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NOLA in mid May; spending Sunday outside of town, where to go to eat

My foody French boyfriend and I are going to NOLA for our first anniversary the second weekend in May, and have most of our meals figured out for while in town thanks to all of your lovely and helpful reviews!

But, we are planning on spending one day, Thinking Sunday, renting a car and heading outside of town to the countryside to explore, eat, and spend one night before returning Monday when we have the whole day before heading back to Seattle mid evening.

Since there are many directions to head, I was thinking we would decide based on cafe's or restaurants (and any picturesque destinations don't hurt either).

Would sort of like some hole in the wall southern destinations - maybe crawfish boil, gumbo stops, etc. since most of our meals in town will be fine dining except the BBQ shrimp for lunch at Mr. B's... We arrive Thursday night and leave Monday night.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. From downtown N.O. head west on I-10. Take the 310 to Luling. Driving along River Road, aka Hwy 18 north, you will pass many plantation homes. Most offer tours. My favorite is St. Joe. Most of the plantations have nice gift shops with everything from cookbooks to jewelry. Oak Alley has a little restaurant if you get hungry, or you can stop at B & C Seafood for fried gator or a choupic sandwich. Continue up to Hwy 70 and cross over to the other side, Hwy 44. Go back toward town. In Convent there's a restaurant called Hymel's. It is a family restaurant where you will get a good meal at insanely inexpensive prices. This is so funny, I just googled it and some of the pics I took came up. Anyway up the road a bit is a museum, a few more plantations and a cemetery in Destrehan that is very old. You can keep on River Road to go all the way back into N.O. In a couple of places it veers off to the left (like in LaPlace) but will eventually take you back to the river. Edited to add: I do not know if the restaurants I mentioned are open on Sunday but the plantations are.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mrsfury

      for eats, add:
      Roberto's River Road
      Latil's Landing at Houmas House
      Frenier's Landing and/or Crab Trap at Peavine Rd.
      St. Rose Tavern
      Lafitte's Landing at Bittersweet Plantation

      1. re: edible complex

        Oooh Edible, Frenier is extremely questionable. While it is a beautiful location, we have given up due to food issues very recently. We so wanted to love the place. I've even spoken to one of the owners more than once. Something went wrong there.

        1. re: mrsfury

          that's too bad, hope they can pull it together soon.

      2. re: mrsfury

        Thanks so much mrsfury for the itinerary and food stops. We are thinking of spending the night in layfayette or somewhere around there, then coming back into NO Monday morning, so should be able to hit some of your suggested spots. thinking about Cafe Des Amis for dinner, but thanks for the plantation suggestion - hadn't even thought of that yet (only food!)

        1. re: gingershelley

          If you're going to be around laffy for dinner, I'd skip Des Amis and go to Poor Boy's Riverside Inn. My favorite restaurant over there. For boiled stuff hit Boiling Point or Guiding Star around New Iberia.

        1. re: edible complex

          thanks edible complex! this place looks good, and has live music on Sunday night. excellent! So the plan so far is to go to Laura plantation Sunday morning, wander toward Breaux Bridge eating somewhere on the way (suggestions still being taken please!, have dinner at DJ's, monday breakfast at Des Amis, swamp tour next, then back toward NO to have chicken and waffles at Emeril's for lunch. Any more ideas fellow hounds?

          1. re: gingershelley

            Hey just a heads up, 80 percent of Laura was destroyed by fire, rebuilt, and opened recently. I have not been since they re-opened it. When I went the tour consisted of viewing what was saved from the fire under a tarp on the grounds. We stood in front of the house while they told us the history. If I would have known I would not have gone, but since it is open again I am sure your experience will be better than mine.

            1. re: mrsfury

              I was back there a year or two ago and got a complete tour of the house and grounds. I'd definitely recommend it.

              The plantations are also good places for picnics--I'd check each plantation's website to see the policy about bringing in food. I've found that banh mi travel well, or you can pick up a muff from Central Grocery and take it out there with you on Sunday [they're better the next day anyway].

              1. re: midcity

                Great news! I am very surprised to hear it was completed that long ago. Did not look like it from the street. I guess they were still doing work on the outside but letting people in. Thanks midcity!

        2. I'm doing a weekend trip in late May and am taking the day to go to St. Francisville to see all the historic buildings, plantations, and live oaks dripping with spanish moss there. It's the first rise in elevation along the Mississippi - so the rolling hills coupled with subtropical flora is a must-see for us.

          Apparently there's a soul food place there called Eight Sisters that I've been hearing good things about. Anyone here have first-hand knowledge?

          4 Replies
          1. re: mikeh

            I don't know Eight Sisters but I will be up there on a project in the next few weeks and will look into it. While you are there, you shoud call over to Parlange in New Roads and make an appointment to see that house.

            1. re: hazelhurst

              I didn't know the Parlange Plantation did tours on request, that's great news, we drive through New Roads all the time on the time on the way to Lettsworth. I will definitely look into that. Thanks

              1. re: CharlieH

                Well, you have to work around the family, obviously, but they try to be accomodating.

                1. re: CharlieH

                  I visit family in Batchelor every year. My great grandmother's house is in Lettsworth and all my Daddy's family is buried at St. Stephen's. I hear the place in Lettsworth burned down a few months ago. It was the house that sat behind the old general store. The Lindsey place.

                  We love to go to New Roads and will also check out Parlange.

                  If anyone is going anywhere near Krotz Springs, you have to stop at Billie's Mini Mart for the boudin balls. They're really good.

            2. I never found any good places to eat when I was plantation visiting, but I did find the cottages at Oak Alley were a nice place to stay. Very inexpensive and comfortable. The bonus is that you were right on the plantation grounds and could walk around when the plantation was closed to outside guests. I have some beautiful early morning photographs of the oak alley and the house. I found the best tour to be at Houmas House.

              1. Go to Middendorf's at Manchac Pass located midway on I-55 north of New Orleans.