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Starting My Research for Family-Oriented Trip to NOLA

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My husband and I are taking our three boys (ages 13, 11, and 8) to New Orleans just after Mardi Gras. No one has been there but me, but with a niece at Tulane and no school for the long weekend, I thought it would be a fun family vacation. I found a great itinerary online for the sightseeing -- now I just need to add dining to our plans. We'd like a good variety of local flavor, but each place should have something on the menu if the kids are feeling picky (burger, pasta, or fried shrimp are all ok in this regard). While this trip is more about the kids than the adults, I really think we can hit both on the culinary front.

Here's our itinerary and what I've come up with so far. I need a few dinners (one near the quarter for the ghost tour; one on the early side near Tulane for the game). I think they'd all like Cafe Du Monde, Drago's (my husband will go crazy for the chargrilled oysters), Camellia Grill, and I'd like to do one of the dinners at Jacques-Imo's. I do have a babysitter available Thursday or Friday night if my husband and I want to try something that isn't so kid-friendly. (Last year, I went to Herbsaint and I'd totally go back for the sazerac, french fries, and the coconut creme pie, specifically.)

Wed: Evening at Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Dinner: Pascal's Manale?

Thurs: French Quarter/Aquarium/Mardi Gras World
Breakfast: Cafe Du Monde
Lunch: Drago's (before going to Mardi Gras World)
Dinner: ??

Fri: Streetcar/Zoo/Magazine Street Shopping
Breakfast: Camellia Grill (before zoo)
Lunch: Felix's Uptown??
Dinner: ??

Sat: Open (Swamp/Plantation Tour)/Tulane Basketball Game
Dinner near Tulane: ??

Sun: breakfast only (must leave for airport by 10) - ??

Can you begin to fill in the blanks for me?

Thanks so much!

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  1. I would suggest reservations just in case. I've waited an hour at Pascal's WITH reservations at night. Lunch never seemed to be a problem but they aren't open every day for lunch either. Some nights things are just hopping, especially on weekends. Get the bbq shrimp at Pascal's. The only better ones I've had were at Mr. B's. Pascal's remoulade is also very good.

    Pascal's menu: http://www.neworleansrestaurants.com/...

    Is Liuzza's near Tulane? I've heard reviews here about it but can't remember good or bad.

    If you're going to the zoo, the kids would surely like the Creole Creamery:
    http://www.creolecreamery.com/

    1. Parkway Tavern at night, not crowded lunch

      Cafe du Monde as dinner dessert, not breakfast, lines are HUGE in the mornings?

      1 Reply
      1. re: leetmom7

        I usually get a frozen coffee drink and bag of beignets in the afternoon while shopping in the River Walk Mall. The only problem with that is that the tables are usually a mess as they don't bus them as often as they should. But knowing what's coming to my mouth, I overlook that. I rarely make it down to the one on the square anymore. Their frozen coffee concoction is dang good. Much better than Starbucks.

        I hear there is another place in the quarter called Cafe Beignet that some say have better beignets. They also have a full breakfast.

        http://www.cafebeignet.com/menus.html

      2. How about a trip to the WWII museum and let the kids chat with some amazing WWII vets that love sharing their stories, and then stopping at Cochon for lunch.

        1 Reply
        1. re: FoodChic

          I second that recommendation! Visited pre-Katrina (when it was called the D-Day Museum) and thought it was one of the best museums I had ever visited! Describes in vivid detail both the European and Pacific theaters... and the NOLA-produced Higgins Boat plays a starring role.

        2. Ye Olde College Inn and Mandina's are both family friendly. Jacques-Imo's will take reservations for party of 5, so make one!
          Friday lunch after zoo, check out Joey K's.
          You might try Croissant d'Or, Ignatius Eatery, Huevos, or even a Dot's Diner (on route to airport) for brekkie.

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

          Ye Olde College Inn
          3000 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

          Jacques-Imo's Cafe
          8324 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118

          Joey K's Restaurant & Bar
          3001 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

          Croissant D'Or Patisserie
          617 Ursulines Ave, New Orleans, LA

          Huevos
          4408 Banks St, New Orleans, LA

          Dot's Diner
          6633 Airline Dr, Metairie, LA 70003

          Ignatius Eatery
          4200 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

          6 Replies
          1. re: edible complex

            Which is more convenient to the zoo exit -- Joey K's or Casamento's? I recall Magazine Street being one long stretch.

            1. re: jaschultze

              Casamento's is a little closer, but not enough to really make a difference.

              1. re: uptownlibrarian

                I'm not sure about Joey K's but parking at Casamento's is a nightmare. One which I gladly endure to have their oyster loaf and crab claws. One of these days I swear I'm going to try the soft shell crab. I just get in there and all I can think of is the oyster loaf.

                1. re: texasredtop

                  I wouldn't describe it as a nightmare. Maybe you can't park right in front, but any of the nearby side streets should offer plenty of parking spaces, especially at lunch time.

                  Their crab claws are one of my favorite foods ever.

                  1. re: texasredtop

                    The soft shell crab is delicious. One little note about Casamento's is you have to walk through the kitchen (greasy floor) to get to the restrooms. Be careful.

                    1. re: mrsfury

                      Oh! And a second little note - cash only.

            2. For your Friday lunch on Magazine St., think about Casamento's, which is open for lunch 11-2.

              Felix's Uptown is no longer, so don't plan on that, but Casamento's is better anyway.

              EC's recs of Ignatius and Joey K's would offer you a family friendly, casual dinner spot for either Thursday or Friday night.

              For your babysitter meal, there are many fabulous options Uptown - Lilette, Coquette, One, Bistro Daisy, Vizard's, Le Petite Grocery, Patois...Any of these would have nice atmosphere and a similar vibe to Herbsaint in terms of menu. Lilette, Coquette, and Patois all have especially good cocktails IMHO, but the others would be very good too.

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

              1. For your night out with your husband, I would suggest La Petite Grocery @ 4238 Magazine. You will definitely need a reservation. This is my new favorite place. Lots of ambience and the food is magnificent. Be aware that most of their entrees are HUGE, but they seemed perfectly amenable to sharing (at least at lunch). You might want to ask before ordering. The last time I went, I ordered their cheeseburger (best one I've ever eaten anywhere!) not knowing how large it was. Could have easily split with another person and had plenty. For appetizers, you can't go wrong with their Baked Blue Crab Brie and the lobster bisque is to die for.

                If you try this place, I hope you'll let us know what you think. Have fun!

                1. Just wanted to update all you helpful Chowhounds, since things are changing, even as we speak. I've done some more research and talked to the concierge at the hotel and here is how everything looks right now:

                  Wed - Drago's (in Metairie) on the way in from the airport.
                  Thursday - Cafe du Monde, Stanley, Luke
                  Friday - Camellia Grill, Casamento's, ??
                  Saturday - day's plans undecided, Jacques Imo post- game

                  For our Friday dinner, the following was recommended with our kids: Boucherie, Irene's Cuisine (if we are doing the ghost tour in tthe FQ), or something like Ye Olde College Inn or Joey K's. (I haven't thought about where we'd go if we go alone because we probably won't, but to the poster who suggested Lilette -- I went last year at lunch and loved it.) I am also hoping to pop into Felix's (it's near our hotel) sometime during the trip.

                  Keep the suggestions coming!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jaschultze

                    Felix's only for oysters 1/2 shell (at the bar). If your children don't eat fried oysters or softshells, skip Casamentos. If you are considering Coquette, go to: restaurant.com. They currently have an 80% off sale on gift certificates. use code: BONUS at checkout.