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Mar 11, 2010 12:39 PM

Bringing 4 teens to NOLA....dining advice, please.

We have lost our minds and are bringing our 2 girls (14 and 15) and the friends of their choice to NOLA for spring break. ;-)

I am familiar with the usual spots from an adult point of view, but am wondering where we CAN"T go, as in restaurants that don't allow minors. I think I recall a post about someone with teens having to leave Fiorella's because of a video poker machine (or something like that) and want to know what to avoid.

I'm smart enough to avoid the obvious blunders, but would like advice on where to go and also where not to go from you seasoned veterans.


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  1. oh...also, any place that would be especially fun for the group of us. We realize that fine dining is not the highest of priorities for the girls, so this trip we are laying aside our preferences (for the most part) to make them happy.

    1. Regarding video poker, I don't think that's the case with Fiorella's (their outdoor seating is nicer than in at any rate), but I do vaguely remember a story like that with Coop's not allowing minors because of the exposed video poker machines. Lots of family friendly places have video poker, but they keep them behind swinging doors which evidently allows them to skirt the law. Off the top of my head, Liuzza's on Bienville, Please-U diner, City Diner in Metairie, Rivershack Tavern, and I think Cooter Brown's have this arrangement, but I'm certain that lots and lots of other places do too. For restaurants with poker, it's far more the norm than not to have the poker machines behind those swinging doors, as opposed to bars where they'll be out in the open. Bottom line, you probably won't be taking your teens to any bars so you should be ok.

      My impression as a non-parent is that there aren't many places where you couldn't take your kids and their friends and not have a good time. I'm certain that there's no place where a group like yours wouldn't be welcome, it's more a matter of whether you'd be comfortable. Maybe cross off Stella and August for dinner (too stuffy and serious), but if they're into the gourmet experience it could be cool to take them to August for the more casual $20 lunch special.

      I think if I was you, I'd map out a schedule and post it here for critique, or if you want more input let us know where you're staying, your vehicle situation, and any specific preferences or requirements.

      1. Do they like to get dressed up? Take them to Commander's for lunch. It'll blow their minds, I'll bet. And it's inexpensive for the treatment you get.

        4 Replies
        1. re: kukubura

          We plan to do a couple of dress-up occasions....Commander's for lunch is a great idea! I was also thinking Mr. B's for dinner, or perhaps Galatoire's. I think Port o'Call to appease the burger eaters, maybe Stanley and EAT. Of course CDM, and I was considering Jaques-Imo's. Luke looks like a good possibility too, plenty for the picky one to choose from, while still pleasing the more adventurous ones. Any other suggestions are more than welcome!

          1. re: betheroo

            Hey Beth! I survived our trip to NOLA and had a fabulous time. Looks like you're gearing up for yours.

            I just wanted to let you know that while we were at Mr. B's Bistro we met a local couple sitting next to us and were chatting with them. Well, at the table across from them was a group of 16 yr old girls celebrating their daughter's birthday. The staff brought out balloon bouquets and seem to be very accomodating. The girls were having a great time. So, while it's a white table cloth kind of place, it was very warm and casual in it's manner.

            We had breakfast at Stanley and it was great. That would be another great option - its a casual, laid back kind of place and several locals told us to go there. Peak hours there are long, long lines. FYI.

            Have a blast! :-)

            1. re: lynnlato

              LOL....I am going this weekend for my "make-up trip"..seing the Drive By Truckers as a consolation for missing IG, and then AGAIN in a few weeks for the kids' spring break! I figure we will get 2 completely different experiences...

              DH suggested we take the girls to Commander's for a lunch, and Mr. B's for a dinner, glad to hear they were sweet to the teens. And I think I can be happy with BBQ shrimp twice in a meal ever!!!

              Glad to hear you had a good time!

              1. re: betheroo

                Well, I for one, am completely jealous that you get to go twice. I hope you enjoy the DBT. Report back to us on the food!

        2. I always recommend Jacques-Imo for a group or youngsters. It's fun, eclectic and the food is good. The chef is very interesting to say the least.

          4 Replies
          1. re: nikinik

            J-I is definitely on my radar, sounds like a good place for this group.

            ....when you say 'interesting', what do you mean?...

            1. re: betheroo

              He likes to interacts with the crowd and he likes to tie one on. He's an all around fun guy. One time I was there and the wait was long, and he came out of the kitchen in hawaiian shorts and his chef's jacket and started handing out chicken wings to everyone. Another time I was there during Christmas and he and I stood up on bar stools and led everyone in carols. Then another time I went and the wait was long and I walked up to him and said "Where's my wings." He just laughed. 10 minutes after we were seated, a big platter of wings showed up at the table.

              Some suggestions:

              Alligator and shrimp cheesecake
              Deep fried roast beef poboy
              Carpetbagger steak

              1. re: nikinik

                +1 JI.

                hah. one time after the meal was completed he asked a large table if he could slide onto their table, like a slip n slide. they obliged :)

                the alligator cheesecake is a definite crowd pleaser.

                1. re: kibbles

                  Oh, Wow! Would the girls ever love that! They are afraid they will have to be all stiff and formal at dinners....should be just the ticket for them.

                  Thanks for all the great suggestions!