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Late-night Saturday dinner near hotel?

I decided I should start at the beginning and see if I can get rec's for dinner near our hotel (the Hotel St. Pierre, which is on 911 Burgundy Street) for when we get there. We arrive at 8:17 (that's their story and they're sticking to it!) on a Saturday night, and then we have to get to our hotel from the airport. I have visions in my head of checking in, dropping off our luggage, and having a wonderful first meal in New Orleans. I'm fine with cheap and cheerful, if it's good. Ideal would be walking distance from our hotel, on the same street if possible, or around the corner would be okay, I guess. I'm not really familiar with the area at all...I need to pick up a map and start marking out all the places I want to go!

One thing I've been wondering after reading this board...do I need to make reservations for everything? I figured I would if we wanted to go somewhere pricey like Emeril's or something, but from the sounds of it I should be planning all my meals. I kind of like spontaneous, but I also like good food. What should I do?

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

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  1. You may end up with other options but you're only a couple blocks up from Clover Grill, which is open 24 hours, so at least you can put that in your back pocket in case nothing else pans out. It's a really good greasy spoon staffed by some characters.

    You're also not far from the Voodoo Spiritual Temple on Rampart. You should see when they're going to be open and visit. Priestess Miriam is a great lady (she married us!)

    Also, I will say this: Don't walk around at night with your head in the clouds. It can get awful dark up in the area where your hotel is. You should be fine but pay attention.

    As for reservations, other than the high end places I think you're ok with sticking to spontaneity (assuming you're not going during one of the busier weekends). But don't let spontaneity turn into random cluelessness. Even in a great city like New Orleans there are lots of terrible restaurants with attractive facades waiting to take your money (Pere Antoine... Uggggggh) Definitely either take or memorize a list of CH faves so that in a pinch you know whether or not you want to take a gamble on a place that you happen to be near.

    That said, if you think you definitely want to go to a place, might as well book it.

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    Clover Grill
    900 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116

    5 Replies
    1. re: kukubura

      This is the best advise you'll get! Please listen. There are so many people that end up just wandering into places and they end up sorely disappointed and then come away from out city wondering what all the fuss is about. Go to places recommended on this site, and you can't go wrong. Wander into touristy places in the quarter and you can go very wrong.

      1. re: nikinik

        Thanks for the tips! Is Pere Antoine's the same as Antoine's? I've heard of Antoine's...or are they different? I will definitely take a list! Actually, I really do want to map them on an actual map, too.

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        Pere Antoine Restaurant
        741 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

        1. re: Lainey1978

          Very very different. Antoine's is a classic NOLA restaurant that may be past its prime but is still a valuable place to visit for the experience. Pere Antoine is just absolute hell on wheels that has a great location and attractive exterior but absolute shit for food, service and basic hygiene. Avoid avoid avoid!

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          Pere Antoine Restaurant
          741 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

          1. re: Lainey1978

            Noooooo totally different lol

            I think the only way Pere Antoine's stays in business is by tricking tourists into thinking they're the "real" Antoine's. Pere is worthless. It's the only restaurant I've actually warned people away from when I've seen them looking at the menu outside the front door. It's THAT bad. They should be on kitchen nightmares.

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            Pere Antoine Restaurant
            741 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

            1. re: nola79

              > They should be on kitchen nightmares.

              That is a truly great idea. I'd love to see that.

      2. Make resv., you can always cancel if you change your mind. Emeril's is not pricey. Most entrees are in mid $20. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how inexpensive our fine dining rest. are compared with most other cities.

        Although the airport is only about 15 miles form the FQ, allow at least an hour to get your bags and drop them. The hotel will probably hold you up 10 minutes or so. You're now looking at a 9:45 -10:00 resv. Most rest. stop service around then. It's never a good idea to be the last diners. Best bet would be something casual with later hours. Tapas at Mimis in the Marigny , Rambla or Domenica. You can walk to Mimi's, cab it to the others across Canal.

        Within walking distance are Fiorella's. They used to have good fried chicken. I haven't been in awhile so I can't vouch for them. You'll need to check their hours as well. Coop's is also on Decatur. Many like their food, I do not. POC on Esplanade has really good burgers served with a baked potato. If (Antoine's Hermes bar (in FQ ) is still serving food, it would be a good choice.

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

        Rambla
        217 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

        Fiorella's Cafe
        1136 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

        Domenica
        123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

        2 Replies
        1. re: JazzyB

          I'm a cheapskate, so entrees in the mid-$20s are expensive to me. :-D I'm willing, though.

          Thanks for the suggestions! I'll check into those restaurants you mentioned. I did want to try Coop's. Most people say it's good.

          1. re: JazzyB

            Hmmm, Fiorella's looks good, but Google says it's only open until 9.

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            Fiorella's Cafe
            1136 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116

          2. I agree, you should give yourself time to get from the airport to your hotel, especially on a Saturday night. La Peniche shouldn't be far from you, and it's a casual fun place.

            re reservations for casual (sandwich, etc) fun not so much, but if you're looking to dine at prime time 7 or 8 etc it's a good idea. Don't wait until you're too hungry and pick anyplace!

            La Peniche is open Monday and Thurs-Sun 24 hours. Homemade typical New Orleans dishes including breakfast. their menu is on facebook:
            http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/L...

            La Peniche
            1940 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70116

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            La Peniche
            1940 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70116

            7 Replies
            1. re: Suzy Wong

              They have good chicken fried steak.

              1. re: Suzy Wong

                When I looked it up, it said that it used to be open 24 hours, but is now only open until 10. Unless that's changed...

                It looks good, though!

                1. re: Lainey1978

                  La Penichce is definitely open continually from 8 AM Thursday to 2 PM Tuesday. They also deliver from 11 AM to 11 PM.

                  1. re: uptownlibrarian

                    Excellent! I wonder why Fodor's review said that, then? Oh well. I trust you know what you're talking about.

                    1. re: Lainey1978

                      In the immortal words of LeVar Burton, you don't have to take my word for it:

                      http://www.facebook.com/LaPeniche24Hours

                      1. re: Lainey1978

                        La Peniche updates daily specials w/pictures! HA on their facebok page (The link is in my earlier post) as an fyi.

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                        La Peniche
                        1940 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                        1. re: Suzy Wong

                          I've gotta add them as a "friend" to see the menu! You'd think they'd make a restaurant profile public. Sillies!

                          Oh well. I guess I can remove them later.

                2. Oh, before I forget...are there any places you would say I should definitely avoid? Besides Pere Antoine's? ;o)

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                  Pere Antoine Restaurant
                  741 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Lainey1978

                    Anyplace with a person out front trying to lure you in. Anyplace with a plate of display food on a tray by the door. Almost everyplace on Bourbon St. (Galatoire's and Clover Grill are the only two exceptions I can think of to that rule). Oceana Grill, which for some reason has been getting mentioned around here lately.

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                    Clover Grill
                    900 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                    Oceana Grill
                    739 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                    1. re: uptownlibrarian

                      Oh, those are good tips that I wouldn't have known about! Thanks again!

                      1. re: Lainey1978

                        And a "crowd" doesn't automatically mean a place is good either!

                    2. re: Lainey1978

                      Pere Antoine's is the worst offender, but also Oceana Grill, Annette's, Deja Vu, Ralph and Kacoo's, Landry's, Howl Cafe F/K/A Sugar Shack, and most of the places directly on Bourbon other than Galatoire's (though I did enjoy the BBQ oysters at Redfish Grill... sue me ;) ) Any chain like Bubba Gump or Hard Rock Cafe, but if you go to a chain in New Orleans I personally think you'll get what you deserve. Happy eating! :)

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

                      Deja Vu Restaurant & Bar
                      400 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

                      Hard Rock Cafe
                      418 N Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                      Oceana Grill
                      739 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                      Pere Antoine Restaurant
                      741 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                      1. re: nola79

                        What's wrong with Oceana Grill? I just got curious and checked out their menu, and it's definitely a place that I would wander into off the street. Is their food bad? Service? Both? Will I get sick if I eat there?

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                        Oceana Grill
                        739 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                        1. re: Lainey1978

                          yikes, the first pic in their gallery is of mozzarella sticks

                          1. re: Lainey1978

                            I've had dinner there once, and then went back in for breakfast, lured by the fact that they're now offering what was once part of Petunia's menu. The dinner foods just weren't all that good... maybe mediocre at best. You mention liking their menu so I took a look at it online as well. I'll attempt to dissect it for you and point out where you should go instead for those dishes.

                            Oysters on the half shell are better had at the oyster bar at either Felix, Acme, or if you walk a little Luke's happy hour.

                            Their "oceana's famous oysters" are a cheap gimmick. As far as I can tell that's plain ole chargrilled oysters, which are best had at Drago's. I think they're really reaching by calling it "Oceana's famous oysters" when it isn't famous and isn't even known for it. That sould tell you something right there.

                            The BBQ shrimp is $18. For another $6 you can have the real deal at Mr. B's.

                            They have a "blackened house specials" section on their menu. Go to K Paul's if you want blackened anything, not Oceana.

                            For their "fried louisiana seafood" section you're better off at Deanie's.

                            For their "poboy" section you're better off at Johnny's.

                            Anyway... just my opinion, but hopefully you find the information useful.

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                            Deanie's Restaurant
                            7350 Hayne Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70126

                      2. I just read this thread, and now I'm totally confused. It goes back many, many years, though: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1282...

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Lainey1978

                          That thread is very very picky. Someone who hates Commander's, Galatoire's, Antoine's etc all in one breath is just being impossible.

                          It did remind me of one of the other rare unexciting eating experiences I had in NOLA: Court of Two Sisters brunch. A beautiful space and not anywhere near as bad as Pere Antoine's but very assembly line, veeeerrrrry touristy and not worth it.

                          Some people have put down Praline Connection. I had a fun meal there maybe 4 years ago but their stand at the airport put me off to them. Anyone who would willingly associate themselves with that slop can't care about food too terribly much.

                          1. re: Lainey1978

                            When I'm reading reviews and opinions on this website I like to click on the poster's name to see where they're from and what other places they've reviewed. That way I can tell what tastes they have - if they like the same places I do and dislike the same places I do then I can trust their opinion. The problem with the thread you've linked is that it's so old you can no longer click on the author names of some of those opinionated posts.

                            I can see someone not liking Bayona, Commander's, August, Stella, Irenes (those are some of MY favorites BTW) just due to personal taste, but when someone *hates* them so much that they place them into a "bottom five" list they lose credibility in my eyes. Those restaurants should be pushed up from the bottom just by virtue of being located in the same city as Pere Antoine's, Landry's, Hard Rock, Bubba Gump, and Alpine. Just my opinion.

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                            Bayona
                            430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

                            Hard Rock Cafe
                            418 N Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70130

                            Pere Antoine Restaurant
                            741 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116

                            1. re: nola79

                              Also to avoid....Cafe Pontalba. Think of it as the "Bizarro" Stanley.

                          2. Run don't walk and go to Green Goddess. Let Chef Chris make you dinner and it will be an unforgettable and resaonaby priced evening...try to sit outside!!

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                            Green Goddess
                            307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

                            1. Bombay Club. On Conti Street. Serve pretty late and the food is really good. AND live music. This is an upscale venue. Other more casual FQ ideas for first night: Port of Call (OK, it's a burger joint, but they're beloved NOLA burgers) and Coop's (OK, it's a bar, but they have really good jambalaya and stuff for not much money!)

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