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Quintessential New Orleans

Loie and I have been to New Orleans twice. We've eaten at most of the old time places, and a few of the new ones. (It's been about five years since we were last there.) We are going again, with friends this time, in April 2010. I'd like to help our friends sample the most traditional New Orleans meals, from breakfast through the wee hours.

Note this question is not necessarily about the *best* eating, although certainly we want good eating. We can try all kinds of more modern, contemporary places if we like, and probably will. Just now, I'm asking specifically about the meals, dishes and atmosphere that are unique to, and characteristic of, old time traditional New Orleans. Of course I've been reading, both here and elsewhere, a lot. But I'd like any thoughts y'all might have about what's *currently* the best representation of classic New Orleans.

We'll be there Monday afternoon through Saturday afternoon, so will have plenty of opportunities. Will probably rent a house in the western edge of the Faubourge. Perhaps one day we'll try and drive out to see some plantations. Certainly walk around the Garden District, and go across to Algiers. Don't at all mind using public transportation. So, opportunities are rampant, right?

Thanks for any thoughts you might have!

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  1. The TImes-Picayune today (Sunday) has its restaurant guide and, apart from the style of writing, I have no complaints about the comments on places I know. You can find "quintessential" used therein. I have my own view as does goddamn-near ever'one else as to what "quintessential" is. I DO draw the line at the "penultimate" restaurant. [Don't start....don't even try to...]

    1. For me, this would mean the following and in no particular order:

      Galatoire's
      The Bonton
      Restaurant August
      Brigtsen's
      The Original Coffee Pot (breakfast)

      Obviously, that does not cover spots like Stella!, Bayona, MiLa or The Grill Room at the Windsor Court, but hits some of the high spots.

      Enjoy,

      Hunt

      1. It certainly wouldn't be considered "fine dining", but a late night chili dog from one of the Lucky Dog vendors would certainly be quintessential New Orleans. Don't know how long they have been around, but at least as long as I can remember- and that goes back to the late 60's.
        I've had two within the last year, and despite their reputation, they are actually really good.

        2 Replies
          1. re: Clarkafella

            +1 lucky dog. its vienna beef, chili and onions -- whats not to love?

            if people are afraid of street food here, just wait till they try it in china..

          2. Don't forget Camelia Grill and Cafe Du Monde.

            1. Certainly lunch at Commander's.