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Resturants to avoid in the French Quarter?

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A group of cost worried freinds are going with my wife to the French Quarter at the end of February. What resturants should be avoided?

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  1. Any place with a guy outside trying to lure them in; any place with a plate of representative food covered with plastic wrap on a little table by the door; any place on Jackson Square other than Stanley or Murial's; all sit down restaurants in the French Market; any restaurant in the first seven blocks of Bourbon Street other than Galatoire's; Lucky Dogs are gross.

    3 Replies
    1. re: uptownlibrarian

      lucky dogs aint bad! all meat. loaded with chili & onions. whats not to love? they is what they is - a hot dog, and dawgs have their place..

      but i stand by you on the salesmen -- good restaurants dont need guys hawking the wares. (Alpine, comes to mind)

      1. re: kibbles

        Don't get me wrong, I love a good hot dog. If you want to keep eating Lucky Dogs, never talk to any vendors. The stories...I've said too much.

      2. re: uptownlibrarian

        Avoid the Yucky Dog.

      3. I hear all the raves about Acme but I've had better oysters many times elsewhere. I'd say it was average so I don't waste my time there while in NO. I also avoid Brennan's because I'm not crazy about it anymore either. It's good just not as good as so many other places.

        If you're going during MG, you best just eat where you can wait less than an hour in line. Or make some reservations before you go.

        7 Replies
        1. re: texasredtop

          They are going at the end of Feb. Mardi Gras will be over by then, it's on the 16th.

          1. re: texasredtop

            I always giggle when I see all the tourists lined up outside Acme for hours, when they can get the same oysters cheaper and without the wait right across the street at Felix's. I've read some mixed reviews about Felix's but we eat there all the time and I have never once had a bad experience.

            1. re: eat3bites

              My sentiments exactly.

              1. re: eat3bites

                something to be said for atmosphere, however. the atmosphere at Felix's is on par with my insurance company's waiting room. not good. at all. and thats enough for me not to go or take anyone there... (i like dives as much as the next fella, but its not even a dive)

                1. re: eat3bites

                  Could not disagree more! I've had the food an Felix and it is not good! There is a reason people eat at Acme. The oysters are great, the fried shrimp and crabs are wonderful, and the char grilled is the best in town. Felix has terrible service with a completely disintersted staff.

                  The only people I know that bash Acme are the ones that haven't been there.

                  1. re: FoodChic

                    I've been there twice but wasn't impressed. I think Casamento's fried oysters are much better. We ate there because it was around the corner from where we were staying and just walking around late at night and wandered in. We tried it a second time on a different trip just to be sure that we weren't there on a bad night before and still weren't impressed. I wasn't bad, but it just wasn't anything memorable either. The last couple of years, you see a line of about 20 - 30 people out the door. Somebody likes it, that's for sure.

                    1. re: texasredtop

                      Casamento's is wonderful, but it's far from the Quarter.

              2. you received greats recs on your other thread for budget minded eating.
                if they are unsure of pricing, most restaurants will let you peruse the menu before being seated and some will have the menu posted outside the establishment.

                1. Pere Antoine's [note: NOT the same as Antoine's] made me want to cry. It is the only restaurant I have actually warned people away from when they were on the sidewalk checking out the menu. Beyond horrible.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: midcity

                    Was going to post that. Someone should confiscate that space and openm a real restaurant. It's a plum location but they are committing food crimes there!

                    (I've actually done the same thing as you... did you copy that post word-for-word from something I wrote in an old thread?!?)

                    1. re: kukubura

                      No, but I'm glad someone else is warning people away--I was wondering if it was too pushy of me, it's very out of character of me to go up to strangers like that, but it just seemed like it would be worse of me NOT to tell them.

                      1. re: midcity

                        In that same spirit we should warn everyone against the Court of the Two Sisters. It's not lethal but why spend the money ther when you can go elsewhere

                        1. re: midcity

                          I'd appreciate it if I was entering there to eat, I guarantee you. I don't spend enough days in NO every year to get all of the things I want and I am very disappointed when I get a bad meal. If they don't appreciate it going in and ignore you, they'd probably appreciate it upon leaving. :-)

                          1. re: texasredtop

                            I actually like Court of the Two Sisters for sentimental reasons. The meals I've had there were solid, but there are so many "wow" places in N.O. that now that I live here, I understand why locals don't go there.

                      2. re: midcity

                        Oh my, I can't agree more. Just the worst restaurant we have ever attempted to eat at ever. Once our order was placed, we had a very long wait for our dinner and then the wrong order was delivered and it was cold. We could not wait to get out of there

                        1. re: midcity

                          Agree! This restaurant is horrible! I think Pere Antoine's serves frozen vegetables reheated in a microwave. Seriously.

                        2. Ralph and Kacoo's. There are much, much better seafood restaurants in the Quarter.

                          1. Actually, the shorter list might be "which food-worthy restaurants ARE in the FQ?"

                            There are several, but fewer than the ones to avoid.

                            Enjoy,

                            Hunt

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              Most of the ones to avoid are the restaurant equivalent of white noise to me. I mean, who really sees The Alpine or whatever it is and thinks "maybe I should spend my money in there?

                              Then again, I've read a couple of people on here say they ate at Bubba Gump, so who knows.

                              1. re: kukubura

                                Bubba Gump?? Good grief!

                                1. re: kukubura

                                  Well, anyplace in the French Quarter, purporting to sell "cajun food," calling itself The Alpine . . . that should be enough clues.

                                2. re: Bill Hunt

                                  "There are several, but fewer than the ones to avoid."

                                  That's hyperbole, right? If not, here's an abridged list of excellent FQ restaurants off the top of my head: Antoines, Arnaud's, Galatoires, NOLA, Stella, Bayona, Pelican Club, Bombay Club, Irene's, Le Meritage, Muriels, Broussard's, Cafe Giovanni, GW Fins, Bourbon House, Palace Cafe, Iris (haven't eaten there since they moved, but was delicious uptown), Mr. B's, K-Paul's (if you love cajun) and Tujague's (maybe not up to the standard of the rest of this list, but a personal favorite). I'd send you to any one of those restaurants with confidence that you'd enjoy a great meal. I'm sure I've forgotten some more, and I left off some generally good places like Bacco or Redfish Grill that just don't do it for me personally.

                                  I think the FQ's bad rep with some is due to the fact that some of the worst restaurants occupy some of the most visible/trafficked real estate, thereby luring and disappointing lots of customers.

                                  Speaking to the original question, I'd avoid Pere Antoine's, Ralph & Kacoo's, Felix's (not bad, just not close to worth the wait/hassle), and Landry's (or any other chain). I agree with the poster who recommended avoiding anything around Jackson Square other than Muriel's and Stanley with one caveat: Gumbo Shop is pretty good FOR GUMBO ONLY. I love Acme, but would never wait in a long line for their oysters when you can just walk a block, belly right up to the oyster bar at Bourbon House and dig in. Around here at this time of year, just about EVERYBODY'S oysters are good!

                                  Someone mentioned that Acme's chargrilled oysters are the best. They're certainly good, (I enjoyed some last night, in fact) but the originals at Drago's are unequivocally the best. Worth the walk to the Hilton. On the way there (or back), grab a drink at the Swizzle Stick Bar in the Loew's hotel. Best mixologists I've encountered anywhere.

                                  1. re: Jeff_NO

                                    Jeff,

                                    Not sure of the exact count, but I'd say that your "good list" is probably less than 10% of all of the restaurants in the FQ. Even if it's 20%, then the list of the good would pale to the list of the bad, hence my comment. What you did was exactly as I suggested - list the good, as the list will most likely be shorter. That's not rocket science.

                                    Pretty good list, BTW,

                                    Hunt

                                3. Pierre Maspero's is no good at all, but I always hate to tell people that because they also end up avoiding Cafe Maspero (on Decatur), which serves surprisingly good, cheap poboys. So remember, Pierre = bad, Cafe = good.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: Jeff_NO

                                    Wasn't Pierre Maspero on Chartres (i think) called Pierre Maspero's Slave Exchange about 16 years ago or so? I swear it was. I ate there once back then and thought it was ok but looking in today it looks pretty uninteresting.

                                    Cafe Maspero is a solid place to belly up to the bar and eat a po boy, although I haven't been since pre-K. It does have a touristy/cafeteria kind of vibe but I feel like it's pretty solid.

                                    1. re: kukubura

                                      Maspero's was directly across from the Napoleon House years ago. They had great sandwiches and the quailty survived their move. I tried to have one a few months ago but the wait looked too long so I gave up on it but I have not heard it being bashed by anyway lately.

                                      1. re: hazelhurst

                                        I've been going to Cafe Maspero to eat ever since they moved to Decatur and have never been dissapointed with my meals. Ever since eating a muffuletta at Cafe Maspero I have never returned to CG. It's rare for us to finish our overstuffed sandwiches and we always end up taking food home without breaking the wallet. I have seen some unfavorable reviews on that Yelp site but for the life of me I can't understand why,mostly tourist.

                                        1. re: stvtunlvzn

                                          I have known one friend who could finish those sandwiches...and part of mine. But he only ate half-a-shrimp po-boy awhile back so I figure he is getting old.

                                          1. re: stvtunlvzn

                                            Cafe Masparos on Decatur is not the same thing as Pierre Masparos on Chartres......

                                            1. re: stvtunlvzn

                                              Huh???

                                              1. re: speyerer

                                                They are two different restaurants.

                                          2. re: kukubura

                                            Yes. The building that houses Pierre Maspero's was the old slave exchange. A good friend of mine from Tulane did his honors thesis on the economics of the slave trade, looking at extensive records of the auctions held there.