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Jul 8, 2009 11:44 PM

Last meal on earth in New Orleans

I only have one day to visit New Orleans.

The cuisine is pretty new to me (I made chicken sausage shrimp okra gumbo for the first time ever a few nights ago!) I loved it. I made the roux in the oven.

If I can only have one single meal in New Orleans what would it be and where would I go to get it? Then afterwards...shall I go to Preservation Hall...

Any recommendations for how to spend a great day would be much appreciated!

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  1. Emeril's. We dine here regularly. The food always tastes good. No hapzard plate fillers. Perfectly composed plates with complimentary flavors.Portions are generous. Service is excellent. .

    Smoked Exotic Mushrooms with Fresh Angel Hair Pasta and House Made Tasso Cream Sauce ( so good, you'll want to order another)

    Abita Root Beer Braised “Fresh Bacon” (pork belly) Salad with Citrus Slaw, Marinated Yucca, Heirloom Radish, Shaved Jalepeno, Goat Cheese and Pork Cracklings

    Andouille Crusted Texas Redfish with Grilled Vegetables, Shoestring Potatoes, Glazed Pecans and Creole Meunière Sauce


    Grilled Niman Ranch Double Cut Pork Chop with Caramelized Sweet Potatoes, Tamarind Glaze and Green Chile Molé Sauce (not your typical mole, no chocolate)

    Emeril’s Banana Cream Pie with Banana Crust, Caramel Sauce and Chocolate Shavings

    Get a Pimms Cup "to"go" and take a private carriage ride..Ask the driver to drop you off near Frenchmen, where you'll have a choice of great music.

    1. If I had one day and one meal I'd eat at Bon Ton. As for the rest of the day I'd have too much to see to fit in one day. I love the zoo, the streetcar on St. Charles, the lakefront, the riverfront, City Park....

      11 Replies
      1. re: mrsfury

        geez, I dunno...Bon Ton is fine for them as lives here and if you are racking up lots of other places ona visit but it wouldn't be my last meal. The Emeril suggestion is fine , especially if you like adjectives & adverbs(I just cannot get used to descriptive menus). Of course, a great deal depends on what one wants...if you want turtle soup then Commander's would be the obvious choice....and so forth. More info would help.

        1. re: hazelhurst

          I was gonna say Stella but I'd want an all N.O. style meal, probably. Tough decision.

          1. re: mrsfury

            I'd just end up at 209 Bourbon Street as I always do.

            1. re: hazelhurst

              Isn't that the cottage that you keep in the FQ?


              1. re: Bill Hunt

                Its just a llttle pied a terre, nothing fancy...good kitchen.

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  Hey, I could not resist. I thought that the idea of a "last meal" for any of us a bit dark, hence the attempt at levity.


                  1. re: Bill Hunt


                    entre nous, I am not at all certain that I "got the joke" as described it...maybe the gag was beyond me. Oh Hell...these things happen.

                    I'll check off line under nom-de-yoyage..San Francisco August 18th?

                    1. re: hazelhurst

                      I'm gettin' a few recs. and will post 'em. It seems that most are a bit more casual, but I specified that the food, and not the ambiance, was the most important aspect.

                      I've been surprised that the thread has not generated more input. Usually the CA board is good, or they have been for me.

                      More to come, when available, Too bad that we'll not be in SF then, as I'd driver up the coast, just to dine with you.

                      Travel safely and enjoy,



              2. re: hazelhurst

                That would be my choice for my last meal on the planet. Lunch on Friday.



            2. re: hazelhurst

              I suppose a good intro to an all New Orleans style meal is what I'm looking for. So when people talk about New Orleans food I will know what they are talkin about.

              1. re: EmyLouie

                I see no way you can get the measure of the cooking from one'd have to have things ranging frm red beans and rice to turtle soup to trout meuniere to remoulade. And we haven;t talked abot different cocktails, and an number of crabmeat goodies. For a good cross section you's be fine with Commander's, Clancy's, Galatoire's...Mandina's would give you the neighborhood type place...College Inn perhaps.

          2. are you looking for something formal and classic or something a bit more casual?
            what part of town are you staying and are you willing to take a cab ride or will you have a car?

            good options are Galatorie's, Clancy's, Brigtsen's, Cochon, K Paul's, Herbsaint, Bayona, Pascal Manale's, Mandina's, Ye Olde College Inn, Jacques Imo's, Joey K's, Li'l Dizzy's...just depends on how you want to try the many ways of our cuisine.

            12 Replies
            1. re: edible complex

              I'm more of a casual type. It's a road trip and I'm probably not packing any impressive clothing. I won’t be staying in town, just passing through this time. Once I get into town I would be using a cab or preferably just walking or biking around if that is possible.

              Well, on second thought if I must get dressed up in order to get access to the good food then I will bring my best dress. Wait a minute, I don't have a dress...

              It sounds like there is probably great food everywhere in NO. I'm from Seattle and we just don't have that kind of stuff up here.

              Well, I will write down a list before I set out, and then when I get there if I walk past anything on my list I will just go for it.

              Ideally I would take a huge spoon with me and sneak in through the back of the kitchens of every restaurant and taste everything double dipping my spoon along the way! Otherwise I'm tempted to eat until I pop.

              OK, THANKS A BUNCH FOR THE IDEAS!!!!!

                1. re: EmyLouie

                  from my list above, Mandina's, Ye Olde College Inn, Jacques Imo's, Joey K's, Li'l Dizzy's and Cochon are the more casual places that can offer a good taste of local fare.
                  you can also look to Parasol's, Parkway Bakery and Mahoney's for po boys for lunch. if you're w/friends, then order several different kinds to split. you might also add Crabby Jack's to your list of casual lunch places, which is located just outside of the city in Jefferson, on Jeff Hwy.

                  1. re: EmyLouie

                    One spoonful of Mr B's BBQ shrimp sauce
                    One spoonful of Commander's Palace's seafood bisque (or turtle soup, I guess, if you eat that sort of thing)
                    One spoonful of Arnaud's remoulade (assuming they are making it with the bite they used to make it with)
                    One spoonful of K-Paul's softshell crab stuffing
                    One spoonful of one of Bennachin's beautiful stews
                    One spoonful of Central Grocery's olive salad
                    One spoonful of Lil Dizzy's mac n cheese

                    If I could have one meal in NOLA it would be lunch at Commander's. There are perhaps more taste-bud exploding dishes but the overall experience is so all-encompassingly wonderful it's tough to beat. Of course you have to do it the way we do it, spend time at the bar, and have the whole thing take about three hours...

                    1. re: kukubura

                      I agree with those choices with the caveat that it is simply not worth going to Commander's (for me and for any of my friends) without having the turtle soup. I can do teh seafood bisque at home--and I can come close to the turtle but it is a lot of work and I am not "set up" for it, so I'd rather let them do it. That is the best commercially available turtle soup in town.
                      Arnaud's remoulade was rescued by Archie Casberian but he based its renaissance on the Galatoire version which is The Standard for "red" remoulade. I'm afraid that you simply must go back to the little temple on Bourbon--preferably on, say, a Wednesday afternoon...if you can do a mere three hours at Commanders, you should be right at home in the sanctum sanctorum

                    2. re: EmyLouie

                      For casual NOLA dining that is truly indicitive of the cuisine try Mandina's on Canal, or Joey K's. For formal dining Galatoires is the epitome of old line New Orleans dining. PArkway is great for Po boys as well.

                      1. re: ScarlettNola

                        Agreed..note that Mandina's has the lighter color (yellow/white)..still damn good.

                        1. re: hazelhurst

                          I think that for casual and budget dining Mandina's takes the prize. I did not realize that they had opened a location on the Northshore as well. The turtle soup, while not CP is still great. I can only suggest that you request the sherry on the side for self pour, as the past few times I had the turtle soup there, they were a bit heavy handed with the sherrry, and it killed a lot of the flavor. Commander's Palace turtle soup is second to none, and would have to be my first course if I had to have one last meal on earth in NOLA. Hope that day never comes, as no matter how much I get of NOLA I simply want more!

                          1. re: ScarlettNola

                            I agree as to Madina's turtle soup--although it has a lot of other meat in it and is often an almost sludge that requires sherry to liquify it---no harm there. A bowl of that and a Wop Salad makes the world right.

                            On the "high end" Commander's does have the best turtle soup in town but it slipped a few years ago when there were other business interests occupying the family---I had a bowl in 2005 that was half salt and half veal stock.

                            If you want a killer turtle soup---made with turtle stock bone-in, go to Ma Mama's in New Roads. Superb.....

                            1. re: hazelhurst

                              I agree re: Mandinas turtle sludge. It would be a shame for anyone to have this bowl of glop as their only taste. Regardless of whatever else Commanders has on the menu, I always order turtle soup. IMO, #1. Gal's is good as well.

                              EmyLouie, Post K, our rest. have relaxed the dresscode. You can easily get by w/ khakis and a polo or a sundress. Probably even slide by w decent jeans ,which I've seen on more than one occassion in Emeril's, Delmonico, Herbsaint......

                              1. re: hazelhurst

                                I have never been to Ma Mama's. I love turtle soup, Madina's is one of the only casual places where I enjoy the turtle soup. My last visit to Commander's earlier this year produced a wonderful turtle soup, but the visit prior, was not up to my earlier recollections. I think making turtle soup may be my next culinary quest. My husband and I have regular "iron chef" cook-offs at home and this may be our next try.

                                1. re: ScarlettNola

                                  Just ran into a friend who went to Ma Mama's a few days ago and had the turtle soup...could not have raved about it more. Do yourself a favor and go up there...don't fret about the decor(ugh) the music--double ugh--and just relax. Service varies wildly. I don't care..that soup is worth it.

                    3. If you've got one day in NOLA, you can have two--even three!--meals, silly. And you should... For breakfast, obviously you must have beignets from Cafe du Monde.
                      For lunch, a po-boy from Domilise's or dozen raws + an oyster or shrimp loaf from Casamento's.
                      For dinner--oh, heck, buy yourself a dress from the sale racks on Magazine and head to Galatoire's. Everyone is right. It is the sanctum sanctorum. You cannot get more essential New Orleans food. But you must be sure to ask the waiter what you should have--he'll make sure you get the freshest fish and the necessary souffle potatos and fried eggplant (with powdered sugar).

                      As for Preservation Hall, I'd skip it and head down to Frenchman Street. Peek into the clubs, pick one that suits you and sounds good, and go on in.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: LostBread

                        I would suggest Clancys followed by stepping into the twilight zone at Snake and Jakes Christmas club lounge and drink cold schlitz or pabst blue ribbon until daylight.

                        1. re: hazelhurst

                          or getting a 2am chili cheese omelette at Camellia Grill in a ballgown. good times!

                          1. re: edible complex

                            thanx..we know....some folks don't ...

                            1. re: hazelhurst

                              With some of the recent comments on CG, I have GOT to get by, just to see. Though I am most often a "Nutty Waffle" fan, I have to admit a pencent for a "Chili Cheese Omlete." Maybe I will force myself and try them both.

                              As a complete aside, after much conversation on the CG waffle front, my wife has finally taken to just wiping our waffle iron, and NOT cleaning it, based on our 35 years of observation at CG on what it takes to do a good waffle.

                              So far, we are still lagging far behind, but then Denver and Phoenix are not places to look for great waffles.


                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                from what I can recall, St. Charles Tavern had a great chili cheese omelette at 4am w/home fries and a biscuit...but only when I was a quart low.

                                1. re: edible complex

                                  I think of myself in shredded tailcoat and a great date at St Charles Tavern...Sissys Lounge wa right next door...well, not really...the Tavern wa "far away"...but it sure did not see so far away at the time.....Thanks for your remarks...How does memory work? [See, e.g. Faulkner]

                                  1. re: edible complex

                                    We have never dined there, but do remember many speaking fondly of post-event dinng there.

                                    Thanks for the memory jog,


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