ate at Pere Antoine's once!

                                                                                        1. re: srbageon

                                                                                          Arriving on Sunday 12/27 in time for dinner. If you could put together and "local" schedule of where to eat lunch and dinner everyday it would be greatly appreciated. For NY EVE, we've booked Emerils special NY Eve dinner. Other than that, casual, fancy, doesn't matter, as long as it's not touristy...we're in your hands. THANKS

                                                                                          Emeril's Restaurant
                                                                                          800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                          1. re: sockster

                                                                                            Sockster, I suggest you consider starting a new thread for your topic.
                                                                                            Read the board of recent suggestions & perhaps ask some further questions.
                                                                                            We truly want to help!

                                                                                            1. re: Isabella

                                                                                              I agree completely. Tagging onto a six mos. old negative thread will not likely get the recs. that would otherwise pour in.

                                                                                              Some details that would help greatly:
                                                                                              Where are you staying?
                                                                                              Do you have a car?
                                                                                              Are you adverse to walking a half-dozen blocks?
                                                                                              Any real"theme" that you'd love to adhere to?

                                                                                              That sort of thing.

                                                                                              Good luck, and enjoy,


                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                Thanks for your post- Staying at the RItz. Love to walk. WIll have access to a car. If there is to be a food theme (which there's not), it would be to eat where the local people eat day in and day out. No touristy places needed. We have enough of them in NYC.

                                                                                                So what do you think?? THANKS

                                                                                        2. Mr. B's BBQ shrimp is fantastic, the definitive way to do it. When you order a dish you should know how it is prepared before you criticize it! When I lived in NO I ate at Mr. B's three or four times a week and never had a bad meal.

                                                                                          1. Just returned from my 3rd visit to NOLA since Katrina. We ate all over the place, but I really think that in the future, we'll just have dinner at Galatoire's every night. When I go to NOLA, I want to eat classic NOLA cuisine, and no one does it better. The best Oysters Rockefeller, Souffle Potatoes, Trout Mueniere Amandine, and you've gotta love a restaurant that brings out Bearnaise Sauce to dip your bread in.

                                                                                            Galatoire's Restaurant
                                                                                            209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                                                                                            1. Sorry it was disappointing. Next time try my favorite restaurants!
                                                                                              Dick and Jennys and Brigtsens are musts!

                                                                                              Jaquimos( Best Alligator Cheesecake and blackened red fish),
                                                                                              Dick and Jennys(Love this place! Everything is good. wear jeans!)
                                                                                              Rio Mar
                                                                                              Napolean House
                                                                                              Commanders Palace(MY FAV)
                                                                                              Muriels(Turtle Soup, Goat Cheese Crepes, and Pecan crusted drum),
                                                                                              Clover Grill
                                                                                              Coffee Pot (FAVORITE RED BEANS and breakfast),
                                                                                              Upperline, Yummy turtle soup and fish
                                                                                              Gumbo Shop,
                                                                                              Napolean House( FAV. LUNCH SPOT),
                                                                                              One on Hampson( BEST DUCK GUMBO)
                                                                                              Crepe Nanou (Grilled Amberjack with Bearnaise awesome)
                                                                                              Tommys Restaurant
                                                                                              Brigtsens( Everything is AWESOME),
                                                                                              Yo mama bar and grill( BEST HAMBURGERS)
                                                                                              Palace Cafe( BEST PECAN CRUSTED FISH AND BLUE CRAB LEGS),
                                                                                              Domileses(awesome poboys, FRIED SHRIMP and Roast Beef are my fav!),
                                                                                              Favorite coffee- Cafe du monde
                                                                                              Favorite dessert- Commanders

                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: N.O.Food

                                                                                                  So? Others can still benefit from the discussion.

                                                                                                  1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                    I was just pointing out that the OP hasn't posted on CH in seven months. I doubt he/she's reading the response.

                                                                                                    1. re: N.O.Food

                                                                                                      And I was just pointing out that it doesn't matter. These threads morph from the original request into sources of information that can help other people. The fact that the OP is or isn't reading is irrelevant.

                                                                                                      1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                        And case in point.... thanks to all. Planning a trip for March and found all comments (including the new ones) exceedingly helpful. Thank you! Can't wait for my arms to be covered in BBQ shrimp sauce. Glad I stumbled across this thread.

                                                                                                        1. re: dubtrub

                                                                                                          Yes indeed...this thread is a bounty of info. Thanks to all the contributors...I felt compelled to bump this!

                                                                                                          1. re: Cuisinee

                                                                                                            This is a good thread and I read through it for an upcoming trip. One question. Several respondents pointed out that if there are big events in town it makes restaurant lines much longer, especially in the FQ. Is there any source of information that would help one to know whether there will be such big events (I assume we're talking major conventions and such) during the days one intends to visit? While we plan to do most of our dining outside the FQ anyway, still it would be nice to know what we're up against and plan accordingly. Our planned dates are around 10-15 May.

                                                                                                            1. re: johnb

                                                                                                              Events in town definitely contribute to lack of dinning options...unless you plan well ahead.



                                                                                                              1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                The colleges have graduations that week. That could make it really tough. Might check the universities' websites, too. Check the Gambit's site, too:


                                                                                                                1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                  I'm with John... My wife and I are coming to NO the end of May and this thread has been a part of my research. I appreciate hearing about peoples' experiences, as well as feedback from the locals. I have places that I would defend against all detractors too, but the realist in me admits that every restaurant can have an off day/night. We will make our own opinions on our trip. But what I got most from this board is something that never occurred to me: MAKE RESERVATIONS! I come from a simple family, and live in an area where eating out never has to include waiting. Making reservations rarely comes up in conversation. Bottom line...I feel for OP and her family. The rest of y'all with thin skins need to buck up. We don't know your local "customs" or what ever. We do our research, as much as is humanly possible. But you can never prepare for everything. How about some of that sweet, down-home hospitality the South is supposed to be famous for? That's what I'll be looking forward to when we're in your city, almost as much as the food. Save some gumbo and a shrimp po boy for me.

                                                                                                                  p.s. Thanks to FoodChic and N.O.Food for the links...FluerdeLis for the exhaustive list of rec's...and Bill Hunt for his compassionate response to OP.