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Rate These Restaurants

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I don't want to do highjack other threads, so I've created my own. I'm also going to be a first-time visitor to New Orleans in late September for 3 days/4 nights. I'm thinking about the following restaurants:

Breakfast:

Cafe du Monde
Cafe Beignet
Cafe Fleur de Lis

Lunch:

Emeril's - 3 Courses in 30 Minutes For $19.50
New Orleans School of Cooking
Cochon Restaurant

Dinner:

Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro
Acme Oyster House
Bubba Gump Shrimp

Are any of these restaurants better for lunch than dinner, or vice versa? Which one should I get a Po-Boy from? Seafood Gumbo? Muffuletta?

Thanks!

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  1. Breakfast:

    Cafe du Monde and Cafe Beignet are essentially the same thing, so you will want to pick one or the other. I would recommend Cafe du Monde. A few other good breakfast spots are The Ruby Slipper Cafe (just down Canal), or Elizabeth's (Great Brunch) EAT in the Quarter has a good breakfast/brunch, but not a huge fan on their dinner menu).

    Lunch:
    Emeril's and Cochon are both great lunch options, with my favorite being Cochon. You may want to add Parkway Bakery and Tavern to your lunch time plans for an awesome po boy. Depending on where you are staying you will have to take a very short cab ride, but their fried oyster/any po boy is well worth it. You can also try Napoleon House for a hot muffaletta or Central Grocery for a "cold one" (Muff not beer) Napoleon House has pretty good seafood gumbo as well.

    Dinner:
    I will have to rule out all of your dinner choices. Bubba Gump's is everywhere in the USA and a very "touristy" spot so I would tend to steer you FAR away from there. You will get better choices at a better price at any/most local establishments. Copelands is also a no in my book. The cuisine is slipping, service not too great, and is an overall no iMHO. The best thing the Copeland's have done is Popeye's. Some people really like it and again this is only my opinion. Acme is fine, but I would suggest trying Casamento's on Magazine STreet for the best oysters. They are closed June through September as this is not the best time for oysters. The menu focuses heavily on oysters and seafood and is one of my favorite (and reasonably priced) places to dine for a casual meal. I am not sure when they open up for the "season" and believe it is mid September. If you will be in town prior to this, I would try Felix's oysters instead of Acme. Another good dinner option is Mandina's just down Canal. Like Parkway and the Ruby Slipper, it is easily accessible from the streetcar. They serve Creole/Italian comfort food and offer a daily special. Their turtle soup and seafood gumbo are very good for a restaurant of this price point. They are cash only, but there is an ATM on site. Best of look and let us know where you decided to go and what you thought.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ScarlettNola

      I agree with ScarlettNola about the first two choice of places to eat, breakfast and lunch, but Copeland Cheese cake Bistro. I would pass on that one along with Bubba Gumps. Acme oyster, my first stop when I arrive in NOLA for lunch at the oyster bar.

      We try eating at the Trolley Stop, but we got there late, they were closed. We end up eating at Copeland Cheese cake bistro, it was late in the afternoon, the lunch crowd was pretty much gone, we wait over 45 mins for our lunches, the manager end up comp our lunches. Enjoy your visit to NOLA

      1. re: ScarlettNola

        Huge NO on all of your dinner choices.

      2. You will happy with any of your breakfast and lunch choices and NONE of your dinner choices.

        You would be much happier to shy away from the franchise restaurants for dinner. If this is your first visit, i would highly recommend trying something more local and unique.

        1. We've been to Emeril's many times for lunch. It is IMO the best dining value in NOLA. They also offer an ala carte menu with some very good choices. Don't miss the smoked exotic mushrooms on angel hair or the daily oyster prep (both are apps). I would not choose any of your dinner options. Rest. will still be running their COOLinary menus so give them a look. http://www.nomcvb.com/restaurants/ind... OR: http://www.nomenu.com/summer/ Cuvee and August do not appear on the list but also offer COOLinary specials. They are among our finest. Pick up a muff from Central Grocery for the way home. They keep/travel well. Johnny's po boys in FQ are very good. Try Felix's for oysters 1/2 shell at the bar. Wash them down with an Abita Amber.

          1. I say Cafe Du Monde for breakfast. Then do Emeril's for lunch (better value than dinner) and do Cochon for dinner. Cochon is typically more of a lunch spot because it is on the casual side, but it's worth eating there at any time and way, way better than your dinner choices. Or if you are looking for the casual spot to be lunch, do Cochon lunch and Emeril's dinner. Or as the last commenter noted, check out the COOLinary deals going on at various restaurants.

            As for po-boys, I would say catch a cab (or drive if you can) to Parkway Bakery.

            1. Other options

              Lunch
              Commander's Palace
              Mr B's Bistro
              Central Grocery
              Joey K's

              Dinner
              K-Paul's
              Pelican Club
              Napoleon House

              1. I agree about killing your dinner choices. Maybe go to Bon Ton, LaBoca, Tommy's or Green Goddess. Keeping in mind I mostly eat in that area for lunch, I don't have many dinner recommendations.

                6 Replies
                1. re: mrsfury

                  Thanks everyone for their help! I have to admit that I was heavily influenced by the New Orleans Visitors Guide 2009 when I made those selections.

                  I forgot to mention that I'll be staying at the Marriott in the French Quarter. I'll be there on September 16. Is that still too early for oysters?

                  1. re: jtamin

                    Oysters will be fine to eat then. Definetly go to Casamento's on Magazine for the oysters. You are probably best getting a cab or riding the streetcar, as parking is at a premium in this area.

                    1. re: jtamin

                      Considering where you are staying I would also consider Green Goddess for lunch or dinner. It's a new small place in the Quarter. Food is quite good and definitely a bit different (there are Latin American, Southern and Creole influences on the menu).

                      If you are staying mostly in the Quarter, Johnny's is a decent choice if you are looking just for a po-boy at some point, btw.

                      1. re: gastrotect

                        The crab sandwich, cuban & creative drinks are some of my favorites at The Goddess.

                        1. re: mrsfury

                          And the sweet potato biscuits! too die for.

                          1. re: lawstudent

                            Never tried those! But, our anniversary is coming up and I plan to go again soon.

                  2. Try EAT for breakfast. It's yummy, not expensive and it's BYOB, which can be a great value if you like bloody marys and/or mimosas.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: nikinik

                      Just wnere is EAT in the FQ?

                      1. re: poolejkp17

                        Dauphine & Dumaine

                    2. Here is my revised list after checking out the menus online, and proximity to my location:

                      Breakfast:

                      Cafe du Monde
                      Cafe Fleur de Lis
                      Eat (Saturday brunch)

                      Lunch:

                      New Orleans School of Cooking
                      Emeril's
                      Cochon

                      Dinner (will pick from these):

                      Napoleon House
                      Felix's
                      Bon Ton Cafe
                      Joey K's

                      If I'm in the area:
                      (How long will it take to get here from the French Quarter by streetcar/bus?)

                      Ruby Slipper
                      Mandina's
                      Parkway Bakery and Tavern

                      Snacks:

                      Johnny's
                      Central Grocery

                      I'm trying to go for authentic dishes, and not too high end.

                      18 Replies
                      1. re: jtamin

                        Both Mandina's and Ruby Slipper are a very short ride from the Quarter just down Canal. Ruby Slipper sits about 2 blocks behind Mandina's. Parkway is about a 10 minute cab ride away.

                        1. re: jtamin

                          I know you're going to run out of slots but I would SERIOUSLY try to make these two happen:

                          SNACK: Mr B's Bistro,, specifically the BBQ shrimp. You can easily sit at the bar and split a plate of this. They have an inexpensive lunch portion that is generous and a more expensive dinner portion that is a little bigger. Either way, split it and eat it at the bar with a nice cocktail (at lunch there's a special $1.50 cocktail menu) There has been a lot of talk lately on here about the Mr. B's bbq shrimp, and with good reason: It is one of the best individual dishes around.

                          LUNCH: Commander's Palace. No joke, this might actually end up being the highlight of your trip. It is so beautiful and the service is so ludicrously wonderful. The food ranges from delicious to astonishingly delicious and very reasonably priced (many app/entree combos can be had for well under $20). The lunch martinis are 25 CENTS. The bread pudding souffle with whiskey sauce is THE dessert. It also gives you a change to stroll through Lafayette Cemetery right across the street and to tour the Garden District. It's an amazing experience. Really do try to do it. I'd swap it out for any of your lunch options.

                          1. re: kukubura

                            Thanks for the detailed reply. The BBQ shrimp looks good, I'll have to try it out.

                            I went to the Commander's Palace website; I could get two appetizers for under $20, but nothing with an entree ($17-$20 themselves). Am I missing the combo deals?

                            1. re: jtamin

                              There is generally a Chef Tory special with 3 courses. Look on the brightside-if you don't have a spot for Commanders or BBQ Shrimp at Mr. B's, you can always come back again soon and dine there then.

                              1. re: jtamin

                                I just checked the website and you're right about the way it's listed. There must be a lunch special on the menu where you get soup or something with the entree price because twice I had seafood soup along with an entree for the price of the entree. Once it was a beautiful fish dish ($16) and once it was an amazing crawfish strudel ($19). You could call and make sure if that's the difference between you checking it out or not. I just can't recommend it enough. It's a very special place.

                                1. re: kukubura

                                  Commander's online lunch menu is abbreviated.

                                2. re: jtamin

                                  And the Duck Egg Rolls!

                                3. re: kukubura

                                  The turtle soup is still the best part of lunch, not counting the .25 cent martini's. Yum

                                4. re: jtamin

                                  These are good. I would go with Mandina's (for gumbo and a poboy or spaghetti), Napoleon House (muffaletta and a Pimm's cup) and Cochon for dinners. That way you can try Green Goddess for lunch one day. It's really good and in a neat little alley right in the Quarter. Sit at the bar and chat with the cooks and other patrons.

                                  I would also suggest Butcher, right behind Cochon, for dinner. It's really delicious and the small plates allow you to try a lot of different stuff. The $3 boudin app is so good - just make sure to eat each bite with a bit of the pickle on top - Yum!

                                  1. re: lawstudent

                                    Thank God your trip plans for dinner have changed!

                                  2. re: jtamin

                                    Pretty nice list. I will put in a word for Bon Ton. Old school Cajun in the best way. Fabulous seafood dishes plus they have a proprietary cocktail, the Rum Ramsey. And a bread pudding with whiskey sauce that is awesome (with a cup of good chicory coffee). Regarding muffalettas, Central Grocery is the classic, and you can pick up a jar of their olive salad to recreate them back home, Napoleon House is worth a visit, though, for the cool old vibe that it has. Enjoy!

                                    1. re: jtamin

                                      Would I have any trouble getting into the above restaurants wearing shorts and a tshirt?

                                      1. re: jtamin

                                        I haven't been to every place listed but I will say that NOLA is the kind of place where it doesn't hurt to dress a little bit nicer than you normally would. That said, here's my (not always informed) opinion:

                                        T-shirt and shorts should be ok:
                                        Cafe du Monde
                                        Johnny's
                                        Central Grocery
                                        Joey K's (although a nicer shirt wouldn't be a bad idea)
                                        Napoleon House (same)

                                        Haven't been but I don't think that t-shirt and shorts are appropriate:
                                        New Orleans School of Cooking
                                        Emeril's
                                        Cochon
                                        Bon Ton Cafe
                                        The Green Goddess

                                        Dressing up a little more is advisable:
                                        Mr. B's

                                        Dude, put on some nice clothes, fercryinoutloud, you're not 11 years old:
                                        Commander's Palace

                                        1. re: kukubura

                                          Bravo!!!!

                                          1. re: kukubura

                                            even the youngin's wear coat and tie at Galatorie's!

                                            N.O. School of Cooking is fun, and I did see some folks in shorts. but I wouldn't count on it to be a meal. unless you want to learn how to make a trinity and hear some Cajun jokes. you'd do best elsewhere for a meal.

                                            1. re: kukubura

                                              I have seen people in shorts at Green Goddess probably every time I went, but I've only gone for lunch. Cochon, too. T-shirts not so much.

                                              1. re: kukubura

                                                Emeril's --wear at least a sport coat (guys) and a nice dress/skirt/slacks (gals)
                                                Commander's--dress up (dinner, I've not been there for lunch)...I'm a casual gal all the way, but Commander's for dinner was completely worth dressing up for. We went for my birthday; service was fantastic, Tia Martin visited all of the tables to check on everyone's meals and to say "Hi" and we even got a chance to visit the kitchen and meet Chef Tory (it was a Tuesday, not a crazy busy Saturday or Sunday). And yes, the Creole Bread Pudding Souffle with whisky sauce is worth every single calorie!

                                                We've just come back from a week in NOLA and I'm jealous of your list...my husband is already planning on calling Central Grocery and have them overnight some muffulettas out to CA for an upcoming party.

                                            2. re: jtamin

                                              Yes! to Bon Ton, try the crabmeat au gratin, Cochon- boudin balls and dumplings, Breakfast- try Elizabeth's in the Marigny or Stanley in the square. If you want just a typical breakfast, try Betsy's Pancakes on Canal St. Have a great trip!

                                            3. Close to Marriott - Palace Cafe, Redfish Grill, Felix's, Cuvee, GW Fins will not disappoint. For a real local experience take the Canal St. trolley out to Carrollton, walk to right one block to Venezia's - best Italian you'll ever have then desert at Angelo Brocato's next door.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: ray3546

                                                To say that Venezia's is the best Italian someone will ever have is an insult to Italians, just my opinion.

                                                1. re: roro1831

                                                  Thanks guys!
                                                  I now have enough restaurants to plan a second trip lol.
                                                  I'll be going in 2 days and I can't wait to eat all the delicious food!

                                              2. Came back and this is what we had:

                                                Day 1: got into town late afternoon and headed to Cochon for dinner. We split the mac and cheese, wood fired oysters and cochon signature dish. The mac and cheese was very creamy and peppery. The cochon was a little dry and too peppery. The oysters were good but there were only five. Overall a tad pricey for what you get.

                                                Day 2: Had breakfast at Cafe Beignet. We had the Southern breakfast and French Toast. Nothing remarkable here. Not a big portion as I was expecting. Lunch was at the New Orleans school of cooking and it was amazing. They showed us shrimp creole and crab corn bisque that day. Great chef, good food-and more than enough for lunch. I'm also addicted to Abita root beer now. Dinner was at Bubba Gump (yeah, yeah I knew what I was getting into, we don't have any here) and I really enjoyed it. We had two of the favourite dishes: scampi and mahi mahi. Both were filling and had great tasting seafood.

                                                Day 3: Breakfast was at Johnny's Po-Boys and we had the breakfast and an oyster po-boy. The grits tasted better here than at Cafe Beignet. The po-boy was delicious. Tons of fried oysters in a soft bun with good sourness from the pickles. Lunch was at Emeril's. Service and food were both excellent. My favourite was the oyster appetizer with crab coleslaw. They were so crispy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth creamy on the inside. Dinner was at Napoleon house where we had the jambalaya and gumbo. Food was just ok, but it was cheap.

                                                Day 4: Brunch at Eat, had the big breakfast and fruit and grain. This would be our fav breakfast of the trip. Great service, nice decor, clean flavours. Breakfast was really filling so we skipped lunch and had dinner at Felix's. Tried turtle soup and fried alligator, the latter was really good. We also had the trio platter of jambalaya, red beans and rice, and etouffee.

                                                Unfortunately we weren't able to make it to the Parkway/Mandina's area, and we got to Central Grocery too late. We also tried beignets from Cafe du Monde and Cafe Beignet. We preferred the beignets from the latter, which seemed fluffier and the leftovers didn't harden.

                                                In summary, great place to eat food! Exciting rambling will end now.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: jtamin

                                                  Thank you for the great NOLA dinning report.

                                                  1. re: jtamin

                                                    Glad you had fun - nice report! I adore Napoleon House's atmosphere & Pimm's cup but you're right about the food. It's just ok.

                                                    1. re: jtamin

                                                      Glad you had a great time (that's what really matters) but the reasoning of going to Bubba Gump because "we don't have any here" really doesn't compute. I'm assuming you don't have any Commander's Palaces, Restaurant Augusts, Galatoire's, Pelican Clubs, Mr B's Bistros, Remoulades or Joey K's where you live either. Oh well.