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Apr 4, 2010 10:40 AM

visiting from Boston

Hey everyone,
I'm visiting New Orleans for the first time for four days in a couple of weeks and want to start thinking about some food destinations. I am a professional chef from Boston and am traveling for my thirtieth birthday celebration. I will eat anything, as will two of my friends, but my girlfriend is a vegetarian, so finding things she will eat is my biggest challenge. Other than that, we are staying in the French Quarter but am completely open to traveling outside of it to experience all of the city, I would love to know the go-to places that I shouldn't miss, as well as where we could all go for a nice birthday celebration dinner (John Besh?) I also write a hamburger blog here in Boston, and am always on the lookout for the best burger in other cities. Thanks!

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  1. As far as the hamburger is concerned Port of Call is probably tops in the city. On esplanade in the quarter.

    Port of Call
    838 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

    1. Port of Call is the best known burger place in New Orleans. But I prefer Yo Mama's. Both are in the quarter.

      Port of Call
      838 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

        1. In what price range are you interested in? Port of Call on Esplanade is worth the walk. Another good place to look is

          Liuzza's Restaurant & Bar
          3636 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70119

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

          Restaurant August
          301 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

          930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

          Stella Restaurant
          1032 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

          Commander's Palace Restaurant
          1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

          430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

          Emeril's Restaurant
          800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

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

          Gw Fins
          808 Bienville St., New Orleans, LA 70112

          701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Dante's Kitchen
          736 Dante Street, New Orleans, LA 70118

          3637 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115

          Gautreau's Restaurant
          1728 Soniat St, New Orleans, LA 70115

          217 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Mr B's Bistro
          201 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Green Goddess
          307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

          Le Meritage
          1001 Toulouse, New Orleans, LA 70112

          17 Replies
          1. re: speyerer

            any price range is fine. does vegetarian food exist in new orleans??

            1. re: rchudy

              Any menu usually has some vegetarian options, just ask.
              Back To The Garden. Lee Circle Area: 833 Howard Ave. 504-299-8792.

              Praline Connection
              542 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116

              La Peniche
              1940 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70116

              Lebanon's Cafe
              1500 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

              Eat Restaurant
              900 Dumaine St, New Orleans, LA 70116

              Gumbo Shop Restaurant
              630 Saint Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116

              Bennachin Restaurant
              1212 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

              Mimi's In the Marigny
              2601 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70117

              Praline Connection
              630 Mandeville St, New Orleans, LA 70117

              Cafe Bamboo
              435 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

              1. re: speyerer

                Tho some like it for breakfast, I would stay far away from EAT:


                ...nothing special and far too many better restaurants in this city.

                I think Patois is very good. Coquette is also good and owned by a young chef entrepreneur. August, Stella, both very good. Galatoire's is good but also a fun experience. Same with Commander's Palace and its jazz brunch.

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

              2. re: rchudy

                MiLa recently had a meatless dinner with wine pairings. You may want to give them a call.
                MiLa Goes Meatless for Wednesday Market Dinner

                817 Common Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

                1. re: rchudy

                  You should look about for stuffed artichokes. Once upon a time I'd have said that these were not vegetarian but recent efforts I have seen have been breadcrumbs,garlic and cheese which would be fine for the girlfriend. The rest of us like the ones with salami and olives and pieces of shrimp or what-have-you. Used to be a place on Metairie Road with pretty good ones but since my friend near there moved I haven't been by that route. No doubt someone will know of a place making decent ones these days.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    re stuffed artichokes, some places, not all, (R&O doesn't) use cheese with rennet which is made from cow organs as an fyi This also applies to cheese in general.

                    1. re: Suzy Wong

                      That is a fair point--I confess to not thinking about the vegetarian aspect there but, rather, items that are not generally found elsewhere. Of course, my stuffed artichokes wouldn't fit thebill anyway since I put all kinds of meats in. Most commercial ones nowadays, though are some cheese, garlic powder and enough breadcrumbs to plug a levee breach.

                      1. re: hazelhurst

                        I wasn't aware of the rennet untl recently and I never heard of meat in stuffed artichokes either before this past year. My maternal grandmother made excellent!!! stuffed artichokes. But I love artichoke any way.

                        1. re: Suzy Wong

                          I don't "do" those ones with half-a-shrimp in ' hard to cram it in. But I like to use salami or any variety of italian meats and lots of chopped olives and some anchovy..and maybe just a little bit of garlic. OK... more than a little bit. I love the things but I usally have to boil a bunch cuz I'll eat two for each one I stuff.

                          1. re: hazelhurst

                            Yes! You've got that right! They (artichokes) are great boiled or steamed plain or with a vinegarette type dip. (Your recipe sounds very flavorful).

                      2. re: Suzy Wong

                        Rennet isn't always made from animal products; there is vegetable rennet, and also other animal rennet substitutes. Frankly I think it's a stretch to ask your server whether the cheese in your stuffed artichoke is or is not made with animal rennet.

                        1. re: uptownlibrarian

                          In most (not all) cheese it is animal rennet/rennin unless noted otherwise (usually specific gourmet cheeses made by small companies not large ones most restaurants use). Then you would be surprised, my sister did call around, and each place she called knew right away whether it was used or not. R&O's does not contain it. If it mattered to you, it wouldn;t be a stretch. No different than inquiring what kind of oil (animal fat or non animal fat) something is cooked in. Not asking someone to juggle with their eyes closed on one foot. To each his own.

                          1. re: Suzy Wong

                            By any chance did you ask what kind of cheese R&O uses, that isn't made using animal rennet? Did you get the impression that they use a "specific gourmet cheese," by which I think you probably mean an artisinal or farmhouse cheese? I ask out of genuine curiosity as a home cheesemaker, former cheese shop employee, and general cheese lover. I ask because R&O doesn't strike me as the kind of place that worries too much about the provenance of their cheese (Sysco?).

                            I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the vast majority of restaurant employees, especially at the R&O level, don't know what rennet is. I do think it's different than the oil that something is cooked in, because that cooking oil is on the premises and the container can be seen and read by any employee - Peanut Oil, Lard, whatever. Cheese packaging, especially the big bags of pre-shredded cheddar or parm used by most places at the R&O level and below, might list rennet as an ingredient in the fine print, or they might not. If it's some kind of processed cheese, it very probably doesn't contain rennet at all - maybe that's the case at R&O?

                            Not busting on R&O here, they're fine. But I really think the chances that very many restaurant employees know the truth about what kind of rennet is in their cheese are slim. It's simply not common knowledge, even among restaurant people. If it is a serious issue to you, you would want to ask a few searching questions to expose ignorance or knowledge. What brand of cheese, what kind, where from, etc. Don't just accept the word of the person who answers the phone.

                            1. re: uptownlibrarian

                              Your input is appreciated. It's (rennet) even on the label of the locally made stuffed artichokes. Not all restaurant employees are dim, and where did I say anything about taking the word of whomever answered the phone? (I am curious as to where you grew up. Part of the country)

                              As I stated previously my sister called different places in re to that issue, I wasn't on the line with her. She's just an attorney. She probably doesn't know how to ask questions...

                    2. re: rchudy

                      Green Goddess is a must for veggies.

                      Green Goddess
                      307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

                    3. re: speyerer

                      Thats a good link. I havnt seen that compendium before. Thanks

                    4. After perusing your blog, I am of the opinion that you would find Port Of Call to be overrated. Another one of those situations where they became famous, and then kind of stopped caring as much, maybe? Not sure, but they do not melt their cheese and there are no french fries in sight. Two downers for me. I agree Yo Mama's is a better burger, though there is still the lack of fries... Camellia Grill uptown I think does the best one in the city, but it's a diner griddle burger, and not a big monster like the previous two places. Just depends on what you're looking for. Camellia Grill is worth a visit just for the chili cheese omelets, the chocolate freezes, and the hot pecan pie, though.

                      Camellia Grill
                      626 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: figndate

                        Sure, no fries, but a delicious baked potato on the side at Port of Call!

                        Port of Call
                        838 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

                        1. re: figndate

                          Not caring? Has never been my experience there, I go a a couple times a month. I prefer the unmelted shredded cheddar, it's a texture thing. They also have premium meat delivered daily. Potatoes are a great spectacle of spud.

                          Have had Yo Mama several times and while i enjoy the peanut butter bacon burger, their buns have been stale and the potato unremarkable. Plus it's harder to get a spot in, louder, and no Monsoon's to pass the time with.