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Sep 14, 2009 06:14 PM

Food recommendations for a first time visitor

Going to NOLA in a little over a week. I searched for a few of these topics but wasn't finding what I was looking for.

We'll be staying in the French Quarter, looking to venture out some, but it's our first trip so not looking to go too far afield

I love seafood...and when I get it fresh I'm a pig. I don't like anything fancy...just simple preparations where the meat stands on it's own.

Wanted to get your opinions on the following:

1) Good places for plain ole, cheap shellfish - crawfish, shrimp, oysters, maybe some lobster or crab etc. Could be boiled, could be fried could be fresh...but I'm talking quick serve, simple, maybe even hole in the wall place.

2) Jambalaya...

3) For a non-seafood option - Crepes?

4) Nicer sit down place $20-$30 per plate before tax/tip/drinks...again classic seafood simple preparations with high quality ingredients

5) Cajun/Seafood buffets???

6) how is dining in the casino?

7) Place to buy fresh shellfish to take home...looking for good price/quality ratio

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  1. Um, no buffets.

    Avoid casino dining at all costs.

    Try Casamento's, Acme, Big won't find lobster here as a rule....need to go North for that.

    Go to Central Grocery for a muffaletta.

    Try Fiorella's for good fried chicken.

    There are a lot of wonderful seafood places in the 20-30$ range...look back at some of the threads and you will have a ton of options...personally I love Mr. B's BBQ shrimp.

    1. Crepes: Muriel's shrimp and goat cheese crepes are a must. Other crepe options at Crepe Nanou, but get there early as it gets very crowded.

      Jambalaya: Coops; most people cook this at home, so it is not often found on menus.

      Seafood: Galley Seafood, Perino's Boiling Pot, Big Fisherman for take out and go across street to Bulldog for some beers, Mandina's

      Nicer options for seafood dishes: Brigtsen's, Galatoire's, GW Fins, Mr.B's, Bourbon House, Redfish Grill

      1 Reply
      1. re: edible complex

        I agree with your comment on jambalaya 100% (cannot comment on Coops b/c I have not had it). If anyone does have a retaurant jambalaya that I can refer friends to I would be glad to hear of it but you are dead-on in that it is mostly homemade..ceertainly when it is worth shooting it is. I've had dreadful piles of needle-gauge rice with dessicated sausage and God-Knows-What served in Respectable Places.

      2. For boiled seafood, check out the Big Fisherman. You won't go wrong. Or try Frankie and Johnny's. It is a bit of a dive but wonderful just the same. I love the jambalaya at Coop's Place and IMHO is one of their best dishes. Any mid-range to upscale Nola restaurant will have a plethora of seafood dishes. I would try Galatoire's, Brigtsen's, Commander's Palace or Bayona. Perrino's Seafood Market is just a short drive away and has great prices on take home seafood. They will pack with dry ice for the drive/flight home in a shipping container. I get medium sized shrimp for 2.99 a lb there which is a great deal for head on shrimp of this size. The casino dining is passable, but only barely. John Besh's has pretty good steak, but unless you are highly intoxicated and it is 3 a.m., steer away from the buffet. If you can get it for free-fine. If not, would try to stay away. Ruth's Chris at the casino/hotel is not my favorite either, but will work in a pinch. The other location is much better. The Asian restaurant inside the casino is pretty good and we have had a huge meal there for a reasonable price. Some dishes were great, others entirely too seasoned and salty. Best of luck!

        1. There are so many options - how many days are you in; are you renting a car; do you mind walking & are you street savvy; are you a couple - any kids; how are you traveling with the take home Cfood; are you a cocktail person; what truly is your budget.

          Seriously you cannot think buffet and a New Orleans meal IMO.

          1 Reply
          1. re: savory south

            the only buffet I've eaten at is Jazz Fest!
            so if there is a fest of interest when you're in town, that can be a great way to try much local fare.

          2. Thanks for the GREAT recommendations....I'll do some more research and narrow it down.

            Casino is out...I kind of figured that. Never really done the casino thing and figured it would either be great or completely horrible.

            Buffets are out too..I just remember as a kid always travelling to the seaside and finding great seafood buffets. For some reason, I thought if there was a good seafood buffet it'd be in a city like NOLA...but mybe I just need to resign myself to the fact that as a kid all you can eat is good, but here really are no good buffets :-)

            A bit more about our travel...going with a couple 30 something friends going for 3-4 days. It's our first time and we're planning to leave the FQ, but not looking to run all over the city...probably a couple focused jaunts outside the FQ area. We're all very street savvy being Chicago natives. All of us are drinkers... True budget is really open, but looking for good values.

            2 Replies
            1. re: cpfoutz

              you could take the ferry across the river to the Dry Dock for seafood.
              not sure if they still do bucket night, which is a huge bucket of boiled/steamed seafood.
              call first to be sure.

              1. re: cpfoutz

                You will have a great time exploring the Quarter, but also try going Uptown. It's easy to get "stuck" in and around the Quarter if yo are a first time visitor. Taking the St. Charles Streetcar is a fun, cheap, beautiful way to see a different part of the city. There are tons of great restaurants out that way...

                Pascal's Manale
                Dick and Jenny's
                Jacques Imo's
                and many more