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Sep 16, 2009 06:31 AM

NJ girls visiting NOLA Columbus Day Weekend 09

We are so excited to be returning to our favorite city! Four of us are coming for the long weekend-arriving Friday at 1pm & leaving Monday at 1pm. We will be staying at the Wyndham La Belle Maison on Gravier Street. We have been to your fantastic city many times but this is our first time back since Katrina. There are a few places we want to return to: Coop's, Acme Oyster House, Napolean House, Cooter Brown's to name a few, but we also want your opinion on the Crescent City Farmer's Market, WINO (the Wine Institute of New Orleans), Felix's Oysters, and Mandina's (sp?). Also, if you could suggest a few tours (cemetary, plantation, etc.) that would be great! Thanks everyone!

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  1. the Sat. Farmers Market is worth a visit for many pre-cooked items for eat there or for later. there may be a guest chef cooking on site as well. if you are looking for food stuffs to bring home, you might want to shop at Rouse's at 701 Royal.

    if you haven't taken a carriage ride thru the Qtr. then you might want to head first to Vieux Carre Wine and Spirits (next to K Pauls) for some bubbles and go flutes for the tour. as expected, they have a great wine selection as well.

    new since Katrina are: Rambla, Cochon, Iris in the Fr. Qtr., Patois, Domenica at the Roosevelt, Mila, Luke, Green Goddess, Stanley, Il Posto, Stein's Deli, Mahoney's, to name a few.

    oldies but goodies: Clancy's, Vizards (on Magazine St.) Galatoire's, Mr. B's, Casamento's and Pascal Manale's (for oysters), Martinique Bistro, Parasol's, to name just a few.

    you might also check out Sundays at Bacchanal for wine in the courtyard and their guest chefs:

    other libations at: Carousel Bar, Absinthe House, French 75 at Arnaud's, Hermes at Antoine's, Chart Room at 300 Chartres

    and for margaritas and cheap late night eats, Felipe's at 301 N. Peters

    for a list of festivals (great music and food):


    1 Reply
    1. re: edible complex

      Thanks for your picks, edible! We will definitely squeeze a few of your choices into our eat & drink weekend!!

    2. I'm also from the great state of New Jersey and just love Jersey girls!
      I agree with edible's picks. I'd also recommend walking to Frenchmen st. in the Marigny for some great music. It also has some good late night places to snack. We always visit 13 when we're there and Mona's.
      Back in the FQ, we also try to get to The Quarter Master for some good late night food, as well as Alibi's for burgers.
      Yes, try Mandina's it's one of our favorites.
      If you get a chance, take the ferry over to the West Bank and visit The Dry Dock, lots of fun and pretty good food; it's right down the street from the ferry exit.
      Visit Lafitte's for a drink
      If you like Middle Eastern food, we enjoy Attiki on Decauter. I think they also have belly dancing on Friday and Sat. nights, it's a goodd time.
      No matter where you end up going, have a great time!

      1 Reply
      1. re: zach623

        Thanks Zach! The Dry Dock is on our list of new places to try-so thanks for the reminder! Have you heard anything about WINO? it's supposed to be a good place to do some intense wine tasting, but I have not heard any yay's or nay's about it at all...

      2. Well, it may in fact be Columbus Day to you, but it might amuse you to find no one in New Orleans aware of that fact....this is a city that uses ANY excuse for a party, but CD is pretty much not on the local radar. The Farmer's Market is very nice, but a rather small affair that doesn't hold all that much attraction unless you're there as a local consumer picking up some fresh greens, etc. The cemeteries are great, but don't visit the old St. Louis I or II unless on a tour....iffy neighborhood for you girls. One that you can do on your own is Lafayette Cemetery, at Prytania and Washington, across from Commander's Palace (good to combine....lunch?). It's beautiful, and you can do a walking tour of the Garden District that surrounds the walk off the rich food. Mandina's is a kind of classic New Orleans/Italian joint, unpretentious like most of the places you seem to like. For a lovely meal in a beautiful setting, if the weather is fine, as it usually is then, try Bayona in the FQ and sit in the patio...pricier than your other places but a terrific start to a big evening.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Windsome

          Thanks for your tips, Windsome! We never need an excuse to party either, but always choose to visit NOLA CD weekend since we are off that Monday-that way we don't have to call in sick! Anyway, I have heard of Bayona-don't know why I forgot to add that to our "to do" list. It's on there now! And thank you for warning us about the cemetery not to visit-greatly appreciate that! Is Cooter Brown's up & running still? LOVE their cheese fries!!

          1. re: NJlovesNOLA

            Cooter's is indeed still up and running.

            1. re: NJlovesNOLA

              If you really want to do a plantation run, the best way to do it is to rent your own car...if this is something that really interests you, write back and I'll guide you. To make it manageable, it's best to limit it to just a couple, probably Oak Alley and Houmas House, close together, with a great lunch spot in between. Lemme know.

              1. re: Windsome

                That's been on our "to do" list since we first visited NOLA many years ago but we always seem to run out of time before we get to visit the plantations. I could take it or leave it, but 2 girls in our party really want to see them this time around. I Googled Oak Alley & Houmas House & they are beautiful so I think we will have to spend a few hours going back in history. If we don't rent a car, are there other means of public transportation that will get us there? Thanks!

                1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                  Your concierge may be able to help you with that...For me, and I don't mean to be cavalier about spending (your) money, but I rather think that your own rented car is about the only sensible way to do this, where you can control the pace, lunch options, etc. For that alternative, I can be of may wish to call the hotel first to see if they hook up with a public transportation option.

                  1. re: Windsome

                    Thanks for the info, Windsome. I think we will rent a car because over the weekend, the other's in my group decided that they want to venture out a little this time. Can't wait-3 days & counting!

          2. Just got back from NOLA, had lunch at Cochon Restaurant, great food. On the walk back to the FQ, we walk pass WINO, let me tell you, not impress, its a very small wine bar, when we walk into the place, there was no one there to greet us, we check out the wines in the shop and end up walking out. NJ girls, have a great time in NOLA.

            4 Replies
            1. re: nola1421

              Thanks for the review of WINO, nola1421. I kinda thought it was a little strange that this "school's" website was so basic & didn't have photos of wine tastings or any reviews. Maybe we'll walk by & glance their way! Hope you had a great time during your stay!

              1. re: NJlovesNOLA

                Thank you NJlovesNOLA, we had great time in NOLA, this is our thrid trip to NOLA in ten months, we are from California. We love the food, the people, and the city of NOLA. Do walk by WINO and check it out and let me know what you think about WINO. Have a great time in NOLA.

                1. re: nola1421

                  The plantations I suggest if you want to be overwhelmed by beauty I highly recommend Oak Alley or if history is more your thing then Laura plantation is highly recommended this home is well documented. Also in new orleans itself the Southern Comfort Cocktail walking tour is a lot of fun.

                  1. re: joedontexan

                    We decided on Oak Alley. I am actually looking forward to the tour! I usually like to do my own pub crawl, but we might do the Southern Comfort tour this time around. 2 days to go!! Can't wait till Friday!! Thanks for the tips, everyone! I will report back on our adventures!