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Apr 28, 2010 11:44 AM

Fest Dining...I know, I know...don't shoot me

I know this is last minute, but we usually come to JazzFest with my sister who has so many food restrictions that it makes foodie dining absolutely impossible, so we just eat dinner before leaving the fest. Well, she's bailed at the last minute, so I'm dying for some recs of places where 2-3 of us might actually be able to get in for dinner without an eternal wait. I fear that without having reservations a month ago, though, I might be sol...please tell me I'm not.

We're staying in the cbd, but I'm willing to cab it to avoid the Quarter mayhem for dining. It's been a while since I've done a ton of dining out in your fine city, so I don't know the lay of the land now. To help, I'm definitely looking for that excellent N'awlins cuisine we just can't get in Austin. I always had a soft spot for the softshell crab/fried green tomatoes at Jacque-Imo's, but that doesn't seem to be on the menu any more. I wasn't bowled over last time I was at Nola. I remember liking Clancy's. Of course, Central Grocery for a muffaletta. I mention these to give you an idea of what I'm thinking. Please, please, N'awlins hounds, bring on the recs...

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  1. IMO I would go to Liuzza's by the Track. Within walking distance of the Fest and right up your alley if you want local flair. I'm sure they get pretty busy during the fest but its well worth it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: stvtunlvzn

      I'm almost positive that LBTT does not serve food on JF days. They are strictly a liquid diet kind of place on those days. All of the tables are cleared out and it's only several lines leading up to the bar. They open at 10 where you can start with bloody marys (which are fantastic). After the fest, everyone swarms there to drink some more and hear live music. It's like a huge block party. There's a live band outside and they are making serious money on liquor.

      1. re: nikinik

        I think you're correct. It didn't look like they were serving last weekend.

    2. The map and address posted here by the Chowhound "helper" is for Liuzza's in Mid-City, not Liuzza's By The Track. You want the one by the track:

      1518 North Lopez Street
      New Orleans, LA 70119

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

      1. What about Coquette Bistro & Wine Bar @ 2800 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 265 - 0421. Or what about Cafe Atchafalaya @ 901 Louisiana Ave., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 891 - 9626. * Or what about Pacal's Manale Restaurant @ 1838 Napoleon Ave., New Orleans, LA. Call and see what you can do. My favorite would be Patois @ 6078 Laurel St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 895 - 9441 but it may be too far out for you. You probably have a better chance of getting a reservation though. Bon Appetit.

        Cafe Atchafalaya
        901 Louisiana Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

        1. You're talking about after the fest right? If so, Liuzza's btt will be impossible to get into. I walked by 4 times last weekend, and it was packed every time - before, during, and after the fest. Basically anywhere within 5 blocks of the fest probably won't be worth trying to get into, imo. Stop by and stick your head in, though; it couldn't hurt.

          Anyway, after the fest, either get out early before everyone else or get far away from the fairgrounds. We left about 30 minutes before the Allman's finished up and were able to walk in and sit right down at Juan's Flying Burrito (our post-fest go to joint). Needless to say, 30 minutes later the line was out the door. Your dress will limit the places too. If you go straight to dinner, you'll be sweaty and nasty so the nice joints are out of the picture. For example, I wouldn't set foot in Patois or Coquette while coated in Jazzfest grunge. The other option is get a late reservation, go shower, then go eat. That works, too. A late reservation will probably open up a lot more options. In sum, leave the fest early and beat the crowds or go clean up first and eat late.

          I really don't have any recs since it's really just every man for himself during jazzfest. It's nearly impossible to say who will have a table and who won't. You could go to Jacques Imo's right after the fest. You'd have to wait there just as long as you would any other weekend since you can't get a reservation. Good luck.

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

          Juan's Flying Burrito
          2018 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

          1. If you really are willing to get a cab, head to Crescent Sausage & Pie in Mid City. Wide variety of Louisiana style meats, jambalaya, and also great pizza. Five of us walked right in and were seated at about 8:00 last Saturday.