New Orleans Food Plans
My wife and I will be visiting New Orleans starting Friday and staying through Tuesday evening. In general, we prefer hole-in-the-walls with excellent food over first class establishments (though we're obviously making a couple of exceptions for this trip). Our proposed food itinerary is below. Any places on the list you in the know would skip or that we're absolutely missing given the above?
Café Du Monde
Mandina's on Canal Street
maybe Camellia Grill
Felix's in the French Quarter or Acme Oyster House
(we're planning to be out of New Orleans for one lunch)
Mr. B's in the French Quarter
Central Grocery on Decatur Street (for the plane ride home)
Mandina's does not serve breakfast, so I would move that to the lunch in place of Johnny's, but that's just because I think there are much better poboys, at least roast beef po boys to be had. R&O's being top on my list.
I would also consider Cassamento's for lunch as well as opposed to Felix's or Acme.
I can't speak for the food at Coop's, I lived in New Orleans for 40 years and have never been there, and can honestly say that until I started visiting Chow that I never really heard of it.
I would also throw out the following suggestions for dinner:
Dante's Kitchen and Dick and Jenny's.
I lived in New Orleans off and on for 25 years and never went to Coop's either, it has the reputation of being a locals place but seems to be a word-of-mouth visitor place. It's a pity so many places haven't come back after Katrina on Decatur 'cos it used to have wonderful restaurants.
The hole in the walls you've chosen do not have excellent food. Felix's for 1/2 shell only (stand at the bar). Mr. B's strictly for Gumbo Ya-Ya and bbq shrimp. Skip Jacques-Imos and Coops. You'll find our better rest. quite reasonably priced. For not much more you will get considerably better food and service. Khakis and a button down will get you by at most.
I'll third or fourth the NO on Coop's--as a late night place, it may be great--but it never was a go-to place for me when I was living in FQ. It's not awful, but it's not worth taking up a dinner slot on your food dance card.
Some places that might be considered hole-on-the-wall(ish)--using the term loosely, Folks-- with good food: Parkway Tavern, Mandina's, Liuzza'a by the Track, Willie Mae's Scotch House, Cafe Reconcile (lunch only).
Now if your objection to first class establishments is price and not atmosphere, many of NOLA's finest have bargain prices for lunch--as many have noted on these boards, you can have an awesome three-course lunch at August for $20; Emeril's and Bayona also have great lunch deals.
You might also add The Coffee Pot as a breakfast possibility.
I agree that you should try to work in Cassamento's for lunch. I dream about the loaf all summer. I prefer Felix's over Acme and you should stand at the bar and have an Abita with your oysters!
My husband LOVES Jacques Imo's - i think if will fit your critera well. I think some may be missing your point about avoiding first class restaurants - it is not always about the cost, but simply a preference. Enjoy!