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Jan 14, 2010 07:58 AM

serious foodie traveling to n.o.

i am going to n.o. in february and am narrowing down my places to eat in a 3 day span.
i was thinking mothers for po boys, maybe deanies for bbq shrimp, and cochon or august for a nicer meal.
are these good choices? if not, what is and also what might be a destination that only locals know about? i will eat anuthing just no gumbo or jambalaya, i am not a fan of either.

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  1. I would vote no on Mother's, and Deanie's.
    I will speak only of roast beef poboys and say R&O's & Parkway are my favorites. If you are looking for oyster or shrimp poboys, I will let others give opinions as I do not like seafood poboys, I just prefer to eat the seafood by itself.

    As far as BBQ shrimp, while Deanie's isn't bad, either Mr. B's or Pascal Manale's.

    2 Replies
    1. re: roro1831

      I concur - skip Mother's and Deanies. Parkway's seafood poboys are also good - the roast beef is excellent! I also concur that BBQ shrimp from Mr. B's or Pascal's is the only way to go!!

      1. re: roro1831

        I agree with all of your recommendations. I was a Pascal's bbq shrimp die-hard fan until Katrina at which point they seemed to lose a little tiny something. I tried Mr. B's and I'm so sorry Pascal's, I'm now a Mr. B's bbq shrimp girl. They are what Pascal's was a long time ago plus a little.

        Deanie's is a big plate of fried stuff and to me it all tasted about the same.

      2. I preferred Brigtsen's to Restaurant August ... had a better overall experience there. Some of my food at Restaurant August was great, but the service made me want to gnash my teeth to powder. They had a tiered approach to service that at least in my case didn't work well at all. Brigtsen's has a team approach that did work quite well, and I had some really good food there too. But in my mind most importantly, I left feeling good about the evening & entire experience. (My favorite thing at Brigtsen's was the shrimp cornbread from the seafood tasting platter, which I ordered separately, and the best dish of the whole trip. My favorite thing at Restaurant August was my salad with black-eyed pea croutons and some truly amazing artisanal bacon. My least favorite thing at Brigtsen's was the apparently commercially produced blueberry filling used in my dessert. My two least favorite things at August were the 5-spice mix used in my entree but not explained on the menu, and my 'senior' waiter. I wouldn't have murdered him if given the chance--I don't think--but I would have gladly given him a break that lasted the rest of the evening.)

        3 Replies
        1. re: foiegras

          I'd be surprised if the pie filling was commercially made. At Charlie's, the Brigtsen's casual seafood joint, you can't get your pecan pie a la mode because they aren't able (yet) to make ice cream in house and they won't serve anything commercially produced.

          1. re: uptownlibrarian

            Mother's IMO, is an over priced tourist trap, slip it.

            Bon Ton is a great choice,


            1. re: uptownlibrarian

              It was over cheesecake ... if it was made in-house, it was an amaaazing imitation of blueberries from a can. I've never heard of home-canned blueberries, but ... I don't know, don't know how else to explain it.

              PS Just wanted to add, be careful of grits made with cream. They are not for amateurs, I gathered :) I had them at Dante's Kitchen, another woman in my hotel had them at a different restaurant, and they put both of us out of commission. I didn't really eat anything the rest of the day.

          2. Mother's and Deanie's are places that only tourists go to. So are Acme and Felix's for that matter.

            My current favorite spots are Green Goddess, Coquette and Mat & Naddie's. GG is the only one in the Quarter so you will need to take the streetcar or a cab to Coquette or M&N. To be honest, the riverbend (where St. Charles meets Carrollon on the streetcar line) is full of awesome restaurants: One, Dante's Kitchen, M&N, and Boucherie to name a few. I've never been to Brigsten's (i know, shameful since I live a mile away) but is certainly popular with locals and tourists.

            Some other good places that are much easier on the wallet - Cake Cafe for lunch and dessert (it's in the Bywater), EAT for cheap byob dinner or brunch, Butcher (behind Cochon, run by the same people, can get expensive because you will want everything).

            A good rule if you want locals only places, which also happen to be the better places, is to leave the Quarter. It's full of tourist traps and the good places have higher prices than comparable places everywhere else in town.

            6 Replies
            1. re: lawstudent

              Re: tourist traps, you make a good point but there are Famous Places, e.g.Pat O'Briens, that _do_ have a local following and a local side to them. Lots of places here--and elsewhere---have a dual nature. But I agree with you that most people are not going to have the time, inclination or even the skills to divine the joint-behind-the-joint.

              1. re: hazelhurst

                Yes, you are right. One of the reasons I have never been to Galatoire's is because I know I would probably get the tourist treatment and no real experience. I felt that way when I went to Bayona for my birthday.

                I am sure people who live in the Quarter could probably suggest a ton of hidden gems I have no clue about. I live Uptown so tend to explore the areas closer to home. I could actually use some help picking a great dinner spot Friday night in the Quarter for some rowdy friends who like to spend money. I will start a new thread for that, though.

                I'm sure we can agree that Acme, Felix's, Mother's and Deanie's rarely see a local?

                1. re: lawstudent

                  Re: Acme and Felix's...they are overwhelmingly touristy these days but enjoy vogues. I have no idea who goes to the Quarter Deanie's since I have never been there. It ain't right. Mother's does get some CBD business but that is a matter of convenience and not quality. Some of the lawfirms will order take-out when they are having war conferences. In fact, a witness who was in from Philly was raving about some po-boy from mothers when the natives at the table were kinda ashamed of the stuff.

                  Just to to Galatoire's one lazy afternoon and get to know the'll be fine.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    One of the most enjoyable meals that I've had at Galatoire's was one afternoon when I ended up eating a late lunch in mid-afternoon. It wasn't planned that way, but a meeting ran late and we didn't arrive until close to 2:00.

                    While I don't have my "own" waiter, I've always found the waiters to be extremely helpful and accomodating. While far from it I was made to feel like a regular each time that I've been.

              2. re: lawstudent

                NOLA natives DO eat at Deanie's. Although I cannot vouch for one taxi driver's claim that he eats there once a week, actor Wendell Pierce and his parents dined there Sunday night, 1/10/10. One table over, my wife and I enjoyed superb oysters, shrimp etouffe', grilled black drum. While not our top experience -- Commanders', La Petite Grocery, and Galatoire's ranked higher -- I would go back. I give it 4-out-of-5 stars, with the caveat mentioned elsewhere on this post that the seafood platter is all fried stuff and WAY too big for anyone smaller than Jeremy Shockey (6'5", 251 lbs) or the rest of the Saints' O-line.

                1. re: CPaul

                  Well, I would say that locals go more to the Bucktown location, but who knows.

                  My friend used to date one of the owners(although I think he left to open his own place) back in high school, he would bring a seafood platter over and feed the entire family of 6 on one seafood platter, that thing is huge.

              3. My favorite restaurants in the French Quarter are:

                Galatoire's (jacket required for men at dinner): oysters rockefeller, oysters en brochette, seafood stuffed eggplant, lamb chops béarnaise, crabmeat au gratin, fried soft shell crabs w/crabmeat, godchaux salad, soufflé potatoes.

                Mr.. B's: great gumbo Ya-Ya, BBQ shrimp, any fish of the day plank grilled, and profiteroles for dessert.

                Irene's: the duck is amazing, and the chicken rosemarino is a classic Creole Italian dish.

                Muriel's at Jackson Square: good gumbo, goat cheese and crawfish crepes, puppy drum, and double cut pork chops.

                Iris in the Bienville House for veal cheek ravioli, mussels, foie gras, duck confit, sunchoke and cauliflower soup, scallops and skate wing.

                Go to Cafe du Monde (riverside of Jackson Square) for beignets and coffee any time of day.

                Check out Stanley on Jackson Square for breakfast or lunch. Scott Boswell also has Stella!, but this is his casual restaurant that cranks out some good food too:

                For raw oysters: Desire Bar in the Royal Sonesta, Bourbon House, Acme or Felix's in the Qtr., Luke in the CBD on St. Charles Ave., Pascal's Manale and Casamento's Uptown.

                For good drinks: Carousel Bar at the Monteleone (a must visit), French 75 Bar at Arnaud's, Lafitte's Blacksmith, Absinthe House, Napoleon House, Hermes Bar at Antoine's, Chart Room on Chartres, Sazerac Bar at (recently reopened) The Roosevelt.

                Central Grocery for muffalettas. These are great for the plane ride home. Be sure to check their hours, as they may be closed when you fly home. They pack well, so you can buy a day before flying. If you like your muffalettas warmed (which I do), then eat at Napoleon House or heat up the CG when you get home. I find it opens up the flavors of the meats, cheese and olive salad.

                Green Goddess is the newest and most talked about in the Qtr.
                Menu looks amazing:

                If you have a car or will take the streetcar, head Uptown for J'Anita's, Martinique, Clancy's, Patois, Coquette and Boucherie.

                J'Anita's in the Avenue Pub on St. Charles Ave. for great BBQ for lunch. They also have the best fish sammich ever and the St. Chuck Duck po boy!

                Martinique Bistro on Magazine has great food and a beautiful courtyard.

                Clancy's on Annunciation is terrific; get the oysters w/brie, sweetbreads, the smoked soft shell crab and the veal chops. and their frozen Brandy Alexander's are good for dessert.

                Patois on Laurel for rabbit, moules frites, and pork belly. This has become one of the best new restaurants and well worth trying. Open also for Friday lunch and Sunday brunch, if that fits in your schedule.

                Coquette is on Magazine St. and is open for for both lunch and dinner. The menu changes, but if they have the cod, get it. They have a great drink list, and I love their French 75's. There is also a great Pinot Noir from Melville which compliments their food.

                Boucherie is on Jeanette just off Carrollton. They are open for both lunch and dinner. Get the Mussels w/Collard Greens, Fries w/Parm, Boudin Balls, Pulled Pork Cake, Brisket, Smoked Scallops and the ChocBacon Brownie. The Cote du Rhone works well here.

                Or, head to Mid-City for Mandina's on Canal St. for turtle soup, oyster po boys, and trout or Parkway Bakery and Tavern for the best roast beef po boys.
                (Mandina's is cash only.

                In the CBD, across Canal St from Fr. Qtr., try Rambla in the International House Hotel for great tapas, Luke on St. Charles for oysters at the bar, duck and rabbit pate, choucroûte maison, and moules and frites, Domenica in The Roosevelt for goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms, grilled radicchio, and any of the pastas and pizzas. If you are in town for lunch Friday, Restaurant August has a 3 course for $20.09 that is stellar. Other places: Herbsaint and Cochon (both Donald Link restaurants), Rio Mar, La Boca, a Mano (all Adolfo Garcia's restaurants).

                Mandina's Restaurant
                3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119

                Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
                500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                Avenue Pub
                1732 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

                Restaurant August
                301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                Casamento's Restaurant
                4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

                Rio Mar Restaurant
                800 South Peters, New Orleans, LA 70130

                J'Anita's Restaurant
                1906 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA

                Galatoire's Restaurant
                209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

                La Boca Restaurant
                857 Fulton St., New Orleans, LA 70130

                International House Hotel
                221 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA

                217 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

                Green Goddess
                307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

                Bourbon House
                144 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                Chart Room
                300 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                Mandinas Restaurant
                4240 Highway 22 Ste 2, Mandeville, LA 70471

                8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

                1 Reply
                1. re: edible complex

                  EC, you were spot-on till you threw in Rambla and Domenica, both of which, IMHO, are all hype and no substance.

                2. you got alot of good advice, but i just want to throw in my 2cents worth. i love cochon. one trip i went there 3 times in 4 days!